Hi Dave Ramsey! I appreciate that you’ve given your input on the Tiny House Movement! I’ve been anticipating your thoughts on tiny houses. My husband and I, and our two kids, live in a tiny house and I would like to respond as I think it’s a conversation that is worth our thorough consideration.
We downsized from a 2,000 square foot mortgage two years ago. Our kids were in preschool, my husband was a teacher and a grad school student, and I ran my own wedding photography business. We wanted to become a one-income family that home schools and has a travel budget (we value travel as an important part of our family’s education), among other goals such as financial freedom, of course! Our budget absolutely would not allow it. The student loans totaled more than the mortgage and financially, we were more lined up to become a three-income family!
With enormous prayer and reflection on our options we made huge changes to line up our lifestyle with our values.
I think you approached the Tiny House topic purely from a real estate investor’s perspective. We did not. I bet very few Tiny House Dwellers do. We feel we have made a great investment in our quality of life. Now we can follow the plans and guidance of God rather than the demands of our bills. We have made decisions that are more responsible and sustainable in terms of our finances, our education, our environment, our faith, and our happiness.
If we had instead invested in real estate with plans to sell during a great housing market economy we would have been taking a gamble. Our tiny home is paid for and is not a financial risk.
We could choose to purchase a traditional house in the future. Rather than selling our tiny house, keeping it would give us even more options! We could rent it out, arrange for it to be our vacation home, offer it to a friend or relative who needs housing for a period of time, or gift it to one of our children as their starter home.
Have you ever visited a Tiny House, Dave? Although I’m asking you to consider their potential purpose in light of their value declining, I think you might be swayed to see their potential to at least maintain their value! They are appealing to so many demographics and financial statuses! Also! Consider the uncertainty of our economy. If things get rocky, which house is going to be in higher demand: The Tiny or the MegaMansion?
If we chose to sell our tiny house, you are absolutely correct, like any home, there is potential for it to go down in value. But I would like to argue that, at such a cheap initial price, it is currently serving it’s purpose for us at a time when our quality of life with our young family is more important than square footage or equity.
I think that tiny houses offer an option unlike low-income housing. Financially stable housing. In a culture with such a dynamic variety of needs and desires I think, at the very least, we should not write-off tiny houses as a fad. We need to note the important role tiny houses are playing in people’s lives; they serve a great purpose in goal achievement and quality of living.
Despite their sustainability, truly affordable price tag, role in offering a way to more easily achieve goals, putting the American Dream within reach, tiny houses are still viewed as controversial and often even rejected outright in a culture where never-satisfied-consumerism and massive debt is the accepted norm and, further, even socially encouraged. I think this warrants our reflection and continued conversation.
A Content Tiny House Dweller,