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Tiny House Reality Check! Watch This Before Building or Buying One

>>MAT: Hey everyone, we know that a lot of you might be interested

in building or buying a tiny house one day.

So in this video we want to give you more than just a tour or a profile of someone living in their tiny house.

We're diving a little deeper and we're gonna give you 5 really important things to consider

before you build or buy a tiny house.

>>DANIELLE: These are not meant to encourage or discourage you from building a tiny house

but they are problems or barriers or

issues that we've seen other tiny house builders and dwellers deal with

so we want to put them on your radar so you have the

chance to figure them out in advance before you decide to start a tiny house project.

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In terms of finances, tiny houses can be a more affordable option

than a full size house.

But there's a lot more to think about than just the price tag of the actual house.

So some questions you might want to ask yourself will be: are you going to build your tiny house yourself?

or are you going to have a builder do it? and look at the prices of both options.

Are you going to have to buy a piece of land to park your tiny house? or will you be renting a space?

Another thing that we've noticed is that a lot of people who live in tiny houses have had to find a space outside

of a city center or a town center

which means they either need a car or some alternative

form of transportation to get to work

and just to get around and that can add up to be a pretty big expense.

Another thing to think about is that

tiny houses tend to lose value or maintain their value over time

rather than going up like a typical house would.

A couple of reasons for that might be that

people who are interested in tiny houses right now seem to want to build a custom house

so they may be less likely to buy someone else's home;

and another thing is that tiny houses are not necessarily attached to a piece of land and often housing prices

go up based on the location of where the house is.

So there's a lot of things to think about, a lot of research to do in terms of the finances

associated with a tiny house project.

If you're looking to try and save money,

you might want to create a budget and look at let's say

a five-year plan.

How much is your tiny house going to cost you to build and live in for five years

and compare that to what it would

cost in your current living situation and just see which one is actually less expensive.

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>>MAT: When it comes to location, we would definitely suggest

researching and

securing a place to put your tiny house

before you start building or before buying.

If tiny houses happen to be legal where you live or where you're thinking of moving to,

you'll definitely have a much easier time finding a place for it.

But in places where the rules are less clear,

you should probably plan to have multiple

location options just in case one of them doesn't work out.

When you're looking for a location,

you'll want to think about the cost. Often if people don't own the land,

they'll be renting

but we've also seen some people living in tiny houses on other people's land

and instead of paying rent,

they have some kind of work exchange where they maintain and work on the property, for example.

So that could be something to think about.

You'll also want to know if the potential location

has electricity,

water and sewage hookups available;

and knowing these things in advance might help you decide how to design the systems of your tiny house.

On a side note, it's also really important to try and be realistic about your needs,

your living situation,

how many people,

and/or pets are going to live in the same house,

and how much space you're going to need to store your stuff.

These are all important things to consider ahead of time.

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>>DANIELLE: For insurance, you'll want to find out if you can get house insurance

before you actually start your tiny house build in case there are any

requirements that the insurance company has before being willing to insure your tiny house.

So for example, they may only insure a house that's been built by a professional

or that has some kind of RV certification.

So it makes sense to call the insurance

companies in advance and find out

if they're willing to insure tiny houses

and what their criteria is before issuing you a policy

because you don't want to end up with a tiny house that's all built and you've invested a lot of money in it

and then no one will actually insure the value of it.

Another form of insurance that you might want to consider is transportation insurance

and so when your tiny house is being moved from one location to another

it may not be insured if you're towing it yourself.

One thing tiny house owners have told us is that if you hire a professional

transportation service to tow your home from one place to the other

whatever they're towing is actually covered under their insurance policy

so that's one trick that some people have found to be able to have their

tiny house insured while it's on the road in case

something happens, but definitely do your research because that might not be the case with every company.

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>>MAT: Climate can definitely have a huge impact on how you build a tiny house

and how enjoyable it is to live in one.

In warmer climates, tiny houses can overheat pretty easily.

So you're gonna want to think about how you're gonna keep it cool.

You might need an air conditioner,

good insulation,

strategically placed windows,

and if you're gonna be sleeping up in a loft,

they do tend to get really hot in the summer

since hot air rises

so you're gonna want to plan for that if you don't have air conditioning,

you'll want to have at least two windows up in the loft for cross ventilation

and also a good fan to keep some air flowing.

In a colder climate, you might be spending a lot more time indoors

so you'll really want to think are you the type of person who can be comfortable spending a lot of time

indoors in a small space.

In the winter, there are other things to think about like how you're gonna keep the house warm

even when you're away.

For example, if your only heat source is a fireplace,

when you're not there the house is not getting heated

and that might be something that you want to avoid.

So you might want to look into another heat source or a secondary heat source that's controlled by a thermostat.

You'll also want to think about how you're going to get fresh water

into the tiny house and gray water out of the tiny house without your pipes freezing.

You may also need to think about how to avoid

condensation and humidity build-up that could lead to mold issues

and how you could skirt your tiny house to reduce cold air

circulating under the house.

So again considering the climate might really affect how your house is built and designed.

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>>DANIELLE: When you live in an apartment or a house,

you don't often think about where things like

water and power come from

or where your waste goes after you flush it down the toilet

or down the drain.

But with a tiny house these inputs and outputs are things

you're gonna have to design and plan for and manage yourself when you're living in it.

If you're gonna park your tiny house in the country on a big piece of land you might be able to get away with

composting your waste out there

but in a town or a city you might not be able to do that

and so you might need to have a hookup

so that you can connect to a septic tank or a sewer system.

And the same goes with water. If your tiny house is parked in a remote piece of land,

you might not have access to a well or to a municipal water source

so you might have to collect rainwater or you might have to find some way of bringing water to your property and

storing it for use in your tiny house.

For power, depending on where you are

you might be able to just plug in or you may need solar power or a generator for example.

So thinking about the inputs and outputs that you need to plan for in your tiny house is really important

because that will determine the

types of systems you install in your tiny house.

>>MAT: So hopefully you found this video helpful.

We thought it was really important to talk about all these issues for anyone who's in the planning process.

>>DANIELLE: If you want to see tiny house tours or profiles of people living in their tiny houses,

we've got a couple of great playlists for you to check out

and we'll link to those in the description below.

Please subscribe if you want to see more alternative living videos.

We post a new one every single week.