10 Tiny Houses You'll Love Big Time

Deciding to live in a tiny house involves making some big lifestyle choices.

Deciding to live in a tiny house involves making some big lifestyle choices. You’ll need to be happy with minimal belongings (hoarders need not apply) and have maximum tolerance for intimacy if others will be sharing the space. And you’ll need to check your local laws to make sure you abide by building codes.

But cozy quarters also offer huge advantages. Tiny houses are far more affordable than standard-size houses. Most tiny-home owners live mortgage-free. The lower building costs allow many people to pay cash up front, but mortgages are tougher to get for these homes because the homes are unique and hard to compare with other properties. Plus, they would require smaller loans, which banks are less inclined to give right now. Monthly costs -- such as for heating, cooling and lighting -- are relatively low. And your environmental footprint will be equivalent to a toddler’s flip-flop.

Browse through this show of houses under 500 square feet, and see how some people fit their lives into these small spaces. You might even find one to be the right size for you.

Stacy Rapacon
Online Editor, Kiplinger.com

Rapacon joined Kiplinger in October 2007 as a reporter with Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine and became an online editor for Kiplinger.com in June 2010. She previously served as editor of the "Starting Out" column, focusing on personal finance advice for people in their twenties and thirties.

Before joining Kiplinger, Rapacon worked as a senior research associate at b2b publishing house Judy Diamond Associates. She holds a B.A. degree in English from the George Washington University.