You may have seen more people downsizing and moving into smaller houses. The concept of the tiny house and living in a smaller space has taken off in the last few years. With the costs of real estate skyrocketing and higher mortgage rates, the idea of moving into a tiny home doesn’t seem so far-fetched any longer.
We spoke with Brice Sherratt, who moved into a tiny home with his wife and four children. We will look at how much you can save by moving into a tiny home and everything else you could want to know about the idea.
How Did They End Up In a Tiny Home?
“We wanted to leave the city and move to a smaller area with more open space,” Sherratt reflected on leaving his traditional home for a smaller space. “The place we had originally been planning on moving to didn’t work out, and we had no idea where to go instead.” The Sherratt family ended up struggling to find the land that they wanted, so they purchased an RV that they would treat as their tiny home. They knew they wanted to get out of the real estate market, and this was their best option.
How did they choose an RV over a free-standing tiny home?
“The RV is the original tiny house,” said Sherratt when asked about his choice to live in an RV. “I remember when I was a kid in the 80s, my grandparents lived in an RV at their mountain property over the summers, and when my grandfather’s health deteriorated, they were snowbirds–taking the RV to warmer climates in the winter and returning to their mountain home in the summer.”
Living in a tiny home is a personal choice, and every unit will be different. You can build your own tiny space, purchase one already set up, or find another creative option.
Some people have moved into ADUs (Accessory Dwelling Units) or “Granny Flats,” as they’re called in some places. These small and detached homes are a viable option for those looking to downsize, as these tiny homes are built on someone’s property. The best part about tiny home living is that it can be anything you want it to be based on your own personal preferences.
What Are The Best Parts of Living In a Tiny Home?
“What I like about it is that it forces you to simplify your life and be really clear about your needs compared to your wants,” Sherratt commented on the best part of moving into a tiny space. “There isn’t any extra room to fill up with useless junk, and we buy fewer toys and clothes for the kids because there just isn’t room for it. I have found that, for the most part, we don’t really miss it.”
The Sherratt family has found that they don’t need as many things as they thought they did. You could save a ton of money by decreasing your consumption and spending by moving into a tiny home since you no longer have the space for all this stuff. You realize that you’ve been spending money on things that don’t bring you much value.
“The long-term goal has always been to get some land and build a home. What living in the RV has taught us is that home doesn’t need to be as large as we thought it did. Living in the tiny home helps you appreciate just how bad lifestyle creep has become.”
The harsh reality for many is that they’re overspending on things that they don’t really need or care for. Sometimes, it takes an extreme measure, like moving into a tiny home, to realize that you don’t need to spend all this money on random items.
Are There Any Setbacks to Tiny Home Living?
“All my dislikes center around living in a small space with the kids,” Sherratt referred to the reality of living in a tiny space with the four children. “While we get along a lot better than I expected we would, and for the most part, the kids can play outside or find small spaces in the RV to go be by themselves, it is impossible to stay ahead of the mess.”
The most important thing to consider before moving into a smaller space is figuring out how everyone will fit in this new space. From all accounts, it appears that there’s an adjustment period when you move from a traditional home into a tiny space. This is something that you should be ready for if you’re making the leap in the near future. If the change is drastic, then the adjustment period may be more frustrating as everyone gets used to living in a tiny home.
How Much Can You Save With Tiny Home Living?
“We sold our house during the real estate boom in 2021, bought the RV, and decided to travel and see if we could find a place that felt like home.” The Sherratt family earned most of the financial benefits by cashing out on their real estate investment in their primary home. They took those funds to change their lifestyles drastically. Many proponents of tiny home living have done something similar. They liquidate their primary residence and then use those funds for their new lifestyle.
”The short answer is we are saving about $1,000 per month because of the parking situation,” according to Sherratt. “If we were parking it at an RV park, we would save a lot less.” The majority of the monthly savings come from eliminating a mortgage and all of the other expenses that come with a home.
What’s the potential for saving money?
“As far as saving money, it depends on how you do it,” Sherratt dove into the financial details. “When we first started, we were traveling the country and weren’t saving money then. You traded one expense for another. We would pay to stay at an RV park once or twice weekly. We had to pay to use a laundromat, and our gas and food expenses went way up while rent and utilities went down. But now we have been parked in the same place for six months and are saving money.” The family has been saving money ever since they decided to park their tiny mobile home in a lot.
“Like with everything, how much you save depends on a lot of variables. You have to look at what your expenses were before and how much you’re willing to make a change in your lifestyle when moving to a tiny home.”
The most important financial consideration of moving to a tiny home.
“If you have a $3,000 monthly mortgage payment and could sell your home to buy a nice trailer and a truck to pull it with, and you didn’t move very far or very often, you could save a lot of money. But if you’re renting a two-bedroom apartment and you traded that for an $800 RV payment and an $800 truck payment, you would be losing money.” The amount of money that you can save by moving into a tiny home will depend on the lifestyle changes that come with it.
Would They Do It Again?
“Would I do it again,” reflected Sherratt. “Absolutely.” The family has no second thoughts about the decision to downsize. “I remember watching YouTube videos of people living full-time in an RV back in 2019-2020 and thinking there was no way we could do that.” Sherratt didn’t see himself living in a tiny space with his children, but they somehow made this a reality. If you’ve been thinking about downsizing, this could be a sign that it’s time to move. The good news is that you have multiple options, from building your little cabin on a piece of land, purchasing a home on wheels, or finding another unique option.
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