Learn about how tiny homes are part of the way of the future thanks to rising housing costs, more remote work opportunities, and increased environmental concerns.
Updated Aug 01, 2019
With the housing market continuing to be hot through the first half of 2021, choosing a tiny home over an expensive single-family home may seem more appealing than ever. But are tiny homes simply a fad that will burn out in a few years, or are they a more long-term solution here to stay?
Read on to learn why tiny houses could very well be the way of the future.
Are Tiny Homes the New Normal?
Here are just a few reasons why tiny homes aren’t just a trend and are here to stay in 2021 and beyond:
1. Rising Housing Costs
Choosing a tiny house over a fixed single-family home is a great way to avoid rising housing costs. Housing costs rose by 0.4% between April and May of this year—and saw about a 10% increase year-over-year.
In terms of real numbers, this translates into record-high housing costs that see no sign of slowing down anytime soon. The national median home price in the United States reached $380,000 in May of 2021.
Of course, these numbers vary greatly depending on location. In California, for instance, where housing costs are particularly high, the median home price reached $813,980 in April of 2021.
Tiny homes cost a fraction of these amounts and can save you a ton of money on rent or mortgage costs.
2. Low-Maintenance Housing
Home prices aren’t the only thing getting more expensive—everything from lumber to appliances are also rising in cost. This is making home maintenance a burden for many homeowners.
However, as a tiny homeowner, you have fewer maintenance costs to deal with, which allows you to save even more money.
3. More Flexible and Remote Work Opportunities
The COVID-19 pandemic forced many employers to embrace remote work. Instead of going back to the office, many employees are staying remote. Surveys show up to 26% will continue to work from home throughout the year.
This gives employees more freedom in terms of where and how they live. Instead of being tied to an expensive urban area, employees can live and work from the comfort of their own homes, which are often available for lower rent prices in tiny homes compared to larger full single-family homes.
4. Increased Environmental Concerns
If it seems like there’s a new environmental crisis every week, you’re not entirely wrong. The health and future of our planet are under question, and we can all do our part in helping preserve it. Switching to the tiny home lifestyle helps you limit your carbon footprint and produce less waste for the benefit of the planet.
5. Keeps Families Together
If the COVID-19 pandemic taught us anything, it’s that family and friends are often more important than we realized. Tiny homes allow us to embrace our families by living together within a single property while still maintaining separate spaces.
For instance, aging parents, adult children, or even siblings can all live together on the same property in different areas thanks to tiny homes in the backyard.
6. Simplified Lifestyle
Finally, tiny homes allow you to embrace a simplified lifestyle. You are forced to get rid of all of your less useful possessions in favor of intelligent and long-term purchases that fit the smaller footprint. Clearing your clutter can also help you clear your mind and live with intention. In addition, having a smaller footprint may incentivize you to explore your surrounding neighborhood, city, or town, and be more immersed in an area more deeply in the future.
Things To Consider When Embracing the Tiny Home Movement
Before you decide to invest in your own tiny home, there are some different factors that you need to consider, including cost, type, floorplan, size, features, and building company.
The first thing you need to think about in your future tiny home is its cost. The cost of a tiny home can range from a few thousand dollars for prefabricated varieties to hundreds of thousands of dollars for luxurious and custom-made varieties. While it may be tempting to go with the cheapest option, that may not be the best route.
When it comes to tiny homes, you tend to get what you pay for. So if you’re looking for a quality structure that’s thoughtfully designed and built to last, then you should strongly consider going with a custom structure.
While it may seem like this option costs more, the price tag generally includes everything that you need to design and construct your tiny home rather than potentially allowing in multiple hidden costs that add up quickly.
The second thing you need to think about in your future tiny home is its type. Technically, most tiny homes are also known as an “accessory dwelling unit,” or ADU for short, so long as the tiny home includes a bathroom, kitchen, and living space and is permitted legally within the eyes of the city or county. Within ADUs, there are three different types that you need to consider. There are detached ADUs, attached ADUs, and junior ADUs or JADUs.
The most common of these types are detached ADUs, which are structures that sit completely separate from the main structure within a lot. If you’re looking for a traditional tiny house, then you would most likely want to consider the detached variety thanks to its separation from the existing single family home.
3. Floor Plan and Size
The third thing you need to think about in your future tiny home is its size. Although tiny homes tend to be less than 400 square feet, larger ADUs can have much more—potentially up to 1,200 square feet depending on your location.
No matter the size of your tiny home, you also need to consider the floor plan. A good floor plan is vital in a regular-sized home, but it's even more critical in a tiny home since you really need to maximize your space to meet your unique needs.
The fourth thing you need to think about in your future tiny home is its features. Your tiny home needs to meet your unique needs through its features. For instance, if you love to cook, then you should consider including a full-size kitchen with top-of-the-line appliances.
On the other hand, if you love to relax with a nice soak in the tub, then you should include a spa-like bathroom with a bathtub. If you’re going to be working on the go, then you should include an adequate workspace.
5. Builder and Designer
The fifth and final thing you need to think about in your future tiny home is how you are actually going to make it happen. The odds are that you don’t have the skills or experience necessary to design, permit, and then build your tiny home. Thankfully, there are tiny home experts out there that can help you with every step along the way.
Cottage is a custom tiny home ADU company that helps you design and build the perfect tiny home to meet your unique needs. We give you the best bang for your buck thanks to our all-inclusive and hassle-free process. We work with vetted and experienced contractors to bring your ideas to life and ensure they last well into the future.
The Future Is Bright for Tiny Homes
Clearly, the future is bright for tiny homes, and in order for you to take the next step in making your dream a reality, all you have to do is reach out to the experts at Cottage for a complimentary consultation.
If you’re still unsure about tiny homes or are looking for more inspiration before you move forward, be sure to check out some of our featured projects.