Bringing elements of your vacation home is one thing, but have you ever considered just packing your entire home with you as you travel across the country?
The housing market is tough and unkind to low-earners, but relocatable homes bring together the best of both worlds. Living small and staying on the road is now the lifestyle of choice among a new generation of housing insecure youth and wanderlusts who crave a constant change of scenery. Regardless of which category you fall under, knowing more about this trend may just convince you to haul your entire home and go on a long-term road trip.
What Has Gotten Everyone Into Tiny Homes?
Tiny homes have been all the rage lately, with more and more people looking to break out of the cycle of housing insecurity in the simplest way possible: downsizing. While a full-size home can cost upwards of $500,000 to build and own, tiny houses can go as low as approximately $5,000 for 100-500 square feet. Choosing to let go of most material possessions can be daunting, especially if you are one to buy a new wardrobe every season and indulge in king-size beds and 42-inch flat-screen TVs. But in conjunction with efforts toward minimal and sustainable living, some have chosen to take a big leap into a small house.
Tiny houses — even custom built homes — are significantly cheaper for various reasons.
- They are a lot smaller than full-size homes, so they cost less materials to build. In 2015, new homes in the US were 2,600 square feet on average — over five times the size of a tiny abode!
- The tiny home construction process is often done off-site and delivered to the foundation after completion. This eliminates the need to accommodate bad weather conditions, which can increase labor hours and, in effect, cost more in the long run. There is also less waste as no excess materials will be discarded; they can be used to build new homes for other clients.
- If you choose to live in a relocatable home, then you do not have to deal with the cost of land. Land can bump up the price of permanent housing, but with a house on wheels, all you need to worry about is the actual build and car.
Most importantly, tiny houses can turn into relocatable homes on wheels, which you can attach to your car and take with you anywhere the road leads to. It is the best way to feed your wanderlust on a budget and explore winding roads without having to set up a tent. There is nothing more exciting than going on a forever vacation or being able to go on a movie marathon at home in the middle of a valley.
The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly
While the prospect of traversing from one state to another has its perks, there are also nuances that you need to consider before committing to it full time. Living small is not easy, after all, and it may take some time and mental preparation to decide whether this lifestyle is right for you.
- The Good
Apart from cost reduction, there is no doubt that living in a house on wheels is extremely convenient. Even if you are not an avid traveller, being able to move from one place to another with ease can motivate you to take on any opportunity that comes your way. Got a new job offer in another state? No problem — just drive off with your home! Do not like your neighbors? No problem — just move to another mobile park! Likewise, every time you crave the sight of another state, driving away takes much less money and effort than booking a plane ticket for a three-day escape.
- The Bad
As tiny homes are still relatively new in most countries, there can be limitations within each state or county you need to be aware of. Each area categorises relocatable homes differently, so you might be considered to live in a trailer in one state and an RV in another. These will require different licenses and permits and will be subject to various regulations. It is best to look them up before downsizing.
- The Ugly
One of the biggest limitations of choosing to live on wheels is not having a permanent address, which can be detrimental if you are looking to build credit or sign official documentation. Some places may not allow you to own a relocatable home without a permanent secondary address at all! And not to forget the dilemma about where to ship your online orders. Most mobile home dwellers rely on family and friends to lend them parking space, which they will also register as a permanent address.
Enjoying The Freedom Of Living
Living in a relocatable home involves a major lifestyle change. Before long, you will come to find that you are living with a lot less waste and really thinking about what you add to your life. On the plus side, you can take your home with you on any number of vacations you choose or go on one forever. Most mobile house owners opt to work freelance or remote jobs to make a living while on the road. Otherwise, you can always settle down in a mobile park or your own land when you feel like adding a sense of permanence into your life.
Flexibility and freedom are two peas in a pod when it comes to relocatable homeownership. It might just be the answer to your steak of burn out, stress, and housing dilemma.