Articles Lifestyle Living Large in Smaller Spaces: What's The Tiny Home Movement?

Living Large in Smaller Spaces: What's The Tiny Home Movement?

The tiny home movement encourages the freedom and joy experienced from living simpler lives in smaller spaces. Browse through this article to find out what the movement is all about, why many have made the shift, and what challenges lie ahead in going tiny.

The coronavirus pandemic has shifted focus and brought about new trends in all industries and aspects of life, housing and way of living included. People are beginning to see the appeal of living with less and simplifying the parts of their lives. While the tiny house movement is more about the uncomplicated lifestyle that it encourages, it's also about simply living in a small space.

So what does it mean to live in a tiny home? Why are more and more people making the switch to the simple life? What are the pros and cons of going tiny? This digestible read should help give the information to aid your decision making and jumpstart your tiny home journey.

What's the tiny home movement?

Furniture placed outside a one-window cabin in woods area

As aptly named, tiny homes are houses that have a square footage less than the traditional home with full sized rooms and amenities (the typical size for a tiny home is anywhere between 12-37 square meters.)

Tiny homes can take many shapes and forms: from studio apartments in the city (check out our condo properties for sale here) to remote cabins in the woods, from mobile homes in the form of camper vehicles to detachable units made from shipping containers, from mini beach houses on stilts to alternative dwelling units and yurts in someone's backyard. Tiny homes can be rented or owned, and can be mobile or stationary.

The tiny home movement is a social movement that employs minimalism in terms of possession and lifestyle. By living with less possessions in a smaller, less demanding space, life has a tendency to be riddled with less concerns - financial and mental among the most popular. The time and resources saved from downsizing and living less materialistically can be used to pursue passions and activities that develop one's capacities and bring satisfaction.

Living in a tiny house does not mean that you have to give up on your wants and desires; in fact, when done intentionally, living in a smaller space may even give you a bigger, more rewarding life. It's all about understanding what matters, and making changes in your life to give way to bigger and better things to come.

What are the reasons behind people deciding to go tiny?

Aerial view of blue sea and rock formations in Coron, Philippines

Affordability, efficiency, eco-friendliness, and minimalism are the main reasons why many have made the decision to go tiny. First, tiny homes are significantly cheaper to build, furnish, and operate (one air-conditioning unit is cheaper to use than two) in comparison with full-sized houses and apartments. Small spaces in the heart of the city may still be more expensive than single detached homes in the provinces, but they are often still a more economical choice when other expenses such as transportation are considered.

Second, tiny homes are much easier to maintain than their sizable counterparts. There are less things and fixtures to take care of, less rooms to clean, and less home issues to worry about. There's a general ease and a sense of order in living in smaller spaces.

Third, living in tiny homes tends to generate less waste. Since there's a need to downsize and rid of unnecessary belongings (space is at a premium in these small units), people who choose to live in small spaces end up using less and in the long run.

Last, the general stress and commotion brought about by all these current events have made way for people to demand simplicity and comfort in the other aspects of life. The minimalist lifestyle has become more appealing to people for this reason alone. Living a minimalist lifestyle means living with necessities and things that make you happy, eliminating stuff that doesn't serve a purpose and making life decisions with intentionality.

Other reasons one may consider in choosing the tiny home lifestyle include the property's investment potential and the adventure that they can afford with the move. More and more people are wanting to stay in small long-term rentals in different parts of the world. The beauty of tiny house living is that you can relocate to places where traditional housing may not even exist - e.g. deep in the woods or by untouched shores.

With less stuff weighing you down, you're free to travel to interesting places and go on adventures that will not only bring you unbridled joy but will also help you grow as a person. All of these things allow the tiny house movement and its patrons to live the lives they want to live.

What challenges can you expect when you go tiny?

Living room and dining room slash makeshift office in a tiny home

While the pros of living in a tiny home may be tempting in paper, they are also matched with cons that may be difficult to manage for some. In undoubtedly the most apparent disadvantage, living in a tiny home means less living space. Less living space, in turn, means less storage space and less entertaining capability.

For mobile homes, there is the additional task of looking for a place to park (and paying the rent for that space) and acquiring the necessary permits to park. Considering that this is a newer housing product, local governments may not be as knowledgeable on how to properly tax these properties.

It might be cheaper to rent a tiny home, but if you want to purchase or build one and you don't have the necessary capital, it may be hard to secure loans and financing opportunities to pursue the project. Banks and loaning institutions are known to be stringent when it comes to lending money, and not everyone is onboard this less traditional route of seeking shelter. That said, small condos and apartments are easier to finance and may be a good option for some.

At the end of the day, you should take time to evaluate the pros and cons of living in a tiny home for yourself and the people you live with. Take the opportunity to try out living in a small space - rent an Airbnb or a short-term property and make a more informed decision. You may find that your needs warrant a bigger space for a home, and that's fine. The tiny home movement is more than just the square footage of a house - it's about the lifestyle shift, living with less to make way for an unparalleled, larger-than-life experience that is uniquely yours.