Andy Fleming writing on tiny homes…
You can beat your mortgage debt and save bundles of cash by downsizing your living space. Right now, there’s a big trend toward tiny homes and RV living. By getting yourself a mobile tiny home, you have the best of both worlds.
Sure, you’ll likely be sacrificing some space by moving into one but just think of the financial freedom in not having to pay a big mortgage or rent any more.
Tiny homes are a great move for anyone looking to increase their independence and self-sufficiency, while encouraging you to simplify your life and learn new skills.
Building a mobile tiny home is, without a doubt, the cheapest way to actually own a house. It’s not unusual to hear about comfortable and attractive tiny homes being built for less than $10,000.
Even the larger, more luxurious ones can be constructed for under $25,000 if you do the building yourself. Tiny homes are so small that it’s not hard to find recycled materials to aid in construction and decoration.
One of the biggest advantages to putting your tiny home on wheels is that it allows you to avoid paying property tax (for now). Keep an eye on legislation however, as organizations like the Housing and Urban Development Department are working to change this. If your home is mobile, you always have the option of moving to a state with better tax laws. Depending on how you earn your income, you could save a lot by moving house to a state with no income tax – like Alaska, Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Texas, Washington, or Wyoming.
You’re also not required to pay homeowners insurance on a mobile tiny home, although you have the option of doing so if you want the peace of mind.
Once you move into your tiny home, expect any electrical and water bills to drop through the floor. Even if you’re not collecting solar energy or harvesting rainwater, you still only need to heat, cool, and light one big room. If you live in a state with high energy costs like Connecticut or Massachusetts, your tiny home could end up paying for itself within a few years.
Most people building a tiny home do so with little or no experience in homebuilding. It’s essentially just one big room, which makes every aspect of building manageable.
You don’t need hundreds of hours’ experience wiring the electric or setting up plumbing because you’re only focusing on one small area. Anyone can gain the necessary knowledge needed to wire a few lights and hook up their sink and toilet by reading a book or watching a few YouTube videos. There are fewer problems to deal with and you won’t need an expert to devise creative solutions like you would with a full sized house.
This also makes future renovations quick, easy, and cheap. If you wake up one day and decide you don’t like the color of your house, you can fix it with two cans of paint and a free afternoon. You could even install an entirely new floor for under $1,000 because you only need 200 square feet, or so, of material. This makes a tiny home perfect for decoration enthusiasts and those who like to change their mind frequently.
It’s almost impossible to get into a traditional home without being roped into some sort of long-term contract forcing you to stay there. Maybe you’re saddled with a lengthy mortgage or just investing so much money that the idea of leaving is hard to wrap your head around.
This kind of thing is inherently offensive. Every human being wants to be free, and signing some sort of multi-year contract to get into a home inhibits that freedom.
When you build a mobile tiny home, you don’t have to worry about being pinned down. The cost isn’t so large that you can’t afford to pack up and go somewhere else after a few years. Plus, it’s on wheels. If annoying neighbors move in – or you get a good job opportunity in another state – all you have to do is hitch your home to a truck and hit the road!
It’s easier to get off-grid in a mobile tiny home, too. Again, this has to do with the size of the home and the relative low energy costs. You won’t need the kind of mass solar setup that a two story home would require, and off-grid heating systems like wood stoves or propane heaters won’t require much fuel to keep the house warm.
Small-space living helps you to simplify and innovate. We live in a world obsessed with commercialism and, as a result, everyone has much more than they need. You can’t bring all your “stuff” with you when you move into a small space, and you’ll have to find ways to do more with less.
Rather than being inconvenient, most people find this incredibly liberating once they get going. It’s easy to grow fake emotional attachments to possessions you never actually use or care about. There’s lots of tips for identifying what you actually need vs. what’s just taking up space. You can find a handful of downsizing resources to help you get started here.
Once you actually build and move into your tiny home, you’ll need to develop skills to help maintain it. Even those with no significant homesteading skills will find themselves growing window boxes and trapping groundhogs by the end of their first year. Becoming self-sufficient is an incredibly rewarding and gratifying experience that will increase your overall happiness far more than any material possession ever could.
Image: ©iStock.com/Marcus Lindstrom
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