The tiny home wave is here to stay.
At this point, it's less a trend, more a counterbalance to the always-bigger-more! phenomenon that dominated the pre-global crisis housing market and continues to this day, stuffing ever-larger homes on ever-smaller lots. Tiny homes not only refute that, but also provide a housing solution for millennials, reputed to value experiences over possessions — and what is a bigger possession than an actual house?
In many regards, tiny homes are a positive force, presenting valuable questions about when enough is enough from a housing perspective; are we really so much happier with thousands of square feet versus hundreds? Signs point to no.
All that said:
At a certain point, tiny home living can get a little grim.
Take, for example, this shipping container, which seems to ask the question of why we ever thought living in a shipping container would be a good idea. It's got 320 square feet of living. It's insulated. It has two bedrooms, at opposite ends of its 40-foot space, with "optional extras includ[ing] an oven, dishwasher, wood burning stove, a solar panel setup, generator, and a game cleaning station," according to New Atlas.
It's $50,000. It can be run off the grid. All you need is a piece of land, and you've got a place to live. That's not nothing.
It's also the housing equivalent of a prison jumpsuit.
We see the utility. But at a certain point, when we reduce things to the bare minimum, we opt out of something special. Like a proper home. With a porch.
Experiences are valuable. And temperance — in our homes as well as other things — is a virtue.
But some possessions are worth the mortgage.