10 Big Questions About Tiny Houses

How Much Do Tiny Houses Cost?
People visit a Tumbleweed Tiny House at the 2012 Maker Faire in San Mateo, California. Jon Callas Used Under Creative Commons CC By 2.0 License

An enormous advantage of purchasing or building a tiny home is the modest cost. In 2015, the average size of a newly constructed single-family home in America was 2,802 square feet (260 square meters), according to a survey by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). And its sales price? A staggering $468,318, the highest amount since the NAHB began surveying home builders in 1995. (The building cost was $289,415) [source: Taylor]. And that's without calculating the interest you'd be paying on a 30-year mortgage.

The average cost to build your own tiny house, in comparison, is a mere $23,000, while a professionally built home runs about $30,000-$50,000. That's probably why 68 percent of tiny home owners are mortgage-free, while only 29 percent of traditional homeowners are [sources: The Tiny Life, Tiny House Design].

Many tiny home owners have built their own quarters for less than $10,000. One man built his tiny house for just $8,000, sourcing a lot of free and cheap building materials from Craigslist. And those 98-square-foot (9-square-meter) homes built in Madison for the homeless cost a mere $3,500 each [sources: Erickson]. Many Americans pay a lot more for their cars than tiny-home owners pay for their houses.