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A primer to the Tiny House movement

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In an age of consumption and ever-increasing house prices, a new social movement for freer, simpler living has emerged.  Singles and new families are moving into houses the size of a typical studio apartment, but one fully customised to their needs. Welcome to the Tiny House movement, where thousands of people are discovering the financial, environmental and social benefits of downsizing their living environment. 

What is the tiny house movement?

The Tiny House movement espouses fuss-free, green living in a home that ranges from 100 to 400 square feet.  Tiny houses can take any shape, size or form, with the focus on small spaces and simplified living.

Tiny House
By Nicolás Boullosa
https://www.flickr.com/photos/faircompanies/4052635932/
The Tiny House Movement advocates living in houses of between 100 to 400 square feet, which is all many singles and new families need.

There are many reasons why people are attracted to the movement, but the most popular reasons are environmental friendliness, financial soundness and freedom. After all, living in a smaller space means less time and resources needed for its upkeep.

What are the benefits of living in a tiny house?

About 68 per cent of tiny home owners have no mortgage, freeing them from paying off huge debts for a major part of their working lives. All one needs is a reasonably-priced piece of land on which to build, or rent a small space if they don’t own any land.

On Wheels
By Nicolás Boullosa
https://www.flickr.com/photos/faircompanies/4051899679
Tiny homes can be surprisingly mobile, with some built on wheels to facilitate a change in location. 

Tiny home owners also tend to spend less on utilities, with the cost of building a customised house ranging between US$20,000 to $30,000 depending on the materials used. Another tenet of tiny home living is being eco-friendly. Smaller spaces mean living with the essentials and letting go of material items that increase your eco-footprint.

Does this mean I can’t have modern conveniences in there?

With increasingly compact and energy-efficient appliances available from socially-conscious manufacturers, living in a tiny home may mean some adjustments, but not necessarily a downgrade in lifestyle.  For example, the Electrolux RealLife compact freestanding dishwasher can be placed anywhere in the kitchen or even on a countertop. The MobiOne vacuum cleaner was also designed for small living spaces like dorm rooms, and can be stored in any position in a compact space.

Is it for me?

While many have found happiness in a tiny home, it may not be for everyone. The size of the house means that you’ll be spending some major quality time with your partner or spouse, and huge dinner parties will need to be held outdoors or elsewhere. Singles and couples looking for green and affordable housing however, could consider it if the conditions are right.

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