Why We Are Considering A Tiny House

If you are into things like house hacking and alternative living arrangements, there is a fair chance you might have heard about the tiny house movement. There is a whole little sub-group devoted to tiny house living online, and the pictures of their homes are to die for!

At least I think so.

But then again, maybe it’s easy to make your home look rad when you have photography skills like these and video crews like these. If you are Norwegian, there is also an excellent introductory article right here.

I will be honest with you, I just keep coveting tiny houses. Whenever a post about them turns up in my feed somewhere, I am inclined to give it a click – especially if there are pictures! I even went so far as to download a free tiny house building plan at one point.

It’s still there, sitting in one of my many folders.

But coveting and idyllic pictures aside. What are the nitty gritty details about tiny house living? Obviously we can’t answer all the questions we have with regards to tiny living without actually living in one. But we can do some due diligence and try to figure out if we could make it work for us.

Pros To Tiny House Living

  • No Mortgage!

Yup, tiny houses are often built on a “as you go” or commission basis with disposable income or smaller loans. Since it is an alternative way of living, it is often not recognised by governments or banks, so you might not be able to even get a mortgage either.

If Mr. E. and I get over our DIY fear of building our own dwelling, which seems pretty terrifying to the both of us, then I do think we could be able to either save or spend enough for a tiny house within a year plus our own labour.

The downside to that is of course that any penny we take for a tiny house would be a penny we’re not saving for that elusive down-payment we intend to make on that dream house in the woods and its associated upgrades/refurbishing/straight up building.

But a significant decrease in housing cost would mean that this initial investment would be recuperated withing a year or two, and after that our savings would go nowhere but up.

Of course, with lower living costs, it would be that much easier for us to live off our sidehustles. And the sooner our sidehustles can become main hustles, the faster they will grow too!

  • Tempering That House FOMO

Familiar to some of our readers, I get some fierce bouts of house FOMO from time to time. Usually whenever I see an apartment or house for sale that we could actually see ourselves living in. Which is one of the reasons I have drastically reduced my house listing voyeurism…

But if we manage to build a place of our own? I do think that would seriously temper those FOMO urges I suffer from – and save us money in the process without locking us into an apartment and a monthly payment!

  • Renting Land Is Cheaper Than Renting A Flat

It might take some looking if you live in a bigger city and land is a premium. But usually, and semi-rural to rural area there will often be people who are willing to rent out a piece of their garden, driveway or just plain forest for a small fee. Often this is land they would not be using anyhow.

To my utmost luck and privilege, we have a friend who has already said that we could park our tiny house, if it ever comes into existence, in their rather large driveway. We would need to have a proper sit down with the couple in question if we were actually seriously considering it. But by and large, it does seem positive.

Plus, walking distance to my best friends and their cat. I am very much down for that.

  • Smaller Carbon Footprint!

All right, this might not be all that applicable to Mr. E. and myself, seeing as we share a medium-sized flat in a well-insulated house with minimal heating.

But as a rule, the smaller your living area, the smaller your demands on the planet. You need less resources, less energy, less of everything (except food, we do love food).

Cons Of A Tiny House

  • Space

While the smaller carbon footprint is appealing, there are ways to make your carbon footprint net-positive that does not involve living in a closet. Both Mr. E. and myself do a fair bit of work at home, Mr. E. in particular.

And we both need those workplaces to be separate physically. No sitting on either end of the kitchen table, it would be far too distracting. Plus, we really appreciate having a desk or work space where we can leave stuff as we think through things – not somewhere we would have to clean away every time we sit down to share a meal.

We are both privileged westerners after all, and we are used to having a certain amount of privacy and space. So this is a source of some apprehension for the both of us.

We both agree that it would be a perfect living solution if we were single. We are just not entirely sure how it will work for a couple, especially in the country where you can’t just go sit outside half of the year.

  • Utilities

How do you get water to your tiny house? What about electricity? Sewage? Internet?

It is not a permanent structure after all. At least not the kind of tiny house we’re considering building – where the whole point is that we could take it with us when we found that dream home, or if we realise it doesn’t really work to live in our friend’s driveway.

Solar panels and combustion toilets are good solutions, but we would probably need a backup for the electricity of some kind. And pulling water from a garden hose would be quite impossible in temperatures below freezing.

  • In Norway It Is Not A Legally Recognised Home

Norway has strict regulations when it comes to things like insulation thickness, fire exits, size of rooms, ventilation etc. All to ensure people have healthy living environments and there is a minimum of accommodation to people with disabilities.

This means tiny houses are, well, too small. They are not permanent either, so cannot be considered houses. Any living in such a construction would be at our own risk.

Don’t get me wrong though, there is still a small sub-population in Norway who have chosen to adapt tiny house living and making it their own, legislation or no. Anyone from extreme sport athletes to students looking to reduce their living costs drastically. People are doing it, and they are doing it well.

Closing Thoughts

Have you ever considered non-traditional lifestyles in order to optimise your lifestyle or to gain more freedom. Would you feel differently about it if it was temporary compared to permanent?

Time will tell if these ideas will actually become something, or if we will just think about it but not have the guts to take the plunge. Would love to hear what you guys have to say about tiny houses and house hacking for cash-poor millennials!

Tiny House Living - Considering our pros and cons

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16 Comments on “Why We Are Considering A Tiny House

  1. I have a thing for tiny homes. But then I would love to live in a structure that moves with me so I can live in different areas every year or two. When I moved to the city, I moved to different neighbourhoods every year.

    Would you consider buying a piece of land to put it on?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, that is part of the charm for us too. That it is a nest that can move with us.

      We would consider it, in fact it is our plan to have it as an office/guest house when we buy our house-in-the-forest. But sadly, any land within commutable distance to my current job is too expensive to make it work.

      Like

  2. I have often thought of downsizing my home. I certainly could live with less space and less stuff. but I don’t think I could do a tiny house. Maybe to have one as a separate office in my yard – Like a writing studio. But I’m not sure I could live in one. My mom is an over the road trucker and lives in the truck with her husband. Soooo tiny.

    I am trying to split the difference of large home vs tiny home by getting rid of all our excess stuff and being more minimalists until the time comes when we are ready and able to make a change.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, the kind of home we would need to build to have it mobile does make it just “too tiny” compared to what we are used to. Hence a lot of our doubt and worry if it would actually work for us. Our plan if we built one was to turn it into a guest house/office if or when we finally find that forever home. The added plus is that if that forever home is in poor condition or non-existing – we have a place to live while we build the other!

      But yeah, tiny houses is not for everyone. 🙂

      Like

  3. I could maybe do a tiny home in the right climate… the kind where you can mix indoor and outdoor living all year round. However, where I live it’s quite cold 7 months of the year and I think I would go stir crazy! I do like the appeal they bring of simplicity though.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I considered living in a narrow boat years ago when I was single and frustrated at out-of-reach house prices in Oxford, UK.
    I never did it, mainly because I was worried I would feel isolated and possibly unsafe (also because I was told they can be very cold in winter and I wouldn’t like that!).

    Now happily in a couple, we have a house which I think is too big for us, but we do enjoy the luxury of having our own space (including space for working from home).

    Liked by 1 person

    • That sounds great! 🙂

      The cold would be a concern for us too. We would have to sacrifice living space just to get all the walls, floor and roof insulated properly. It’s just not something we can ignore at our latitude.

      Glad to hear we’re not the only ones considering alternatives to our crazy house market!

      Like

  5. I read about these ALL THE TIME. My fav one so far (and slightly bigger) is the Vipp. While I would never buy the Vipp (too expensive), I think the layout is awesome.

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    • I hear you!

      While living closer to our friends and saving money is a major pull of the tiny house, we do have practical reservations. Plus – what if the house we want shows up while we are still in the “getting paid back for investing tiny” phase – and we can’t make an offer on it!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Me and my boyfriend are in the midst of planning to build a tiny house (25m2) in my dad’s back yard in a suburb Stockholm! We’re so excited!! And this way we get a garden too which we really miss. We are going to rent out our apartment in stockholm so that we can save more towards FI! The plan is to live there for 2 years and then buy a small house of our own 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • That is really exciting! I am not quite sure if we are willing to give up our very comfortable and affordable rental after all. Especially now in the heat of summer, a basement flat is unbeatable. We are also planning on finding a small house in about two years! 🙂

      Like

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