From an economic point of view it’s not hard to understand the need to downsize. All over the United States people who once lived in spacious houses are now finding the need to move into smaller, more efficient sized homes or apartments.
Other than economic reasons, many individuals and families are moving into much smaller domiciles due to environmental concerns. A smaller house will make much less of a footprint environmentally speaking, and the service needed to run the home will be less as well; less electricity, less heating, less water usage, and less house cleaning which equals less chemicals in the air.
In days of yore the only people who owned larger homes were the wealthy individuals found in the “nob hill” areas of a city. I remember as a child driving up into the hills where we lived and my parents remarking that “this is where the rich people live.” We working class folks lived in homes that were approximately 1500 square feet or so; now the average home is expected to be at least 2500 square feet. It’s a bit strange since families are much smaller than they used to be. Very seldom do we see the families of yesteryear, with grandparents, parents, children and even grandchildren living in the same house. What is even stranger for me is the lack of green space most of the large homes have; the builder will max out the square footage of the home to encompass the entire lot, so that you can spit into your neighbors’ window if you choose.
With the size of homes increasing the size of mortgages have as well. Most individuals are paying so much for their mortgage that there is nothing left at the end of the month for savings or retirement funds. Taking that into consideration it’s not hard to see why many entering retirement age are choosing to sell their large family homes and move into a tiny home.
Tiny homes are approximately 100 to 500 square feet in size. Most individuals who live in a tiny home do so mortgage free as the cost of a tiny home can be fairly low, ranging from $10,000 dollars to $100,000 depending on how large the home is and what you have installed. There is even a 510 square foot house in California that costs over $1 million dollars!
The trend to go tiny is not just happening with homes; if you like small check out the teardrop camper. The teardrop camper became popular in the 1930’s after blueprints were published in popular magazines of the time, using plywood as materials. The teardrop got its name from the shape of the trailer which resembles a teardrop. They can sleep two smaller people, with additional room for clothes and supplies. There are communities of teardrop owners who get together for camping and just to show off their customized trailers.
Going small is a good way to save money if you don’t require a large living space. It is also a great way to be environmentally friendly as a smaller home will take less energy to heat and cool, and will need less stuff to fill it.