The allure of having less stuff and more life in a tiny house is appealing to many, and for good reason: The lifestyle is a refreshing change of pace from the tendency we’ve developed as a society to always want more, now. That said, this illusion never becomes reality for some who dive headfirst into the tiny home lifestyle. Why is that? Here are four reasons tiny home owners are (unintentionally) setting themselves up for failure.
Thinking Tiny Automatically Means Easier
The most common reason people are disappointed in anything is because they set their hopes too high, and tiny living is not exempt from grandiose ideas. Lots of people think, “I’ll just build a tiny house and put it on land and that will be the end of my problems!”
Building a home, even a tiny one, is not easy. Finding a place to put a home that doesn’t follow typical building code is not easy. Even deciding where you’ll hang up the two or three pieces of wall art you have space for is not easy!
What will be easy? Finding time to spend outdoors, being more conscientious about your buying and spending habits, and leaving a smaller carbon footprint than McMansion owners. But even these things will require a bit of work.
The main takeaway here is that while tiny houses promote an exceptionally easygoing way of life, don’t expect that to be instantaneous or constant 100 percent of the time.
If you’re planning to live in this tiny home long term, be sure to factor in what kind of life you expect to be leading in the future. If you’re planning to grow a family down the line, do you have adequate space for whatever that means to you (be it adding a pet, a partner, or a kid)?
Depending on your construction abilities and savviness, renovating the interior of your tiny home might not be an option. And even if it is, you don’t want to be trapped in a perpetual state of remodeling because your home is refusing to grow with you. Remember: If you’re making any structural changes to your tiny home, the entire home is part of the overhaul – not just that spare bedroom or dining room you might be changing in a traditional home.
To avoid feeling like you have to vacate your home at the first inconvenience, plan ahead for different scenarios and situations the way you would with any living situation. This way, you and your home can adapt to whatever life throws at you.
Ask someone who is considering going tiny if they’re on board with downsizing, and you won’t get much of a fight from them; owning less is a foundation of the lifestyle. But if you ask that person if they’re okay with a super-tiny washing machine, dryer, dish washer, and microwave, they could be more hesitant to agree. Ask them their thoughts on going without any modern appliances, and you’ll have even less enthusiasm.
But often, that is what tiny living calls for, and new homeowners can be caught unawares since the actual installation of appliances comes after the home has been constructed. If you’re not ready to deal with solar panels and composting toilets, an eco-friendly tiny home probably isn’t right for you.
Being Unprepared for the Lifestyle
Whether you’re moving your new home every other week or you’re settling down in a tiny home community for retirement, you need to know what’s coming. Do your research beforehand on what living tiny truly looks like – the good, the bad, and the ugly. As long as you’re fully prepared for what might come your way, and it’s not enough to deter you from tiny living, and then you’re going to be one of the few that can make living in a tiny home actually work.
Check out NewHomeSource’s Learn Center for more information on not just tiny homes, but everything you need to know through the home buying and building process.
Mia Zozobrado joined Builders Digital Experience (BDX) in 2019 as a content writer. A graduate of Southwestern University with a degree in English, Mia is passionate about the written word and making connections. Outside of work, Mia also serves on the Board of Directors for the Writers’ League of Texas.