Do you fantasize about downsizing? Do you dream of having less to take care of so you have more time for yourself to do the things you enjoy?
You’re not alone. Minimalism is trending in our culture right now, from de-cluttering your life with the KonMari Method to cultivating a capsule wardrobe. By the looks of it, many of us are craving less, not more.
Many of my Rancho Santa Fe clients are asking me about downsizing to something smaller- usually somewhere like La Jolla or Del Mar, which are known for their smaller, charming cottages. With their kids grown and out of the house, something smaller and easier is very appealing!
Minimalism as a housing concept
This trend to minimize the amount of stuff we own has spilled over into the very homes we live in, and is most apparent in the tiny house movement. While the average American home is approximately 2,600 square feet in size, the tiny house movement extolls the virtues of living in homes that are no larger than 400 square feet.
Why are tiny houses so popular?
There may be some of you out there who can’t fathom why anyone would want to live in such an extremely small space. But there are actually some great arguments for re-imagining your life on a smaller scale. These include:
- Living in a way that decreases your environmental footprint and encourages eco-conscious choices.
- Decreasing the amount of money you spend on your home from month-to-month, including mortgage payments and general upkeep.
- Having more time, money and freedom to spend on things you love doing.
Is a tiny house right for you?
Paring down your possessions and living in a much smaller space isn’t necessarily for everyone. If you’re thinking of taking the tiny house plunge, here are some things you should consider first:
- Where will you put your home? Not all municipalities are on board with the tiny house movement or haven’t updated their zoning laws, so be sure you have secured a space for your tiny home before you build or buy it.
- Do you want to travel with your home? These small spaces can be built on a foundation or on wheels, if you’ve got a bit of wanderlust.
- Will this lifestyle work for your family? If you’re single, it’s easy to try out tiny house living. But if you have kids and pets, you have to consider their needs as well. Count on at least 100 square feet per person at minimum.
- How will you handle utilities? If you opt for wheels, you can hook up your tiny home in a RV campground. But if you are building on a piece of land, you’ll need to consider how you will get electricity, sewage, water and even Internet access. Be sure to include these costs when you plan.
- Why are you interested in a tiny house? If your primary goal is to save money, there may be better alternatives that don’t require such an adjustment in your lifestyle. However, if you like the idea of living in a more environmentally conscious way and spending more of your time pursuing your passions instead of maintaining your home, a tiny home may be just the ticket.
If you’re considering living in a tiny home, take time to educate yourself about the lifestyle and prepare for all the potential issues that may arise. While tiny house living has been an incredibly positive experience for some, it may or may not be the perfect situation for you. And if you are not ready for something so radical as an actual tiny house, call me and we'll figure out something much more appealing!
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