What You Need to Know About the Tiny House Movement

More and more homeowners are forgoing their dream mansions and opting for a smaller, cozier abode. The tiny house movement is picking up steam as more and more Americans are moving into RV-like structures as small as 100 square feet.

While many of us can’t imagine living in a house (if you can call it that) that small, certain stats and testimonials have others weighing their options. To help sway you even further, read on to learn five things you need to know about the tiny house movement.

The Average Home is Getting Bigger

To cover the full gamut, we must first look at the industry. Despite this movement, the average U.S. home is getting larger. Mark Perry, a professor of economics at the University of Michigan, states that with an average square footage of 2,679, most U.S. homes are now 1,000 square feet larger than they were in 1973. Furthermore, the average space per person in a new home has doubled in the last 40 years. Thus, while the tiny house movement has picked up steam, the average American is still moving or remodeling larger homes.

The Tiny House Benefits

The phrase “bigger is always better” is thrown around quite a bit, especially with home remodeling—but do we really need all that space? Many homeowners are saying no, and have stared to realize all the benefits that come with a small home.

1. No Mortgage

According to The Tiny Life and the infographic above, 68 percent of tiny house owners have no mortgage compared to 29 percent of those with traditional homes. As you can imagine, the relief no mortgage brings gets rid of a huge burden. In fact, as USA Today points out, while less Americans are in debt, those who are owe more than they did 15 years ago.

Mini home, dagebuell

Source: iStock

2. Own the Home

There is a sense of pride that comes with home ownership. No one likes the feeling of debt and when you opt to move into a tiny house, chances are, you can buy it without a mortgage or home loan. As you can imagine, more tiny house owners own their homes. In fact, 78 percent of tiny house people own their home compared to 65 percent of homeowners with traditional houses.

3. Limited Spending

Many a New Year’s resolutions are tied to spending. We could all spend less, but when you have a tiny house with minimal space, you really are forced to spend less. Kathy Gottberg and her husband moved into a tinier house five years ago (1,375 square feet). While it may not be tiny as defined by this movement, it is tiny by everyday standards (remember, the average U.S. home is 2,679 square feet). She recently talked about how the move affected her spending habits.

“The less space you have, the less stuff you continue to buy,” Gottberg said.“While [my husband] and I have never been big shoppers, once we finished, we basically just stopped buying. Thankfully, there is no room for more. Just knowing our personal space is limited keeps us from saying yes to all items we may or may not purchase impulsively.”

4. Easy and Affordable Maintenance

The more space you have, the more time and energy you need to keep it clean. That fact will never change, so tiny houses, therefore, are easy to maintain. Furthermore, whenever you need to update your small bathroom, kitchen or living room, you can spend the money knowing you saved year-round on lower maintenance costs.


The idea of living in a tiny house seems unrealistic to many, but those who have actually done it enjoy liberating themselves from the constraints of high mortgages, expensive utility bills, and hours of upkeep. To them, the juice of a small home is well worth the squeeze.

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