by Ann Harrison
Although Many American families live in large, expansive homes, more and more people are downsizing by moving into tiny houses. However, there are several pros and cons to consider before you downsize your home.
Most home owners are unable to purchase an average sized house without taking out a mortgage loan. Research shows that 68 percent of people who purchase tiny houses own their homes immediately, compared to approximately 29 percent of people who purchase larger homes. On the other hand, borrowing money to purchase a tiny house is more challenging.
Speaking of saving money, building a tiny house costs approximately ten times less than that of building a full-sized home. If you have materials at your disposal that can be repurposed, this lowers the cost significantly.
There is one caveat for people with large families. Although tiny houses are great for one or two people, they can become crowded and there’s less room for a full-sized kitchen or elaborate bathroom.
By the same token, there’s less space to store valuables, which means that people moving into a smaller home, have to make tough decisions about what items they want to keep and what to give away to friends and family or sell, in order to make allowances for a much smaller space. If you plan to store specific items on your property, I recommend that while building your tiny house, you use any materials left over, to build a storage shed or building for which to hold these unnecessary items until such time as they are needed.
The positive side of the smaller space coin, is the fact that downsizing can help you determine what items are needed and which ones serve to clutter your home. Personally, I love my tiny house, because it serves as my home and my writing retreat when my daughter’s spending time with her father. In my tiny house, my daughter and I live comfortably, yet we have enough space to move from one room to the next. (I use small appliances, so I don’t have the need for a large immaculate kitchen/dining area.
Tiny houses are more energy efficient. For example, due to the fact that I live in a smaller house, in the winter, I can use an infrared heater to heat the entire house, and in summer, one window air conditioning unit along with the ceiling fans, keeps the entire house cool. However, if you live in a larger home, you’ll either have to install central heating and air conditioning to keep the temperature regulated in every room, or use a wood heater and fans to keep the house warm and window air conditioning units to keep the house cool in late Spring and Summer. With the minimal amount of living space, comes the smaller amount of electricity, water and other utility usage needed to operate appliances, heating/cooling systems etc.
Smaller houses need less maintenance, so the time you’d spend on cleaning a larger home can now be spent on planning activities with your children, or working on your dream projects.
If one of these projects requires moving your home from one place to another, you can turn your tiny house into a mobile home, to give you the freedom to take your home with you. However, there is a caveat to making tiny houses more portable. If you’re relocating to an urban area, be sure to research the zoning restrictions and housing guidelines.
About the Author
Ann Harrison is a totally blind author, who grew up in the small town of Rochelle, Georgia, and has moved back to her family home after living in North Georgia for several years. Ann has written many articles of general interest for a number of clients since June of 2010, including the Cordele Dispatch. She has also published a short story entitled “The Big Climb” in Awethology Light. Ann also published a story entitled “The Woods” in December Awethology Light Volume by The #Awethors. To read more of Ms. Harrison’s inspirational writings, visit her blog at www.wwannwrites.wordpress.com.