Downsize Rising – Tiny Homes Offer Housing Alternative
Whether one is looking to downsize, travel the country or settle closer to a loved one, tiny homes offer an innovative solution. These minimalist houses offer chic, smaller spaces that reduce the stress of upkeep and create financial flexibility for new hobbies — especially when built on wheels. They are also eco-friendly and frequently built with renewable materials.
“When considering the benefits of a tiny home for a variety of demographics, it comes down to financial freedom and flexibility,” says Tina Orlando, owner and principal engineer of Backcountry Tiny Homes in Hampstead, N.H. “If someone feels that they might want to travel or spend more time being contract-based for their job, it gives them more flexibility. They can move their entire home with them instead of starting new in every single state.”
Since 2014, Backcountry Tiny Homes has been designing and building customized tiny houses on wheels for customers who span the country and the globe. They have built houses for customers in all fifty states, as well as Canada, Mexico and Europe. Originally based in Washington, they relocated to New Hampshire during the COVID-19 pandemic in order to be closer to Orlando’s Merrimack Valley roots.
Despite their compact, portable nature, these tiny homes offer abundant amenities. According to Orlando, each tiny home is equipped with insulation, heating, ventilation, a full bathroom, a full range kitchen with an oven, fridge, and countertop space, a living area with space to entertain, and either lofts or first floor bedrooms. And that’s the bare minimum. Back Country also offers customization options — such as adding in a small garage — to help you build the home that best suits your hobbies.
Compared to the rising price of houses, condos and even renting apartments, these tiny homes are reasonably priced for their offerings. Orlando explains that home pricing ranges from approximately $30K to $95K, with an average price of $60K to $65K.
For Orlando, who grew up in Dracut and has since lived in 30 states, a tiny home is perfect for her nomadic lifestyle. However, one doesn’t need to have traveling aspirations to downsize. Tiny home owners looking for more stability can own land and place their custom-built home there. For those interested in a more flexible lifestyle, there’s mobile and RV parks, or an online option where one can rent space similar to the process of Airbnb.
The COVID-19 pandemic has taught many of us the value in adapting lifestyles to remote work, in turn opening up opportunities to live more flexibly. This sentiment, paired with the increasingly frustrating housing market, has created a perfect storm for tiny homes to thrive. In fact, they have been gaining traction in the Merrimack Valley, says Orlando, who has multiple clients working on homes in Lowell and Dracut.
“We’ve had a surplus of people making decisions because of COVID, saying goodbye to their jobs a little earlier than they would’ve, and using the housing market to sell their existing home at a higher rate and opting for the smaller home to travel with,” Orlando says.
So, considering a downsize might not be so bad after all, especially when you can trade square feet for miles and miles of adventure.
Backcountry Tiny Homes