Tiny Homes are a housing trend making big news coast to coast, particularly around the Atlanta area and the mountains of Northeast Georgia. First there were hiker hostels and rustic cabins, most providing rudimentary, short-term shelter needs. Now, Tiny Homes are being built as full-time, year ‘round residences. It’s not unusual to see a newly built or renovated, Tiny Home popping up on a country road in the Georgia mountains.
People are getting rid of years of clutter, opting to downsize overhead and simplify their way of life, without sacrificing a quality lifestyle. Averaging 400 square feet, Tiny Homes are a growing phenomenon. They come in a variety of sizes as small as 64 square feet and a wide range of shapes and forms. Most Tiny Homes are built on a foundation but a small percentage are on wheels so that where the owners go, the Tiny Homes go. All of them have just enough space, just enough amenities, just enough cabinets, drawers and closets. I call it a “Three Bears” approach to home design---not too big, not too small…just right.
According to The Tiny Life website, the Tiny Home movement redefines what makes a house a home. Approximately 2 out of 5 Tiny Home owners are 50 years of age or older, with a per capita income of $42,038. And, it’s not just about affordability. Tiny Homes are being built by people who can afford much larger and more expensive dwellings, but prefer the flexibility and freedom offered by these small nests, to say nothing of the joy of living mortgage-free. Sixty-eight percent of Tiny Home dwellers have no mortgage compared to 29.3% of all US Homeowners.
Architects and custom home designers are being challenged to design thoughtful, innovative plans for Tiny Homes which provide maximum use of space and incorporate comfort with utility. While not for everyone, these micro dwellings are affordable, energy efficient, use less building materials, are environmentally friendly due to a smaller carbon footprint and they’re cute—combining function and style.
Tiny Homes are not just for country living, they’re also being built in more urban areas where land costs are becoming increasingly prohibitive. Despite the high cost of living in town, Atlanta law prohibits the construction of homes smaller than 750 square feet within the city limits. This hasn’t stopped the Tiny Home movement. According to a recent article on Atlanta.curbed.com, http://atlanta.curbed.com/archives/2015/02/24/advocate-atlantas-tiny-house-movement-is-growing-fast.php, it’s growing fast! Meetup groups of Georgia “tiny housers” come together once a month to share ideas and experiences. They offer advice and support to people considering a Tiny Home, help them with questions such as where and how to build and explaining the challenges of living small.
When Tiny Home owners decide to travel for business or pleasure, it takes them no time at all to pack up, shut things down and lock the door behind them. And, if Tiny Home owners want to stay in Tiny Hotels, there are plenty to choose from including Caravans and Conestoga Wagons, Teepee’s and Tree Houses. Small is now very big!