Simplicity, sustainability, and rootedness in nature are important elements of the lake lifestyle. The recent tiny home movement promotes these same values.

Tiny homes are ingeniously designed residences that provide everything you need to lead a rich, rewarding life in only about 100 to 400 square feet. For those who understand that nothing compares to living on the water, there are many reasons to own such cottages, especially in Texas.

1. An Affordable Option 

Texas is a top relocation destination for people seeking an affordable cost of living, and tiny homes offer a less expensive alternative to conventional residences.

Due to high prices on houses and spiking interest rates on mortgages, younger generations in particular are currently struggling to purchase homes. Many have been priced out of the market altogether. 

It should come as no surprise, then, that more and more millennials are looking into tiny houses as a potential alternative to housing. According to a 2022 report, about 63% of them would consider purchasing one, and for good reason: tiny homes present a cost-effective housing option. Even building one from scratch with the help of professionals is likely to run only $60,000. 

According to Rocket Mortgage, “The average cost of [building your own] tiny house is a reasonable $30,000 – $60,000, although they can cost as little as $8,000 or up to $150,000 depending on the amenities you choose to include.” Since tiny homes are fully customizable, building one means you can select the right size, color, floorplan, design, and features to meet your own particular needs.

Preowned tiny homes generally cost even less. “It’s not uncommon for these homes to cost as little as $30,000,” Rocket Mortgage explains.

In addition, the monthly costs of owning a tiny home — such as fees for utilities — tend to be low since the square footage of these residences is small. For the same reason, tiny homes also require less upkeep.

2. As An Investment Opportunity

Now is a particularly good time to invest in tiny houses. According to Motley Fool, “Tiny homes are more popular than ever. The global tiny home market is expected to grow by about 4% in 2022… The market is expected to hit $4.7 billion in global revenue by 2026.”

Texas is a prime place to make such an investment. A recent Technavio study found that “North America will provide maximum growth opportunities in tiny homes during the forecast period. According to our research report, the region will contribute to 58% of the global market growth and is expected to dominate the market through 2025.”

Tiny homes offer many advantages for investors. They are a relatively inexpensive way to invest in real estate and open up a passive revenue stream. While an aspiring landlord might not be able to afford an apartment building, a tiny house or two may be within reach. Indeed, they are so cost-effective that some owners can afford multiple units, thereby hosting more renters and increasing profits.

In addition, the trendiness of this housing option makes them easy to market. The fun, convenience, and efficiency of tiny homes appeal to many renters. Ecologically minded tenants also appreciate their sustainability.

3. Looking To Downsize

For those who are looking to simplify their lives, tiny homes offer the perfect solution. As years unfold, possessions have a way of piling up. In a strange way, the things we own seem to turn around and start owning us. As Marie Kondo has famously observed, clutter can create stress.

One of the benefits tiny home owners enjoy is the feeling of liberation that comes with reducing the number of possessions they have. Most seniors understand this intuitively and are eager to shed unwanted and unnecessary items. Tiny houses help you focus on the essentials.

Moreover, many homeowners are sick of cleaning upwards of 2,500 square feet — the current size of the average new American home. Due to their compact size, tiny cottages are quicker and easier to clean. Many tiny home owners report being able to clean theirs from top to bottom in as little as 30 minutes or less.

Some tiny homes are also mobile, having been built on wheels. This makes them a more flexible, adaptable option than permanent housing. Retirees in particular appreciate the ability to travel and visit with far-flung friends and family while taking literally everything with them. Similarly, tiny homes work well as accessory dwelling units (ADUs) that can be kept on your children’s land or in their backyard.

4. Start Your Own AirBNB

Just as tiny homes have become more popular in recent years, so have Airbnb and VRBOs, and Texas is a particularly good place to list one. As the Houston Chronicle writes, “Texas is the third most profitable state in which to host an Airbnb… In 2021, new hosts in Texas earned a total of approximately $170 million.” 

Many Airbnb and VRBO customers are looking for novelty and unique experiences. They want to stay in places they will probably never get the chance to own themselves, including yurts, teepees, and converted sheds. The wildest listings are mind-blowing: a potato in Idaho, a “flying saucer” in the UK, and even a shoe in Australia.

Likewise, tiny homes appeal to Airbnb and VRBO customers because they are fun, different, and unexpected, and most of them are just plain cute. Tiny cottages enable guests to experience living in a whole new way, which contributes to their experience.

For those who might be interested in buying a tiny home themselves, these listings also present an opportunity to experiment with the lifestyle since they can stay overnight or for a weekend to get a feel for the space. Many come away from such trips having learned how little space they actually need.

5. Make The World A Better Place

As an additional benefit of owning these units, tiny homes are more sustainable than conventional housing. Due to their smaller footprint, they require less energy to heat and power. According to the aforementioned Motley Fool article, “On average, a tiny house produces about 30% less CO2 yearly than the average house.” An Australian study found that tiny homes’ carbon dioxide emissions per person are 70 percent less than that of traditional houses.

But that’s not the only way tiny homes are green — building a tiny home only consumes a fraction of the materials necessary to construct a traditional single-family home. Furthermore, some manufacturers make tiny homes that not only conserve energy but also enable life off the grid, with solar panels and other adjustments.

When it comes to housing, bigger isn’t always better, even in the Lone Star state. Given all these pocket residences can do for you, now is the right time to consider buying a tiny cottage in Texas.

Justin Draplin
Author: Justin Draplin

Justin is Founder and CEO of Eclipse Cottages.

Join the Texas Outside newsletter