Do those cute tiny houses really cut your expenses?

Published June 13th 2016

It probably was just a little over a year ago, when I first heard of the term “tiny house”. It just didn’t register as such.

Curiosity For Micro-Apartments

Due to my searches for clever use of space, I’d already clicked on a lot of video tours of city centre micro-apartments. With that, suggestions of tours of tiny houses also came my way. I clicked a few, but wasn’t really impressed.

Tiny Houses

Recently, I started watching a few episodes of “Tiny House, Big Living”, which changed my mind. Americans who are in the middle of downsizing by building their very own tiny house are followed in these series. It promotes tiny living as a way of escaping the rat race. Something that sparks my interest, any day.


The possibility of potentially living debt-free (rather sooner than later) or reducing the monthly expenses, so you can do more enjoyable things in life, is something that attracts a lot of people. However, many people looking into downsizing are in it for environmental reasons.

Costs of Downsizing

The houses that have been built in “Tiny House, Big Living” have not exceeded the $40,000 mark, to as far as I have seen, but most home owners have built the house themselves and no one speaks of the buying of land.

So, with this in mind, I went to an introduction of a tiny house project nearby where I live. Triggered by the slogan that it was cheap and would offer a different lifestyle, I – and 200 other people – couldn’t wait to find out what it really meant.

Only In The States

But, I don’t live in the States: The land of the free. So, what seems to be possible there, is certainly much different here. The project offered a plot of land, of which you were allowed to use 25% for your house. This would provide the space for a whole house the size of my current ground floor. However, my outside space would be much larger and give me the opportunity to be self-sufficient by growing veggies or housing some small life stock.

The Land

The plot of land was surprisingly cheap, starting at around $90,000, but it quickly became clear that you had to prep the land yourself to build on it as well as arrange all of your comforts (like water, electricity etc).

The House

Then, building the house would start at a similar amount of $90,000 for the simplest design. Altogether, that tiny house here came with the price tag of regular size house. My interest dropped very quickly. Others were more driven by the idea of being able to build something themselves and even have something to say about how you’ll arrange the basics in life. The 33 plots sold with the greatest of ease.

The Truth

So, is it like this in the States as well? No, this article paints a different picture and still shows tiny living is worth it, when you live there, but there are more costs involved than what’s shown on “Tiny House, Big Living”.

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