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Is the Tiny House Trend Over?

By: Sarah Beaumont

October 13, 2017

Image via Abaton

Haven’t you heard? Upsizing is the new downsizing. At least that’s the verdict according to a recent survey conducted by Trulia. Out of all the regrets homeowners across America have, buying a house that’s lacking in space ranks the highest. This may seem surprising since, over the last few years, people all over the world have chosen to “embrace minimalism” by giving up most of their material possessions in order to move into a tiny house.

It’s a phenomenon that’s inspired a myriad of HGTV shows. It’s a trend that’s convinced many to Marie Kondo their lives by throwing out all the things weighing them down. All of this sounds like a good idea in theory, but the truth is, tiny houses just won’t work for many people. (Unless you enjoy resting your feet against the kitchen stove while sitting on your living room couch.)

So does this mean tiny house nation might be seeing its demise? As it turns out, real homeowners don’t want to live within 400 square feet of space or less. In fact, they’re not even happy with an average size home. Despite all of HGTV’s tiny house-centric shows, the Scripps Network has also done its research. They’ve found that “younger consumers (adults between 25 and 39 years old) are beginning to prioritize space.” Millennials are at the forefront of this trend, with fifty-six percent saying that having a large home is important to them, while only 42 percent of Gen Xers and 35 percent of baby boomers say the same.

If you’ve ever watched an episode of Tiny House Hunters, you might find a couple’s search for the perfect 100 square foot shack inspiring. But we can’t help but wonder what happens to those relationships once the space is theirs and the cameras disappear… For one person who doesn’t have a lot of stuff, a well-planned tiny house with optimal storage solutions just might work. But for anyone else, good luck. It’s hard enough to have overnight visitors or even dinner guests when you live in a one bedroom apartment.

So what do people want now from their homes? Large, open spaces with extra room to grow into. Open concept floorplans allow for a more casual way of living, one that encourages entertaining and spending quality time with family. And as more people are beginning to work from home or pursue side passions, space is necessary (usually more than the average starter home has to offer). In fact, lots of people are beginning to skip starter homes altogether, waiting until they can afford a larger space to transform into their personal sanctuary.

So is the tiny house gone for good? Probably not. After all, people have done some pretty big things with their tiny homes. But we don’t expect to see a continuing trend towards sacrificing space quite as much in the future.

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