Could you handle life in a tiny house? Here’s how to find out

With house prices high and downsizing on the rise, a growing number of Americans are wondering what it might be like to live in a tiny house.

And when we say “little house”, we really mean it! The typical American home is 2,600 square feet, but these mini mansions are between 100 and 500 square feet.

Although it may seem cramped, a recent survey found that 56% of Americans would consider living in a tiny house. So why would they do this?

For one, money plays a major role: the average cost of a tiny home is around $23,000, while the median price for conventional homes is $375,000. As a result, 68% of small-house dwellers own their homes, mortgage-free.

Moreover, the Saint-Benoît College and Saint John’s University estimated that by reducing a home’s footprint, the overall cost of living drops by 36%.

But affordability isn’t the only factor. Many aim to have a more sustainable lifestyle with a reduced carbon footprint, while others are simply looking for less maintenance around the home.

“Life is so much more peaceful in a small house,” says Macy Miller, which has grown from a 2,400 square foot home to a 232 square foot abode in Boise, ID, which she now shares with her partner, two young children and a Great Dane. (Yes, you read that right.) “Instead of cleaning up and taking care of myself, I have time to be present with my family.”

It may sound dreamy, but how can you assess whether seriously cutting back and crashing into a tiny house is right for you? Luckily, it’s a leap of faith you can take in small steps by trying out some of these tactics below.

Talk to a Tiny Home Consultant/Coach

Downsizing requires thinking about your relationship to things, money, your community, and the environment.

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There are actually experts out there who can walk you through the transition to tiny living.

For example, small house teacher has a quiz to help you decide if the small life is right for you and charges $249 to develop a personalized action plan to make it happen. small life advice offers a wealth of resources on different types of tiny homes, the pros and cons of a tiny home versus an RV, and even how the reality of tiny living differs from what you might see at home. television.

While hiring a consultant or coach might seem like a stretch, it really isn’t when you consider how life changing it would be.

“Downsizing requires thinking about your relationship to things, money, your community and the environment,” advises Vina Lustada tiny home consultant and tiny home builder in Ojai, California.

A consultant will ask the many logistical questions that you may not think you can consider. A few examples: do you need this to function as a full-time accommodation or a weekend getaway? Will you be there until your newborn reaches school age or until your baby graduates from high school? Will you need a Zoom-ready location if your family members are working from home?

“Is your little house going to be your forever home? It’s something to consider,” Lustado says. “And it’s okay if it’s not.”

In reality, Brian Hawkinsfounder and CEO of Small House Movement, says three years is about the average time spent in a small house. So don’t assume that once you’re small you can’t go back.

Try a Tiny House Workshop

Tiny house workshops can help you dive into the details.

(Photo courtesy of tinyhomebuilders.com)

Many people are starting to explore a tiny house lifestyle in a Pinterest-style mood board. But tiny house workshops can help you dive into the details.

Tiny house builders offers workshops, both virtual ($100) and in-person in various parts of the country ($400), that show you what it takes to build and then live in a tiny house.

Workshops can be enlightening because with a tiny house there are so many things you can’t take for granted. For example, you can’t put a tiny house just anywhere, so you’ll want to know what zoning laws you should consider, as well as your options for getting water and electricity.

“Thinking about these things will help you understand what you’re getting into and what kind of small house dweller you’ll be,” says Vera knockedtiny home consultant and sustainability educator who offers workshops in Newbury, MA.

Book a stay in a small hotel

Visit a small house or, even better, book a stay in one.

(Photo via instagram by tinyhousesperfect)

Of course, the best way to determine if you can handle life in a small space is to try it. Visit a small house or, even better, book a stay in one. Short-term rentals of tiny homes are popping up everywhere, from Caravan (claiming to be the world’s first small hotel with six units clustered around a leafy courtyard) in Portland, OR, in Boston Go. There is also an increasing availability of small houses on Airbnb.

Whichever accommodation you choose, you will see what it is like to spend time in the evenings in a house the size of a dollhouse. You will also be able to assess how the “make coffee and shower” morning routine is going.

“Some people come to us to unplug and take a real break from their routine,” explains Jon’s staff, founder of Getaway. “But others come to us as part of their decision-making process.”

In fact, staff say, among the couples staying in its tiny homes, they often see one spouse trying to get the other to prepare for a deep downsizing.

“We estimate that 25% to 50% of our guests stay with us specifically to experience what it’s like to live in a tiny home,” adds Kol Petersonco-founder of Caravan.

Ultimately, living in a tiny house has less to do with the size of your home and more about finding simplicity in life.

“It’s not about going as small as possible,” says Zack Giffina builder of tiny houses and host of the show “Tiny House Nation.” “It’s about countering the idea that the American dream means constantly measuring and wanting more. And it’s a life-size fit, which might not sound sexy, but is totally realistic and doable.

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