Tiny houses began as a movement for people looking to rebel against consumerism and return to a simpler way of life. But as the popularity of these small shacks spread throughout the country, buyers increasingly are seeking larger dwellings with top-of-the-line appliances and high-end finishes.
What once was a DIY kit project has blossomed into units that are more expensive and can top out at about 400 square feet. More builders have entered the supply chain, and more lenders are willing to help buyers get loans for these properties, per Realtor.com.
“The tiny house movement is expanding to meet the desires and needs of the people who are in it and joining it every day," says Coles Whalen, marketing director of Simple Life. The Jacksonville, Fla.-based developer is creating tiny home communities in the South. It recently unveiled a more expensive, nicer two-bedroom "tiny" home model that is about 540 square feet. "It’s adapting to accommodate the needs of people who are tired of spending money on square footage they’re not using, but they may want slightly more" room, he says.