Before we get into the weeds about the price of our house, I want to make a brief point: in a perfect world, price always tracks quality. So when I talk about a $90,000 tiny house, I’m assuming that it’s actually worth $90,000… you’re buying $90,000 worth of quality. If you pay more than $90,000, then you’re getting more than $90,000.
Obviously we don’t live in a perfect world… browse your local wine shop and it’ll take about five seconds to find out that price doesn’t always track quality. There are luxury goods that don’t offer anything more than status.
But right now, we’re in the first golden age of tiny houses — a time when prices actually do a pretty good job of tracking quality. Why? Because right now, the majority of builders are also enthusiasts. They’re people who actually care about making the best tiny houses they can. This entire post is working with the premise that you get what you pay for when it comes to tiny houses.
What I want to talk about is why you should think about paying more for your tiny house.
I understand that a lot of people want to buy a tiny house to live debt-free, minimalist lifestyles. That’s great and more power to them. We’re not those people.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m eager to have our home paid off and I don’t want useless crap cluttering my life, but I do want objects that expand my opportunities. I want to wake up in a beautiful place surrounded by quality objects that inspire me to be the best version of myself. We didn’t move into a tiny house to minimize. We moved into a tiny house to maximize.
The dirty truth is that if we had a million chillin in the bank we wouldn’t live in a tiny house! Big shocker, right?! We live in a tiny house because we want the best house that we can afford. We’re a middle income family. We might want to live debt-free, but we can afford to pay more than $45,000 for our house.
In fact, if we were buying a traditional house, we would most assuredly pay more than $45,000! We’d pay more than $100,000. The median cost of houses for our area is $500,000-$700,000! So if we’re building a tiny house, why would we only spend $40,000-$80,000?
Of course, there are potential pitfalls of tiny homes. Uncertainty in the resale and rental market is a big one. There’s just not enough data and a substantial market right now to predict the depreciation of a tiny house, especially if you’re building a house on the cutting-edge of design.
But in my opinion, there are more opportunities than pitfalls for people who dive into tiny homes. Here are my top reasons for paying more for your tiny home:
#1 — Empower Your Builder and Have True Freedom to Customize
Designing a house is a complicated and difficult process. It’s also remarkable and magical to watch your dream home get put together piece by piece. Most people never get the opportunity to have a customized house… like, in their entire lives. But for tiny housers, a custom house is practically standard and there is nothing better than never compromising during this process.
You’re also going to be working with a small-business to build your home. If you’re buying a $40,000-$80,000 tiny house, then you’re just another customer. But give your builder the opportunity to build a better tiny house and you’ll get their full design attention. You’ll almost guarantee that your house will be the best that your builder can offer and they’ll be more likely to see it as an opportunity for them to develop a new tiny house model for their business. This will incentivize your builder to show a real interest in making you the best custom house possible.
Customizing a traditional home like this would cost millions. To put it in perspective, if you scaled our tiny house to 2500 sq.ft., it would cost a whopping $1,083,333… yea, not in my lifetime.
You’re going to have a tiny house. Love your tiny house. Build it the way you want and remember that you’re still going to come in way below a traditional home.
#2 — Hedge Against Depreciation
If you want to hedge against depreciation when you’re buying a car, then you buy a used car or you keep your new car for at least five years. Right now, the market for used tiny houses is tiny and uncertain. That means you’re almost certainly going to buy a brand new tiny house. Assuming your house depreciates at the rate of a new car (which would be terrible, but I always prefer to prepare for the worst), then you need to make sure you’re happy with your house for five years.
In my opinion, the best way to ensure that you’ll love your house for the long-haul is to invest from the beginning. Build a top-quality house that you can then grove into for the next five years.
#3 — Tiny Houses Are For Traditional People
No disrespect, but you do not have to be a homesteader or DIYer to benefit from living in a tiny house. You just have to be adventurous enough to accept that you can have more of what you want by removing things you don’t need… specifically, removing extra square footage.
I’m tired of people “going tiny” and “downsizing.” I want people to realize that tiny houses don’t have to be part of that scene. If you’re okay spending a bit more on your house, then you can have all the things you’d normally have in a traditional house at a fraction of the cost. Let me prove my point…here’s a list of features in our house:
- Non-lofted master bedroom w/ a door and hydraulic bed-storage
- Lofted guest bedroom with a privacy curtain (baby’s room, right now)
- Office space
- Walk-in shower with river stone floor
- Walk-in closet
- Living room complete with a full-size, stow-away dining set to seat up to 12 people inside
- Full-size kitchen w/ over 10’ of porcelain counter space
- Full-size refrigerator
- 36” Wolf LP range
(This list is abbreviated and doesn’t even touch on all the finishing, loads of extra design features, and outdoor space.)
I’m just trying to communicate that for a long time, tiny houses were for people who wanted less. We want tiny houses to be for people who want more. People who think that they can escape a truncated industry built on selling you space that you don’t need. We think people should live in tiny houses because they are unquestionably the best houses you can buy for your money.
What do you think? Did I leave anything out? What are you waiting for?