Tiny houses, also known as micro or mini houses, represent a new living trend from the USA and have been enjoying increasing popularity since the financial crisis of 2007. Typically, the living space is less than 40 square metres - often considerably less. Not only the usable area is of modest dimensions, but also the minimalist and functional interior design. In addition, many tiny houses have a chassis and are mobile, making them suitable for a flexible and location-independent lifestyle.
The most fundamental difference to classic real estate such as houses and flats is, apart from the living atmosphere, the lower cost of the mini houses. Their acquisition costs are on average far below those of single-family houses or flats. While there are also luxury micro-houses, whose purchase price is higher as a result of a concept based on individual requirements and noble designer interiors, the prices of prefabricated tiny houses are generally much lower than conventional real estate. Thus the tiny houses also offer an opportunity for buyers with little capital to acquire residential property despite rising property prices. The running costs, for example for energy, are also lower due to the small living space. Insufficiently insulated mini houses prove to be problematic with regard to high heating costs.
In order to call a tiny house a fully-fledged home, there must be at least one sleeping area, a kitchen and a bathroom. Between them is the remaining living space, which is equipped with the most basic furnishings such as seating and a desk. Mobile micro houses have a chassis that transforms them into transportable property and eliminates the need for own land. Tiny homes can be prefabricated or individually designed. There are mini houses with two levels as well as those with solar cells, which enable partial energy self-sufficiency and cost savings.
Tiny homes embody a minimalist lifestyle that abandons materialistic values. At the same time, the trend can be interpreted as a reaction to rising property prices in conurbations. It is also attractive for people with a particularly mobile lifestyle, such as digital nomads. They can sell their property and move wherever they want with their tiny house and change their location whenever they want. The mini houses are also practical for people who move frequently for work reasons. And finally, you can even take them on holiday with you.
Tiny homes are suitable for singles, and couples at best. For families, living in a micro house poses enormous challenges. The lack of storage space makes it necessary to limit the household contents to a bare minimum. Barrier-free access is also almost impossible to achieve in the tiny house. Finally, mini houses are a far worse capital investment than classic houses or flats. Selling your property and investing in a micro house does not make sense for everyone. The decline in value progresses more rapidly, while maintaining value is more difficult than with normal buildings. However, for those with a suitable lifestyle, tiny houses can be an attractive option.