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Small houses offer the promise of a simpler life with less material possessions, less maintenance, and a lower mortgage. Despite the benefits there are some tradeoffs that warrant consideration. Before taking the plunge, it’s definitely worth thinking about the pros and cons of going small in the world of real estate.
Here are some big questions you should ask yourself when it comes to buying a tiny house.
How Often Do You Entertain Guests?
Having one or two friends over at a time is one thing, but hosting a large dinner party with 10+ guests might not exactly be comfortable – or even possible – if your living quarters are short on square footage. Unless you plan on entertaining guests in the backyard, having more than a handful of people over at once won’t be practical. If you like things small and quiet, great. Although if you’re the type to throw big bashes, you might want to consider going a little bigger in the housing department.
If You Have Pets, How Well Can You Coexist?
If you’ve got any pets, or plan on getting one in the near future, consider the fact that they’ll have to put up with minimal indoor space. A small house is fine for a cat who only makes use of a litter box, sofa, and kitchen. A larger, more active dog, on the other hand, might find it tougher to coexist and be happy in a small space.
Are You an Avid Collector of Things?
Living in a small house means keeping a lid on the amount of belongings you’re able to accumulate. If you have a large collection of items, you might have to scale down if you’re considering moving into a tiny home. In addition, if there are any sentimental items like passed down family furniture, the likelihood of all your belongings fitting decreases.
For instance, if there’s an oversized hutch that’s been in your family for generations that you simply cannot part with, will it fit neatly in your home? Or will it not even fit through the doorway?
Are You Prepared to Spend More Time Outside?
Living small usually means spending a lot more time outside. One of the things about small homes is that a lot more living tends to take place outdoors. If home is just a place for you to lay your head between work and life, a lot of space probably isn’t necessary. And if you’re a big outdoorsy kind of person, a tiny space may be all that you need. However, if you’re home-body and home is where most of your time is spent doing the things you love, you’ll probably need more space.
What Are Your Hobbies?
Certain hobbies obviously take up a lot more space than others. In a small house, that might be space you can’t afford. If you love drawing, paining, knitting or cooking, a small house shouldn’t pose a problem. On the other hand, if you have an affinity for pottery, woodworking or shooting videos, a tiny house might be an issue. Consider if a small house would make your hobby more difficult to participate in, and decide if you’re OK with that in favor of less space (and most likely a smaller mortgage).
How Good Are You at Sharing Your Space?
Will you be living alone or sharing the space with someone? If you live with others (or plan to in the future), consider how well you’ll be able to share your space. If you grew up in a big family with minimal room indoors, you probably won’t have any issues. Horrible memories from bad dorm experiences? Then take a moment to reconsider.
There’s a certain charm and freedom associated with tiny homes. And of course, there’s always the much cheaper price tag (depending on the location). There’s a lot to think about and weigh before making this decision. Regardless of whether the home you buy is big or small, this type of purchase is an important one. Do some soul searching, and as always, discuss your options with an experienced real estate agent before you make the next move.