Why Successful People are Choosing to Live in a Tiny House

Reasons people want a tiny house
America’s cultural norms dictate that bigger is better. From an early age we are conditioned to believe that one of our main life goals is to accumulate material possessions – of the same quality and quantity as that of our neighbors. In the United States, the size of one’s home is often used as a measure of one’s success.
But a movement is underway. First time home buyers are choosing to buy smaller homes, and more and more Americans are choosing to remain in their first home rather than up-size. And in perhaps the most interesting development, some people are choosing to buck the “bigger is better” trend in North American housing altogether. They’re building tiny houses.

Tiny House

What is a Tiny House?

Ranging from 200 to 800 square feet, these so-called “tiny houses” take many shapes and sizes. Construction costs are typically in the tens of thousands rather than the hundreds of thousands, so they make for cheap housing, especially in expensive markets like Washington, D.C., Charlotte, and Portland, where they are becoming increasingly popular.
Tiny Bedroom
With the average US home at 2,479 square feet (according to the Commerce Department) and a median price of $980,000, more are more people are trying to dodge high home prices by going small.
At a fraction of the cost, it’s easy to see why tiny homes are gaining in popularity. While tiny homes can seem cramped, they are designed to be incredibly efficient. And the people who live in them are as diverse as the homes themselves.

Why are People Building Tiny Houses?

Some hope to save money on housing; others want freedom from the traditional mortgage. Some hope to “live green” by choosing a smaller space, and others want the freedom to move from one location to another without having to be tied down.
But even with the substantially lower home cost, not everyone can afford to build a tiny house. One of the biggest hurdles for people wanting to live in a Tiny House is access to land. Land is expensive, often considerably more costly than the house itself – especially land situated close to city or town centers with access to services, entertainment and jobs.
Tiny Living Area

Who Lives in a Tiny House?

Alek Lisefski is a US web designer and the founder of The Tiny Project. Alek built his 160 square foot tiny house from scratch in the state of Iowa a few years ago, where he lived with his girlfriend for two years before they parted ways.
His motivation for tiny living? He wanted to live a simpler, more conscious debt-free life and to set an example by educating the community about alternative, affordable, and more sustainable ways of living.
Alek was faced with life circumstances that encouraged him to seek a simpler life, a life where he could spend more time with the people he cared about and do the meaningful work he wanted to do, without being tied down to a particular location.
He recognized early on that the never ending time/money rat race required for home ownership in modern American society would not lead to the quality of life he wanted.
Tiny House
Alek explains:
It was a way to build and own my own home (made with beautiful, comfortable materials), at a cost that was more affordable, creating a more sustainable way for me to live, and all of this without needing to tie myself to any particular place or piece of land.
Inhabiting such a small space will force me to live in a simpler, more organized and efficient way. Without room to hoard things and hide away from the world, I’ll be forced to spend more time outdoors, in nature and engaging with my community. This will foster better health and healthy relationships. With no more rent to pay, I’ll save money, allowing for a less hectic work life and more time and funds for health, leisure and travel.
I won’t be able to keep closets full of clothes or store 5 year old trinkets in a house so small. But I also couldn’t possibly spend $100/month to heat the place, like I have when renting apartments in the past. Tiny house living has its trade-offs, but one thing is certain: While living in a such a small house, my space, and in turn each area of my life, will be simpler, less chaotic, and free from all but what is essential.
Jay Shafer

The Tiny House Movement

What began as a novelty quickly turned into a craze, and most recently a movement. Jay Shafer, the spokesman of the tiny house movement, is a 42-year-old art teacher and now house designer who has been living in his tiny house since 1997. His experience living tiny, in a country obsessed with living large, prompted him to start his own company, Four Lights Tiny Houses.
Jay has created a documentary on the people who live in tiny houses. His documentary is a journey into the tiny homes of people searching for simplicity, self-sufficiency, minimalism and happiness. Enjoy!

We The Tiny House People Documentary


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