10 Big Questions About Tiny Houses

Are Tiny Homes Just a Fad?
This tiny house, called Fantasia, takes up just one space of a car park in England. Martin Cooper Used Under Creative Commons CC By 2.0 License

It's anyone's guess as to whether the current boom in living small is here to stay. But here are a few reasons why teeny quarters might remain popular in America.

City planners are big into the concept of urban infill these days, which is how to cram more people into already-occupied spaces. Newly created micro apartments, or micro units — essentially studios — are being snapped up all over cities like New York and Washington, D.C. It's not a stretch to imagine incorporating tiny homes into unused spaces in urban areas, like those vacant patches of land that pop up in cityscapes — it's already happening in D.C. [source: Cater].

And small homes have special appeal to cash-starved young people starting out and retirees looking to stretch their savings. With both these groups growing in size, the tiny-house market might grow along with them. A bonus: Both kids and retirees could park their tiny homes in their parents' or kids' backyards, as it's legal to place a "backyard cottage" on your lot [source: McCrea].

Those who think tiny houses are just a passing fad will point to the fact that houses have been getting larger in general, as we said at the beginning of this article and that just 1 percent of all home buyers purchased homes 1,000 square feet (93 square meters) or less in 2014 [source: National Association of Realtors]. We'll just have to wait and see whether tiny houses stay around.

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