Living in a place that's a lot less than 1,000 square feet is usually reserved for people just starting out on their own.
But a growing group of people are choosing to live in smaller homes, even if they can afford something bigger. Tiny houses or "micro-homes" appeal to buyers who want to pare down their lives in every way.
In San Francisco and New York, tiny apartments measuring as small as 220 square feet have begun to seem like a viable way to combat rising rents. Mayor Michael Bloomberg challenged architects to design a New York micro-apartment, and chose a winner in January.
The real estate downturn was of course one of the biggest catalysts behind the small home movement, says Michael Janzen of Tiny House Design. “A lot of people who are retired are looking at tiny homes as a way to downsize,” he said. “Younger people are interested in it as a way to get a foothold on homeownership, and a lot of people like the environmental aspect.”
And, adds Janzen, not only do smaller homes cost less, you can also build a tiny home yourself.
“It’s an empowering movement,” he said.
While there are resources and plans to build your own tiny home, it’s also possible to buy one currently on the market. First up is a 600-square-foot cottage within walking distance of the beach in Southern California's Dana Point.