Tiny Houses: Less is More

While most households yearn for that extra bedroom, a laundry room, or space for a home office, some homebuyers are actually seeking less square footage.


Philadelphia actually has a long-standing tradition of tiny houses: small rowhomes originally built for factory workers that now have a whole new appeal.


Smaller homes have become an attractive and realistic option particularly for first-time homeowners, seniors looking to downsize and eco-conscious buyers.


The energy efficient size of a tiny home reduces cost of living while also forcing homeowners to simplify their lives by streamlining their possessions.


Known officially as the Tiny House Movement, an increasing number of homeowners are opting for said small abodes, the qualifying square footage of which is 172 to 875 square feet(unofficially).


A redwood and cedar tiny house in the woods

Subscribers to the movement can attend workshops to learn how to build their own little lodgings, purchase a pre-made portable pad for as little as $57,000, or buy from existing housing stock that pre-dates the movement but meets the qualifications.


As for the latter, Philadelphia has an impressive stock of tiny houses that were built long before small was cool.


Many neighborhoods in Philadelphia that have high prices per square foot boast a number of these small-bordering-on-tiny houses.


If potential buyers are willing to opt for less square footage and embrace the tiny house ethos, they can afford neighborhoods they wouldn’t otherwise be able to.


What’s more, the trendiest neighborhoods in Philadelphia also have excellent access to public transportation, further decreasing the cost of living.


In fact, the Federal Office of Housing and Urban Development now officially accounts for transportation costs in their housing affordability index, renamed the Location Affordability Index.


2423 South Juniper Street is a perfect example of a small, affordable house in an up-and-coming area


A perfect example of finding affordability at the nexus of less square footage and proximity to public transit is this charming 940 square foot property at 2423 South Juniper Street. In the Lower Moyamensing neighborhood, it is mere blocks from the Broad Street line and the ever-increasing Passyunk Avenue food, drink, and entertainment attractions.

Every inch is maximized in the space-efficient kitchen (top) and second bedroom (bottom) of 2423 South Juniper Street


While it’s just over the 875 square foot cut-off for tiny houses, we doubt anyone will complain about the extra 65 square feet. It’s what allowed the current owners to squeeze in an office, after all!


Opening image: cropped version of “Tiny House Giant Journey in the Petrified Forest and an RV” by Guillaume Dutilh – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons -http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Tiny_House_Giant_Journey_in_the_Petrified_Forest_and_an_RV.jpg#/                media/File:Tiny_House_Giant_Journey_in_the_Petrified_Forest_and_an_RV.jpg

Tiny house in woods: “The Shed” by Benjamin Chun – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Flickr –                                                                    https://www.flickr.com/photos/benchun/3625699371/

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