November 18, 2020

What tips the Scale? Minimalism or Comfortability? (A take on tiny house living)

While it is true that this generation is into minimalism, one cannot argue that comfortability still weighs heavier on the scale. But what if affordability is also getting into the picture? What are you willing to sacrifice?

What is minimalism? Merriam-Webster defines minimalism as a style or technique (as in music, literature, or design) characterized by extreme spareness and simplicity.

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”
Leonardo da Vinci 

To what extent are you willing to compromise comfortability for minimalism? What if you can have the best of both?

For the past 20 years, the number of tiny house enthusiasts and patrons has reached Herculean proportion. It is widely spread all over the US. From its preliminary launch as a movement, it has now transcended into a lifestyle.  People choose to go “tiny” as they embrace a minimalist approach to living.  However, it also helps to know how living tiny started to understand its purpose, and it’s going entirely. It will also help you determine if real estate investing in tiny homes will work for you.

What is the “tiny house movement”?

tiny house

It is generally an advocacy that emphasizes the benefits of simple living while raising awareness of reducing the carbon footprint a conventional home emits.

It was first introduced in the ’70s when Alan Wexler explored the concept of living in a compact dwelling space that also became the inspiration for his art, the Crate House. 

But it was only in 1999 when Jay Shafer built a tiny house that he called home for five years and gained popularity. He then co-created the Small House Society, which paved the way for the Tumbleweed Tiny House Company to be born. Who would have thought that a misfit would benchmark a movement that would later become a game-changer in the real estate industry?

To date, initiatives of the same origin have provided shelter to homeless individuals across states. Villages and communities were built to address homelessness utilizing a tiny house’s design and concept because of its affordability.  Though some accepted this trend for reasons like a lifestyle change, some were left with no choice but to live in these compact dwelling spaces.   

Due to the recession, families lost their homes to foreclosure, and the only affordable option for them is to acquire a tiny house. Across different states, several non-profit organizations and churches have also initiated projects to reduce people’s growing numbers without homes. In Kansas alone, the Veterans Community Project was built to provide shelter to veteran uniformed men and women.

Now going back to the premise, is going minimalist comfortable?

tiny house

This context refers to a varying market, thus, producing varying responses. The responses potentially draw a margin between the affirmative and the opposing sides. Then again, it lies in a person’s perspective.

Perhaps it’s better to look into the framework of a tiny house to have a glimpse of it and, from there, gauge the degree of comfortability it offers. It will also help you evaluate if you’ll invest in real estate with such characteristics.

Aesthetically speaking, tiny houses exude a level of cuteness primarily because of its size. But don’t be deceived by its façade. You might be surprised once you enter the house.

True, it is very compact, and depending on the number of occupants, it can be very cramped. The living room and the dining/ kitchenette share the same space. The toilet and bath are so small; it can only fit one person at a time. The bedroom or sleeping space is either in a loft atop the kitchen or the living space. The space allocation is similar to a capsule, and the only give away is if the house is parked where there is a vast land, providing the homeowners with additional outdoor space. However small and compact, this humble dwelling space’s functionality is at par with conventional homes. Each unit is equipped with fully functioning plumbing, sewage system, water filtration, and even electricity. There is also an option to go solar. Though not full-sized, the kitchen has a fridge, oven, stove, and other essentials.

Perhaps, the only drawback is the storage spaces. They are very limited. The dilemma arises the moment you decide to go with this kind of lifestyle. Given the minimal space, you have to decide what to keep and what to let go. Having big furniture is not advisable and any additional stuff will end up being a clutter to the tiny house.

“Change is constant” but just the same, it isn’t always an easy feat. It entails so many adjustments, and adapting is crucial in the earlier stage to create a smoother transition. Moving from a conventional home to a tiny house also requires a better understanding of what to expect. It pays to ask yourself these questions- Do I see myself living in this tiny home for the next five years?  Am I willing to let go of my material possessions and live only on the basics? Why am I even doing this in the first place? Of course, the latter does not apply to those who were left with no choice. But still, it is necessary to assess your situation, financially and personally. It also helps make a checklist of your wants, needs, and, most importantly, your whys. Once you have them all listed, make a tally of what the tiny house can offer. Are your “needs and wants” aligned with what’s in the tiny home? Do the micro houses meet your needs? If you answered yes, then proceed with the paperwork. However, if you answered no, then move to the follow-up question, which is why? Why did you even think of going tiny? Is it just because of the trend? Are you trying to make a statement or out to prove something? If you’re not certain with your answers, then it is suggested that you put your plan on hold until such time that you’ve come to realize and appreciate what a tiny house can offer and what you want. At the end of the day, your comfortability matters because that is the house’s primary and sole purpose- to provide shelter, comfort, and security. Since you have everything laid out, you are now confronted with a question- is it wise to invest in real estate such as a tiny house? You do the math.

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Disclaimer: The blog articles are intended for educational and informational purposes only. Nothing in the content is intended as legal or financial advice.