Understandably Tiny Houses are not for everyone, but they sure do suit a wide range of people. Tiny Houses are most popular in areas where the costs of owning a "normal" home are extremely high. With house prices so high, and deposit requirements generally being around 20% it is easy to see how many New Zealanders think they can't afford to own their own home. That's where Tiny Houses come in as a solution!
In Auckland I have seen homes in need of renovation sitting at around the $500,000 mark. That seems to be the low end of the Auckland housing market currently, which means you would need at least $100,000 just as a deposit. Trying to save for that $100,000 deposit while paying high rental costs sounds near impossible unless you are a high income earner, and many have given up the dream of home ownership.
However, for those who have given up hope, this could be an option for you. You could buy an entire Tiny House for the same price as the cost of a deposit for a "full size house".
Instead of paying rent and helping pay down someone else's investment you could purchase a Tiny House with the help of a Squirrel loan, and pay down your own investment. My thoughts are it's like forced savings, and after only a few years (if you gain a loan) you will have freed up your income to do more of the things you are passionate about, such as expensive hobbies, travelling, buying land etc.
Alternatively, some people are using it as a stepping stone into gaining a large enough deposit for a "standard sized home." Even with interest on a Tiny House Loan, it still doesn't compare to how much you are potentially losing to rent each year. You can do a simple calculation: times how much rent you pay each week by 52, and then work out how much you would lose to annual interest and compare. Or calculate how much you could save while paying rent, verses how much will be paying off the principal of your Tiny House. It is a no brainer if you can live in this sized space.
If you are thinking, “great - now I want a Tiny House, but where can I find land to put it and will that be expensive?”
The short answer is it's pretty easy and it doesn't cost as much as you may think. We personally lease land in Auckland and pay $100 per week. It's a pretty sweet deal as we aren't surrounded by neighbours, and we have a large piece of land to have animals and grow our own veggies. Some will lease out land in exchange for maintaining the grounds, or some odd job. I found the land by posting in local community groups on Facebook in the areas we wanted to live, and asked if anyone wanted to supplement their income by living on our land? Below is the exact post I created to find our land.
Now it’s even easier to find land than before as there is a dedicated website for this. It's called www.landshare.nz and it helps match Tiny House owners with people who wish to lease out land.
those with small families are already living in Tiny Houses, and I am pretty sure these well-built and insulated Tiny Houses would be a fair amount healthier than some of those mould infested rentals. There is even a specific designed Tiny House plan for a family of four called the 'Doris Jean' by DIY House Building.
Best start to getting ahead early, and they can tow their Tiny House to different cities if they want to switch things up after completing their study. Check out a young student couple in Christchurch who got into their own Tiny House here.
Many retirees are also entering the Tiny House market. Tiny Houses can be designed to suit your needs, so if a loft is going to be difficult, an alternative bed solution can be arranged. Some have elevator beds in them like the beautiful design by Ana White.
Pretty much anyone who wants to get ahead and can't afford the traditional house, or people who want to live a more sustainable/green lifestyle.
Many Tiny Houses are off-grid so you can say goodbye to those expensive power bills. Imagine not having a power bill each month! We use solar panels and have a small wind turbine to generate power. We don't have to worry about local power cuts anymore either! Rain water collection also helps us cut down on our water bill, although we still have access to a tap for top ups.
To further investigate this Tiny House lifestyle, feel free to follow my Facebook page or check out my blog. If this article has inspired you to go "Tiny" you can apply for finance using PROMO code: TINYHOUSELIVING to see if you qualify for a loan with Squirrel!
This blog was written by Kasia Walker and was used with permission. You can view her other blogs here.