Tiny Homes For Sale in Minneapolis

Are there really adults that can be happy and comfortable living in a 300 square-foot house? The “happy” part is easy; the average tiny home costs between $15,000 and $80,000 (depending on size, whether new or existing and other considerations). Who wouldn’t be ecstatic with a mortgage payment of $70 to $378 dollars a month (based on a 30-year loan at 3.92 interest)?

But, comfortable? Although it seems nearly impossible to be comfy in a space the size of an average garage, many Americans are stepping up (or down) to the tiny house movement.

What is a Tiny Home?

There is much debate about how many – or how few – square feet constitutes a tiny house. Most in the small home industry, however, say that small homes range in size from 400 to 1,000 square feet and tiny homes measure less than 400 square feet of living space. 

The small house movement has been around, on and off, for a long time but Jay Shafer started the Tumbleweed Tiny House Company, which may just be the first of its kind, in 1997. The movement got a boost during the housing market crisis, with builders touting a cheaper alternative to the McMansions lost to foreclosure.

Small House Features

Features of these diminutive homes run the gamut from full kitchens to a mere propane burner to plumbed or just a rustic compost toilet.

The name of the game is efficiency so interior spaces must be carefully planned. Typically, this includes multipurpose furniture that offers maximum functionality yet takes up minimal space.

Advantages of Small Houses

Because of their size, tiny homes are obviously cheaper to build, and, because they fit on even the smallest parcel of land, the entire process, from buying the lot to building the home, can mesh with even the dinkiest of budgets.

What might you gain from living in a diminutive home? The gift of time, says Dee Williams, who has lived in an 84 square-foot home for more than 10 years. “The best part of living in a little house is discovering that I can now work part time,” Williams told Forbes. “There’s no hefty mortgage or utility bills, no credit card debt tied to fixing the furnace . . . Now I’ve got time to hang out with my friends, and to go for a long walk in the middle of the day. I have time to hang out with my neighbor’s four year old, and show him how to plant sunflower seeds in the garden. It’s the gift of time; that’s the best part of the deal.”

And, the disadvantages

Sure, these homes aren’t for everyone. A family, for instance, may find the cramped quarters impossible. It may even be challenging for a couple, unless they built a home in the higher end of the square-footage range.

And, when you do live with someone else, you’ll always be in the same room. If you find it hard to concentrate on your work or reading while the TV is on, this may be a problem for you. Tiny homes are not the best option for disorganized folks either. It doesn’t take long to clutter up such a small space so that it ends up looking like something you’d see on A&E’s “Hoarders.”

Are These Small Homes Legal?

In some parts of Minnesota, tiny homes are legal. In Brainerd and Minneapolis, for instance, homes can have as little as 500 square feet of living space. In both cities, however, the homes must be on foundations (no homes on wheels).

Who Builds Tiny Homes?

Many small home homeowners built their own homes, with the help of friends and family and with salvaged materials. You can also have a wee home built for you. Minnesota builders include Tiny Green Cabins and Alchemy Architects in St. Paul and Wee Cabins in Ely. Escape Homes in Wisconsin offers homes for as little as $57,400.