Amazon is now adding houses to the items they will be shipping to their customers. Wisconsin-based MODs International is selling their 320-square-foot “tiny homes” through Amazon for $36,000 plus around $4,500 for shipping. These miniature abodes are no longer used only by those trying to hide-a-way in the woods. It seems communities are springing up across the country that are embracing the lifestyle that caters to meeting the simple needs of shelter at an extremely affordable price. Though MODs is using brand new sea containers as the structural shell, tiny homes are also built using traditional materials. I found it a little surprising how nice such a small space can look on the inside. Even with limited space, each home is furnished with a bedroom, bathroom including a shower, kitchenette, appliances and living area with heating and cooling. Entry into the home is accessed through large double doors and the unit is equipped with extra windows to increase lighting. Interestingly, by most accounts, tiny homes run up to 400 square feet, then you move into the “small” category up to 1,000 square feet. As I understand it, people are joining this movement for many reasons, but the most popular ones include environmental and financial concerns as well as the desire for more time and freedom. Not suprisingly, for most Americans one-third to one-half of their income is dedicated to the roof over their heads, this translates to 15 years of working over your lifetime just to pay for it. And because of that, 76% of them are living paycheck to paycheck. Confirming the trend of the tiny home movement are shows like the upcoming series “Container Homes”, which will air on the DIY/HGTV network this fall or early next year. It isn’t the first to promote the lifestyle change as “Tiny House, Big Living” has been airing since 2014. Those that are choosing the space are seeking either their primary home, a guest house in the backyard or a shelter on a secondary property. As financial situations tighten for many, the homes are being used for “granny pods” to house aging parents while allowing them some independence as well as the newest trend towards “millennial quarters”. We’ve all read the stats of millennials coming back to the nest, it seems some parents are moving the nest to the backyard. For younger couples looking to start out life together on the cheap, keep in mind your plans for starting a family will be one of the biggest obstacles to overcome. For those wanting to stay within city boundaries, be sure to check with local zoning boards before you purchase. Though the communities are springing up around the country, some folks aren’t happy with including the tiny neighborhoods in their area for fear of lowering property values. Take a look at some of the communities embracing tiny homes HERE. If you like the thought of downsizing but 320 square feet simply won’t cut it or you don’t want to limit yourself to a container home, you can see more options for small houses HERE . (Source: simplemost.com, silive.com, housebeautiful.com)

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