Tiny houses are cute, they’re affordable, they’re trendy — what’s not to love? Many of today’s homeowners seem to be redefining the American Dream by minimizing belongings in order to increase their quality of life. Without a doubt, tiny homes are on the rise, with a whopping 67% increase in the number of tiny homes from 2016 through 2017.
Tiny homes may be stationary or moveable (distinguished by the abbreviation OW, or “on wheels”). Some include simple, minimalistic finishing choices, while others feature a few luxuries, such as screened porches or jetted tubs. Amazon Tiny House. Is building a tiny home the right choice for you? To learn more about tiny home builds, we talked to six tiny homeowners across the country — including Maura Allard, an expert Realtor and tiny homeowner.
These six homeowners have shared all the details; from motivation to finances and pitfalls to benefits. Take it from them: tiny homes are awesome… but building one may not be as easy as it seems. If you’re considering a tiny house, take a peek into their stories to help determine if building a tiny home is right for you.
That’s right — a complete home in a week! She’s been living in her tiny home along with her husband and two large dogs for two years now, and they appreciate the stress-free lifestyle that their DIY tiny home affords - Not So Tiny House. Copeland began her tiny home adventure by enrolling in a workshop led by Incredible Tiny Homes.
At the end of the week, she left with a livable tiny house on wheels (Amazing Tiny Homes). Later, she added finishes that would help it feel like “home,” including a staircase and hammocks. Because they live in a coastal state that is prone to hurricanes, Copeland and her husband decided it was best to keep their home mobile so that they could pack up and leave in case a storm hits.
Copeland says she watched for what she calls “junk land” — meaning, a piece of property that nobody wanted. When she spotted a burned-down house on a wooded lot with a stream running through it, she knew it was the perfect spot for their tiny home. Today Copeland is job-free by choice, enjoying the simplicity, peace, and lower cost of living that her tiny home provides.
You can connect with her efforts at Serenitas Tiny Living. 144 square feet on wheels $27,000 base build $33,000 after all finishes $98 per month mortgage for the land $20 to $30 per month for electricity Washington tiny homeowner Jessica Rienstra and her husband had their tiny home built in 2018 (Log Cabin Kits Under $5000).
“You should prioritize what is important to you,” Rienstra explains. “Literally, if you want a crafting station, you can have one. If you want a gourmet kitchen, you can have one. If you want to host eight people, you can do that. Just take your time and think about your priorities before you even think about design.” When you’re building a tiny home, the customizations are really only limited by your imagination.
Rienstra says that their tiny home build went smoothly thanks to their builder, Tiny Idahomes, who helped anticipate problems and brainstorm solutions. They worked to incorporate everything on the Rienstras’ wishlist, including a jetted soaking tub and 3” spray foam insulation. With so much attention to detail, the Rienstras and their cats have had no problem adjusting to the tiny home lifestyle.
“Our rule of thumb is, if we can’t make it comfortably fit in our home, it doesn’t belong in our life.” For more on their tiny home adventure, follow along on Instagram: @tinytotravel. 280 square feet on wheels $61,400 total spent (“We added a lot of upgrades!”) $489 per month in rent for land, currently (though in some places they negotiate a work swap) Pioneer mini-split for heating and cooling Appliances include washer/dryer combo, propane range, a refrigerator that’s standard-size in apartments Source: (Andrea Davis / Unsplash) Angela Harkins started her tiny home journey with a land purchase in Georgia when she was 25 years old.
Harkins purchased a used tiny home for “A heck of a hard-to-find deal,” had it moved to her property, and is currently in the process of renovating it for her needs. She’s on track to move in before her goal! Like many tiny homeowners, Harkins was highly motivated by the financial freedom to be found in the tiny house lifestyle.
Harkins obtained a loan for her two acres of undeveloped land, but the rest of her tiny home expenses have been completely out-of-pocket. With the help of family and friends, she’s done 100% of the work over time, so she is still free from housing debt (Build My Own Cabin). Harkins says one of the biggest hurdles she’s had to overcome has been all the red tape of zoning, permits, and inspection.
It’s important to speak to authorities about tiny home codes in your county, since laws vary greatly. For Harkins, her choice to pursue tiny home living has really paid off. “Before I knew about tiny homes, I thought I would have what had become the standard at that point: 30 years of mortgage debt.
60 water meter and water line extension $2,000 estimate for installing power pole $1,000 for grading and gravel driveway with an additional $2,000 expected to create a circular driveway $100 on hardware to make the storage bed open/close easily and smoothly $200 mattress $350 leather recliner sofa Free washer and dryer $679 for an Eccotemp EL22i propane tankless water heater $72 (Can I Put A Tiny House On My Property).
Her 0 (Kits Houses For Sale). 82-acre wooded lot is just two miles away from her daughter, and she’s lived in her stationary tiny home for more than two years now. Glover’s stationary, custom-built home includes 10-foot ceilings, a full-size stove and oven, and a walk-in closet. Because she lives in South Carolina, she also had it built to Miami-Dade hurricane codes for safety.
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