'People think they're just RVs': Tiny house builder describes the appeal and issues

First came the iPod, taking over for the larger-sized walkman. Next came the smartphone, which made the desktop computer and laptop. Now comes the ... tiny house?

“I'm a minimalist personally,” Peter Huggler, co-founder of Indigo River Tiny Homes, told Yahoo Finance. “A lot of people think that they're just RVs, but these houses are built to the same standards and quality as a standard home.”

The real appeal to these homes comes with the economic price tag on them. While the median price on buying a home in the United States is $225,300, the average cost of buying a tiny home is roughly $60,000. Also, given the size, tiny homes also allow residents to worry less about upkeep and maintenance issues.

Tiny House come in many forms despite all being small. (Photo: Yahoo Finance)
Tiny House come in many forms despite all being small. (Photo: Yahoo Finance)

The tiny house movement grew in the last decade in the United States. The International Code Council (ICC) even added a tiny house appendix to the International Residential Code (IRC) in 2018. Unfortunately, it’s still difficult for some new customers to receive the appropriate funding for the homes and find a place to settle down due to city mandates.


“The two biggest challenges to living tiny other than, you know, people embracing the minimalist lifestyle is a place to park it and then financing to purchase the tiny house,” Huggler said. “Unless you have an 800 credit score, there's not a whole lot of options for you out there for tiny house financing.”

He added: “Most cities have ordinances that don't allow tiny houses to be within the city limits. They're [pushing owners] on property outside the city limits or in an RV park where it's allowed and legal to park these.”

It come as no surprise that a bulk of tiny home owners are older and possibly already retired. A majority of tiny home owners are 50 years of age or older, and approximately 32% of these owners have more than $10,000 in savings for retirement.

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