How can a tiny home help you become more self sufficient? What do you call being self sufficient? A tiny home can help you become self sufficient by reducing your mortgage or even completely eliminating it. A tiny home can allow you to be self sufficient by designing it in a way that will allow you to work from home, wherever you choose to park it. Living in a tiny home can allow you to be self sufficient by allowing you to eliminate your reliance on some or all of your local utilities. A tiny home, in the extreme, can help you to be self sufficient by allowing you to live totally off the grid with no reliance upon anyone else for power, water, or sewer. Inhabitat has a great article on how to go completely off grid.
How far you want to take self sufficiency is up to you. You might want to live in a tiny home community where you can associate with other like minded individuals. Your goal might be the freedom to travel while still having the comforts of home with you. You may want to live on an isolated piece of property away from all the rat race of city living. The great thing about a tiny home is, whatever your desires, it gives you the freedom to achieve your dreams.
Some people look at the fact that if they purchase a turnkey tiny home for $60,000+ that it is very expensive. In reality, many people spend that on a high end travel trailer. A tiny home is more comfortable, more durable, and more flexible that a standard travel trailer. A tiny home is also designed to be lived in daily, unlike a travel trailer that is really only designed for temporary occupancy.
One option to making your tiny home even more affordable is to build the home yourself, which can significantly reduce what it will cost to build it. Although, obtaining financing for a tiny home you are building yourself is much harder than if it is professionally built.
The Costs of Home Ownership
A typical home in America according to Home Advisor is $294,179. That is for about a 2,000ft² home. Granted a tiny home is significantly smaller, but so is the mortgage. The average mortgage in America is 30 years, some are even extending them to 40 years. A typical tiny home can be paid off in as little as 3-5 years. This frees up a lot of cash for travel or other expenditures once the home is paid for. Allowing you to be self sufficient financially much quicker than if you were to rent or purchase a home.
“Living in this tiny house lets me travel the world, gives me time to write a book and leave my full-time corporate job, it’s not about living in a tiny house, but more about the lifestyle you want to have.” Ryan Mitchell (TheTinyLife.com)
Creating Financial Self Sufficiency
For a very basic example, and to see what a tiny home actually costs compared to a traditional home, let’s look at some numbers. If you buy a home for $295,000, and pay it off over 30 years at a rate of 4.5%, the home actually costs you a total of $538,000. A staggering $243,100 in interest. Almost double your initial investment.
Whereas a tiny home loan for $65,000, financed over a period of 7 years (84 months), at a rate of 7% interest only costs you a total of $82,406. That is only $17,406 in interest, about 25% more than you invested.
How Much Can You Save?
These numbers are very simplified for the sake of proving how much you can save with a tiny home. The interest rates were obtained from LightStream who specialize in tiny home financing. The calculations were made using the mortgage calculator on Dinkytown.net.
Over the period of 30 years, you would save yourself an amazing $455,594. Talk about financial freedom. That is if you do nothing with the money other than put it in the bank and make 0 interest on it. If you were to invest that money in a modest mutual fund account it could equate to substantially more.
Think of what you could do with an extra half million dollars. That would definitely create some self sufficient options.
It may seem like somewhat of a sacrifice to live tiny but, there are huge benefits available too!
Since you have the option of building a Tiny House On Wheels (THOW), another benefit and way that they are create self sufficiency is by being mobile. You can work from home and move home to work. If you are in an industry that requires frequent relocation to new areas or territories a tiny home may be just the ticket.
Today’s work force no longer stays with the same job for 30-40 years. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics report the average tenure of an employee is 4.2 years in January of 2016, down from 4.6 years in January 2014. That means that most people will switch jobs every 4-5 years. If you try to purchase and sell a home in that short of a period of time the chances are you will lose money when selling. By having a home you can move with you, you avoid the possibility of buying high and selling low.
In the area of utilities, depending on how you want to set up your home, you could save $100s of dollars as well. According to a study done by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), the average electric bill alone across the U.S. was $114.03. By going solar on your tiny home you could save that much money every month.
When it comes to water, the average water bill is $45 a month according to Reference.com. Since a tiny home will use significantly less water than that, especially if using a composting toilet. You could save most of that amount each month as well.
If you go to the extreme and make your home entirely off the grid you could easily save $175 or more dollars a month on utilities.
All of these items add up to a significant amount of financial savings. This in turn leads to self sufficiency and more freedom. This also leads to a lesser impact on the environment and better more sustainable future for everyone.
Look at your needs and situation. Could you benefit from going tiny? How would your life be improved by being more self sufficient? For those willing to make the move to a tiny home, the financial and emotional benefits can be huge!
Dream Big, Live Tiny!