There are questions every home buyer should ask themselves while they are looking at homes, but they are especially important when looking at tiny houses: How do I use my home? What is most important to me?
When you are considering buying a home with less than 900sqft there are going to be concessions. But when you decide what is most important you won’t feel as though you are compromising. Chances are if you’re looking at a tiny home you will have already thought about downsizing your life at least a little bit, but have you thought about how you will use your smaller space.
I know a little bit about this because I am currently looking for a tiny home for myself! I love them! I love the lifestyle that they provide for me and frankly they suit my personality. I have lived all over the world including South America, Africa and Europe and have moved more than 15 times in the last 15 years. I’ve lived in all kinds of homes: large, small, urban, rural, state of the art and humble as pie. I know what I prefer, and more importantly, what I can live without. Because I have moved so frequently I am constantly getting rid of things I don’t use any more but also have boxes of things I’ve collected from my travels. For me it is important to have wall space to hang art and photos as well as showcase mementos. It is surprisingly difficult to find a tiny home with wall space so having high ceilings to make use of vertical space is something that I’ve had to start thinking about.
Many of my clients say they want a large master bedroom, or notice when a master is smaller than they would like. Realistically how much time do you spend in your bedroom? Unless you also use your master as an office / library space chances are you don’t spend too much time in your bedroom during the day and you don’t need dead space in your room. Instead, why not look for a tiny home with a layout that suits how you live and where you spend the most time in your home.
Personally I like when a tiny home is not terribly open concept which may sound odd but stick with me on this one. If the floorplan is too open concept ie. not many walls, it can be difficult to define different spaces in your home. If, like me, you often work from home, you will likely want an office space of some sort. There are lots of options for creating a work space in closets, kitchens, living rooms, you name it. But, if you have kids, spouses or pets running around you’ll likely want an area where you can close a door or at least turn a corner to make a phone call. This is true of any living arrangement where you are not living solo. Chances are at some point two or more people will want to do different things at the same time and when you’re living in a tiny space some separation is key to not feeling at though you are living in each other’s pockets.
Most tiny homes in Guelph are in older parts of town such as Downtown, The Ward, St. George’s and Exhibition Park areas. As such they often have fairly large lots. Make use of this space! I recently looked at a home on a lot that was 35’ by 122’. Think of how much space that is outside of the four walls of your home. There are easily 5 months of the year when you can thoroughly enjoy that outdoor space. If the house itself is more or less move in ready consider investing some money into expanding your living space to the outdoors with decks, patios, and perennial gardens. Why not add an outdoor kitchen space, pizza oven, hot tub, you name it!