Are People Actually Happy in Tiny Houses?
A recent survey suggests that the answer is no.
Between their efficient organization and streamlined design, tiny houses have totally taken over on TV and social media in the past few years. The idea of scaling back on belongings (as well as mortgage payments) is certainly appealing. But how many people could—or would—be able to actually live in 400 square feet? Not many, according to a recent report by Trulia.
Forty-four percent of more than 2,000 adults recently surveyed by the real estate website Trulia said they had housing regrets—and the biggest regret among homeowners centered on the size of their home. One in three homeowners surveyed said they wished they had chosen a home that was larger. Only 9 percent of owners surveyed wished they had downsized.
Gene Tempest wrote a personal essay for The New York Times about the struggles living in a 492-square-foot tiny home that she shares with her husband. She says they chose the lifestyle out of financial necessity more than as a way of life.
“Deep inside the expensive custom closets and under the New Age Murphy beds, the pro-petite propaganda has hidden some unseemly truths about how the other half lives,” Tempest writes in the essay. “No one writes about the little white lies that help sell this new, very small American dream.”
She says the items in her tiny home seem more imposing than they would otherwise in a larger space. The inside of the home also gets more wear and tear because of the smaller square footage. She also explains how the building of a tiny home can be challenging in complying with business codes and securing a loan for it.
Meanwhile, the biggest regret among renters (at 41 percent) was renting instead of buying in the first place—yet only a third of renters feels more positive about the possibility of owning a home than they did five years ago.
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