Can a Tiny Home Really End Mortgage Payments Forever?

Could you live in a 400-square-foot home? How about one that comes with just 100 square feet of living space?

People are doing this. They're joining the tiny house movement, living in homes that are 500 square feet or smaller. The proponents of this kind of living say that larger homes are wasteful, full of space that no one ever uses.

There is a challenge, though, with living small. And it's not just the struggle to fit sleeping, cooking, and dining spaces into a 400-square-foot space. Many who want a tiny home can't afford to purchase one with cash. They need to finance their tiny home. That's not always easy.

Why are Americans, whose homes average about 2,200 square feet, so obsessed with tiny homes? Perhaps they are responding to the benefits tiny-house owners cite: financial and emotional freedom, a greener lifestyle, the satisfaction of building one’s own refuge.

But there’s one big drawback: Many municipalities haven’t made room literally or legislatively for tiny residences. It’s a challenge to find a place to park a tiny house if you don’t own land. And they often fall into a legal limbo. “Tiny houses exist in sort of a legal gray area, neither explicitly allowed nor expressly forbidden.”

Though the District recently banned “camping” in tiny-house-like structures, the provision is most likely unenforceable.

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