Trend Alert: Let’s Talk Tiny Houses

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What’s a Tiny House?

There’s a new trend that’s slowly taking the nation by storm and it’s all about tiny houses. And when we say tiny, we do mean really small and compact houses. All around the country, more and more people are trading in space for simplicity.

But first, let’s define what a tiny house is. Simply put, tiny houses or tiny homes refer to a small house that typically measures around 100 to 400 square feet. This is a stark contrast to the typical American home which is around 2600 square feet.

Tiny houses are also known as: micro houses, compact houses, mini houses, or little houses. Most of these structures feature an open floor plan for the first floor (living room, kitchen and bathroom), and usually, a bedroom or sleeping area up on a loft.

Small homes come in two kinds, the permanent standalone ones and the portable or movable ones on wheels. Obviously, the second type is inspired by RV living.

The typical demographic of tiny house owners are 1) young couples, 2) retirees-people over 50 years old, 3) college grads.

Buyer Motivations

While many people make tiny houses as their main residence, others purchase or build them in order to have: 1) a home office, 2) a guest suite, 3) a home for returning adult children, 4) a mobile home that will facilitate interstate travel.

Here are other reasons why buyers are going small:

  • Little to no debt (affordable)
  • Reduced carbon footprint, environmental reasons
  • Self sufficiency
  • Lower taxes
  • Fast build-time (2 months on average)
  • Lower cost for maintenance
  • Simpler lifestyle

The tiny house phenomenon is quickly catching on. According to studies, 68% of tiny house owners have no mortgage, compared to 29.3% of all U.S. homeowners. In addition, 78% of tiny house buyers completely own their home, compared to 65% of the owners of traditional houses.

People have even coined a term for the rising trend in smaller homes- they call it the Tiny House Movement.

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Would you consider building tiny homes?

What about you, fellow builders? Would you consider adding tiny homes to your portfolio? They’re very easy to build and are attractive to various customer demographics.

It’s also a fun challenge in terms of design- managing good aesthetics with limited space and functionality. Is this feasible to your company as add-on side projects? If so, will you be able to juggle it efficiently with your major home projects?

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