For retirees looking to undergo extreme downsizing, a tiny home might be the answer. The average tiny home measures 186 square feet. That’s a fraction of the size of a traditional house. But limited space offers unique benefits, including lower utility bills and easier upkeep. Retirees are taking notice. Nearly 30% of tiny home residents are between the ages of 51 and 70, according to a 2015 survey conducted by TheTinyLife.com, a tiny home website.
Cost makes tiny homes particularly appealing to retirees living on fixed incomes. The average price to build a tiny home yourself is just $23,000, according to TheTinyLife.com. You’ll pay more to have someone build it for you — the 10 tiny homes for retirees we feature start at $45,000 — but the price tag will still be far less than what you’d pay for a full-size home. In 2015, the median sale price of a new traditional house was $296,200, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. As for mortgages, 68% of tiny home owners don’t have them, while just 29% of all U.S. homeowners are living mortgage-free.
If you’re intrigued by the prospect of retiring to a tiny home, be sure to find one designed to suit the needs of retirement-age owners. Look for safety features such as slip-resistant floors, and avoid sleeping lofts with ladders. Also weigh the pros and cons of a mobile tiny home that can be moved around on a trailer versus one placed on a permanent foundation on land you own.