Rising home prices and shaky economic times have meant that it's difficult for younger people to find that first affordable home of their own. No wonder so many people -- young and old -- are gravitating toward smaller and tiny homes. While they are not for everyone, they do provoke some hard thinking about how much space and stuff we really need.
For some, the tiny home is an important first stepping stone to a bigger house. That's the case with Oli and Holly of New Zealand, who built their own tiny house on a small piece of land, as part of their plan to eventually move up into something bigger later on when starting a family. Like a lot of the other tiny homes we see, there's a lot of clever space-maximizing ideas, as well as some unique touches that speak to the couple's adventurous spirit. Take a tour of the home with Bryce, host of Living Big in A Tiny House:
A few things here make this little home unique from the rest. First, Oli and Holly's 23' x 10' home is larger than most tinys designed for more frequent moving. But in enlarging their home just a bit, they've been able to construct a living space that is much more open. Having nine windows doesn't hurt either, and the extra space has allowed them to add in more full-sized furniture (dining table, couch) and appliances (refrigerator, washing machine).
Probably the highlight of the home is the couple's custom climbing wall that offers access up to their loft, where they settle in to watch television. It was Oli's idea, and while Holly says that she was against it initially, she's come to love it and it does add that bit of personality to the home.
Their couch is self-constructed, has storage underneath, and reuses cushions from another previous sofa.
The kitchen is quite lovely: well-lit and space-efficient. The home's extra bit of width meant that the couple could have a regular-sized table to eat and work on, rather than one that folds away.
Going up the stairs to the loft, the couple came up with a brilliant idea that would let them stand up beside the bed: by lowering the ceiling height of the pantry downstairs, they were able to gain that extra bit of headroom upstairs -- another touch that makes the house feel like a traditional home.
The bathroom is very well done -- it feels larger than most tiny bathrooms, with a big sink, shower and composting toilet throne in the middle of it all, and its placement in a bump-out over the towing bar helps too.
All told, the couple says that they spent around USD $33,000 on their home. They explained that costs could have been lower if they had used salvaged materials and had more time, but in working two full-time jobs they opted to spend a bit more to speed up the process instead.
Thanks to their time spent in this house, Oli and Holly were able to save some money that they are now putting toward a bigger home. They are now selling this first home and their land, with the intention of moving into something a little bigger that will accommodate a family. While it may take some time to make tiny houses fully legal in many places, seeing tiny homes as a transitional step rather than something you have to stick with for the long-term could be a strategy that young people consider in their search for their first place to call home. More over at Living Big in A Tiny House.