Tiny Houses: Americans Trend To Downsize

Jan Omega

Tiny houses is now the trending "real estate" venture for Americans these days. Because of the real estate bubble popping back in 2007, prices on houses have plummeted and people were suckered into purchasing houses they couldn't afford at insecure interest rates that would eventually cost someone their soul. Now, it seems Americans are starting to trend towards tiny houses, mostly because of price but also because it provides what is necessary.

According to CNN, Americans are starting to break out of the big home stereotype. For the longest time, one part of the "American Dream" included owning a big house oozing with extravagant architecture with all the attachable luxuries like a large swimming pool and overlooking deck. This is no longer the case as Americans are joining the Tiny House movement and building what are...well...tiny houses. These tiny houses are designed to be anywhere from 100 to 400 square feet, compared to the average American home, which is 2,600 square feet.

Tiny homes also grant inhabitants numerous benefits. First, there is a lot of financial freedom. A brand new tiny home usually costs about $60,000 or less brand new. Compared to building a regular home a range of $100,000 to $250,000 (more or less depending on location), $60,000 seems like pennies on the dollar. Second, the tiny homes have a reduced ecological impact, especially since they use less supplies. This movement started back in 2004 by Dee Williams. Since then, the community is now at 4,000 this current year, as per The Tiny House Official Website.

Tiny House Elm

However, the tiny house movement is actually getting smaller and even becoming mobile. Tumbleweed Houses are the newest thing to hit the tiny house movement. Started back in 1999, the tiny houses on a trailer are starting to replace regular trailers and RVs. There are now over twenty models to choose from and they too cost a lot less than the average house. So far, they have four main designs: Elm, Cypress, Linden, and Mica. This writer personally wants an Elm so he can travel and write.

And if tiny houses on trailers were not enough, families are now going cheaper than ever to provide living conditions. Instead of regular tiny houses, there are now tiny houses made from miscellaneous objects people would never expect to be considered a place fit for shelter. One of the most used items are shipping containers, the same ones used to store items on cargo ships.

There is one instance where a woman and her family converted a shipping container, plus some other containers, into a small living unit in the desert. The total cost of everything: $5,000. Another instance came from the United Kingdom, where homeowners are leaving their homes to live in reconstructed "bargain basement" shipping containers as seen in the video below.

This trend is starting to grow more prominent in the United States especially since a regular tiny home costs the average American only a third of their income compared to regular homeowners who are living paycheck to paycheck. It may be a slow trend, especially since we Americans have a thing to go bigger and better than anyone else, but it is a trend that is gaining speed, especially now that people are starting to concentrate on needs, some to the point that they want to live "off the grid".