The idea of living a pared-down lifestyle may sound appealing. You might be dreaming of craftsmanship and quality over square footage. The thought of having the extra money in the bank at the end of each month may be driving your desire to cut down on your things and space. Living in a small area alone or with your partner or family comes with a unique set of challenges. You need to keep an open mind and remember that every home lifestyle has its pros and cons.
Whether you are feeling cramped in your tiny home or having second thoughts about a recent decision to downsize, we can help. You need to have a good understanding of what tiny life will be like so that you don’t start looking for negative reasons to not build the tiny home of your dreams. Here are a few things that could ruin your tiny house experience and strategies to combat the frustrations.
Small Spaces Get Cluttered Quickly
If you’re used to living in a standard-sized home, you probably have ample closet and storage space. Most tiny houses run around 400 to 500 square feet. This smaller living space typically means you will also have less storage space. Small spaces can become cluttered and messy quickly.
You need a plan to maximize the space in your home’s tiny kitchen and beyond. Use every inch of space wisely. A smart space hack is to have the builder put in retractable pantry drawers. These drawers allow things like the microwave or a stand-alone stovetop to be pulled out when needed and stored away when you are done. If your tiny house has a second story, use the space under the stairs for storage, a pet bed or litter box space, or for a pull-out bar or table. Create nooks and spaces for items that often clutter up a home, such as keys, books, magazines, and clothing.
Costs May be Hidden
Tiny living is small in square footage, but not always in price. Contractors may increase their rates, making that small home a lot more expensive than you thought. A budget of $20,000 or $30,000 goes fast when you are adding in craftsmanship and creative touches. You will also have costs like homeowner’s insurance and zoning fees that can be higher than with a standard home.
In addition, tiny homes on wheels come with added wear and tear. Moving your home means you need to maintain things like tires, registration and licensing fees, and added insurance. You may also notice that the exterior of your home needs a bit more maintenance when it’s on the road a lot. You’ll need to set up a household budget that takes these things into account. Set aside a specific amount of money each month for upkeep expenses. Having a small budget for these items makes the stress of tiny living a bit easier.
Bugs Can Be a Big Problem
Every home gets bugs. Insects love newly built homes just as much as you do. The fresh materials give them ample space and a good source of nutrition. Older homes come with their own set of problems. You may have cracks and crevices that make it easy for bugs to find a path into your house. You might see a variety of insects like ants, cockroaches, and spiders. The good news is that there are a few do-it-yourself fixes for pests when you see them in your tiny house.
Clean your kitchen often, and remove all food wastes quickly. Store trash cans outside and away from the side of your home. When you are done cooking, seal food in plastic containers and store them in the refrigerator. Make sure that you fix leaky drains or faucets to minimize moisture and dampness under the house as well. You should also seal any cracks or openings to decrease the risk of bugs coming into your home.
Financing is a Challenge
If you can’t pay for your tiny home in cash, you may run into a few obstacles. Conventional mortgages are not available for tiny houses. However, there are a few creative ways to find financing for your tiny home.
RVs loans are a viable option if your tiny home has wheels. To qualify for this loan, your home will need to be certified by the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association. This certification means that your home meets safety requirements for both living and travel. Unsecured personal loans are a good option if your home is stationary. Personal loans can be used for most home-related expenses. If you are building, think about taking out a line of credit to help pay for your home and any upgrades you might want to add in along the way.
Optimizing Tiny Spaces for Adventure
Choosing to cut back and live a new lifestyle is exciting and even exhilarating. But, you don’t want to be the person who’s hit with things no one told you about moving into a tiny home. Keep an open mind and try to identify sources of frustration before they pop up. Use this list of tiny home problems to plan ahead so that you can enjoy your new-found lifestyle and the freedoms that come with it.
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