Not long after our kids move out, most of us start to wonder whether we still need all the stuff around the house. Then, as we approach retirement, we start to wonder, do we even need the house? Why not move into a smaller place and give our retirement savings a boost with the money that we save?
So, with our savings and sanity in mind, we start the long, often painful process of downsizing.
Well, today, I want to tell you about a community of people who are taking the concept of downsizing to an extreme. These brave adventurers – many of them older adults – are building a community of tiny homes, some as small as only a few hundred square feet?
If you live in Texas, as I once did, a tiny home may seem like any house that has less than 4 bedrooms! But, all joking aside, the tiny house movement encourages people to live in homes that are truly diminutive.
Tiny homes are typically between 400 – 1000 square feet. However, I have seen examples of tiny homes that are as small as 100 square feet! Yes, that’s right… there are people out there who live in homes that are smaller than many people’s living rooms.
There are many reasons that people abandon their large estates (relatively speaking) in favor of tiny homes.
Some people want to save money for retirement, either by reducing their rent or by keeping the difference between the sale price of their old home and the purchase price of their new one.
Others want to simplify their lives and reduce stress by living in a smaller property. With their kids out of the house, these older adults simply don’t need all those rooms! Why clean a 4 bedroom house when you can look after a 2-bedroom one instead?
Finally, many people see the tiny home movement as an opportunity to reduce their environmental footprint, while living around like-minded people.
So, perhaps it’s no surprise that the first tiny home village construction project was just approved in the Lake Dallas suburb of Dallas, just 30 miles north of downtown.
The community will be designed from the bottom-up to be tiny home friendly. For example, each lot will be designed to support a transportable home. In addition, the property will have storage units, a garden and laundry facilities. The developers say that they may even build a tiny library to go with the tiny homes in the neighborhood.
If the idea of owning your own tiny home is appealing to you, I have good news. There are plenty of resources – some free and some paid – to help you get started.
First and foremost, I would encourage you to check out the book “Tiny House Design & Construction Guide.” It was one of the first guides of its kind and many people consider it to be the definitive resource on tiny home construction.
Second, you may want to take a look at the following tiny home guide on The Tiny Life. It contains some interesting statistics, in addition to interviews with people who are already living in tiny homes.
Finally, you can read our own Sixty and Me summary of why the tiny home movement has become so popular with older adults.
Could you see yourself living in a “tiny home” (400 – 900 square feet)? Would you ever consider living in a village of tiny homes, like the one that was just approved for construction in Lake Dallas? Why or why not? Let’s have a chat!