Is Tiny Living for You?

by Erin Fernschild 05/26/2019

Right now, one version of minimalism drives the tiny house movement. More than simplifying life and being mindful of excess, the move to a tiny home purports to be environmentally friendly, budget conscious, and somewhat Utopian. So, is it just a fad? Or, is it all that and a bag of chips? 

Accentuate the positives

For those living in tiny homes, either mobile or stationary, several advantages make it a great option. One of those is merely having less space in which to gather clutter. Of course, if you're a hoarder personality, the austerity required by most tiny homes might just drive you crazy, or it could cure your gathering habits once and for all. Since most tiny home dwellers subscribe to the "a place for everything and everything in its place" philosophy, making decisions on what and when to buy something filter through that lens. For example, if you buy this, you’ll need to sell that to make room, since they both won’t fit.

Another advantage is budgetary. In short order, full ownership of the tiny home becomes possible. If you build yours from scratch, you can build it debt free, so you end up owning your home outright. Of course, this concept—owning a home that is mobile—is not the same as owning a house on a property that you also own, but it does reduce monthly outgo in many cases. Most often, unless your home sits on your or someone else's property for free, you'll have space rent in an RV park (if your tiny house is on wheels, it’s legally considered an RV) or tiny-house community (several tiny houses built on foundations around a single more substantial dwelling).

There are negatives

As the movement grows, city, county, and state zoning laws need to adjust to allow for the differences in a tiny home from a typical dwelling before they're accepted everywhere. Some locales now have specific codes to cover where tiny houses sit, what connections they require, and other things like egress and ceiling height. So, before you follow the trend to build your own, make sure you know the rules in the location you want to live.

Living in tight quarters can stress relationships. If you're a person that needs time on your own, living by yourself in a tiny house might be perfect. But living with someone else means sharing space all the time. Even bathrooms aren't as private in a tiny home, and by nature, they're incredibly small. In inclement weather, those prone to cabin fever might find the confined space difficult. And when things go wrong (a broken composting toilet, roof leak, or broken appliance, the often feels magnified.

Before embarking on a permanent tiny space lifestyle, consider renting one or living in an RV for a while to see if it’s for you. If you know it’s what you want, then talk to your property specialist about where to buy with favorable zoning laws for your setup.

About the Author
Author

Erin Fernschild

I believe that when it comes to Real Estate sales and service, you can have it all and that is my professional goal. Erin Fernschild has lived in Stratford, CT since moving from New York City in 2005. First living in the direct waterfront community of Breakwater Key and then moving to Lordship in 2012. Her interests in Real Estate expanded while she was searching for a home that would meet her lifestyle and growing family needs. Commuting to Wall Street in NYC on the train gave her ample time to find the perfect location for all of her requirements, even though she was told by many “you can’t have it all”. Erin attended William Patterson University earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and International Marketing. Throughout her career, she has worked for several Investment Banking Firms in NYC including First Boston, Bear Stearns, and Deutsche Bank. In 2016, Erin obtained her real estate license and joined RealtyQuest. Erin’s passion for service and understanding of what it takes to complete any transaction with the least amount of difficulties stems from her role at Deutsche Bank where she co-­founded its Relationship Management team which is accountable for the Bank’s overall commercial relationships. Erin worked face-to-face on a daily basis with large hedge funds, asset managers, and high net worth individuals, listening to their needs, communicating effectively and often acting as a mediator to resolve issues. Her friendly style, tenacity, and technological ability provide her clients with a competitive edge in challenging markets. She is a natural people person who will work tirelessly on her client’s behalf. She truly enjoys assisting others to Buy, Sell and Invest in Real Estate and understands the amount of time, dedication, and thoughtfulness that goes into finding the right property, at the right price, that meets all of her client’s needs.