Is This the End of the Tiny House Trend?

Is This the End of the Tiny House Trend?

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Melissa Massello
Jul 17, 2017

While the trend from minimalism back to maximalism marches on, could the overall size of our spaces follow suit? A new home buying regrets survey from Trulia says all signs point to yes.

According to the results of the recent "Real Estate Regrets" survey conducted by Trulia, 33% of homeowner respondents said they wished they had chosen to purchase a larger home — or 29% of all homeowners aged 18 to 34 and 8% of all homeowners aged 65 and up.

When sharing these survey results, writers at Jezebel and People both jumped to the conclusion that perhaps this means a harbinger for the end of the Tiny House Movement, since — of the 2,264 U.S. adults ages 18 and up surveyed by Trulia about the size of their home — "a scant 9 percent wished for less [space]."

And they're not alone in making the argument that, for many, tiny house living may be a regrettable decision — with more and more media reporting the reality of "living tiny."

Realtor.com shared its own "truth behind tiny home living" expose last November, citing advice against tiny home living by multiple veteran tiny house owners, in the same month that Forbes shared a piece on the 5 Reasons Why Buying a Tiny House is a Mistake.

The piece from Forbes is particularly interesting in tagging the Tiny Home Movement as a fad, and it was also contributed to by Trulia (we are definitely seeing a trend HERE, at least!). In it, the writers cite some interesting fad-supporting bullet points like the fact that — despite a popular Millennial argument for tiny homes as a practical investment and a good first foothold into the real estate market — the truth is that these "high-end travel trailers...are wildly impractical," with a next-to-none return on investment in an as-yet unproven market with limited supply and demand that's largely driven by the popularity of reality TV shows.

"We don't see a significant portion of the population living permanently in them," Keith Thompson, a real estate broker with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, told Trulia/Forbes.

In fact, as far back as 2015 writers were picking up on the beginnings of domestic downsizing regrets, such as in this piece by Business Insider that features people who actually abandoned their tiny homes when they found "living tiny" to be much, much harder than they realized.

So what do YOU think? Is the end of the trend near for tiny houses? Is this survey of just under 2,300 people even statistically significant? Have you owned a tiny home? What was your return on investment? Did you just never even see the appeal to begin with? We'd love to hear from you in the comments!

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