The Tiny Home Living Revolution is changing lives according to websites, television shows and news stories. The concept of building a miniature house on wheels is nothing new. But with media publicity and engineering creativity the fringe trend is turning into a so-called revolution. Some of the mainstream population is embracing the affordability of Tiny Living as well as the simplification. These glorified mobile homes, typically smaller than 300 square feet, can have marble countertops, high-end electronics, steam showers and hardwood floors. With their portability and small footprint, it’s easy to find a tiny lot in almost any community.
For many families, the Tiny Home Living Revolution has brought their families closer together both spatially and emotionally. But for a small portion of the population, the emerging Tiny Home trend is actually making it possible to separate. These affordable, comfortable, portable, trendy homes are giving couples the financial freedom to divorce.
There have always been manageable post-divorce housing options. Often though, these options meant either a move to new schools for the kids or a less-desirable neighborhood for both parents. For some couples, the threat of a reduced lifestyle or undesirable living situation was enough of a deterrent to stay in a hurtful, broken marriage. With the flexibility and affordability of Tiny Home Living though, often the parties can continue to live in the same community and in a household standard they’re accustomed to.
Tiny Home Living Affordability
Often the divided equity from the post-divorce sale of the family home gives each party enough to pay for the construction of a brand-new Tiny Home.
Portland Alternative Dwelling (PAD) consults with potential Tiny Living customers regarding their goals and construction alternatives. The PAD team advises that, just like large houses, costs can vary widely from home to home. “So here’s what we at PAD call the ‘Tiny House Ballpark Estimate with Caveats’: A tiny house can cost between $15,000 and $80,000,” according to their blog, “Your Questions Answered: How Much Does a Tiny House Cost?”
One big cost advantage to tiny homes is the lack of interest payments for a mortgage. Many people who build tiny homes do so for the same amount as they would have spent on the down payment for a large home. Tiny Home owners often build their houses without loans.
Another financial benefit is the absence of land costs. Tiny Homes require little space. Often Tiny Home owners park on a friend’s empty lot or in a relative’s large backyard. If they do need to purchase or lease land, it’s a small parcel that is usually more affordable than the lots that many suburban homes occupy.
The portability of Tiny Homes allows flexibility in placement. Sometimes, the decreased income after divorce, means that children have to move away from their familiar schools in order for both parents to afford condos or apartments. With Tiny Living, the owner can typically find an available tiny piece of land within the current school district – sometimes even the same neighborhood.
Tiny Homes require less maintenance because of their small size and quite often because they are newly constructed. There is also little or no landscaping or yard maintenance. The lack of home repairs can be a huge benefit to a newly single parent trying to juggle work and children’s schedules.
Tiny Home Living also require less “stuff.” Naturally, when a couple divorces, their possessions also get split. So each party ends up with less furniture, appliances, knick-knacks, books, and kitchen tools. Building a Tiny Home around the stuff you do have, eliminates the need to buy more stuff to suit the new space.
The simplification can be appealing too. After a “messy” divorce, sometimes spouses are looking to symbolically and psychologically “clean up” their lives. Living in a Tiny Home requires simplification and organization.
When building a new home after divorce, the owner gets to make it his or her own. It’s a fresh start. If the former spouse was controlling, constructing a home gives a newly-divorced person a chance to make choices and express themselves without judgment.
Although there have always been small homes, the emerging Tiny Home Marketplace is giving potential ex-spouses one more option for contemplating a comfortable post-divorce lifestyle.
If you’re trying to decide whether or not to get divorced, experienced White Lake Family Law Attorney Kathryn Wayne-Spindler can give you an estimate of your anticipated post-divorce financial situation. She has handled thousands of local divorces and can accurately assess your potential child support payments or income, alimony, share of retirement income and assets such as houses, cars and investments. Armed with that assessment, people can look at all of their post-divorce options, including possibly Tiny Home Living.
For a consultation, contact Commerce Divorce Attorney Kathryn Wayne-Spindler at her Milford, Michigan law office at 248-676-1000 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Wayne-Spindler practices throughout Southeastern Michigan including Oakland, Washtenaw, Wayne, Genesee, and Livingston counties and the communities of Milford, Highland, Hartland, White Lake, Commerce, South Lyon, New Hudson, Wixom, Holly and Fenton and many more.
Written and Posted by Christine Donlon Long, Communications’ Specialist for Kathryn Wayne-Spindler & Associates