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Tiny Homes for Preppers and Homesteaders

by Gabriel Gregoire

Are tiny homes for preppers? For over a decade now, it’s been “a thing”: individuals, couples, even families opting for the simplicity that comes with fewer square feet of home to deal with: the Tiny House movement. People undergo a massive lifestyle change, all in the name of cutting away unwanted expenses and unnecessary possessions. 

The average size of a tiny home is less than 8 feet by 20 feet, leaving only about 120 square feet of usable living space. Even compared to the average size of some apartments, this can seem almost unlivable. It’s certainly the stark opposite of the common American dream of upgrading to a roomy mansion, or even the prepper’s dream of a large acreage on which to grow food and build apocalypse-safe outbuildings.

In a society, culture, and economy that’s based on collecting as many material possessions as possible and storing them all in as large a space as possible, pursuing a simpler existence can be extremely beneficial to preppers — and others — that struggle financially. There are also other benefits to be had from this unconventional alternative to getting a large house and plot of land. Let’s explore whether a Tiny House is right for you.

Advantages of Tiny Homes for Preppers

tiny home cost savings
Tiny homes (usually) mean cost savings.

Although much depends on the make, model, location, and enhancements of your tiny house, and though it’s a given that money saved will be the one big advantage, there are a number of other things to consider. Let’s take a look.

Low Homeowners’ Costs

Possibly the most popular reason for jumping onto the bandwagon of tiny homes for preppers is to escape modern financial constraints and complications. Why pay exorbitant property taxes, home association fees, repair costs, and more, when you don’t have to?

The miniscule size of tiny homes encourage those that live in them to make do with less, allowing for more money to be put into paying off debt and developing robust savings. Their small size also makes them easier to keep warm in the winter and cool in the summer.

Most people have accrued a large sum of debt, between student loans and credit cards, to the extent that it’s become an intense and chronic issue. For preppers, becoming financially independent is an important goal, and a tiny home can be an effective solution for achieving that goal.

Simplicity

Everyone has at one point or another pared down their belongings, making an attempt to only keep what you need. Yard sales. Moving. Reacting to a pay downgrade. When you move into a tiny house, though, you really have to bite the bullet. Do you really need Nana’s old afghan, or that living-room golf putting green and cup? It’s not an easy process to go through.

But in the end, simplification of your living situation and arrangement of possessions both lead to a certain simplification in the mind and spirit. You can find creative ways to use the space, look for creative kitchen storage ideas for tiny homes, etc. When you’re forced to decide what’s really important, guess what: then you know what’s really important. Tiny homes can help you do that.

tiny homes for preppers - location
A very tiny tiny home.

Negotiating the Real Estate Market

Each year the cost of renting is going up. The price of one month’s rent can be more than a mortgage on a normal house without even including any of the amenities. It’s possible with a tiny home to pay significantly less than you would with rent, while not losing the necessary bells and whistles to keep yourself comfortable and productive. 

Many people take the equity of their home into account to help them gain a financial edge. Equity can be used as a down payment on your tiny home: you can borrow against your equity with a home equity loan, or even get cash from it once you sell the standard-sized home. Even if you’re upside-down on your home loan, you may still be able to improve the quality of the property — increasing its value — or pay off more of the debt. Either way, moving into a tiny home can move you toward your financial goals.

tiny homes for preppers - community
Property like this is a dream for most people. Tiny homes are a real estate alternative.

And one more thing: gaining this foothold in the real estate market, whether your tiny home is easy to pay for, or all paid off up front, gives you purchasing power. In the future, there’s no reason you can’t “flip” your tiny home property, or even rent it out while you move elsewhere, to strengthen your housing niche. The sky really is the limit.

Something You Can Build On

Let’s say you have or purchase a couple of acres, upon which you build your tiny home. Your situation improves. You get ahead a little bit. Well, now you can add an addition, outbuildings, even a barn, if you’re involved in raising crops or livestock. Your tiny home could simply be the first construction of that SHTF-proof compound you’ve always dreamt about owning. Start small, and you can go anywhere.

Possible Affordable Bug-Out Location

When preparing a bug out location that will address your needs, a tiny home could be just the thing. And because a good plot of land can be so expensive and hard to find, a tiny home can be built on a small plot that’s tucked away out of sight, making an affordable alternative to larger plots. You could even have a mobile tiny home that you can park anywhere and move to another location in the event you need to escape.

Disadvantages of Tiny House Prepping

Small Size

The main disadvantage is really quite obvious. While you’ll be able to save a good amount of money, you won’t have nearly enough room to store all the SHTF gear you can in a normal home. There are plenty of creative ways to increase the amount of storage in a tiny home including optimized nooks and crannies or extra height, but you will always be limited in terms of what you can store in a tiny home. To overcome this you’ll have to invest in smaller, lightweight or takedown options of tools and gear, or improvise with items that are multi-taskers.

You Can’t Just Put Them Anywhere

Zoning laws are different from town to town, and these can make it difficult to find a place to place your tiny house without repercussions from the law. A 200 square foot dwelling oftentimes does not fit the standard minimums and forces tiny home owners to be creative with how to establish their home.

tiny home on wheels
This tiny home may be on wheels, but that doesn’t mean it can be parked anywhere.

There are RV and trailer parks that are friendly to tiny homes, but some people opt for their current backyard, listing their tiny home as a “vehicle” or “outbuilding.” Researching zoning laws and loopholes for each state will be an important step for any tiny home prepper.

Tiny Homes for Preppers: Resources

Tiny Home Websites

The Tiny Life is a good blog that gives relevant information on not only living a minimalist life in a tiny home, but also how to incorporate homesteading into that life. They have even written their own article on Tiny House Preppers and Prepping.

Tiny House Blog has a lot of information about tiny homes and tiny home manufacturers, with suggestions on how to improve the tiny house living experience.

Books

Tiny House Design & Construction Guide is a guide that will help you through the process of creating a tiny home that will shelter you and your family.

The Big Book of Small Home Plans is a compact catalog includes over 360 plans of tiny homes that are under 1,200 square feet. With easy to follow blueprints, helpful advice, and a DIY guide, this site provides what you need to start building a tiny home of your own.

150 Best Tiny Home Ideas is a hardcover, illustrated book that showcases the most up-to-date innovations and trends to make life successful in a small space.

Building, Occupying and Selling Tiny Homes Legally: Tiny Home Law is an easy-to-use resource for tiny home builders and owners. It will help transform your project from something that exists on the outskirts of legality to a law-abiding, safe structure welcomed by zoning ordinances.

Final Thoughts

We’ve seen that tiny homes can be extremely beneficial to the financial health of preppers who aren’t intimidated by out of the box solutions, as well as providing a potential place to bug out to when the SHTF. The financial independence that comes from the lessened costs of living in a tiny home opens up a huge advantage in this modern culture of debt and monetary hardship.

If done right, a tiny home can allow a prepper to invest in more expensive quality preps, such as land, as well as alleviate the stresses that normal mortgages and debts put on, which can strengthen mental fortitude and family relationships. As long as creative steps are taken to accommodate the limited size and the location issues, tiny homes are an incredible investment that should be considered by each of us as a prepper. 

Would you be able to live and prep in a confined space? Tell us your thoughts or experiences on tiny homes in the comments below.

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