Is Moving to “Mortgage-Free” Living a Fit for You?

While the housing market seems to be slowing down for now, it’s business-as-usual for one small sector: tiny homes. Along with a minimalistic approach to life, tiny homes offer both financial and economic benefits to homeowners. 

If the shift to living small has piqued your interest, you’re not alone – 56% of Americans surveyed said they would live in a tiny home. With shows popping up all over HGTV and the like, the trend toward tiny seems to be here to stay, with the market expected to surpass $5 billion by 2024. But, if you’ve been dreaming of downsizing, you do have a few lifestyle pros and cons to consider first. Read on as the House Hacks Tips team helps you determine if tiny home living is right for you. 

First Things First: Size Matters When Going Small

The market has its fair share of smaller houses, so what separates a tiny home from your typical suburban ranch? It all comes down to square footage.

The average “small home” in the United States is anywhere from 500 – 1,000 square feet. In  order to be considered a proper tiny house, the home needs to be between 100 – 400 square feet – roughly the size of a two car garage. 

Fun Fact: The average tiny home in the United States is 225 square feet

Sound way too small? You’d be surprised how much thought has gone into built-in storage solutions for small livers, although most tiny home owners are known to have a storage space nearby to house belongings that aren’t needed everyday (such as sentimental items, heirlooms, furniture, etc.). 

When it Makes Sense to Go Small

If a lifestyle of minimalism and financial freedom appeals to you, downsizing to tiny living could be a smart move that benefits both you and your future self.  

You Fantasize Over Achieving Financial Goals

The number one expense that the average millennial’s paycheck goes toward each month is housing – and rent and mortgage payments are only on the rise. If you fantasize about being able to eliminate that monthly payment to fund future goals, a tiny home may be a good option. 

While the up front cost to fund a tiny home is about the same as the average down payment on a home ($30,000 – $45,000, depending on the size and amenities), most homeowners then proceed with a 30-year monthly payment in the form of a mortgage. Tiny home owners, on the other hand, enter homeownership mortgage-free, and are able to funnel more money into savings, investments, retirement plans, or other goals even faster. 

Talk about financial freedom! 

You Long for Low-Maintenance

We love our homes but we’ll be the first to admit that they can be a bit high-maintenance,  which also means a bit expensive. In the average year, US homeowners shell out anywhere from 1% to 4%  of their home’s value for routine maintenance. Tiny spaces, on the other hand, cost only a fraction of that, not to mention a smaller interior space to have to keep clean!

Save Up to $2,000 with this Simple Home Maintenance Task!

You Want to Cut Your Carbon Footprint 

If you’re looking to combat record-high utility bills and lower your carbon footprint, tiny living could just be for you. The average tiny house only requires about six light bulbs, and uses just 7% of the average home’s energy. Add a few solar panels, and you could potentially eliminate your home’s carbon footprint, while saving nearly 93% on your electric bill. 

If you already live a pretty minimalistic lifestyle, transitioning to tiny living may be a bit more seamless than it is for most.

… and When to Stay Put

Money savings aside, going small is a major lifestyle shift, often from more open spaces we’re accustomed with to extremely close quarters. If tight spaces give you anxiety, and/or if personal, private space is a core value of yours, small living may not be for you at this time – and that’s okay.

The secret to living small comfortably starts with decluttering, since nothing makes a small space feel more cramped than when you have too much stuff. Begin by setting a goal to keep any surfaces, and the floors, as clear as possible, and get rid of what you truly don’t need. 

Over time, along with making your space look bigger, you may surprise yourself with how much stuff you actually don’t need, and may be able to work toward a goal of transitioning to tiny in the future.

Facebook Comments Box

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *