How Long Do Tiny Homes Last? Benefits of Living in a Tiny House

Tiny Houses 101: What Sets Small Homes Apart from Tiny Homes?

For the past few years, the idea of living in tiny houses, where people seek to live independently in very small homes, has been trendy. They want to achieve financial stability and economic sustainability at the same time without compromising their living style. If you're going to have a tiny house, in this guide, we have covered everything about tiny houses and their pros and cons.

Key Highlights

  • Tiny houses can be 100 to 400 square feet and cost less than 15000.

  • If you use high-quality material for your tiny house, it will last for about 3250 years and even more.

  • When compared to single-family houses, tiny houses are still much cheaper.

What Are Tiny Houses?

Many standard tiny houses are between 100 and 400 square feet and rarely more than 500 square feet. They are called tiny houses if they exceed the 500 hundred square Feet threshold. The median size of a new single-family house is around 2,273 square feet. 

Pros and Cons of Living in Tiny Houses

Find out the good and bad sides of living in tiny houses.

The Pros of Owning Tiny Houses-:

  • You Own a Tiny House Mortgage-Free: If you look at the ownership rate of people living in small houses, it is 78% compared to the ownership rate of people living in traditional homes, which is 65%. Most people who live in tiny houses don't have to pay the mortgage. It is because they focus on minimising their debt.

  • You Can Get All the Up-To-Date Amenities: Even if your home is tiny, you don't have to sacrifice for the convenience of modern living. You can have all the tools and accessories to make your living convenient, like air conditioning washer and dryer, sleeping space, etc.

  • They Are Cheaper to Build: Tiny homes are cheaper to construct than standard homes. The average cost of a standard house in the United States is $262,000, while the average price of building a tiny house is just $23,000.

  • You Can Travel with Your Home: Most tiny houses are built on wheels, making them movable. You can travel with your home anywhere you want to. 

Cons of Owning Tiny Houses-:

  • You Get Less Space: A tiny house cannot be a good option if you have a big family or plan to have a big family. Tiny houses can be as small as 60 sq ft to 400 square feet. Compact houses can be a difficult option for some.

  • Difficult to Maintain: If you think cleaning a tiny house can be easy, you need to think again. It might take less time, but you need to do it frequently. Moreover, it can be a big deal for you when the tiny house on wheels does not have septic tanks and traditional plumbing.

  • Security Issues: Living in a tiny house means you are intimately connected with the surroundings due to the size and like of safety walls.

How Much Does It Cost to Own a Tiny House?

Like a regular-sized house, the cost depends on the materials used and the customisation you add to a tiny house. Tiny houses can cost you as little as $15,000 if you downgrade the materials and use your skills to renovate and make them more affordable. However, some tiny houses can cost as much as $80,000 to $100,000, depending on how much space you use and what material you put into it. However, compared to single-family houses, they are still much cheaper as the average cost of tiny houses is $90,000, while the average cost of single-family houses is $343,600, according to the US Census Bureau

How Long Do Tiny Homes Typically Last?

If you use high-quality materials for construction, your tiny house can last several decades. A tiny house constructed using materials like steel and hardwood has a lifespan of about 30 to 50 years and even more. Moreover, if you build your tiny house on a permanent foundation, it would even increase the lifespan of your tiny home as it is protected from the wear and tear coming from transportation. If you build your tiny house on wheels, that would drastically decrease its lifespan. If you regularly upkeep and address repairs and check roofs and insulation, you can increase the life of your tiny house. Additionally, the environment also affects the life span of it. Extreme weather conditions and exposure to excess moisture can create issues such as mould and wood rot. 

Is It More Affordable to Buy or Build a Tiny House?

It is inexpensive to build a tiny house, as buying a house can cost you 30% to 50% more than building it. It is because when you buy a tiny house, it includes various factors like wages, overheads, factory costs, and other costs of running a business. By researching, you can even go for second-hand materials and get help from your friends, which would be less expensive. 

What Is the Resale Value of a Tiny House?

The resale value of your tiny house may depend on various factors, like how many buyers there are for your home and how customised your small home is. Moreover, it also depends on how well you can sell your new home. However, if we look at the average resale value of any tiny house, it is around $60,000. 

If your tiny house is a vehicle, it means it loses value for the same reason the car loses value. Other factors like time, wear, and location can also depreciate the value. 

What Is the Difference Between a Small Home and a Tiny Home?

The major difference between a tiny house and a small house is based on factors like

  1. Size and Square Footage: The significant difference between tiny and small houses is their size; tiny houses are generally less than 400 square feet, while homes can be more than 1000 square feet.

  2. Mobility: Both tiny and small homes can be mobile, but tiny homes are often built on a trailer and are created to be easily moved. On the other hand, small homes are built on a foundation as permanent.

  3. Cost: The cost of tiny homes can be less than that of small homes as they require less space and less building material. However, it also depends on the materials and features included in both, which might increase the price of a tiny home compared to a small one.

  4. Design and Style: Tiny homes have a minimalist and modern design, as small homes are built in a modern and traditional style.

  5. Environmental Impact: Both tiny homes and small homes can be sustainable and eco-friendly when features like solar power and rainwater collection tanks are embedded.

  6. Building and Zoning Regulations: This is the major difference between a tiny house and a small house, where a small house is subject to building and zoning regulations and has to follow some codes and regulations. However, tiny homes are typically considered movable dwellings and are not subject to the same regulations.

Is It Cheaper to Live in a Tiny Home or an Apartment?

Buying a tiny house can be more affordable than renting an apartment in the long run. Moreover, you benefit from building home equity in a small house. However, if you are considering buying a tiny house, you must look for the total cost of owning one, which would include buying land permits, insurance, utilities, external storage, and more. On the other hand, if you rent an apartment, you don't get the opportunity to build equity in the home because rent and utility increase according to market and inflation.

Final Words

Tiny houses have become popular in recent years due to their sustainable living and economic advantages. They are convenient and flexible for many to buy and maintain. They come with some disadvantages, like limited space and difficulty in maintenance, but the benefits sometimes outweigh these concerns. If you are thinking of buying a tiny house, you can consider its pros and cons and make more informed decisions.

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24 Feb, 2024


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