You may be familiar with the concept of a tiny home from TV shows like Tiny House, Big Living or Tiny House Hunters on HGTV, but in case you’ve missed out on the trend we’ve gathered some details.

What is the tiny house movement?

It is typically described as a social movement where people are choosing to downsize homes and possessions to live a simpler, more efficient lifestyle. In 2015, the average size of new houses built in the US increased to over 2,600 square feet, which is 1,000 square feet more than the average size back in 1973. From this growth, the tiny house movement sparked, which encourages people to minimalize personal belongings to allow more financial freedom and ability to travel.

Why is it popular?

Don’t mind the use of a buzzword here, but: millennials. Having watched their parents struggle to pay mortgages and lose jobs during the Great Recession and having experienced increased tuition prices throughout college, millennials are choosing to have a pared-down lifestyle that removes the burden of loans and the requirement to remain stationary. It’s no secret that “traditional” life is unappealing to most millennials and the desire to travel has increased over the years.

That’s not to say that millennials are the only ones hopping on the tiny home trend. Reports have shown that approximately 2 out of 5 tiny home owners are over the age of 50. This might be due to the fact that 68% of tiny house people have no mortgage compared to 29.3% of all US homeowners.

What are the benefits?

As an energy company, we love the idea of energy-efficient consumers and tips to help you do so. In a tiny home, there are plenty of ways to reduce your carbon footprint and utility costs. Whether you use solar power or hook up to a power line, tiny homes require less energy because of the size. Also, depending on whether you’re tackling the project yourself or hiring a tiny home builder, using recycled, re-purposed, and salvaged materials is a huge possibility. This saves you money on materials and reduces your impact on the environment.

Fewer home expenses, freedom, and efficiency? Sounds like tiny homes have some great benefits, but before you contact a real estate agent, keep in mind there are some challenges to owning a tiny home. Depending on where you plan on placing your home, the codes and laws differ from state to state or even county to county. This, along with financing and insuring the house, are all things you need to consider and be willing to handle when turning to the tiny home lifestyle.