Here are 10 reasons why tiny homes rock, to carry on with the recent discussion regarding the critically important decision one has to make in regards to figuring out their housing situation in early FI.
1) Cheaper to Buy
Sure, it’s all too easy to fantasize about owning a MASSIVE mansion on the hills. Perhaps, daydreaming is something we’re more inclined to doing when we’re somewhat younger and have yet to fully grasp the way the world and money works.
But as soon as we get older and have some experience handling $$$, it becomes quite apparent for most people (not belonging to the luxurious 1% of elites out there) that it sure takes a ton of effort to save money.
Ultimately, every last penny counts!
Furthermore, once someone has taken the red pill and gone deep down the early FI route, another big time revelation we make is that time is actually our most valuable (and important) currency of them all.
And what better (quicker) way is there to get to early FI than to maximize our savings!?!
To give you a real-life example of how much one could be saving by going the route of a tiny house relative to a much larger type of unit, let’s look at current prices for One Uptown Residences, a residential complex, located in the city I’m currently residing in, Bonifacio Global City (BGC), Manila.
As shown above, a 1 bedroom unit that is 36 square meters (~387 square feet) is selling for 8.9 million PHP (~$174,160 USD).
Here’s a conversion chart for you.
Now, I do understand that a typical 1 bedroom unit isn’t going to cut it for couples who are on the path to early FI and have kids. Granted, though, if you’re flying solo, or there’s just the two of you, a 1 bedroom unit (or even studio unit for that matter) should work quite splendidly.
Here’s a floor plan of a most basic 1 bedroom unit.
Stepping up to a 2 bedroom unit, we can see that a 73 square meter (~786 square feet) bumps prices up to about 17 million PHP (~$333,000 USD).
Not quite a 2x jump in price, but close…
Should be perfect for the kids though!
I’d argue for early FI, being able to lock down a primary residence in a world-class city, like BGC, for sub $350,000 USD is a no brainer, and also a highly economical decision (especially relative to how expensive housing is in much of the rest of the world).
As it pertains to a unit being classified as a “tiny house”, personally, I would cap this figure off at around 100 square meters (~1076 square feet).
Here’s a floor plan of a good-sized 2 bedroom unit (with an additional maid’s room).
Something like that, which is actually A LOT of house, if you ask me!
Yes, I realize “tiny” is subjective, but I’m going with a more Western viewpoint (in Asia even 70 square meters is considered MASSIVE, lol).
Also, anything more substantial than 100 square meters, quite frankly, and the price tag starts to escalate quite rapidly.
Using the same example of One Uptown Residences, if you want to step up to a 3 bedroom unit that’s 143 square meters (~1,539 square feet), it’ll set you back 27 million PHP (~$528,000 US).
Certainly, for some folks, that’s still not a bad deal, and could very much be a viable solution.
With all that said, though, the marketplace datapoints sure make it clear that the path to early FI is a whole lot easier to achieve for FI Fighters who are willing to “sacrifice” on the size of their home.
Cheaper to buy means that you can obtain a high quality home in less time than you might think.
Maybe even your REAL (what you want, NOT what society is pushing you to want) “dream home”?
2) Less Cleaning
Let’s face it, cleaning SUCKS. It’s a total waste of time and something that needs to be done far too often. And I’m saying that as someone who is somewhat of a “clean freak”.
You have no idea how massively irritated I became at times during the kitchen renovation process, which left my studio unit filled with dust!
More times than not.
So, I kept having to do this.
Yes, vacuuming gets boring, real quick, let me tell you.
And naturally, the larger your house is, the more: scrubbing, polishing, wiping, dusting, sweeping, umm overall work you’re gonna have to put in.
Here at Baboy Inc, we joke all the time, “I’m so glad this studio unit isn’t much bigger than it already is!”
Our cleaning routine already feels exhausting enough, as is:
- Grease Trap
- Aircon Filter
- Range Hood Filter
- TV Stand Glass
- Dining Room Table Glass
- Shower Enclosure Glass
- Medicine Cabinet Glass
- Kitchen Cabinets Surface
- Hand Towels
- Floor Towels
- Kitchen Towels
- Sofa Towels
- Bedframe Towels
- Floor Mats (kitchen, bathroom, outside bathroom)
Truth be told, I’d rather be doing something else than cleaning the house all the time.
Let’s go play outside some more. Please.
3) Less Maintenance
In addition to less time spent cleaning, when you go with a tiny house, well, there’s really only so many things that can go wrong. For instance, it’s one thing trying to maintain 1-2 bathrooms in proper working order.
Can you imagine always having to make sure 4-5 bathrooms are fully operational?
Thanks, but no thanks.
And out here in places like the Philippines, the more space you have, the more air conditioners you’re going to need to setup to keep the heat in check.
In my own situation, I’ve got a simple 1.5 HP window air con unit (~$600 USD), and it’s plenty enough to cool the ENTIRE UNIT.
I don’t need a bigger (more expensive) air con unit to get the job done.
And over time, it’s inevitable appliances like an air conditioner will break down and need repairs/replacements. If I can minimize costs for repairs/replacements, I’ll sure feel a lot better.
The same goes for: sinks, faucets, toilets, fans, refrigerators, etc.
With a tiny home, you only employ enough (the bare minimum) needed to get by.
4) Cheaper Monthly Expenses
Speaking of which, the less air conditioners you have running 24/7, the less electricity you’ll be using each and every month. The same goes for lights, and of course water (because, again, less cleaning!).
But even more than just saving $$$ on water + electricity, you’ll likely save boatloads more each month on property taxes.
Further, out here in places like the Philippines, things like Homeowner’s Association (HOA) are billed in accordance to the size of your unit. In other words, it’s NOT a flat rate for each homeowner, but rather, you’re “taxed” based on how many square meters (square ft) your house is.
Fair or not, that can really put a dent in your monthly expenses!
In my own situation, as I shared with readers previously, you can see that my monthly bills are rather modest, because it’s “only” a studio unit.
On the path to early FI, again, every last penny saved counts (a lot)!
Wouldn’t you agree?
It may seem obvious, but sometimes, really, it’s not, because there are lots of folks out there who splurge more than they really should.
Straight up, I’m absolutely thrilled my HOA + property taxes (combined) total to only ~$100 USD/month.
5) Limited Space
Not only do you get to save on monthly expenses to maintain a tiny home, but the limited space offered up by the unit can actually end up being a blessing.
You see, when you’ve only got so much space to work with, you’ve got to get more creative, and figure out ways to store stuff more efficiently. That not only helps you out a bunch with organizing, but it also prevents one from hoarding too much “useless” junk.
Quite simply, you can’t stash away much if you’re living in a tiny home!
Really, how much spare food do you think I can store here?
I mean, with cookware, I’ve only got the following items:
- Small frying pan (for eggs and stuff)
- Medium frying pan (general purpose)
- Large wok (large servings)
- Saucepan (oatmeal and stuff)
- Large pot (pastas and soups)
Literally, that’s it.
I also don’t have many: plates, bowls, forks, spoons, chopsticks, cutting boards, etc.
I ain’t got room for more stuff!
And my wallet is quite happy and thankful for that.
6) Less Emotional Attachment
When you’ve got a tiny home, well, quite frankly, you really don’t have much to brag about. It’s simple, bare bones stuff that we’re dealing with here. True, I do have a sense of pride for being a minimalist, but I mean, I’m not too emotionally attached to my studio unit.
A good reason why is because I didn’t sink much capital into acquiring + furnishing my tiny home.
So it’s a different dynamic.
I mean, for comparison sake, my own personal residence is infinitely smaller than every single one of my rental units. Truth be told, if I’m going to be emotionally attached to any of my homes, it’ll be stuff more along the lines of Rental Property #1 or Rental Property SH #3.
Emotionally attached to my tiny personal residence?
No freekin way.
7) Easier to Rent Out
At least in the city, tiny units are almost always easier to rent out. Whether we are talking about leasing out a unit the traditional way (i.e., 12-24 month contract) or renting them out via Airbnb, strong demand will be there.
Particularly in Asia, where so many people are frugal (and tightwads), it’s very standard practice to observe say 2-3 people (e.g., friends) sharing a studio unit, to save on monthly expenses.
So, tiny units are extremely versatile.
It’s NOT only singles or couples that will be interested in renting out these units, but a plethora of different people.
8) Easier to Sell
In addition to being easier to rent out, tiny units are also easier to sell.
They’re cheaper and more affordable.
When we’re talking high-end housing (e.g., big houses over 100 square meters), your clientele is going to be more limited to only the affluent folks who are able to throw money around like money ain’t a thang.
Tiny houses are more practical, so you’ll have more of the “common folks” interested in acquiring them.
9) Easier to Buy
And should you decide that you personally are a fan of tiny homes, lucky for you, they are a dime-a-dozen.
There’s a plethora of options out there!
Unlike a large high-end “custom home” when we’re talking small, we’re probably talking about something very simple, cookie cutter, and bare bones.
But as was pointed out in a previous section, if you’re not one that cares to get so emotionally attached to your own personal residence, likely, you’re more willing and able to make concessions with your tiny home.
In other words, you’re someone who values time + freedom + experiences that the world has to offer a lot more than the space in which you reside to sleep ~8 hours each night.
10) Lower Profile
When you’ve got a tiny home and people become aware of that fact, most likely, they won’t be impressed (at all). I mean, what is there to be jealous of, exactly?
- Friends won’t care.
- Family won’t care.
- Strangers won’t care.
Tiny homes don’t impress me much (right, Shania?).
I know speaking from personal experience, when people found out about my studio unit in BGC, it was nothing more than a snore fest. Contrast that to the times when I was buying 1,500 square ft townhouses in Silicon Valley, and it was night and day!
Of course, I don’t care the least bit.
Early FI is all about your own individual freedom.
It doesn’t matter what other people say or think.
If people want to talk down and neglect my tiny home, hey, be my guest.
It’s all good in the hood with me.
I’ll gladly concede and let the city itself boast about how awesome of a place it is.
Quite frankly, I much prefer keeping a low profile.
Maybe you do, too?
These are 10 reasons why I think tiny homes rock. For anyone on the path to early FI, I think there’s a lot of synergy you can unlock via a tiny home.
So, for folks who are still contemplating their housing options post-FI, I hope this post was most useful to you.
Never forget, by no means do you have to live like anyone else!
In this day and age, so many folks are wasting too much of their time and energy chasing all the wrong things.
Not to mention, wrong people.
Point blank, there shouldn’t be any damn competition out there!
Life is too short.
Just find the option + path that works best for you.
Are you also a fan of tiny homes? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Please comment below and let me know what you think. Do you have an additional 10 reasons why tiny homes rock to share?
Keep up the fight!