By now we’ve all seen them. The infamous tiny house. They are made of regular house construction, they are fantastic, and they are tiny. A tiny house has everything as its big sibling regular house, except for the square footage and the price.
If you think that getting a tiny house is the way to save, then you should think about the cost. A tiny house is typically on wheels. This means that it is built on top a trailer. So let’s take a look at the cost. If you bought a tiny house that is built on an 8×20 trailer, you might pay $60, 000 from a tiny house manufacturer. That cost is $60,000 for a 160 square foot house, with a loft of about 80 square feet. Your total is about 240 square feet (and you need to climb a ladder to go to bed). This tiny house will cost you about $250 per square foot.
Let’s look at the cost of a typical house. If you are single, or a couple, you might be looking at a one or two bedroom house with about 1100 to 1300 square feet. At this square footage, a comparable house at $250 per square foot would cost you $275,000 to $325,000. If you live in New York City, or California, this might seem like a deal. But keep in mind, when you go to sell, your tiny house will probably bring $50 to $100 square feet, while your actual house should increase in value.
Your 240 square foot tiny house will probably weigh over 10,000+ pounds (probably closer to 12,000-15,000 pounds when your include your stuff). A tiny house of this size will required a substantial towing vehicle. If we look at the Ford series, you are looking at an F-250, or F-350. An F-150 would not be enough.
While I really would like to own, and live in a tiny house, I don’t think that it is feasible. I would be much better off living that life style in a travel trailer, or a motor home. Yes, I would be giving up that unique life style, but I would gain when it came to cost and to portability.
My daily driving vehicle has a tow package and can tow up to 6500 pounds. My options, unless I want to buy a new heavy duty truck, would be a travel trailer. Not only are travel trailers affordable, they travel well. A tiny house needs to be built to handle moving. Keep in mind, when a travel trailer or a tiny home moves, it’s like a rolling 10.0+ earthquake. The tiny house, or travel trailer, goes under a great amount of torture when it’s transported. Even a little amount of transportation damage can cost a fortune to repair. Are you ready to replace all of the tile in your tiny house shower after you move? How about a cracked exterior wall, or your kitchen cabinets falling to the floor?
Typical house construction is not designed to move (such as during an earthquake) on a regular basis.
Don’t get me wrong, I love tiny house’s. I wish I had one, with the property to put it on. But I don’t. I am looking at a travel trailer that offers all of the advantages of a tiny house, but none of the pitfalls. I can buy a travel trailer for cheap, and one that my vehicle can tow. The travel trailer will hold up well when transported, and the depreciation will not be as much as a tiny house.
As for you tiny house owners…..good for you, but I’m headed toward a travel trailer.