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In 1973, the average size of a residential home in America was 1525 square feet. By 2013, this figure rose by more than 70 percent to 2598 square feet, thanks to the construction boom of the so-called “McMansions,” or oversized homes built for sale.  

While expanding a house may be any homeowner’s dream, an alternative movement has been on the rise, following the subprime mortgage crisis in 2007. There are groups of people, especially among baby boomers and millennials, who seek a more simple and minimal lifestyle, as evidenced by the recent popularity of Ms. Marie Kondo, the declutter expert, and her best-seller book, The LifeChanging Magic of Tidying Up.

One such example is “The Tiny House Movement,” which reassesses the value of simple and sustainable lifestyle, and encourages people to live in small houses of 150-400 square feet. With the economic collapse, many people were forced to give up their homes and move into a rented space. Some people have started to question the stress of having to work long hours just to afford high rents.

The cost of a “tiny house” is about $10K to $25K, if you do not hire a contractor and build it yourself. Various resources, such as how-to-books and building materials, are available for sale as well. The cost is anywhere from $60K to over $100K if you hire builders that specialize in constructing luxury tiny houses.

Quite a few Americans find living in tiny homes attractive and fulfilling. They are environmentally friendly, and can be built at a low cost, without having to take out a long-term loan or mortgage. Even with little space, it is possible to create a highly efficient home by utilizing the latest technology, like solar panels.

Home & Garden Television (HGTV), which specializes in programs on homes and interiors, air two regular shows about tiny houses. We can expect their popularity to continue among baby boomers who wish to downsize and minimize their possessions, and single millennials, who have embraced the sharing economy and are less concerned with the size of their homes.