Moving into a tiny home is a rather exciting prospect.
You might have been planning this for months or possibly even years. It can be a great way to relieve yourself of the debt of carrying a large mortgage, and it allows you to reduce your impact on the environment.
How long do people stay in tiny houses?
The answer to this varies depending on the individual and their situation. Some people plan to stay in their tiny homes forever.
Others may move out when they begin a family or grow tired of having clutter in their lives. There is no “average” amount of time.
What’s The Average Time People Live in a Tiny House?
Before you invest thousands of dollars into the construction of a new tiny home, you probably want to consider how long people really live in these types of houses.
The answer might surprise you.
There is no “average” amount of time that people live in a tiny house. It depends on their needs and why they came to a tiny house in the first place.
Some people come to tiny house living as a means to simplify their lives. They want to cut back on the clutter and embrace the minimalist philosophy. When this is the case, people tend to spend more time living in their new homes.
People might spend decades living in their tiny homes when they come to terms with this type of philosophy.
However, the movement is still quite new, so the exact amount of time that people spend in their tiny homes has not fully been evaluated yet.
Other people jump into the world of tiny home living because they want to travel and see more of the world.
Tiny Houses on Wheels & Portability
A tiny house on wheels can take them anywhere they want to go without sacrificing the comforts of home. Most people do not spend their entire lives doing this sort of traveling, so they tend to abandon tiny homes after a year or two.
In other situations, first-time homebuyers often build their own tiny homes to keep their debts low. They use tiny home living as a platform upon which to start their dreams of homeownership.
During this time, they can save up more money to purchase a traditional home with more square footage. When they are ready to begin a family, these first-time home buyers often abandon their tiny houses.
It usually takes about three to five years before they give up on this unique lifestyle.
Do People Typically Plan to Live in Tiny Houses Permanently?
How do you know when it is time to move on from a tiny home?
Some people have a short-term plan that does not include living in their tiny house forever. However, others may love the simplicity that a tiny home can bring. It is great for those who want to live off-grid or those who want to embrace the minimalist lifestyle.
For many older individuals who choose this lifestyle, they do intend for it to be a permanent change from the traditional route.
These older individuals have more life experience and know their likes and dislikes. It is easier for them to develop a tiny home that works for them and gives them the financial freedom they long for.
On the other hand, a lot of younger individuals and newly married couples are hopping onto the tiny home bandwagon. Many of the people who fall into this demographic do not intend to live in their tiny house forever.
It is simply a cost-effective way to combat high rental prices and to minimize their impact on the environment for a few years.
Eventually, many of these young people will start a family of their own and find that tiny home living may not be sustainable with children. This leads them to sell their tiny home to the next couple, creating a cycle where individuals switch from tiny home living back to traditional houses.
Can You Stay in a Tiny House When You Have Kids?
One of the burning questions that newcomers to this trend want to know is whether you can remain in your tiny house once you have children.
It is possible to live in a tiny home with children, but there will be a lot of changes that you need to make. First and foremost, you will have to expand your tiny home to accommodate these extra people.
This can be a real challenge for those who live in tiny homes on wheels because the trailers may not be large enough. It is much easier to build an addition to a tiny house that has a permanent foundation.
Most people categorize tiny homes as those that have fewer than 500 square feet. Some people can manage to have children in spaces this small while others struggle.
A house this small might prove to be a problem when you have children in the mix. Even a single newborn will require a crib, a playpen, and room to crawl and grow.
While you can live in a house that is still smaller than many single-family units, you might need something more in the ballpark of 700 to 800 square feet to comfortably fit a small family.
How Long Do Families With Kids Typically Live in Tiny Houses?
Some families with kids will live in tiny houses indefinitely.
It certainly poses a new set of challenges, such as where you will store toys, extra clothing, and how you will position those extra beds. However, this type of challenge can be dealt with creatively to make space for kids inside of your pre-existing tiny home.
Other families quickly abandon the idea of tiny house living once their kids are born. It can be a real struggle to adapt to this sort of lifestyle with a child in tow.
Living in a tiny house with a baby is counter to everything the culture tells you is normal for how to raise offspring.
Instead of placing your baby in a playpen or a jumper (both very popular options to give parents a break), you will have to comfort and supervise your child on your own all the time. It can be very hard on parents who want modern conveniences that many of their friends will have.
Can You Bring a Tiny House When Moving States?
One of the many reasons why people love tiny house living is because it allows them the freedom to travel.
They want to build their house on wheels so that they can travel the country without having to uproot their home. It is a great idea, but can you bring your tiny house with you when you move states? The good news is that you can most likely bring your tiny house with you.
To know for sure, you need to check with the local building ordinances and zoning codes for tiny homes in the area that you will be moving to.
Each state, city, and even county is going to have different rules for what you can and cannot do with a tiny home.
Many states view tiny homes as a type of RV, so you may be safe to bring your home with you if you plan to stay just temporarily in an RV park.
3 Reasons People Move Out of Tiny Houses:
Tiny home living can be quite exciting, but there are also some serious disadvantages.
In case you were wondering why someone might want to give up their tiny home dream, here are a few of the top reasons.
1. Fast to Get Dirty
You might think that your tiny home is going to be super-fast to clean, especially if you are accustomed to cleaning a large house right now. At first glance, you would be right. It is easy to get your tiny house spic and span.
Chances are that it will take you less than thirty minutes to clean the entire place from top to bottom. Unfortunately, the opposite is also true. It is equally fast to get your place dirty.
Consider what it is like coming home from a long day at the office. You kick off your shoes, throw off your coat, and set your handbag down. The dog comes in from outside with muddy paw prints. You start to make dinner and leave the dishes in the sink for the morning.
Even if you just cleaned your house the day before, it is suddenly filled with clutter, dirt, and grime.
It took less time than you thought for it to get dirty.
To live out from under the radar of watchful building ordinances, many people move their tiny homes to more rural areas.
They can live off-grid out here and be truly self-sustaining. The only drawback is that you are now located away from the convenience of town. You are far from grocery stores, hospitals, and even your friends.
Life in the country can be beautiful, but it can also be quite lonely.
3. Too Much Clutter
Where are you going to store your clothes?
How about your sentimental keepsakes? Most people have a lot of items that they want to hold on to, and it can be difficult to part with them.
However, getting rid of things is a natural part of tiny home living. When you try to hold on to too many objects, clutter is the result.
Clutter can make your home feel cramped and dirty.
Many people do not want to get rid of their sentimental items or their extensive collection of clothes, and this leads them to head back toward regular-sized housing.
Maria is the founder of GoDownsize. While studying architecture in Denmark she became fascinated with designing living spaces for boats, tiny houses, RVs, and other small spaces.
She mainly writes about space optimization, interior design, and downsizing. She’s also in charge of our YouTube channel. Read more about Maria here.