10 Surprising Reasons Why Critics Don’t Like Tiny Houses

10 Surprising Reasons Why Critics Don’t Like Tiny Houses

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Many happy individuals and families have praised the tiny house movement. Still, there are many reasons why critics don’t like tiny houses.

In the U.S., tiny houses have been all the rage in recent years. People from all walks of life seem to be interested in the idea of downsizing. 

For them, their needs can fit in an area that measures less than 400 square feet. 

However, does the tiny house living really work for everyone? 

As your reliable source of tiny house information, we don’t just talk about the rainbows and unicorns of owning and living in a tiny house. We will also shed light on critics’ statements about tiny houses. 

In this article, we listed some surprising reasons why critics don’t like tiny houses. 

Why critics don’t like tiny houses

They are not always right, but critics don’t base their opinions on pointless things. Again, we are a tiny house blog—but that doesn’t mean we advocate for the movement blindly. 

The Tiny House movement has its advantages, yes—but our normal and our good is not the same for other people.   

1. The semi-false promises of cheap cost of living. 

why critics don't like tiny houses - tiny house with no roof
Does living in a tiny house like this really reduce your monthly living expenses?

When people think of tiny houses, a lower cost of living instantly comes to their mind. The thought of living with no debt, no mortgage, and cheap insurance is too sexy to pass by.  

We don’t disagree, though—living in a tiny house does allow you to pay way smaller utility bills, compared to living in a bigger house. However, what about the other expenses that will add to the monthly cost of living?  

The truth is that the cost of living in a tiny house can potentially balloon bigger because of the hidden costs. 

You may have already paid off the construction or the prefab model, but you will still spend on the following as you reside in your small abode: 

  • Home improvements and upgrades
  • Insurance plans 
  • Zoning applications and permits
  • Traveling expenses
  • Parking spots 
  • Service fees and maintenance for your SUV/truck, which tows your tiny house.
  • And many more factors, which we will expand later.

This is why tiny houses don’t get the approval of most critics. The movement itself has a semi-false promise of a cheaper cost of living when in reality, some people might have to spend a little more than a small amount. 

2. Not the most ideal space for pregnancy.

This might not sound too surprising—pregnancy, after all, is a scary and overwhelming journey. So, living in a tiny house (with wheels, lord!) might sound like stepping on your own toe with thorny soles. 

Yes, you can make many preparations and adjustments to make your SO or wife comfortable, but what if it comes as a surprise? Making those changes in your tiny home will be even harder. 

Case in point: this couple eventually abandoned their tiny house when they became pregnant. Sadly, they came to the realization that their space was too tiny for the girl’s growing belly, and their living expenses were also increasing. Worst of all, they encountered unexpected health challenges. 

Because of those and a couple of other risks, it’s unsurprising why critics don’t like tiny houses. It’s also why housing and building authorities scrutinize the safety of tiny houses on wheels. 

That is why if you’re planning to start a family, you might want to think twice before you buy that plan or build that tiny abode. 

3. Raising a kid is difficult. 

why critics don't like tiny houses - a kid sleeping on a white bed
Raising a kid in an unsuitable environment is NOT a walk in the park.

Yes, this is the ugly truth— just because kids are small doesn’t mean their needs are the same size, too. Raising a kid is a humongous challenge on its own already—but doing it in a tiny house would be brutal. 

In our blog post about raising a kid in a tiny house, we mentioned that parents should consider the ethics of the act itself. That’s because every child has different needs because every child is unique. As their parent, you should be able to cover their changing needs in the various stages of their life—this is the ethical thing to do. 

California Department of Education (CDE) reports that the first eighteen months after birth is a critical stage in a child’s development. They learn how to make sense of the world—and they do it in such an overwhelming sense for the parent because they will taste, climb, and grasp everything. 

As a result, it’s only imperative that a child’s environment is comfortable and safe. Being in a limited space, your challenges in securing an ideal surrounding might increase. 

Add that to your existing problems and you might fail in achieving your goal in providing a good environment for them. 

Therefore, even though living in a tiny house may help you save expenses, you should reflect more if you are emotionally, psychologically ready to raise a child. Remember: they depend on you, only you. 

4. Structural safety concerns.

Shrewd, hungry thieves can find many ways to break into a home. That means not all houses are 100% safe, including tiny houses. However, tiny houses especially become risky when storms, tornadoes, and hurricanes are thrown into the mix of living hazards. 

Safety could easily be a deal-breaker for tiny house owners, especially if they live in nearby states where hurricanes are most common. Those calamities are also why tiny houses are strictly monitored in Florida, despite the state having RV parks. In other words, it’s not a tiny house-friendly state.

Can tiny houses on foundations and on wheels withstand external elements like storms? They can. The only thing is, you have to spend time and money on ensuring they are secure. 

Not only will you have to consider the structure’s endurance during the storm, but also the debris, electrical, and water damage after all that ruckus. You also have to check if the foundation, the windows, and roof panels are still in one piece. 

Apart from those, you also have to be sure that moisture doesn’t stay for too long in your restricted living space. Otherwise, you’ll be sneezing and sniffling from mold and mildew in no time.

Considering how “easy” it is for a tiny house to be unsafe if the homeowners are lazy and neglectful, it’s no wonder why critics don’t like tiny houses. 

5. The high cost of building one.

why critics don't like tiny houses - mobile house
You will still spend money to achieve financial freedom. Ironic, isn’t it?

Now, this might surprise a lot of people, especially those who just knew about the movement: tiny houses don’t cost a tiny amount

Don’t let the idea of downsizing prevent you from considering the additional expenses you might have in this journey. 

How much can a tiny house cost?

  • Excluding the hidden costs after constructing one, building a tiny house might cost you up to $30,000 alone. 
  • The median price of buying one might also cost more than $55,000. 
  • Ryan Fitzgerald of Raleigh Realty also recommends setting aside $65,000 for building a tiny house. 
  • Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs), which can be considered tiny houses, might also cost you up to $200,000. 

What elements affect those prices? Well, there’s plenty—materials, the builder, the building permit, and the location. If you buy a prefab model, you might also pay for a hefty shipping fee. 

Buying only a kit or the blueprint and then building it on your own will allow you to save a lot of labor cost, obviously. However, you are risking that peace of mind from knowing your house is built by licensed experts. 

This is why most critics refuse to acknowledge the legitimacy of tiny houses. They say that people become blinded by the inexpensive lifestyle—when in truth, they will still need to spend a considerable amount of money before tasting that financial freedom. 

6. Inevitable isolation.

You’re a human, not an island—you don’t always have to deal with things by yourself all the time. However, in living in a tiny house, you might find yourself in that situation frequently. 

It might be challenging for you to find your tribe, a.k.a. people who also live in tiny houses. Why? Well, for one, some states are just beginning to build tiny house villages and communities, which means only a few of them exist in a state. 

Another barrier is parking spots. In the U.S., it’s already hard for large vehicles like trucks to find a decent parking area. Imagine finding spots for a whole house on wheels! 

Besides that, some parking spots will also cost you $300 to $600 every month. Nevertheless, it’s still way cheaper than apartment rent, which could go as high as $1216.

The point here is you will jump through several hoops before you settle in a place where you can be around like-minded individuals. Therefore, isolation, when you’re living in a tiny house, is inevitable. 

Being human beings, we need socializing as it affects our overall health. Even the quality and the number of our social relationships are factors in the longevity of our lives. It has also been proven that socializing has a positive effect on relieving work stress

For those reasons, it’s understandable why critics don’t like tiny houses. People may benefit from the low cost of living in one, but some are not really mentally equipped to handle the drawbacks that come with it—one of them being isolation.  

7. Poor-performing resale value.

why critics don't like tiny houses - resale value of tiny houses are poor
Tiny house loses its value pretty quickly.

You might want to think twice if you’re buying a tiny house as an investment. Tiny houses, especially those on wheels, don’t do well in the resale value department. 

There are many reasons for this. First of all, tiny houses don’t maintain almost all the critical factors that boost resale value.

Location, usable space, age, and condition—most tiny houses just can’t compete with regular houses when it comes to those. You have to deal with the irregularity and unavailability of tiny house communities, plus the constant maintaining and upgrading of the house.

The market of tiny house buyers is also not that big and active. Remember the legal hoops you have to jump through to own and live in a tiny house? Yes, that also discourages people from buying into this trend. 

This is why critics don’t give this movement a chance, especially those who are long-term thinkers. 

8. Sanitation issues. 

Let’s talk about what most of you are really curious about… How does sanitation work in tiny houses? Do tiny houses have toilets? Where does the waste go? The questions can go on and on. 

Critics specifically scrutinize sanitation in tiny houses. It’s understandable, though—a tiny space that’s not well-maintained will easily become a breeding ground for bacteria. 

Moreover, apparently, the waste can be an issue to the local waste and sewage authorities, since the homeowners often use composting toilets. 

It can also be challenging for plumbing professionals to install a waste system that has different specs than the average toilet, but it still has to cater to the local building code.

Tiny houses do have bathrooms with functioning toilets and showers. The toilets, in particular, are specially designed for tiny houses on foundations and for RVs. 

For example, the water-only toilet is hooked up to a sewer permanently, so you can flush the waste and urine using water only. Meanwhile, a power-only toilet disposes of waste in trash, which will be picked up. 

RVs can also have toilets that use both water and power to dispose of waste, which will then go into black water tanks. 

As for the smell, the key is proper ventilation to induce proper indoor airflow—just like in regular-sized houses.

The myth of poor sanitation with tiny houses does not ring true all the time. It all depends on the owner. So, the critics don’t get a point on this one, even though their concern is valid. 

9. There are many fakes in the industry. 

woodworkers building a tiny house
You have to hire the legit builders and craftsmen even though you’re building a tiny house.

Even builders and suppliers of tiny house models and plans have weighed in on this. In every industry, there are two evils: the greater ones and the lesser ones. 

The greater ones? Those who pretend to be authorities and entice people to buy into this movement using promos and low prices. 

People who unfortunately fall for it are those who are starving for a downsized life. 

Remember, this is a living space of which they are taking advantage—a place where people stay for years. It’s simply not fair for the scammers to use this for their own benefit, without thinking about the impact on those gullible people’s lives. 

This is why even though tiny house advocates have increased in number, their critics in the government and property sectors still exist… They are still pushing against the movement. 

10. Too many legal hoops and obstacles. 

Finally, tiny houses get the disdain from critics because getting one right now is simply complicated. 

Sure, the movement is spreading around the world, but one can’t deny that buying a tiny house is still a major event in a person’s life, even though the house is tiny. 

Here’s the thing about building or even buying a regular house: it’s not that easy. Sure, you can hire a realtor or an appraiser to take care of things for you. However, it will still be a parade of exhaustion and financial setbacks. Did you know that buying a house is one of the most stressful events in life?

Now, imagine getting a property that’s not yet recognized in your state, which market is not too big yet. Indeed, the stress that comes with buying a tiny house will be, ironically, bigger.

This is why critics don’t simply have confidence in tiny houses—one has to buckle up and toughen up before they achieve that downsized, mobile life.  

More about tiny house critics 

The not-so-surprising reasons why critics don’t like tiny houses

why critics don't like tiny houses - little house on the prairie
Tiny houses still don’t attract some people because of simple reasons like space and sanitation.

Restricted common area

In a tiny house, every inch of the floor space and wall space matters. Tiny houses measure under 400 square feet; that’s why any allowance in your common area should only function for mobility and traffic. 

It will just come out as a waste if you give yourself the luxury of allocating spaces for coffee tables, throw pillows, etc. Your guests will have to understand why your common area is small. 

Not enough space for recreation

When you’re not working, what do you do? Read a book, play video games, or paint or draw—or perhaps all of these? You might have difficulty doing recreational activities in a tiny house, especially if you live with a younger kid. 

Just like what we said, the floor space in a tiny house is crucial. You might have to make many adjustments to create a nook for recreational activities. For instance, you might have to make cleanups more frequent to free up space constantly.

Complicated for throwing a party

Do you like throwing gatherings in your home? Sure, it’s not impossible in a tiny house, but it will be more challenging. It might also take more time to prepare. Just think of the waste the guests will inevitably generate and the cleanup after the party. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg!

However, don’t lose hope that quickly. Check out our blog post on how to throw a party at your house. We listed a few tips and some recipes.

Zoning issues

The most blaring barrier to tiny house living is zoning. If you live in a state with strict zoning regulations, it might just be easier to give up and find a better and safer alternative. 

Several states in the U.S. allow tiny house living, but they still have restrictions. Tiny house living is one endeavor you should only explore when you’re ready, and you are financially equipped.

Conclusion 

As you can see, tiny house living is not a fairy tale. Don’t get the wrong ideas about this lifestyle. It requires patience, money, and time to achieve that downsized life. 

If you are dead serious about living in a tiny house, then, by all means, start your research now. Talk to the authorities and get advice from realtors. 

You’d consult a doctor when you’re sick, right? So, it’s best to converse with property experts when you’re itching to live in a tiny house.

If you have any more questions or if you disagree with our list, let us know in the comments below. We’d like to learn from you!

Related questions 

Why is tiny house living illegal? 

Tiny houses are illegal in several states, primarily because of their building and zoning codes. They might not have modified their codes, specifically, the required legal size of a dwelling.

Besides that, tiny houses are also complicated to regulate because of their safety issues from the restricted space.

Can you live in a shed in Oregon? 

It depends on the duration and if you already built the shed in your background. If it’s temporary because your main house is under construction, and if it has comfortable amenities, then it might be okay to reside in the meantime. 

In Oregon, sheds are considered accessory non-habitable structures. However, in Central Oregon, several builders are offering prefabricated sheds. Therefore, it’s possible that you might find some way to live in a shed. You have to clarify with your town’s zoning codes though if you can put a new shed in your backyard. 

What rooms do tiny houses have?

Tiny houses can have bedrooms, kitchen space, bathroom, common area, and lofts, which you can access using a roll-up ladder. The lofts can also serve as sleeping spaces if you have a guest. 

You can also put storage boxes on the loft if you’re short on storage space. RVs or tiny houses on wheels can particularly have two bedrooms, which is one master bedroom and one sleeping area with bunk beds.

All About Tiny Houses is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

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