7 tiny truths: the reality of small houses

Written by Caitlin Costello in Buying on July 6, 2017

7 tiny truths: the reality of small houses

Downsizing is for many a lifestyle choice, and for others a necessity. Whatever the reason for moving into a smaller home, the reality remains the same – small houses are small. For all the benefits of compact living – less expenses, fewer maintenance requirements and in many cases, ability to afford closer proximity to major cities – there are also negatives that are just as important to consider. Before you sell up your bigger home in search of the tiny-living lifestyle, consider these seven very real possibilities.

1. Everyday activities

Smaller homes often come at the expense of additional rooms, those deemed “non essential”. Accept that you will likely have a combined bathroom and laundry, that your kitchen may have to double as a study or home office, and that you may have to say goodbye to the days of having a spare bedroom and or hosting a significant number of guests. And then there’s the fact that you could be forced to say goodbye to your backyard.

2. A place for your car to call home

It is common for smaller houses to come without their own dedicated parking spot, and very seldom do they come with an off-street garage. If you are used to your car having its own undercover spot, consider what it would mean if you had to compete for street parking on the daily. Download the realestateVIEW iOS app or the Android app to find the latest homes for sale, and check out the parking situation while you are at it!

Cars parked along the street

3. Clutter

Downsizing from big to small comes with a dire need for decluttering. But we are only human and we often have emotional attachments to our belongings. If you are moving with the same possessions as those which fit perfectly in your former, larger house, it’s going to be very difficult to cram it all into the newer generation. In a small space, objects that are out of place become very apparent.

4. Don’t stand so close to me

Prepare to get up close and personal. With smaller living spaces comes a forced intimacy with the other occupants within the house. In smaller houses there are less places to get away and be alone, and many rooms serve multiple purposes which doubles the chances of a friendly encounter!

5. Noisy housemates

When the rooms in a house are few and far between, noise can travel from one end to the other quickly. Like finding a private place to get away, finding a quiet space can be a real challenge. If someone is watching television in the living room, the person trying to sleep in the room adjacent might have a thing or two to say about the volume; and if someone is playing music while they shower, the person on the phone in the kitchen may disagree with more than just their roommate’s taste in music!

a reality of small houses - you will need to wear headphones like this girl!

6. Noisy neighbours

There’s also noise to contend with outside of that made by the people living in the same house as you. If your tiny house is of the terraced or townhouse variety, you may be sharing walls with your neighbours. This close proximity to neighbours is less common in larger houses, and may take some getting used to – especially if your neighbours are at a different life stage to you.

7. Crystal ball

Before moving to a smaller house, it’s important to consider what will pan out in your life in the short term future. A three storey townhouse may become unfeasible if you are planning to fall pregnant, or on the other end of the scale, if you are getting on in years then a house with multiple sets of stairs is perhaps not the best option either.