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Retiring in a Tiny Home: What to Consider

Tiny homes have become extremely popular, especially for those retirement living. Retirees are giving up their extra space to save money by retiring in what are considered to be tiny homes.

What is a tiny home?

The idea behind tiny homes is about living simply while still having everything you need. Tiny homes are popular due to the freedom that comes with them. In addition to financial and economic freedom, tiny homes have environmental benefits that are ideal if you want to age in place. 

The typical tiny home is roughly about 2.4 x 5 meters in size. They still have a living area, kitchen, bathroom, and usually a loft area with a bed. Some tiny homes are built on a foundation, while others are on a trailer so they can travel easily.

Do you think that a tiny home sounds like the right choice for you in retirement? It is important that you consider the following questions before making the commitment. 

Where will you put your tiny home?

Figuring out where you will put a tiny home could be a challenge with senior living. Since tiny homes are still relatively new, it is not uncommon for them to not be addressed in zoning ordinances or building codes yet. Depending on the type of tiny home you decide to go with, it may be considered a recreational vehicle (RV) or have a size requirement.

If a tiny home has wheels, it is considered an RV and a temporary residence. That means that after a certain amount of time, the owner may be required to move the tiny home. If you put your tiny house on a foundation, the building is required to be a certain square footage to be considered a permanent residence.

As the tiny home trend continues to grow, more communities are starting to do research and update how to treat tiny homes. It is important to do your research and find out the local laws for the location you are wanting to build your tiny house.

What are the expenses?

The average cost for a tiny home is under $25,000. If you hire someone to build the home for you, it can cost roughly double that. Not only is it considered relatively inexpensive to build, but it cuts back on living expenses too. While some retirees are able to outright buy a tiny home, others will need a loan. However, it is more challenging to get financing, and the rates are typically higher. 

When deciding whether you want to build your tiny house on a foundation or on a trailer, you will need to consider the costs that come with them. If you put your home on a foundation, you will need to rent or buy the land. If you build your home on a trailer, you will need a vehicle that can pull the trailer. That will also include gas and maintenance expenses for the vehicle. It is crucial that you find a trailer that is suitable to pull a tiny home. If your tiny home is on wheels, you will likely have to stay at RV parks, which can cost up to $75 a night or $400 a month.

Will you be living with anyone?

It can be easy to get caught up in how much money you can save by moving to a tiny house. It is important to consider things like sharing such a small space with someone else. By living in such a small space with someone, you will not have much privacy or space for solitude.

Some may not have any issues with this living arrangement, but it is important to consider it before committing. You may want to try living in a small space together before taking the plunge.

Can you get rid of your possessions?

Part of moving to a tiny home is embracing the minimalist lifestyle. For people who love their possessions, this can be the hardest part of making the move. Whether you are getting rid of items that you have had for decades or items that have sentimental value, it won’t be easy.

People who are living in tiny homes will say that getting rid of items gets easier with time. After you have been through the initial process and get used to only having things out of necessity, it becomes a habit.

Will you have room for hobbies?

People often associate retirement living with the time to take up new hobbies or to finally have the time for hobbies you dabbled in. For people who love to go antiquing or finding a good deal at a flea market, space will be an issue for you.

Most hobbies take up space whether it is a sport or something like scrapbooking. If you want to live in a tiny home, but can’t give up your hobbies, you will have to get creative with your storage space.

Can you age in to a tiny home?

Initially, tiny homes were popular among young adults. They were popular for people looking for affordable living, but also be able to devote more time and money to socializing and traveling. The traditional style for a tiny home includes a loft bed, which can turn into an issue for senior living. The loft bed idea is a great use of horizontal space, but climbing steps or a ladder every night to sleep in a small area can become a problem.

Since more older adults or retirees have been buying and building tiny homes, the designs have started to shift to suite senior living. It is now common for tiny homes to have a bedroom on the bottom floor. It is important to consider this when buying or having a tiny home built for your retirement plans.

The lifestyle that comes with living in a tiny home is not for everyone, so it is crucial to do your research before buying your own.

Hannah Verret
Hannah Verret is a Content Developer at Med-Alert Pros in Memphis, TN. Hannah has been working in content creation throughout her entire adult career. When Hannah isn't writing or organizing social media posts, she's spending her time reading and loving on her many pets.

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