A tiny home feels massive when you’ve designed the interior to match your specific preferences. It can ultimately feel like an extension of you. Owing to modern innovations, you can outfit every aspect of your home to specifically match the visions in your mind. Interestingly enough, going this route can sometimes be more affordable than traditional residential solutions.
Saving Money And Making Your Own Home
So consider, as an example, traditional rental. It’s not beyond expectation that you’ll be paying something like $750 for a single-room apartment every month–if you’re lucky. Average rent nationwide is $1,038 a month, but savvy renters can find cheaper options. At any rate, in a year’s time, that comes out to $9k. In ten years, you’re looking at $90k.
Meanwhile, you can actually build a tiny home on a budget for about $10k; call it $20k when you finish with land purchase, taxes, and inspection. For two years and three months’ worth of labor, even if you’re a young “millennial” working a basic job, you can actually own your own home.
Diving Into The Numbers
Say you’re pulling in $3k a month, or $36k a year. That’s precisely four times what you’re paying in rent if you’ve got a $750/month situation. Now say you save up $5k and talk to some friends so you can do the “van life” thing and park on their property during the interim. Meanwhile, you shower at the gym, and you hunt for land.
Finally you’re able to find a parcel around the size of an acre a little ways out of town for $5k. You buy it, break ground, and start building your tiny home one component at a time. Your foundation costs will be around $5k, provided you outsource and don’t do the job yourself; that’s on a home that is under 400 square feet.
Foundation costs can go up to $10k or more, depending on what you’re trying to do. You can also forego the foundation and simply build your tiny home on a trailer, making it mobile; but then you’ve just got a glorified fifth wheel.
Once you get land and foundation ironed out, the materials costs for the whole house will likely be under $10k, provided you do the work yourself. The only place even a novice will really need to outsource is as regards electrical needs and plumbing needs.
Free Software Assistance
You can use free software like Sweet Home 3D to get your design squared away, and minimize electrical as well as plumbing costs through the consolidation of fixtures and outlets. Another way to do this is simply to shop the sheds at Home Depot, find one you can afford, and have it shipped right to the land where you’ve built your foundation; then finish the interior.
Once you get wiring, lighting, and plumbing complete, you can start on the home’s interior design. Tongue-and-groove boards go together like Lego bricks with a nail gun–you can apply stain and polyurethane for extra points in terms of style.
Also for style, if you’ve got any large blank walls, you might look at modern options like wall murals; which can affordably cover a whole wall with just the sort of unique artistic visions core to the millennial generation. Owing to the technological component, it’s the equivalent of having a picture from your favorite painting actually applied to the wall itself, not merely hung there.
Getting The Most From Your Money
Let’s go over the basic steps:
- Live in your van or an old RV a year or two.
- Plan out the project using free online materials.
- Buy the land you’ll need.
- Build your tiny home piece by piece, finding contractors when necessary.
If you’re really savvy, you can get the whole thing done in a few months’ time at a cost no greater than $15k to 20k. Expect a max of five years and $50k–still affordable, and you’ve built equity you can turn into cash later on.
Most tiny homes of substance tend to get to about $50k in total cost; but these also tend to be built by career professionals, rather than millennials running a DIY game plan. With a cheap apartment, you lose $9k in equity a year (if you’re doing really good), and you can’t get it back. With the tiny home plan, do a good job, and you can sell it for more than you spent on it.
It’s easy to see why young people are going down this road! That said, it’s not strictly necessary to build a tiny home as a means of maximizing interior space. Between wall murals, digital projectors, lighting, and wireless IoT technology, practically any home can be made to look utterly unique. This generation will have perhaps the most unique interior designs of any.