The tiny house movement faces hurdles despite popularity

The Tiny House Movement: Great For Some, Slow For Others

The tiny house movement has been gaining steam, but not everybody is succeeding in providing them. It often has something to do with local laws, but some are doing well while others are left wondering if the tiny house movement is even worth the time and hassle.

Consumers are often looking for something affordable, and with the rising alarm of global warming, they believe it’s essential to reduce their carbon footprint and utility costs. With such a small amount of space, it makes heating and cooling much less expensive than even an average apartment. In the warmer and colder months, this is a massive upside. The less space you have to control the temperature in, the less you need to run heating and air conditioning just to stay comfortable.

Of course, the downside is that it doesn’t leave a lot of room for anything, and if you like having company, there is little privacy.

Brian Levy of Washington, D.C., is having success with the production of tiny homes. With the assistance of David Bamford and Chris VanArsdale, he founded Minim Homes, LLC, and business has been great. The idea came to him when he was visiting his sister in Washington State. She lived on a farm while he stayed in a trailer, and he figured there had to be a way to make a small home attractive and even more efficient.

According to WTOP, Levy found a way to have kitchen counter space, a decent bathroom, and a pull-down projection TV, along with a pull-out Queen bed, in a 210-square-foot area. It worked so well for him that he bought a 5,000-square-foot lot in 2012 to show off his home, as well as a studio shed and a mobile office.

The tiny house movement has worked out so well for Brian Levy that he gives tours to the public to show them how it works. The Micro Showcase, as he calls it, has proven to be a hit, though the idea might not be for everybody. He explained that some state laws forbid homes on wheels unless they are an addition to a larger structure, as is the case in Washington, D.C.

Add-ons for Levy’s part of the tiny house movement include bookshelves, propane kitchen burners, a stainless shower, and solar panels.

The Los Angeles Times reports that Lee Saenz, the owner of Adventure Cabins, isn’t having the same luck with the tiny house movement.

The entrepreneur stated, “There are so many roadblocks out there to selling them. If they want to buy it, they don’t have the land. If they have the land, it’s not zoned for a tiny home. Or they don’t have enough cash.”

Saenz has only sold an average of one tiny home a year since 2011. Two are currently sitting ready to go, and one of them is marked down to almost half price. It’s not because of a lack of demand, but a lack of people able to buy one.

In some parts of the United States, it’s actually illegal to live in a tiny home. Also, things like tax and liens often get in the way, and the land used has to be inspected prior to use. Insurance is hard to come by as well since insurance companies often cover RVs at the closest. It’s facts like these that are the bane of a lot of environmentalists’ hopes.

What do you think? Is it worth the hassle to join the tiny house movement?

[Featured Image by lumokajlinioj/]