The senior lifestyle is certainly changing with the baby boomer generation. This large group of today’s retirees seems determined to age well and enjoy the fruits of their lifelong labor with an active lifestyle.
About 15 percent of the U.S. population is currently 65 or over and that demographic group will rise to nearly 24 percent as the last of the baby boomers reach retirement age. That puts pressure on the demand for affordable housing options for seniors.
Are Tiny Homes the Answer?
It is not surprising, that some retiring seniors are embracing “tiny homes”, a recent trend in homes with many apparent senior benefits. Senior Planet reports that “40 percent of tiny house owners are over age 50.”
A tiny home is the ultimate in downsizing that allows maximum use of small spaces, while lowering loan and utility costs and decreasing environmental impacts. They can also be more mobile than a traditional home.
They range in price anywhere from $15,000 to $80,000 depending on the features and style. The theory is that there is also less upkeep and caring for clutter, so you have more time (and money) for your new lifestyle’s adventures.
Sound amazing? Before you leap, there are lots of things to consider about living in a tiny home.
Here are just a few:
- The homes are tiny – Most of these homes range from 100 to 400 square feet. It means extreme scaling down, with no clutter, very little elbow room and no storage for your things.
- You still need a location– Lot prices or rents may be high. You will need an area where building and permit regulations allow the tiny home. And, if your home is on a trailer there may be more restrictions.
- Adjusting to a tiny space – Not only do you need to make sure residents can get along, but understand that features do take space and finding it is a challenge. A washer/dryer or dishwasher won’t fit. Kitchen counter space is minimal.
- No garage or office space – If you want a garage or a private office you will need a separate structure.
- There are hidden costs – You will need a laundromat; and there is little space allowed for storage of bulk foods that typically cost less. Laundry and grocery trips will increase gas use.
For more than two decades, I have helped clients—many of them seniors—find the right home for their lifestyles. I know the various options for downsizing and can help with advice on available choices. Call me at (360) 701- 4223 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.