Last year, Olin and I visited this tiny home community in Sewanee, TN.
While staying there, we experienced the simple charm that is tiny home living.
Granted, tiny home living is not an unfamiliar concept to us.
Last fall, Olin and I outfitted a cargo trailer into a tiny home/camper! We didn’t want to spend a ton of money on an RV, so we decided to go the DIY route and create our own. We saved lots of money, and have used it to roadtrip comfortably all over the southeast! You can see more about that project here.
Our Dirt Rich students have made the move to tiny home living, too. A former Sustainable Farm Conference attendee, Robyn, is following her own sustainable living dreams with her husband by building their own tiny home on 15 acres of land. It’s incredible!
You can follow along with their journey on Robyn’s blog.
So why a tiny home?
What makes these “trendy” new homes worth considering, whether it’s for full-time living or get-away vacation homes?
Tiny homes are affordable.
If you are local to the Nashville area, you are familiar with the rising—sometimes outrageous—prices of property these days!
It’s not just Nashville, though. Other growing cities in the U.S. are experiencing these same spikes in housing prices… a home that would’ve cost $200,000 a few years ago is now being sold for triple that.
As traditional homes are becoming less affordable, tiny houses are popping up as an option for affordable housing.
In Tennessee, Incredible Tiny Homes offers homes starting at $15,000! There’s a price tag that offers the chance of home ownership to almost any income level.
Tiny homes are stylish.
No, you don’t have to use an outhouse to live in a tiny home.
Don’t be mistaken… tiny homes are stylish, too!
Less space doesn’t mean less amenities. In fact, the tiny homes we’ve seen are beautiful, comfortable, and outfitted with modern appliances.
Need convincing? Take a look at the gorgeous interiors of these tiny homes from the community we visited in Sewanee!
Tiny homes are earth-friendly.
A bigger house requires more materials to make.
But we humans don’t really need as much space as our homes would make it seem, do we? Let’s face it… How many rooms do we have in our homes that we really only use a few times a year?
And then there’s the life expectancy of a house—between 50 – 200 years, depending on the quality of construction, how it’s maintained over the years, and whether or not new property owners actually keep the house… or bulldoze it over for a new build.
So the bigger the homes, the more materials required to build it… only for it to not last more than a century or two, if we’re lucky.
But tiny homes are an earth-friendly option to housing. Not only do they require less resources to build, but they are often built using sustainable materials.
Take this tiny home community coming soon to Williamson County as an example of sustainable construction.
The tiny homes are being built using recycled materials. As explained by Alison Poland of Smarter Living Homes in this article:
“We chose steel because, if you think about a traditional [2000s-style], wood-framed house, that is taking 20 trees,” Poland said. “Then you think about how we’re building our homes — we’re building them more efficient, we’re building them to meet code at a higher level, safety at a higher level, and we’re not using trees. We’re using five recycled cars.”
That’s an idea we can get behind!
Tiny homes offer a solution to veteran homelessness.
Affordable, stylish, and earth-friendly—all these make tiny homes a resourceful and welcome solution to veteran homelessness.
More than 37,000 veterans experienced homelessness last year. No one—and especially not our veterans—should have to wonder where they’re going to sleep at night.
An organization in Kansas City, Veterans Community Project, is stepping up to put an end to this staggering statistic by offering tiny homes to homeless veterans.
Check out this video interview to learn more about this nonprofit’s amazing initiative.
So you want to own a tiny home… now what?
Check out these great resources below to get started with your own tiny home adventure!
- Tiny Home Builders (featuring workshops, plans, houses, and more—a great first stop in your research!)
- How to Build A Tiny House: The Complete Tiny House Building Checklist
- 5 Tiny Homes That Are Amazingly Affordable
- Building On A Budget: The Incredible $8,000 Tiny House
And then tell us about it… you can email us your tiny home story at firstname.lastname@example.org.