Tiny homes are nothing new, but they’ve certainly seen a rise in popularity in recent years. The demographic has also started to shift. While tiny house living was once more popular with retirees and those looking to downsize, it now appeals to younger generations — including Gen Z.
Small home life is more than just a trend for this generation. Many Gen Zers are adopting a simpler, minimalistic lifestyle, and having a tiny home is a great way to make that happen. While many people want to stereotype Gen Z and assume they’re “spoiled” with technology, the rise in tiny home popularity suggests otherwise.
Let’s take a closer look at the appeal of tiny homes and minimal living for this generation, and why the pattern of Gen Z purchasing small homes doesn’t seem to be slowing down.
Millennials and Gen Z tend to deal with a lot of debt. Much of it comes from student loans, with Gen Z holding an average of just over $20,000 in student loan debt. After graduating college, that kind of debt can make it hard to buy a “traditional” home or afford a lot of mainstream luxuries.
Minimal living offers a perfect solution that can help young people save money. It’s a sound financial investment that offers more financial freedom without having to commit to a more expensive living space. Research has shown that Gen Z tends to be conservative with their spending habits. So, it isn’t just the home itself that can help them save money, but the entire scope of minimal living.
Tiny homes can be built just about anywhere nowadays. However, many of them are still in relatively remote or rural locations. These spots are ideal for exploration and adventuring — something Gen Z tends to crave. They want to get out and do things while taking advantage of unique experiences and meeting new people.
Not only do the locations of many tiny homes give them that opportunity, but the money they’ll save allows them more opportunities to travel. Many members of Gen Z are just trying to figure out what they want to do with their lives. When they’re able to afford a plane ticket or take a road trip with friends, it can be easier for them to find their calling.
The rise of sustainability efforts isn’t exclusive to Gen Z. However, they are quickly emerging as the “sustainability generation” since most of their lives have been filled with information about things like:
- Global warming
- Waste buildup
- Energy crises
- Polluted oceans
Tiny homes promote minimalism, which can help to reduce the amount of waste the average person produces. However, many of them go well beyond that in terms of sustainability. Some of the biggest environmental benefits of tiny home living include:
- Fewer maintenance issues and fewer needed materials
- Easier usage of energy alternatives, including solar panels
- Less energy to heat and cool
- Lower greenhouse gas emissions
A home can only go so far, of course. Sustainability requires some effort and a change in habits. However, tiny home living can make those habitual and lifestyle changes much easier.
Tiny home living might not be just a trend, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t trendy. Many millennials and Gen Zers have found ways to use their tiny home/van life/minimal living lifestyles to make money.
Because tiny houses are becoming so popular, people in younger generations are looking for inspiration. They want to know the best ways to find a tiny home or construct one themselves. They want to know how to cut back on waste and energy use. They even want to know how to decorate and design their space on a budget.
If you’re already living in a tiny home or you have a knack for those things, you can become a social influencer. Whether you want to create vlogs that showcase your daily life in your tiny house, or you want to focus on certain subjects like interior design, tiny house influencers are having a moment across social media, and you can be a part of it. Maybe you have a unique perspective if you’re just starting out on your tiny home journey. Or, maybe you’ve been at it for a while and have great composting or heating and cooling tips for other members of Gen Z trying to live more sustainably.
Whatever the case, don’t be afraid to have fun and let your personality shine if you decide to blog/vlog/or post on social media about your tiny home lifestyle.
As you can see, there are plenty of reasons why Gen Z is flocking to tiny houses across the country. If you’re a part of this generation and you’ve been on the fence about moving into a tiny house, consider some of these benefits to help you make your decision. Getting used to a minimal lifestyle takes time, but it’s also incredibly rewarding.