Tiny homes vector art

What's the deal with tiny homes?

By Maddy Day

January 2018

My mom and I like to watch HGTV’s series Tiny House Hunters. After each show my mom looks at me and exclaims, “How could someone live in such a tiny home and not go stir-crazy?” I have to admit, initially I agreed with her. 

But after binge-watching dozens of episodes, I started to come around to the idea. Tiny homes are adorable. They’re affordable. And if you live in one, you can reach over to turn on your coffee pot in the morning without even leaving your bed.

Homes are considered “tiny,” “micro” or “compact” if they’re less than 1,000 square feet. Many people use them as vacation, guest or portable homes. Their real appeal, though?


They’re cheap.

More than 50% of people who own tiny homes don’t even have mortgages. That’s a huge draw for soon-to-be-college-graduate Millennials who think owning a home is impossible (that used to be me, but after interning at MGIC I know it’s not necessarily true).

They’re efficient.

Fewer square feet means less room to heat and power up. And since fewer materials are required to build tiny homes, they are often made from recycled items.

They encourage you to live minimally.

The concept of “micro-living” is gaining traction with Millennials. In the spirit of education, I watched the 2016 film Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things. The film describes how the quintessential “American Dream” has become increasingly more difficult to achieve. It now includes bigger and better material items like giant flat-screen TVs, the latest SUV models, smartphones and home appliances — and of course, a space to put it all.

In fact, the size of the average American home has nearly doubled since the 1970s. Using heat-mapping technology, the film’s producers tracked homes over several years and found that most people don’t use all of the space available to them. Some rooms were only entered once every few months. The documentary posits that cutting out unnecessary space from our homes could help us cut out other unnecessary material items from our lives, too.

So, the moral of my story?

I like the Earth and I want to reduce my carbon footprint. As a college student, I also don’t have a lot of money, so it’d be nice to purchase a totally affordable, totally adorable house. I finally get the appeal of living in a tiny home. Also, I really need to clean out my closet.

Maddy Day is the marketing intern at MGIC and like most people her age, has little to no knowledge of what it takes to buy a house. She is currently renting from 2 adorable landlords who are only roughly 10 years younger than their 100-year-old house. Maddy’s hobbies include confiding in her dog (he’s a fantastic listener), finding new recipes to cook with her friends and hunting down every coffee shop in Milwaukee.