The Pros & Cons Of Living In A Tiny House

I recently came across three Youtube channels that talk about the new Tiny House Movement and mobile life: Kirsten Dirksen, Tiny House Listings, and Exploring Alternatives.

The essence of these videos boils down to three factors:

— Avoiding mortgage/debt

— Minimalism

— Traveling

After watching almost 100 of these videos, I suddenly feel an urge to live in a tiny house.

I fancy the cute small space, the potential ability to save on mortgage, interest, and insurance, and have the short cleaning time.

Is it feasible? Should Mr. FAF and I sell our current house and move to a tiny house?

In this post, I will talk specifically about tiny house on wheels (with no land). It could be a trailer, an RV, a camper or a van.

PROS

1. Mortgage/debt free

The average price of a typical 8×16 tiny house model is about $37,000, which is only 12.49% of the median housing price ($296,200) and 9.48% of the average housing price ($390,400) in the US in 2017.

If Mr. FAF and I sell our current house, we will be debt free and able to buy the tiny house with cash while investing the rest in our retirement and even a rental property.

2. Downsize to necessity

Mr. FAF and I don’t own a lot of stuff. But there’re definitely things we can get rid of to declutter our lives. If we move to a small space, we will be forced to think carefully about what we need and think twice about what we want to buy.

3. Travel 

One key reason why Mr. FAF and I don’t travel a lot is because we want to save money. Of course we can bring our instant noodles/rice cooker along, stay at Motel 6, or sleep in a tent to save money, but even the gas and random purchases add up.

If we live in a tiny house on wheels, we can travel more often and don’t have to worry about lodging or food.

Do we want to move into a tiny house?

CONS

1. Not really cost-effective/Not a good investment

Just because we have a tiny house on wheels doesn’t mean we’re free of house-related expenses. We’d still have to pay rent to park on a piece of land which could be $400-$600 a month on average.

It’s definitely lower than our mortgage, but it won’t help us build equity. Once our house of paid off, it will be ours. But if we live in a tiny house, we will need to keep paying rent for land forever.

Although we can park the tiny house for free, those places are not close to the city where we work, which increases the gas fee and our commute time.

2. Not practical for our family size

Mr. FAF and I plan to have at least one more kid in the future and have our parents stay with us so that we can take care of them. I know that many families of 4 or 6 live can fit into a tiny house, but our parents won’t be too happy about being cramped into a tiny space.

Lack of personal space can worsen the tension that we as a family already have sometimes.

3. Not practical for our jobs in the city

Mr. FAF and I commute to our jobs in the city every day. Living in a tiny house means living far away from the city and a longer daily commute.

I know a lot of people work online when they live in a tiny house, but we like our jobs and don’t really like working from home.

4. We’re not too crazy about traveling. 

We like traveling, but the idea of selling our current house and jumping into a tiny house to travel the world seems a bit excessive and unnecessary to us at the moment.

Mr. FAF and I believe in delayed gratification. We want to work hard now to build a solid foundation for our future and our children’s well-being.

Quitting our current jobs, which we have worked really hard for for years, just to be on the road and enjoy beautiful scenery is simply not what we want.

Once we have enough savings and investment to put our minds at ease, we will enjoy traveling even more.

Our plan

Despite all the cons mentioned above, I’d still like to try the tiny house life even for a day. I really want to know if we will be less happy living in such a tiny space.

Mr. FAF and I have talked about renting an RV to travel for at least two days. If we don’t like it, it’s only a short period of time, and we will return to our home at the end of the trip. If we like it, we might want to do it for a month when we’re financially free.

Related:

Rental Property After Our House Is Paid Off

7 Lessons From Our 1st Realtor Experience

How To Navigate the DC Metro Housing Market

How We Bought Our First Home

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2 thoughts on “The Pros & Cons Of Living In A Tiny House”

  • The Mrs. and I have toyed with the idea of taking the kids out of school for one year and traveling the continental US, Canada, and Alaska. We’re all on board but have never done this before, so I’ve decided to rent a trailer one of these days and see what it’s actually like. We may find that it’s very uncomfortable but we’ll never know until we try. Another thing I’ve been thinking about lately is security while on the road. Most people are ok but we do have a few lunatics running around. Finally, I’m not sure how welcoming some areas of the states are to Asian RV’ers so I’m going to have to do a lot of homework.

    Maybe a future post idea for the both of us?

    • Sounds good to me 😉 I didn’t know you and your wife were also thinking about traveling around the continent. I think it’d be fun (but of course a bit difficult with school-age kids)!

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