Invest

how to invest

Live

career, food, travel

Save

saving, credit, debt

Protect

insurance, security

Retire

401K, IRA, FI, Retire

Home » Home Buying, Home Ownership, Home Selling, Mortgages

7 HUGE Benefits to Downsizing into a Tiny Home

Last updated by on 24 Comments

Tiny Home Movement is Growing Rapidly

Admittedly, I haven’t made the leap from a regular-sized home to a tiny home just yet. But that hasn’t stopped me from strongly considering it. I have a 1,000 sq. ft. home with a semi-finished basement. And I’m desperately trying to declutter my life and down-size to a simpler lifestyle.

Since I’ve lost a pretty good chunk of change on my existing home, I haven’t made the plunge to a tiny home. But others are. The tiny home movement has taken off, and now there are dozens of tiny home manufacturers. And with a little study and help from some crafty friends, you could even build your own home in a short period of time.

Whether you move from a 2,000 sq. ft. home to a 1,000 sq. ft. home, or a 1,000 sq. ft. home to a 200 sq. ft. home, you can expect to enjoy a number of huge benefits from the transition.

Benefits of Making the Move to a Tiny Home

tiny solar home

1. Tiny Homes Save Huge Money

The smaller the house, the lower the cost. Not only will you be able to open up room in your monthly budget, but if you have saved a modest amount, you might be able to pay for the whole thing up front and completely open up the ‘housing’ line item in your budget to other things.

2. Freedom from Debt

Big houses come with big mortgages. Smaller houses can result in no mortgage at all, if you play your cards right. And without that mortgage, you don’t have to feel the stress of wondering how you’ll be able to make your payments if you were to somehow lose your job or come across other financial hardships.

3. Freedom from Stuff

When you live in a small home, you have very limited space. It will force you to declutter and only keep things that you use frequently (in many cases, you will have to have multiple uses for an item).

4. Freedom to Take your Home with you

tiny home

This is the biggest benefit of all, in my book. If you hate moving, raise your hand (envisioning 99 out of 100 of you raising your hand in front of your apathetic computer screen). What if moving was as simple as turning the key to your ignition and driving away? A large number of tiny homes are being built upon truck beds, making moving a cinch. Just think of the possibilities here. You could:

  • Move your house when you take a new job without ever having to go through the hassle of selling and buying a new one.
  • Never have to worry about hiring a mover and renting a damn U-Haul truck.
  • Stay with friends/family for extended periods while not infringing upon their space (or them on yours).
  • Avoid anticipated natural disasters.
  • Never have to pay for a hotel room on any road trip.
  • You already own a vacation home!

5. More Time

Homes are very time consuming. But what if you could vacuum your floor in 1 minute and just be done with it? The size of your home is inversely proportional to the free time that you have. With little home to take care of, you have plenty of time to do the things you really want to do. And that’s liberating.

6. Great Minds Think Alike

You’ll also become a local celebrity of sorts and random interesting people from around the country will strike up conversation wherever you take your home. Your home could become a community builder.

7. Better Quality Home

You should, in theory, be able to upgrade the quality of the home around you because you’ve been able to cut down on the materials and cost of the home so significantly. Putting in that marble counter-top shouldn’t cost that much when it is only 5 square feet. Hardwood floors? You can install hardwoods in your whole house for the price that most people pay for one bedroom!

Don’t take my word for it. Check out this recent PBS story on tiny homes and accompanying video about Dee Williams and her move to an 80 sq. ft. home (below).

Tiny Home Discussion:

  • Have you made the move to a tiny home? How has it changed your life?
  • Are you planning on moving to a tiny home?
  • If you don’t think you’d ever be able to adjust to a tiny home, what are the big roadblocks?

Related Posts:


About the Author
I am G.E. Miller, & this is my story. My goal is financial independence ASAP. If you share that goal, join me & 7,500+ others by getting FREE email updates. You'll also find every post by category & every post in order.


24 Comments »
  • philip says:

    How is this very different from trailer homes/mobile homes? Where do you get your land that you are putting this tiny home on? Alot of times the places that I can think you would put them would be in a very poor area of town and not likely to have good schooling or anything.

    It is tempting to at least downsize to a smaller home, though not to a tiny home. All for the same reasons you listed sans being able to move it around at will.

    • Rolynda Sanborn says:

      You can purchase a piece of investment property (property scheduled to be part of a neighborhood in 20 years. There will be no utilities, so make your house self sufficient. Look up dumping stations for your waste. Some of these properties run as little as $6,000.

      I am writing a book and would love any comments you would like to share, pictures, experiences, etc. with your tiny house research and experience.

  • Washsavingsbank says:

    Moving to a smaller home can be a great way to cut costs and minimize debt. When you’re ready to make the move, talk to your bank – they’ll be able to give you some good advice on what type of payment plan will be best for you.

  • Budgeting in the Fun Stuff says:

    I don’t know what this says about me, but my first thought when I saw and read about the homes built on truck beds is that now if my car is stolen, so is my house! That would truly suck.

  • Joe says:

    Yeah, trailers just jumped into my mind, as well. And Philip’s points about mobile home parks are kind of well put.

  • Michael says:

    Phillip – that’s kind of an ignorant way to look at it. Just b/c it’s small doesn’t mean you have to put it in a trailer park or a ‘poor’ part of town. You could put it on any lot you want, or park it in your friends back yard.

    Tiny homes are cool – much more character than an aluminum box that most trailer homes are made of. Don’t confuse someone who lives in a trailer park with someone who builds a cool tiny home that is mobile and moves it all over the country whenever they want. Trailer parkers stay there for life.

  • Natalie says:

    I’ve previously considered yurt living or building a small straw bale home. When you start seriously considering the logistics you quickly realize that the major cost for most homes is not the home itself, its the land and utility connections. What good does it do to have a inexpensive paid off prefab home if you have to pay 100,000 for a lot to put it on? Or conversely, you can get some really inexpensive land that is not in the city, but you might have to pay over 100,000 to install a well, septic and have power run. I’m all for downsizing, but I think that this article really glosses over the realities of having a tiny home.

  • G.E. Miller says:

    Wow, sometimes you write posts that you think will really connect with your readership and… not so much.

    @ Joe/Philip – I don’t get the trailer park comparison to what this post is about? Do you not like the concept of tiny (or at least smaller) homes because you are comparing them to trailer homes and the negative stigma that comes with them?

    @ Natalie – Agreed that there are many other considerations. However, this post was to simply highlight the benefits of downsizing your home – all of which still hold true despite the cost of a lot/utility setup (which you have to pay for any house, whether you build it or not).

    • Melania says:

      To all of the naysayers: There are numerous affordable land lots all over the country that are completely safe in rural, urban, and suburban areas. A tiny homeowner does not need to live in a trailer park. Also, a well, septic system, and utility hookups do not cost anywhere near $100,000. It would be closer to 10,000.00. Smart tiny homebuilders eliminate all of those problems by camping in National Parks while traveling (a one year admissions pass costs $80.-100.), installing a composting toilet, a solar panel, a cistern and pump for water collection, a gray water system, and tankless water heaters. No utility hookups, well, or septic tank needed. An electric stove or propane one takes care of cooking. People are really still very uneducated about green living and the tiny house movement. If this lifestyle is embraced wholeheartedly, one could retire early or live a completely debt free life.

  • Brian says:

    G.E. – I love your motivation for simplifying life and I share in this motivation. And I like the idea of a “tiny house,” but the one aspect I just can’t get past is the need for personal space in a marriage. I love my wife dearly, but I highly doubt that moving into a 300 sq-ft space would be a wise marital move.

  • Budgeting in the Fun Stuff says:

    G.E., I’m so sorry, I didn’t say how cute the houses were, I just said the first thing that popped into my head (dude, where’s my house…). I do like the idea of needing to keep up with less stuff and having a cute place to call my own. I didn’t mean my first comment to be a downer. :-)

  • Moneyedup says:

    Downsizing is a great idea for parents who have become “empty nesters” (parents of children who have all moved out). Just make sure that your children (or young adults) have a place in your new tiny home to stay when they come back for visits. Getting rid of all kinds of excess stuff can make you feel really good too.

  • Elli D. says:

    The best part about small houses is that you can tak them with you. And yeah, they do save money. On the other hand, I really cannot imagine how all the stuff I have would fit into this. I’m sure I would eventually get used to it, but it seems unimaginable to me now.

  • Jessica says:

    Tiny homes will definitely keep cost down and cleaning would be a cinch. :-)

  • Jason says:

    You certainly have some point there. But what about that feeling that you’re life is getting worse instead of improving?
    I guess is a mentality thing: we want bigger and better things, even when we don’t need them.

  • philip says:

    I was not attempting to detract from the post about the advantages of tiny homes. I actually like the concept. However I don’t know that many established neighborhoods would be keen on you buying a lot and putting what looks like the size of a storage shed on it. Really don’t think you would be able to legally pull off putting it into someones back yard without causing all sorts of problems with city ordinances.

    Other than being home built and likely a bit cheaper, how different is it from getting a RV and deciding to live permanently out of it? Probably close to the same square footage and just as easy to pick up and move just has a permanently attached engine.

    Like I said, I like the article and find the idea intriguing just pointing out a couple issues as I see them.

    • G.E. Miller says:

      @ Philip – no worries – just different takes on it. Your points are valid too.

    • Kevin says:

      hello. If I may interject.. building a tiny home allows you to use good if not better materials than you can in a large home that would be costly. The difference of just getting an RV or something with a permanent engine… would be build quality and materials. An rv is built with godawful materials and basically disposable. The glues and chemicals that hold everything together would just be too toxic to breathe in every day. Again, my opinion, but it would be better to build something with good materials versus buying prefab(cheap build and it feels it!)

      :)

  • Shaun says:

    Honestly, I love the movement. Extreme frugality is something we should really start encouraging in our culture, to help people realize that going into debt for unnecessary comfort isn’t a wise decision, and is often overrated.

  • I’m looking forward to downsizing. Saving money and less repairs. I have 3500 Square feet now. With 6 kids 3 gone. But its true with that much space, could I get used to being in a smaller area. I have enough space now to hide from the kids. Also being far enough away from the wife to pretend I don’t hear her when she calls me to do some thing. Its crossed my mind that you can be to close to someone. But we all need our space.

  • CityGirl says:

    I think tiny houses are both cute and intriguing, and they certainly would still let you have a great yard on a standard city lot…but I think you would have better luck buying a powerball ticket than trying to get one past Chicago’s red tape! Urban folks already have lots of tiny options…but who really WANTS to live in a studio apt??

  • Monica says:

    City Girl makes a good point, the city already has a lot of options that would work and lot of rules. These type of tiny houses work better in the country. Suburbs have backyards that, especially in this economy, could be rented out (and if you run into problems, could easily move). I see a great opportunity coming up renting from elderly folks who you could do yardwork, shopping, etc as rent. But it is a bit of a risk, just like every other opportunity ;)

SPEAK YOUR MIND

Enter your:


Home | Sitemap | Terms | © 20somethingfinance.com