Photo: Many tiny house owners love taking cozy photos like this of their lifestyle. Credit: Shutterstock
26. Meeting New People
The tiny house community is very tight-knit. People are very friendly and willing to help one another with any questions that they may have. This is a great opportunity to make new friends all over the country. If you are interested in taking a class to learn about tiny house building, check out Tumbleweed Housing Workshops. They have different seminars and classes scheduled all over the United States, and every class is taught by people who have built their own tiny houses before. While you are there, you can meet other like-minded people.
In a capitalist society, we are trained to believe that we need more things to be happy. But the reality is that that is not what life is all about. It has so much more to do with our personal relationships, our passions, and what we choose to do with our lives and careers. When you live in a tiny house, there is no option of buying a fancy car. You can’t exactly drive both a tiny house and a fancy car at the same time. You also can’t overindulge on anything, because the small space forces you to really think about what is truly important to you and what deserves to be in your home.
When you rent an apartment, every single unit looks exactly the same. They are all a blank canvas for you to add your stuff into, and there is nothing custom about it. Tiny houses on the other hand have to be built from the ground up. So you have the opportunity to build a house that is exactly your interior design style. Normally if you were building a normal sized house from scratch you would spend a tremendous amount of money. It’s like having a millionaire lifestyle for a fraction of the price.
Many people who are building tiny houses choose to use second hand and reclaimed materials. Most hardware stores like Home Depot and Lowes have leftover cuts of wood that can be reused. You can also check out the Habitat for Humanity Restore, where home builders have donated building materials like doors, furniture, and appliances. These are building materials that may have been thrown away if not rescued by these tiny house builders. By using reclaimed materials you will be essentially recycling. This will cut back on the amount of garbage that is sitting in a landfill.
Many tiny house builders have been able to get free supplies off the side of the road or from Craigslist. Some people also get free materials from family and friends after they are tearing down a building or something along those lines. Since you’re building a quirky tiny house from scratch, it doesn’t matter if things are a little bit off-kilter. For example, you may find a free window sitting on the side of the road. Since you’re building this tiny house from scratch, it doesn’t really matter if one or two windows are identical to one another because as long as it’s free it can go on your tiny house.
21. You Have More Gratitude For The Things You Already Have
Since you have to be careful about what you keep in a tiny house, you think long and hard before you keep something around. Many people will prioritize having a dog, because it means having constant companionship, which becomes a precious commodity. Since you are putting so much thought into why you love certain objects, it will only make you appreciate them more. By having gratitude for the things that you have you will become happier overall.
If you are building your tiny house from scratch, you will learn a tremendous amount of skills that you would have never otherwise known. You will have to learn how to do construction, the laws of the land, and so much more. At the end of this long process you will have gained so much knowledge that you would have never had otherwise. It will also give you the confidence to know that in the future you could probably build another house again, even if it’s a larger one.
When you go on websites like Realtor.com and Zillow, you may have noticed that if you arrange the listings as “lowest price first”, You will often find listings that are piece of land instead of an actual house. Since there are more and more legal restrictions against tiny houses across the country, you may want to eventually buy a piece of land to park the tiny house on. This is actually great, because once you own land in a place you love, you can use it to develop a full-sized house later. After all, you already learned those skills on building a house the first time. You just may be able to do it again. Or, at the very least, you can be your own general contractor.
There are so few people who actually subscribe to the tiny house lifestyle. The odds are high that you may be the only person in your family that actually has one. You are probably the only person in your friend group that has one, too. This will likely be impressive to your friends, because you actually built a house with your own hands! They will probably want to come over to visit and see the house that you created. Most people will never be able to get breathtaking views on a daily basis. Most likely, everyone will be saying how they wish they could do it, too.
For some people, living in a tiny house gives them the option to start over again. One woman, Susan Parrish, decided to switch over to tiny house living when she suddenly got a divorce at 50 years old. She had to move out of a large home and into a small apartment. After realizing how much stuff she had accumulated over the years, she decided to donate most of it, and opt for the tiny house lifestyle. During this time, she was able to experience new things, and meet a new man. With the expense of a new mortgage or apartment, it would have probably been far more difficult for Parrish (or anyone else, for that matter) to live such a high quality of life.
Living in a tiny house always forces you to be on your toes, and think outside of the box. Whether you are creating custom art pieces to go in your tiny house, or if you are simply forced to come up with a creative solution to a problem, your mind will constantly be working in ways that it never has before. Many people who move into tiny houses say that they also have more time for their creative pursuits, whether it’s music, writing, art, or craftsmanship.
Some people go through life feeling like they are dragging their feet from one day to the next. There is an entire movement of people preaching “mindfulness”, which is trying to be more aware of your surroundings and become more present in the moment. In a tiny house, you always have to be fully alert and mindful of your surroundings. If you aren’t paying attention, you can fall out of your loft, or accidentally let the rain in through your windows. Your mind becomes sharp at all times. Sure, this can be seen as a negative thing, but it truly will keep you on your toes.
Most first-time home buyers complain that repairs and maintenance were far more expensive than they had ever imagined. This is enough to scare some people off from ever buying a house at all, because some of the major repairs can cost hundreds, if not thousands of dollars. In a tiny house, everything is brand new. So it will take years before anything needs to be replaced. On top of that, the reduced square footage means that any maintenance is going to be less expensive, as well.
Many people who choose the tiny house lifestyle are saving so much money on rent, that they are able to pay off their debts at a faster pace. Becoming debt-free is one of the top priorities for tiny house owners. Of course, if you are barely making it by while living in a tiny house, this might not help you pay off debt, though. If you are smart about your financial situation, and seek to increase your income, you can leverage tiny house living to your advantage.
Okay, some of you out there will immediately roll your eyes at this. But we all know it’s true, and photographers out there will totally agree. Living in a traveling tiny house or having the “van life” is something that looks great on social media. You are very likely to attract attention from your friends, and many people have actually used this to propel a career in blogging. Having the ability to travel from state to state also gives you the opportunity to explore more backdrops if you are interested in a career in photography.
There are so many people out there who like to preach about reducing carbon footprint, minimalism, and all of that jazz, but fewer people who are willing to put their money where their mouth is. If green living truly is something that is important to you, living in a tiny house can be a way for you to lead by example. You can show other people that you truly do not need a huge McMansion and a four-car garage to be happy.
10. It Gives You The Ability to Visit Your Relatives More Often
When we live in a large house or comfortable apartment, it is all too easy to become a homebody. Sometimes we do not feel motivated to get out and see our relatives. Or, if our friends and family live too far away we may make the excuse that it is too expensive to travel there. With tiny house living, you are probably more likely to visit your family because you will feel the need to get out of the tiny space. It will also give you the ability to take your lodgings with you cross country. Now even if your relatives do not have a space for you to sleep in their house, you have your own bedroom. This makes it easier to visit relatives during the holidays or any other time of year.
Dogs love to explore. When you bring them to a new park, they are always sniffing and wagging their tails because they love seeing and smell new things. Imagine bringing your dog to a new park once a week. They will be happy to take long walks and hikes with you through the forest as you look at the wide world that you live in. On the flip side, if you live with a dog in an apartment, you might only give them the ability to circle the same small patch of grass. And it is likely that they are staying alone for hours at a time.
Whenever it is your turn to host Thanksgiving or Christmas it, sometimes becomes a huge nightmare. You will have to pay for food and figure out where everyone is going to sleep. This can be so stressful that some families opt to rotate the responsibility every year to a different member of the family. When you live in a very small space like a tiny house, you will never have to take on this responsibility. In fact, it would actually be impossible. Most trailers have a weight limit, so you can only have a maximum of 3 to 4 people in the home at one time. If you like throwing parties, this could be a huge negative thing. But if you do not enjoy being the host of shindigs, that is a huge plus for your low-key lifestyle.
When you own a full-sized house there is a lot to worry about. You will have to pay for repairs, taxes, and maintain your property and surrounding sidewalks. There is so much to worry about when you are a homeowner. It causes a tremendous amount of stress for a lot of people, and it is enough for some to become life-long renters so that they can totally abstain from the responsibility. With the tiny house, you really only have to worry about your small home and not much else. In most cases, you will not own the land that your house is parked on. And you will therefore not be responsible for the taxes or maintaining any of the property. Plus, if the house is brand new, it is not likely that many things will break down on you.
With so many people curious about living the tiny house lifestyle, you should not have a problem selling your tiny house once you’re done living in it. If you were selling a full-sized house, you would have to go through the process of working with a real estate agent, having inspections, repairs, and waiting for someone to quality for a mortgage. When it is time to sell a tiny house, you are often dealing in cash purchases, and it is simply a matter of switching the title over to the new owner, similar to an RV. Many people who are ready to start a family and say goodbye to tiny house living choose to put their houses on TinyHouseListings.com.
Some people claim that when they stay in a large house alone, they do not feel as safe. This may be due to the fact that in a large home you cannot be totally aware of what is happening in every single room. For example, if you have a bedroom upstairs you may have no idea if someone has broken in downstairs. People who own a tiny house have claimed that they feel much more safe and secure because their entire living space is laid out in front of them. They can also hear any oncoming Intruders surrounding them if it were to ever happen. Plus, since it is such a small house it is unlikely that anyone would ever want to rob it, because they will already know that it’s owned by someone who is living a minimalist lifestyle with very few material things. What would they want to steal, a yoga mat? Unlikely.
There are some people who will go their entire lives never living alone. They may transition from living with their parents to getting a college roommate to immediately moving in with a significant other. If this describes your life, there is nothing wrong with that. Loneliness is a real thing, and human beings are meant to spend life together. However, many people have reported that when they lived alone for the very first time, they found a part of themselves that they would have never been able to explore otherwise. If you live in a tiny house, it is likely that you are going solo. Even if you only spend one year living tiny, it may fundamentally change your life and help with discovering who you truly are as a person.
In a large house it takes a lot of energy to heat the entire space. If there are very tall ceilings it also becomes almost impossible for a place to actually feel warm. After all, heat rises and it will take a significant amount of time before you can feel cozy. But in a tiny house, if you have a wood stove it will become very warm very quickly. In such a small living space it does not take very much energy to heat up the house. So in many ways you will actually feel warmer in this little space compared to a large mansion.
For people who live in an apartment or house, many of them believe in the traditional way of doing things. Some will even look down on anyone who decides to live in a sprinter van, trailer, or any other form of alternate housing. If you are choosing to live in a tiny house it means that you’re already an open-minded person who is willing to think outside of the box. If you actually cross the line and build or buy a tiny house you will begin a journey of meeting all different types of people who are living an alternate lifestyle. Many people say that the experience of living in a tiny house has helped them become less judgmental and more open-minded to all different kinds of people.
If you have to climb in and out of a loft to go to sleep everyday, this means that you are getting some form of physical activity. If you become lazy and are no longer physically fit it will become almost impossible for you to actually get up the ladder. Many people who live in a tiny house end up becoming even more healthy and fit than they were before they moved in. This comes from a combination of the physical activities of building the house, hiking, climbing, and all of the other necessities that go into making the house in the first place. You will not have the option to sit at your desk or plop on the couch at the end of the night. If you want to survive in a tiny house you need to stay in great physical shape.