If George Carlin were alive today, he’d likely have a comedy special on a lot of trending 2019 topics. If you’ve seen his 1981 comedy special “Stuff”, he’d likely have a comedy special on one booming new topic – The Tiny House.

Can you hear it in Carlin’s voice now? “What is a Tiny House? How big is a Tiny House? Why are people talking about Tiny Houses?!”

In Carlin’s “Stuff” special he jokes, “That’s all you need in life – a little place for your stuff. If you didn’t have so much stuff, you wouldn’t need a house! You could just walk around all the time. What’s a house, but just a pile of stuff with a cover on it.”

These “piles of stuff with covers” probably isn’t how The National Association of Home Builders – or NAHB would describe a home. But, that’s because The NAHB does annual studies to understand trends & developments of the housing market. Here’s what they learned – When asked if they would ever consider buying a Tiny House, “More than half of adults surveyed (53%) said ‘yes’ or ‘maybe’.”

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What is the Tiny House movement?

To put it simply, the Tiny House movement, or small house movement, is a real estate trend where people are choosing to live in smaller homes.

Some people want to downsize, others save money, and some desire to live a more mindful minimalist lifestyle. With mindfulness comes peace of mind, and if you’re in the market, peace of mind while shopping is huge.

Considering that roughly 80% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck, it’s easy to see why some might find the cost alone of the lifestyle appealing.

How big is a Tiny House?

Since each state is different, as of 2019, there is no set definition to what defines a tiny house. However, there are some similarities across state lines. The average home is the US in 2,600 square feet. Meanwhile, a tiny house comparatively is 500 square feet.

It might sound cramped, but there are massive financial benefits. The Tiny Life suggests the savings alone is a major factor. Consider this – 81.7% of US homeowners have a mortgage. That’s 4 in 5 Americans. Meanwhile, only 22% of tiny house owners are still paying bills on their home.

While it may be small, there are big savings.

When did it start?

The Economist states in their article “Very Little House on the Prairie”, “With the depression hitting in 2008, the small house movement attracted more attention as it offered affordable, ecologically friendly housing.”

However, over the next few years, this evolved from from just a concept to save to a real portion of US population considering it as a realistic option. It makes one wonder, is the stress and time all worth it – just to keep up with the Joneses? Working all day, paired with some nights and weekends just to make ends meet, comes at a cost.

If you’re even thinking buying a home, and don’t want to spend a fortune, sacrificing square feet, isn’t the only option. In fact, many potential home buyers aren’t even asking – the secret question before home shopping.

What states allow Tiny Houses?

If you have a high interest in tiny houses, and live in one of these states, you’re in luck. The following states have the most flexible building codes and zoning regulations: California, Colorado, Florida, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, Oregon, and Texas.

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Why Join the Tiny House Movement?

The Tiny Life suggests the popularity is for one reason, “the average cost of a tiny home is much lower than that of an average house”. Once you’ve purchased your tiny home, the cost of upkeep is relatively low. Depending on where you park your tiny house, you may need to pay for land rental and insurance, but in the long run, the savings on a tiny house is huge.”

You don’t have to live in a Tiny House, camper, or school bus just to shop smart and save money. There are free services out there, like Transactly, who are founded on the idea that home buyers and sellers need more free resources to sell your home when faced with an overly complex society.

With a smaller place, you might be able to simplify your job, relationships, meals, attitudes, beliefs, and give yourself more peace and freedom. It’s easy to see how there can be joy to living with less and not getting caught up in the typical American consumerist culture.


If the appeal of living with less and living simply appeals to you, there’s nothing wrong with that. Do you think Carlin is on to something, “Too much stuff? No more room for your stuff? Get a bigger house!”

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