By Mark Files, Regional Sales Manager

Tiny Houses….what are they? Why would you want one? What’s the big deal with this little living idea? Needless to say, I had a lot more questions than answers when I got asked about insuring Tiny Houses.

When I was 12 years old, I experienced what one could compare to the current Tiny House experience. My folks were building a new home and it wasn’t ready for us to move in by the time we moved out of our old house that had been sold. So for 60 glorious or torturous days my family of four lived in a 32 foot fifth wheel camper on my grandparent’s farm. Quarters were cramped, we were limited on the clothes we had access to, and needless to say there wasn’t much space to lounge around in the camper. (Did I mention this happened during the summer months of July/August/September?) We made it work but wow, I can remember how happy all four of us were glad to be in our new house. When I look back, it wasn’t that bad and could have been much worse. After laughing about this adventure with my Mom she let us know 60 days was supposed to have been two weeks…..

So let’s start from the beginning, what’s a Tiny House? Well there are three versions:  Trailer, Foundation and Hybrid. Thanks to the Tiny House Blog and their book review “Tiny House Parking,” by Ethan Waldman, the book provides more detail about each type, benefits of each and also the pitfalls.

Here are some highlights from the book review:

  • A Trailer Tiny House will likely be deemed as a “temporary structure”, much like an RV. Local regulations may only allow you to live in your tiny house for a month at a time.  Checking your local regulations not only about length of parking, but the size of it will be a must.  If you like to travel, a tiny house on a trailer will give you that freedom.
  • A Foundation Tiny House means you will more than likely need to purchase land, which will increase your costs. You will also be tied to one place, but the upside is you will have more options when it comes to the shape and size of your tiny house compared to one built on a trailer.
  • A Hybrid Tiny House is built on a semi-permanent foundation that can be transported when necessary, much like a park-model mobile home. This flexibility is indeed a plus.  Checking local regulations about how long you can live in the tiny house is a must.

Here’s my take of the Tiny House fad:

Tiny houses are a new version of Modular, Mobile Homes and RV’s. Though the mortgage process has relaxed somewhat, the industry has tried to capitalize on the restricted access to loanable dollars. It also plays to the dissatisfaction some Americans are expressing with the way the country is being run and the direction they believe it’s headed. Having a small mobile house makes it much easier to “stay below the radar” if the U.S. starts to waiver in their eyes.

Folks with an “environment first” mind set may see this housing option as a way to get in touch with nature and a way to do their part to reduce their environmental footprint.

The third group looking to utilize the Tiny Home model is the entrepreneur. This group has found a way to market tiny homes as “Granny Pods” aka Mother-in-law quarters, “Tiny Towns” aka over 55 maintenance provided communities and “Tailgate Party Zones” aka tiny homes located on designated property on Major University Campus to help improve and control the fan experience.

I think it’s safe to say the “Tiny House” phenomenon is here to stay and will play a part in the landscape of the U.S. for years to come. If you can handle the tight quarters and find a place to park, it may be the way of the future.

About Mark FilesHeadshot

Mark Files Married, Father of 2.5 kids: son, daughter and son-in-law, Independent Insurance Agency Recruiter, Insurance Agent

Mark has worked at MAX for 6 years and has over 20 years of experience in the insurance industry as an agent and company representative. After business hours, Mark likes to work on his smoking, grilling and cooking techniques, spend time on the lake boating and fishing, but most of all he enjoys relaxing at home with his wife and dogs. He also volunteers with several youth organizations at his church and in the community helping out when and where he can.

Photo by joncallas

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