In assembling their short list of available choices, people will evaluate large homes - five or more bedrooms, smaller homes (even ones less than 1,000 square feet in total size), ones with multiple floors, ones with a single floor living area, and various room sizes and floor plan layouts.
People who might be in the market for a small home should make sure that they are looking for and selecting such a home for the right reason - one that works for them. There is no special reason why anyone needs to select a particular size of home - unless it's price, location, layout, amenities, lifestyle possibilities, features, decor, or personal preference. Nevertheless, there are many reasons why someone might like to select a small home as their choice.
Some people may like the idea that a small home has a very small footprint and that it makes a minimal impact on the environment. If these are important priorities, this would be your reason to select a small or tiny home even above price and design initially. Then it's just a matter of locating and finding the home that appeals to them the most that has these qualities.
If the idea of something small appeals to someone because it is "cute" and different, then this should be guiding the decision more than other factors, and they should resist the temptation to select a more traditional looking home.
Maybe it is primarily a financial decision, and a smaller home seems that it can be obtained for less money than larger or more traditional ones. Then, finding the most functional one and the best value for the buyer's needs should be the main consideration.
Someone might be thinking of bringing aging parents or ill siblings to live with them, but they lack the space in their current home and don't know how to undertake the renovations or repairs necessary to make their current home suitable for the additional occupants. When this is the case, a viable alternative that might exist - assuming the zoning or neighborhood regulations allow for an auxiliary dwelling unit on the same property - is to add a small or tiny home to their backyard to serve this purpose.
Whether intended as a primary residence for people who desire a smaller footprint or a more compact home (or one potentially more mobile if is attached to a trailer) than a traditional home or one as a secondary residence in the backyard of a primary home, small homes can provide an acceptable solution for people. They need to make sure they are selecting it for their own reasons rather than doing it to because they are trying to impress their friends or follow a developing trend.
There are many architectural designs and interior layouts that can be achieved for tiny homes depending on who the intended occupants are and their general ages, mobility, and lifestyle needs. Tiny homes can fulfill a genuine need but not if they are selected to serve the needs of the buyer and not trying to complete a larger agenda.
People desiring a small home should determine what they want, why they want it, and then find the one best suited for their needs.
Steve Hoffacker, CAPS, CEAC, SHSS, is a licensed Certified Aging In Place Specialist - Master Instructor and best-selling author of aging in place books. To learn about this and other programs for aging in place or universal design, visit stevehoffacker.com or call 561-685-5555. Also, check out the "Aging & Accessibility" groups on Facebook and LinkedIn.