How Young Canadians and Retiring Parents are Saving Money Living in Tiny Homes

Many young Canadians feel that home ownership is a relic of a bygone era. Modern first-time home buyers see the massive colonial and Victorian homes that former generations have aspired to and can’t imagine themselves ever living that way. This new era of economically and environmentally savvy homeowners have come up with a better way – the tiny home.

Today we find ourselves in a world of ever-increasing housing prices, a stark contrast to the stagnating wages of our time. Sure, these rising prices greatly benefit those who bought homes years ago. At the same time, these financial conditions leave new buyers out in the cold. Young Canadians who have grown up believing that owning a big home is the end goal of ‘being an adult’ find themselves pressured to go into massive debt just to be able to purchase their first home.

Alternatively, tiny homes are a way to avoid taking on such debt so early in life. The much more moderately priced tiny homes give Canadian families the means to a much smaller mortgage, or even to buy a home outright. Without the burden of a hefty mortgage payment each month, families can spend their money where they would like to instead of where they have to. For some Canadians, these smaller homes have helped them recover 30 to 40 percent of their household income – a welcome respite to any family. This extra disposable income can also have amazing benefits for a young family, allowing the parents to give their children the best possible start in life.

Canadians under-40 understand that there’s more to their housing choices than money. Tiny homes represent a shift towards a more environmentally friendly way of life. With the threat of climate change and depleting non-renewable resources hanging over their heads, many have chosen a more sustainable way of life. Solar power is a staple of this new housing philosophy. These new homeowners don’t want to find themselves depending on an electrical grid which is, in many cases, supplied by coal-burning power plants. Comparatively, in tiny homes, repurposed and recycled building materials are common in their construction. The inventive ways these small homes reuse materials is astonishing, from counter tops furnished with recycled glass to walls of stacked tires packed with earth. The simple and sustainable way of life that comes with tiny home living seems more appealing to Canadians everyday.

It’s not just the young Canadian family that find themselves attracted to this new way of life. Many retired parents also find that they have more space than they need now that their children have found homes of their own. Moving into a tiny home gives them an environment that is better suited to their current needs. It also allows them to reclaim the money they’ve invested into their previous home, giving them the opportunity to pursue hobbies and leisure activities during their golden years.

This new tiny home movement has found its niche with Canadians young and old.  With more and more Canadians shifting towards greater economic and environmental sustainability, who knows how big the tiny home wave will grow.


Creating Customized Living Spaces In A Tiny Home Comes Down To You

Living large in a tiny home and customizing it according to your wants is what it’s all about. The exact type of tiny home you have ultimately comes down to you and your preferences. As one of the more unique living arrangements out there, there are no rules when it comes to what you need to have in there – outside of federal or provincial regulation. There’s no cookie-cutter tiny home floor plan you need to abide by. If you want to go with a previously selected template, there’s plenty out there but you always have the opportunity to customize.

In this day and age, being able to customize and/or renovate a property is important to homeowners. It gives them a chance to build in equipment, rooms, and facilities that a home may not already naturally have. The days of formulaic suburban homes are out and trendy customizations are in. As a tiny home builder, we actively encourage our customers to select changes to personalize their tiny home to themselves. There’s no shortage of semi-detached, single-family homes, condos, and townhouses out there that all look and feel the same. Especially in cities like Vancouver and Toronto, where they’re trying to build as quickly as possible, there’s a lot of duplication happening across units far and wide.

Instead of walking the same line as everybody else, create a version of a home on your own terms. Thankfully, with a tiny home, it’s usually a lot less expensive than it would be if you had to do the same in a larger building. In a tiny home, you get to design a home distinct to you. Contrast the colours and aesthetics you want, mixing in simple, modern contemporary elements that reflect what you want. No tiny home should just be a box you live in. We want more! Take the opportunity to really give some thought to what design elements resonate with you.

Outside of the tiny home community, there may be a lot of misunderstandings and a lack of support from family towards you moving into a tiny home. Although the acceptance of tiny homes has come a long way in the last decade, there’s still a category of people who don’t understand how someone could live in such a tiny space. To these people though, we would like to refer them to the thousands of Canadians already living in these spaces. They’ve helped families save up enough money to eventually get into a semi-detached or fully detached property. They’ve given shelter to the homeless and the low-income. They’ve also provided affordable housing to a number of individuals who wouldn’t be able to otherwise afford it.

Tiny homes aren’t cookie-cutter homes and they’re not meant for cookie-cutter people. No home looks identical to the one built next or before. In a tiny home, you could very well design something that no one else has. Choose where you want your ample storage space, decide what you want to hang on the wall and where, identify where you need your electrical outlets, and make your statement! For anyone working with a template, don’t hesitate to make suggestions, requests, or recommendations.


Tiny Homes can be Used for Camping and Hunting Anywhere in Canada

If you love to go camping, hunting, have a multi-acre property with a lot of forest on it, are looking at possibly building a trailer community, or simply have a knack for being off the grid, have you ever thought about purchasing a tiny home – here’s why it’s something to think about.

Tiny homes are normally associated with minimalist living and those who want to downgrade their living quarters to something small, affordable, and in line with their interests. In the last decade, they’ve also been used by conservationists, workers in remote regions, and everyday Canadians who want to live away from everything. For them, it’s their home. If you’re interested in using tiny homes for camping or hunting, it’s a very affordable setup.

It’s amazing what you can fill into a tiny home and how it can be customized to suit your every need. See a kitchen, sleeping quarters, a fully-equipped shower and bathroom, a fridge, windows, and all sorts of options. There are already conservation parks in Canada and the United States installing tiny homes to provide more unique housing options for camping enthusiasts.

Tine homes have also been purchased and used off-grid as a sort of camping hideout, similar to a cabin or trailer. Unlike a trailer or cabin however, a tiny home is far more inexpensive and customizable, incorporating the details you want rather than providing you with a pre-made design.

Some of the more basic tiny homes can be incredibly affordable to build while others can easily add up to $100,000 or more. Ultimately, the cost does rely on what you want and need in your tiny home. For campers and/or hunters, usually, it’s quite bare so that certainly helps to bring down costs. This doesn’t mean you can’t have a very comfortable place to live though.

Some are sold on wheels while others are on skids. There are also standard models of various sizes which can be selected, if you want to minimize the customizations required or should you be ordering more than one.

If you have a large multi-acre property, maybe you want to install a tiny home a few acres into the forest. Some have done exactly this to attract paid visitors or family and friends, slowly building out small camping sites which one can rent out in the warmer months.

Also, if glamping is your thing, know a tiny home provides all the comforts of home. Throw in a little style and some luxurious accessories, it can be a great way to live in ease while exploring the outdoors for those who may not be interested in going full-on off-the-grid camping with it.


Why Canadian Cities need to Update Standards of Living to Accommodate Tiny Home Trends

Although we hear so much about the high home prices of Canadian major cities like Toronto, everywhere from Vancouver, BC to Charlottetown, PEI is struggling with high home prices and a significant lack of affordable housing. Despite the fact that tiny home-based minimalist living could be one possible solution to high home prices in major Canadian cities, it’s being shut out by some.

For a single-family home in Toronto or Vancouver, you’re looking at a value of $1.5 million. Canadians save, save, and save for the down-payment for their first home. For those fortunate enough to remain at home rent-free living with family, they may make enough moving money around their student debts to get there. In the meantime, for new immigrant families, minimum-wage workers, the disabled, the vulnerable, and those who do not have the luxury of financial support from family, they’ll likely never get there.

Tiny homes, ranging anywhere from 200 sq. ft. to two or three times that size, may be the answer. Even so, there are specific rules in major cities in tiny homes, micro-suites, and laneway homes that could prevent people from having access to minimalist living. Vancouver residents interested in purchasing a tiny home within city limits are currently being denied by local government who questions whether these small suites are “livable”. Don’t get us wrong – some smaller units certainly can be questioned as to whether they are livable or not. In reality though, tiny homes – that is, those built to be tiny homes – are dream houses for some. Canadians anywhere should be allowed access to tiny home-based minimalist living.

Though tiny homes may not be a full solution to high home prices, they may make for a partial solution. Tiny homes can accommodate so much in a design – including a full-height fridge, oven, cooktop, kitchen sink, dishwasher, washer, dryer, three-piece bathroom, a multi-functional living room, a bedroom, and a dining space. When designed correctly, tiny homes, laneway homes, and micro-suites are as livable as anywhere else in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Regina, Winnipeg, Toronto, Hamilton, Ottawa, Montreal, Moncton, St. John’s, Charlottetown, or Halifax.

Home affordability remains a growing concern in each of the aforementioned cities and yet, there’s little support in government for laneway housing or tiny homes. As long as these cities refuse to allow permits for these homes, this denies a partial solution that’s worth exploring.

Tiny home neighbourhoods could potentially house everyone from young families to aging seniors, low-income individuals, and those seeking to embody minimalist living ideals. In Seattle, tiny homes are being used to combat homelessness, providing shelter to some of the city’s most vulnerable and they’re very much facing the same bureaucratic struggle we continue in Canada. Beyond the amazing amount of good tiny homes can do for Canada’s most vulnerable, we are also not accommodating the demographic of people who wish to forego the materials, the space, and the “luxuries” they’ve been told they should want.


Is Tiny Home-Based Minimalist Living the Solution to High Home Prices across Canada’s Biggest Cities

Although we hear so much about the high home prices of Canadian major cities like Toronto, everywhere from Vancouver, BC to Charlottetown, PEI is struggling with high home prices and a significant lack of affordable housing. Despite the fact that tiny home-based minimalist living could be one possible solution to high home prices in major Canadian cities, it’s being shut out by some.

For a single-family home in Toronto or Vancouver, you’re looking at a value of $1.5 million. Canadians save, save, and save for the down-payment for their first home. For those fortunate enough to remain at home rent-free living with family, they may make enough moving money around their student debts to get there. In the meantime, for new immigrant families, minimum-wage workers, the disabled, the vulnerable, and those who do not have the luxury of financial support from family, they’ll likely never get there.

Tiny homes, ranging anywhere from 200 sq. ft. to two or three times that size, may be the answer. Even so, there are specific rules in major cities in tiny homes, micro-suites, and laneway homes that could prevent people from having access to minimalist living. Vancouver residents interested in purchasing a tiny home within city limits are currently being denied by local government who questions whether these small suites are “livable”. Don’t get us wrong – some smaller units certainly can be questioned as to whether they are livable or not. In reality though, tiny homes – that is, those built to be tiny homes – are dream houses for some. Canadians anywhere should be allowed access to tiny home-based minimalist living.

Though tiny homes may not be a full solution to high home prices, they may make for a partial solution. Tiny homes can accommodate so much in a design – including a full-height fridge, oven, cooktop, kitchen sink, dishwasher, washer, dryer, three-piece bathroom, a multi-functional living room, a bedroom, and a dining space. When designed correctly, tiny homes, laneway homes, and micro-suites are as livable as anywhere else in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Regina, Winnipeg, Toronto, Hamilton, Ottawa, Montreal, Moncton, St. John’s, Charlottetown, or Halifax.

Home affordability remains a growing concern in each of the aforementioned cities and yet, there’s little support in government for laneway housing or tiny homes. As long as these cities refuse to allow permits for these homes, this denies a partial solution that’s worth exploring.

Tiny home neighbourhoods could potentially house everyone from young families to aging seniors, low-income individuals, and those seeking to embody minimalist living ideals. In Seattle, tiny homes are being used to combat homelessness, providing shelter to some of the city’s most vulnerable and they’re very much facing the same bureaucratic struggle we continue in Canada. Beyond the amazing amount of good tiny homes can do for Canada’s most vulnerable, we are also not accommodating the demographic of people who wish to forego the materials, the space, and the “luxuries” they’ve been told they should want.

Any Canadian who wants a tiny home should be allowed to have and build one. That’s what we believe. If you’re interested in owning a tiny home in North America, contact a representative at Freestyle Spaces today.


4 Reasons Canadians are Choosing Tiny Home Living

Tiny home living is being chosen by more Canadians, including those seeking to outsmart the recent rise in interest rates, those avoiding the record-setting expensive rents, and anyone wanting to do without the difficulty of having to pass the new mortgage stress test. The affordable, trendy tiny home movement might be your solution to home ownership woes. As a growing phenomenon in Canadian real estate, tiny home living is a simpler way to do things and arguably, can provide a more fulfilling life in the long run. We all need a place to call home. These are 4 of the major reasons why Canadians are choosing to set themselves up with a tiny home.

No mortgage

Tiny homes are significantly more affordable than a regular home or condo. The down payment for a single family detached home in the city is oftentimes more than the entire value of a tiny home. If you don’t want your name attached to a mortgage for decades, a tiny home is a simpler way to live without having to spend all that time paying down debt and interest. The logical and financial choice, a tiny home is a great way to avoid what was previously thought to be a necessary component of life. Enjoy a sense of freedom you wouldn’t have otherwise!

Lower living expenses

Another reason why more Canadians are jumping on board with tiny home living is because of the ways in which it lowers their monthly expenses, ensuring they can save more for the future. Regarding expenses, tiny homes require less energy to heat, are easier to clean, and require less investment to oversee in upkeep and maintenance. The financial savings you retain living in a tiny home in Canada means you can put that towards retirement, paying down credit card debt, your own hobbies or artistic pursuits, or investing in professional development or education.

More freedom

A tiny home provides you with more mobility. Any time, you can get up and go if you have a way to transport. If you’re an environmentally conscious Canadian seeking to lower their carbon footprint or potentially go live off the grid, a large variety of tiny home models are capable of relocation. You can move between properties rather easily. The mobility and freedom this provides ensures you don’t need to concern yourself with being tied down to a specific city, province, state, or even country. Needless to say, a tiny home is very mobile.

A more straightforward, simple way of living

A tiny home is oftentimes a space under 400 square feet in total. To some, that’s very limiting however to others, it’s just right in providing liberation, enrichment, and a simpler way to live. Reject the materialism of the age and save your money. Instead of focusing on keeping up with your neighbours or participating in the rat race that occupies so much of our lives, a tiny home shows you what matters in life – family, friends, a good time, and connecting with the elements around you. A tiny home might be your answer to healthier living, ridding yourself of large wardrobes, unnecessary appliances, and space-consuming electronics. 


Can Families Live in Tiny Homes – a Growing Movement in Minimalist Living

Tiny homes are a preferred choice in homeownership among single Canadians and couples seeking to rid themselves of their mortgage in favour of minimalist living. That said, where do families fit in – well, the answer’s rather interesting.

Tiny homes have not traditionally been marketed to families predominantly because of the size. It was assumed there was never a lot of interest expressed on behalf of families to make the switch to a tiny home. Admittedly, the lack of space and perceived lack of privacy are common barriers that will prevent some parents from even considering the possibility.

In the last few years however, we’ve seen things begin to change. Instead of seeking big homes to raise kids in, some parents are in fact choosing to go the tiny home route. Many see minimalist living as a way to save money, to minimize their environmental footprint, and to have a safe place to live temporarily while saving up enough to upgrade into something larger.

Defined as a living space measuring less than 400 square feet, there are families today with two or three children living in tiny homes this size. For these parents, the advantages are well understood – more money in their pocket and more time spent together as a family. For other parents, it’s also been a great way to lead simpler lives while going debt-free.

A tiny home doesn’t require the same utilities nor does it come with a mortgage however we won’t lie – there are some challenges. There is diminished privacy, making it difficult for some members of the family who like to be isolated from others. There’s the initial upfront costs, of course. There’s also a need to have land or to have a place to install one’s tiny home.

The tiny home movement is growing. As tiny houses become increasingly normal for full-sized families to use, life in less than 400 square feet has never been more possible. Imagine a tiny home in a creative design where every inch of space is maximized. For families already living in tiny homes, the benefits more than outweigh any perceived difficulties.

Steps to owning your own family tiny home

  • Step 1 – Inquire about any local regulations and bylaws which apply to temporary homes. Every municipality comes with its own rules that need to be followed. At this stage, you’ll also want to research where you hope to install your tiny home.
  • Step 2 – Connect with a tiny home builder to help decide on things like the budget you’re working with, the features you want included in your tiny home, and size. They may also be able to help in finding a location to set up your tiny home.
  • Step 3 – While you’re getting your tiny home built, there are a lot of decisions for a family to make before moving in. You’ll have to decide what belongings you hope to sell or store, contact your utilities companies once you have a definite move-in date, and ensure you’ve budgeted appropriately for the initial move-in and setup.


Contact Freestyle Spaces today to connect with a tiny home builder who can help in building the perfect living space for you and your family. For families who want more time together, tiny living is a great option and the cost savings are sizeable! Please feel encouraged to reach out today and we’d be happy to answer any questions you may have.


Trends in Tiny Home Design

As a tiny home builder, we sometimes see customers struggling to decide what elements they want where and what to incorporate into their personalized small, minimalist space.

Though the advantages of living in a tiny home are well understood, after you decide you want a tiny home, a homeowner needs to decide what residential home elements they want included. If you’re at a loss for what you want to ask for, here are the top 5 trends in tiny home building. Each of these make clever use of available space and are customized to preference.

High-tech elevator bed

A loft bedroom is a huge component to almost every tiny home. In the last couple years, the ‘elevator bed’ has grown in popularity. Imagine a lift system to bring your bed down to the ground for sleep and then, to elevate it to the ceiling when you’re done. At the push of a button, this might be a great space-saving solution removing the need for ladders or stairs.

Rooftop deck

A great way to make your tiny home standout is to add a rooftop deck. These spaces can be used for entertaining friends and family, to give yourself space to have a small garden, or for stargazing. In terms of resale value, this can also add more value compared to the average tiny home – something worth considering if you’re planning to upgrade down the road.

Sliding barn door

A sliding barn door is handy, takes up little space, and adds privacy to a space that is not always so. If you’re living with another person, a sliding barn door is a key design element that can be used to create some separation. If the rustic, vintage look of a barn door doesn’t grab you, there are other minimalist door materials to consider in this role.

Floor-to-ceiling windows

Floor-to-ceiling windows we associate a lot with offices and condo developments – not tiny homes. That said, floor-to-ceiling windows allow for a great deal of sunlight and helps to really open up a space. For homeowners that want to have a dedicated area of their tiny home to read, work, or relax during daytime hours, an abundance of natural light is never a bad thing.

Secret storage options

Secret storage is some of the most creative components of tiny home spaces and it’s all to maximize the available space. Hidden storage spots can exist almost anywhere – staircases, underneath seats, in the walls, or underneath the floor. Creating a tiny home design, it’s important to evaluate the nooks and crannies of a to-be tiny home, identifying where secret storage can exist.

Live simply and inexpensive with a tiny home. You may choose to incorporate some of these trends into your tiny home design or may go without any and walk your own path. The great thing about tiny homes is that no two are completely the same. Each one comes with its own mix of clever functionality, thoughtful features, and customized aesthetics. Choose your must-have features today and use Freestyle Spaces to build your tiny home to the highest quality in craftsmanship.