Why Tiny Houses? Because They Are Cheaper

Amanda Schatz at Sustainablekits.com, running an Indiegogo to fund it's house-in-a-box product, passed along some information on the Tiny House movement. She shared an infographic from thetinylife.com on trends in this market. Here's what she has to say:

There is a surge of interest in these projects, especially among millennials and younger Americans. Some say the small house movement has now gone mainstream with several TV shows featuring tiny house designs, do-it-yourself’ers, and the lifestyles of tiny house people , as they’re often called. The average standard-sized house in America costs approximately $272,000.

If you tack on all the interest that’s paid on a 30 year mortgage at 4.25%, the total paid for the house balloons to over $480,000. It makes sense that 68% of tiny house owners do not owe anything on their homes, versus only 29% of all US homeowners. 

Although more and more people are building tiny houses for their primary residence, many others are purchasing or building them for a backyard cottage, a lake cabin, an in-law suite, staff or mobile housing, an off-the-grid bunker, or a hunting or vacation getaway. Although US home construction stats show only around 1% of new projects in the last year were for homes 1,000 square feet or smaller, many tiny houses don’t have the same building permit requirements and may not be counted in official numbers.

It’s clear that the movement is no longer just a novelty. The primary reasons people want to own a small home are what will continue to drive the movement into the future. The main motivations for tiny house ownership seem to be (1) less costly to buy/build (2) less expensive to live in and maintain, and (3) to build a simpler, more sustainable lifestyle.


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About the author
Bill Esler | ConfSenior Editor

Bill wrote for WoodworkingNetwork.com, FDMC and Closets & Organized Storage magazines. 

Bill's background includes more than 10 years in print manufacturing management, followed by more than 30 years in business reporting on industrial manufacturing in the forest products industries, including printing and packaging at American Printer (Features Editor) and Graphic Arts Monthly (Editor in Chief) magazines; and in secondary wood manufacturing for WoodworkingNetwork.com.

Bill was deeply involved with the launches of the Woodworking Network Leadership Forum, and the 40 Under 40 Awards programs. He currently reports on technology and business trends and develops conference programs.

In addition to his work as a journalist, Bill supports efforts to expand and improve educational opportunities in the manufacturing sectors, including 10 years on the Print & Graphics Scholarship Foundation; six years with the U.S. WoodLinks; and currently on the Woodwork Career Alliance Education Committee. He is also supports the Greater West Town Training Partnership Woodworking Program, which has trained more than 950 adults for industrial wood manufacturing careers. 

Bill volunteers for Foinse Research Station, a biological field station staddling the border of Ireland and Northern Ireland, one of more than 200 members of the Organization of Biological Field Stations.