Image Source: Curbed Boston Magazine
The tiny home trend has been around long enough now to earn notoriety and become the subject of HGTV and DIY TV shows. A large following, especially of millennials, interested in this life style. Yet, tiny homes have yet to become wide spread which leaves many wondering if tiny homes are simply a trend.
There are many appealing aspects of tiny home living. Many choose this lifestyle because it is more affordable, or maybe the only affordable option, for young adults just starting out. The money saved from downsizing can be used to create a more customized space. Tiny homes have no set definition. Classically the term applies to any home between 100 and 400 square feet. They are often made mobile, but can also be created as permanent residences with yards, basements, and pools. Tiny homes also appeal to those interested in minimalism. Having 400 square foot home forces to you to live without clutter and decided what is important and what is not. The mobility of the home additionally inspires those interested in travel or connecting with nature.
While these homes are clearly unique and go against traditional ideas of a permanent residence, all that could simply be a trend. Would Millennials still choose to live in these homes if they could afford larger ones if more affordable housing became available?
Looking beyond the trends; it is potential for smaller homes to be used to help alleviate poverty and homelessness. This is already being done in Dallas, Texas, where is the community of small homes was created for the homeless in 2015. Other cities could begin to follow Dallas' lead and create similar communities. Overall, rural communities have been welcoming to the idea of tiny homes, but they have created trouble in cities. Most cities' zoning codes are not set up in a way to support this concept. There is heavy debate as to whether or not these homes should be considered permanent structures. Further, in the case of mobile tiny homes, where they should be parked and how they should be taxed is called into question. Changes to city zoning law and taxation will have taken place before tiny home communities become commonplace.
There is no census for tiny homes so mapping out how many people live this life style is very difficult. Additionally, many of these tiny homes are on land illegally or on land without proper permits. It is estimated that only a few thousand people live this way in the U.S. However, it does appear to be a growing trend. Many luxury apartment developers in Boston are playing with the idea of micro-apartments. Luxury micro-spaces allow for a high standard of living at a smaller cost. They are attractive for people looking for independence and can allow for shorter commutes.
What do you think about tiny homes/micro-apartments and their future?
Tiny Houses, More Than Affordable Housing [Curbed Boston Magazine]
Tiny House Tour Colorado Tomecek Studio Architecture [Curbed Boston Magazine]
The Newer Greater Boston Buildings with Microapartments [Curbed Boston Magazine]