Photo credits- Instagram @livingbiginatinyhouse, Bryce Langston
Tiny houses have taken the world by storm, but what exactly is a tiny house, and why are we seeing a rise in the popularity of the tiny house movement?
A tiny house is an alternate or unconventional way of living; it is in essence a small scale house. These houses can be mobile or stationary. In fact, one of the most intriguing aspects of the tiny house movement is the creativity packed into these miniature modes of living, and the out of the box thinking involved in this off the grid lifestyle. The repurposing or upcycling often found in the tiny house movement is admirable; shipping containers, old trains, and old boats transformed into a place you can live, a place you can call home.
Many of the tiny houses in this movement are built by their prospective homeowners, because of this they are able to customise their spaces to their own needs and style preferences. This makes each tiny home unique, and a work of art in its own right.
While there are no set standards for the exact size of a tiny house, they tend to run under the total of 500 square feet. This is a fifth of the size of the standard family house sold in America. A good visual for this, as provided by realtor.com, is that you could fit 144 tiny houses on a football field. These houses are, well, tiny! But what are the benefits of living small?
The tiny house movement is not a new concept, it can be seen as a reoccurring theme throughout history. The movement first became known as “tiny houses” in 1997 when Jay Shafer built himself a home on wheels, the mobility aspect of the house necessitating its small scale. As a result of this it is easy to see the similarity between the tiny house movement and the RV lifestyle. It should be noted that tiny houses are much more environmentally conscious and ecological than RVs. This fact is a large part of their appeal and popularity.
The movement has resurfaced or gained more traction over the last two decades with the rising concern around the housing economy as housing prices are on a steady incline. This issue has been exacerbated by the covid pandemic, leading people to wonder if there will be a crash in the housing market as the US and many other places experience an “unprecedented housing boom largely caused by the covid pandemic,” said TheStreet.
It is no surprise that the housing market has undergone drastic change over the last two decades, with many millennials simply unable to afford what would have been considered an average house for their parents a generation earlier. Many of these millennials struggle to find a reason to enter into a mortgage which they will inevitably spend the better half of their lives paying off, referring to mortgages as “debtor’s prison”.
It is for these reasons that the tiny house movement has risen in popularity, tiny houses are seen as desirable and enchanting alternatives. Not only are these small spaces charming, full of innovation, and reminiscent of something from a fantasy book (Bilbo Baggins would be proud), but they are practical and proactive. Tiny houses provide more possibilities and options for those who feel limited by mortgages and are a cheaper option than renting.
Tiny houses are also environmentally conscious as they lean into the off-grid lifestyle. Many of these homes are powered by solar panels, and make use of innovations such as central composting toilets. It is also common for residents of tiny houses to live off the land, growing their own organic food. These small spaces also require a more minimalistic approach to life in contrast to the mass consumerism of the modern-day world.The tiny house movement is a way to return to a simpler, greener way of living.
The many benefits of tiny houses makes this movement feel like a wave of the future.
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