I recently read an article in the Kansas City Star about how the tiny house trend has come to the Midwest. I have seen shows on tv about people searching for these tiny houses and found them to be pretty fascinating. I do have a hard time wrapping my head around the concept of living in a house full time that is smaller than most new homes master bedrooms. Of course, being a family of four, with a dog makes these houses impractical for my situation. The image of the 5 of us locked up in a 300-500 square foot box during a rainy day is the stuff nightmares are made of.
Having that said, I do understand the appeal of having it built on a trailer so you can travel and literally never leave home, and how it gets around most building codes since you are not affixed to the ground. Perhaps this is the new retirement trend instead of moving to Florida or Arizona. And can be more aesthetically pleasing than your standard RV.
But this article mentions how this trend is reaching down out of the retirees into the younger generation. I knew this to be true because I also found that a good number of the people on the tv shows were younger. This is where it gets interesting to me.
What is drawing this younger crowd to these tiny houses? Given that most young people are more tied down to jobs, schools, etc. So the traveling aspect is largely taken away. So what is left that is luring them?
I ask because it is an interesting dichotomy to what we have seen in the real estate market in the past several years. What we have found is that the average age of the first time home buyer is going up, as is the price of that first home. So what is happening is that the younger generation is waiting a little bit longer to buy, and when they do, they have more money to so. But that doesn’t mean they are buying the same “starter” homes the generations before started with, and putting more money down. No, they are skipping that segment of housing and going right to housing typical of that of an established family. Therefore leaving a void in that “starter” home market.
So what will it be, will younger generations continue to purchase bigger, higher priced homes first, or will tiny homes become the new “starter” home?
I think the answer will come in the form of seeing just how viable these homes are over the long haul with multiple generations of people. Then what happens to those houses when those younger people start having a family and need more space? Will there be a resale market for these homes? If there is not, then the trend will certainly die off.
Regardless, I do think it is a fascinating decision that people are willing to leave the space and conveniences of the traditional home for these tiny houses. I look forward to watching this trend and see where it goes over the next few years.
So what about you, could live in a tiny house? If you could, would you and why?