With the increasing home prices across Canada, consumers have been getting creative with ways to cut costs and live more affordably. One of the ways Canadians have been looking to achieve this is by purchasing or even building their own “Tiny Home”.
Over the 10 years since the start of the last recession, the tiny home market has seen a boost in popularity. There are now many television shows that popularize the trend such as “Tiny House, Big Living”, “Tiny House Builders”, and “Tiny House Hunters”. Even though these shows are increasing awareness about how to live with less, consume less power and be more environmentally friendly – could these homes actually be effective for most people?
To be technically classified as a tiny home, the structure must be 500 sq ft or less. That can be hard for most to adjust to. The benefits most people enjoy about a tiny home is a reduced environmental footprint, cheaper bills, mortgage free status, less time spent cleaning the house and the cozy off-grid feeling. Although tiny homes sound ideal for some people, they do represent a challenge for storage space, having guests over or general alone time if you live with someone.
The greatest downfall to having a tiny home, however, can be the matter of placement. Currently there are many municipalities without updated building codes to allow tiny homes, as well as cities, provinces and states each having their own regulations on the homes. Cities are having difficulty with zoning and some are requiring the tiny home be placed on a foundation and connected to utilities. Yet, tiny homes are often placed on wheels for ease, as most tiny home owners do not own land where they can secure the tiny home to a foundation.
To top off the hardships of tiny homes, they are also typically not mortgageable due to the square footage, lower cost and inability to have security for a lender. The closest options for financing available would be RV financing.
It’s true that joining the craze of tiny homes will save you money and will reduce your environmental impact, but first be sure you take a detailed look at your finances, the logistics of placement and your municipality’s regulations. Doing your due diligence first could mean enjoying the comforts of the tiny home lifestyle without trouble.