There’s a reason shows like Tiny House Nation, Tiny House Hunters and Tiny Paradise are so popular. The idea of downsizing — of getting rid of all that junk that’s cluttering your house — appeals to a lot of people.
So let’s talk living tiny.
What is a tiny home?:
For a house to be considered a tiny home, it must have fewer than 400 square feet. There are small homes out there, including this kit marketed by Home Depot, but at 820 square feet, it’s not technically tiny.
Tiny home living:
"People are pleasantly surprised what they find inside a tiny home," says Mark Agnew.
In addition to being the property sales specialist at Majestic Hills Tiny Home Community in Willis, he also lives there.
"You gain back quality time in your life because you don’t spend a lot of time cleaning your home because it’s 400 square feet," Agnew says. "We can clean our house in 20 minutes."
You won't find any mini furniture or folding futons in these homes.
"You can actually have a real dining table, an outdoor living space. Some of them hold a king-sized bed," says Georgette Freels, Majestic Hills' co-owner and designer.
The homes at Majestic Hills have space for a full sofa in the living room, a wet bar and a full walk-in shower, among other features. Designs can highlight different priorities in the kitchen, bathroom, bedroom or entertaining space depending on your needs.
"We have a lot of retirees, we have younger couples, we have single people, we have people who come up here just to use it as a vacation home and capitalize on all the amenities around like the state park and the lake," Georgette says.
She and husband Korey got the idea for Majestic Hills after seeing more people choosing to downsize into RVs.
"We kind of just merged them all together and started on tiny homes, which is sort of a traditional home and an RV," Georgette says.
Korey believes tiny home living is a much better option.
"This is a much more stable home to live in. It’s an asset that will appreciate in value," he said. "Tiny homes are built to residential standards. All of our walls are built with half-inch drywall, double-paned argon gas windows, metal roof. Anything that you need to live in a tiny home, you can go to Lowe’s or Home Depot. That’s not the case in some of the other alternatives."
How much does a tiny home cost?:
On the topic of value, how much you need to drop on a tiny home really depends on how handy you are. If you build it yourself, it’s going to be cheaper. DIY projects can start as low as $10,000.
If you buy a tiny home, you’re looking at a base price of $45,000 or upwards of $150,000 if you like the finer things in life.
"You can obviously spend more money if you really want to customize it, but the base homes [at Majestic Hills] are $55,000-$75,000," Agnew says. "The financial benefit is huge."
Why choose a tiny home?:
The cost is one reason to downsize, but the most common motivation is just simplifying life.
"You’re going to get control of your stuff," says Agnew.
At Majestic Hills, that means you can spend that time in the heated pool, working out in the gym, playing yard games, out at the 1-acre dog park or tending the community garden.
"Everyone talks about how peaceful it is here," Georgette says. "It just has a very serene, kind of separated feel once you come down the driveway into the community."
Already more than half of the lots at Majestic Hills are leased, so if you want in, you’ve got to act fast.