The Best and the Worst of Tiny House Living, According to Redditors Who’ve Done It

published Nov 25, 2019
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Whether you actually live in a tiny house, or the square footage of your apartment just feels like one sometimes, it’s quite fascinating to hear from people who actually joined in on the housing phenomenon. The trend has launched everything from magazines to reality shows, featuring smiling residents thrilled to live in cramped spaces. But in this Reddit thread, one user asked current or former tiny house residents to weigh in… and the answers are very revealing.

“Redditors who moved into a ‘tiny house’ during the craze a while back, how’s it going now?” the post read.

As you’d expect, responses were quite interesting. One resident, who lived in a tiny house for 13 years, long before it became a phenomenon, said they “saved a ton of money which allowed me to buy my own place in one of the most expensive markets in my country (Canada), but I wouldn’t recommend it to most.” Why? “I went stir crazy a lot.” Not only is storage impossible to come across, but having guests is pretty much a nightmare. Still, the poster said that when they moved out, their landlord could charge double because of the craze and the rental market. “But yea,” they concluded. “Not again thank you.”

Another user originally bought a 12×28 tiny house to use as an office/man cave in his backyard, but ended up using it as housing for his dad. The result? “It’s worked out quite well,” the user wrote. “He is very happy with the situation and his small house. He’s been living in there for 13 months now with no issues.” 

But not all answers worked out so well. Another commenter, a 17-year-old who lives with their single mother, bought a tiny house to rent out but eventually ended up moving in after they had to move out of their rented property. “The concept of living in a loft seemed cool to me and I thought I would enjoy it. I didn’t and don’t; I hate it here,” they wrote. They added that a lot of the issues could be avoided by not living with kids in your tiny house, because you’ll basically drive each other insane. “TL;DR don’t do it if you have kids, you’ll drive each other crazy,” they wrote. “I would recommend two different tiny houses, or one big enough to have rooms with doors.”

While issues range from lack of storage and poor insulation to the hassles of having sex in a lofted bed, it seemed that for many tiny house residents, there was one issue that served as a breaking point: The toilet. If you’re not living alone, there’s not much privacy when you need to use it. And even if you do live alone, the lack of an actual septic system is difficult if you have a compostable toilet that requires emptying. 

“Don’t even bother trying to live in a tiny house with one of those compostable toilets,” one user replied. “That’s what’s really made me give up on the experience. Having to drain the 2 gallon ‘pee jar’ every couple days was my form of hell (the smell, oh god, it haunts me).”