Are you stuck between buying a tiny house on wheels and renting an apartment? 

A tiny home is a house that is at most 400 square feet in size. This mobile home is according to the International Residential Code that regulates housing in many states. An apartment is simply a conventional residential home. 

While renting an apartment may seem reasonable because it offers the flexibility of payment and fewer upfront costs, a tiny house makes you a homeowner faster and cheaper. You can also avoid many of the expenses of a residential apartment. So, should you buy a small home or rent an apartment?

You don’t need to spend time researching and outweighing the pros and cons. We have done that for you. This article will discuss whether you should rent an apartment or buy a tiny house. Read on.

Costs of Renting an Apartment

The cost of renting an apartment in the United States depends on the apartment type. An apartment can be a studio, one-bedroom, two-bedroom, or more. The bigger the apartment, the more you will pay base rent.

If you are wondering what base rent is, it typically includes only the cost of renting an apartment. Other fees like utilities, waste, water, and renters insurance become additional costs.

For example, if the base rent of your apartment costs about $1,500, including water, sewer, and other costs can drive it up to $2,000 per month. Sometimes, even more.

The average monthly rent price is $1,249 in the United States.

Costs of Buying a Tiny House

The cost of buying a tiny house also differs, Like renting an apartment. It depends on the size of the house and the style. It is also deciding to build from scratch, either by DIY, hiring a professional builder, or buying an existing one, which costs differently. 

For instance, it will cost between $60,000 to $150,000 or more to buy a tiny house based on the size. Other factors, such as it being pre-owned or new, are also crucial for consideration. 

Choosing a ready-made model or asking for a custom design can affect the build cost. The size also matters. Some tiny houses can be only 120 square feet, while some take up a maximum of 430 square feet of space. 

When you are building your tiny house from scratch, you will have control over the design, type of material, and overall quality. 

Living off the grid can also reduce costs and the complexity of dealing with utilities. If you’re worried about your tiny house depreciating, you can decide to live in a tiny house built on a foundation instead of wheels.

Buying a Tiny House or Renting an Apartment?: Pros and Cons

Buying a Tiny House or Renting an Apartment

Renting an apartment and buying a tiny house means the same thing: you must focus on your needs first. The pros and cons are different and outweigh each other. Let’s have a good look at them.

Pros of Buying a Tiny House on Wheels


Square Footage

The first thing that attracts people to tiny homes is the square footage which enables them to downsize. A tiny home’s layout differs from an apartment’s. While apartments may be large and seem more comfortable, there is a lot of unused space your mind tricks you into buying more stuff you don’t need.

Manufacturers build tiny houses on a wheeled trailer with an average size of 8.5 feet x 13.5 feet and average square feet between 120 and 430.

Tiny houses on wheels may seem small, but several people looking to downsize still prefer the space it offers. It is usually because the area in a tiny house is more efficient and usable than an apartment’s. As a result, their lifestyle is more comfortable, and they can live clutter-free.

When the space in a house is too ample, there is the natural need to fill it up because it starts to feel empty. People, therefore, prefer having less space because it is easier to live in it and avoid junk.


Cost of Purchase

When moving, every amount of money spent becomes a big decision. The littlest amount you save can go a long way. Everyone wants to move into or live in the best house, but still, they have a budget. This budget is subject to their financial level and earnings. It will affect how much they can spend on a home. 

On average, a tiny house costs between $75,000 and $135,000. Some one-time payments cost about $65,000. You can even spend less if you DIY and source most of your materials. This plan is distinct from most small apartments that cost nearly a monthly rent of $1,800. The monthly expense is sometimes even more, depending on the size of the apartment.

When you rent an apartment, there are additional costs like HOA – homeowners association fees, and renters’ insurance you will need to plan for your living arrangements. 

When you live in a tiny house, you won’t have to worry about all these, especially if you stay off the grid. You don’t have these extra costs with tiny houses, and you still enjoy a comfortable lifestyle.

Ability to Own Your Home

You can’t buy an apartment, so you’ll rent one. It means you will deal with a property manager or landlord, renters insurance, and a monthly rental fee. If you decide to own your property, you can buy a condo. You’ll still have to deal with brokers and mortgage payments.

These advantages are the attractive features of a tiny home. When you own one, you’re most likely responsible for your property. You can use the money that should go into rental and mortgage to focus on somewhere else. You’ll be your house owner even if you’re financing it on a loan or through a bank. Another perk is that a tiny house is not costly, so the loan will only last for a short while. 

People enjoy the freedom that comes with owning their own homes. As a homeowner, you’re responsible for everything in your home. 

Although, this may also be a downside because you’re responsible for whatever goes wrong in your house. Nonetheless, when it comes to investing for the future, the benefits of owning a tiny home far outweigh that of an apartment.

Increased Privacy

Another huge benefit of living in a tiny house is enjoying total privacy. The level of privacy that a tiny house offers is unique. Contractors build tiny houses on trailers. If you own one, you can move it to any location. Are you finding it difficult to enjoy the bustle that accompanies city life? You can move your home to a remote location. 

When you rent an apartment, you don’t have that much privacy. Sometimes, there is no privacy at all. Developers build most apartments as separate units in a complex, meaning you will have neighbors beside you.  

Nowadays, most apartments have thin walls so you can hear your neighbors, and they can listen to you as well. If you stay in a story building, you’ll have to deal with the above, below, or both noises. 

People enjoy living private lives, so they prefer tiny houses. Living around nature and not having to deal with the discomfort that comes from noise is very appealing.

A Lifestyle of Adventure

Living in a tiny home on wheels allows you to live a lifestyle of adventure. You can travel anywhere you want to from the comfort of your home. A traditional apartment is rigid and laid on a foundation, and you can’t carry it with you, but since a tiny house has wheels, you can take your home with you when your job moves to a new location. 

If you want your tiny home to be mobile, you can build it on a trailer and move it around when a natural disaster is about to hit your area. You can also move from place to place in your own home.

The unique way of life you can access when you live a tiny life is terrific. One month you’re in Alabama, and the next, you’re in Alaska. Different place, same house. It’s even better and more convenient if the area you are moving or traveling to has RV camps or tiny home communities.

Live in The House of Your Dreams

You can build your apartment to your taste if it’s a custom apartment, but it comes at very high prices. When renting an apartment, you must make do with what you see. Most apartments will have what you want, while others won’t. For instance, an apartment may have a large kitchen but not the kind of views you like, or you may have to manage an apartment with the perfect outdoor view but a bathroom that could be more appealing. 

Renting an apartment can sometimes mean focusing on your major needs and letting go of your wants. But you don’t have to give anything up with tiny houses. 

People know Tiny houses as custom houses because contractors build them to suit your unique needs and satisfy your wants. A tiny house is best for you if you’re particular about your house having specific designs or amenities. Your house will bear your personality engrained throughout the entire building process. Your house will depict the exact person that you are. What’s more, all these come at low costs. 

It does not necessarily mean you can make dreamy demands for your tiny house. For instance, you can have a huge living room space. It only means you can get your wants and needs met, accompanied by comfort, and you don’t put a hole in your pocket.

Enjoy Luxury

You don’t have to give up on the luxuries in life when you downsize. Tiny Home Builders California crafts fully-functional tiny houses packed with all the comforts of a typical home—luxury included!

The expert team starts by crafting custom compact homes using only the highest quality materials and furnishings. Using marble countertops, custom cabinetry, and handmade tile backsplashes is possible when you only need a few feet of each. Clients requested butcher block countertops, stainless steel appliances, and a sleek stainless steel tile backsplash.

A hidden dishwasher and combined washer and dryer are feasible. Picture windows or skylights often need more budget-friendly options in a standard home. In a tiny house, large windows aid air circulation and make the space more open. Natural Wood Accents add warmth to any room, and you can find them throughout the cabinetry design.

Value Appreciation 

You have the opportunity to build equity when you buy a tiny house. If you want your house to appreciate or are looking forward to reselling in the future, you can create your tiny home on a foundation instead of on wheels. 

You can also upgrade your home without waiting for approval from any authority. You won’t have any problem if you build your home to fit zoning codes and building regulations. You also have access to plenty of outdoor space.

Cons of Buying a Tiny House on Wheels

Limited Living Space

Tiny houses seem appealing to people until you realize that you can’t move in with all your belongings, especially furniture. 

Most of the luggage you have may not fit into your tiny house. Even though builders can create a unique tiny house to fit your specific style and personality, you may feel awkward initially as you lack something. It can take some time before you get used t your new life, but in the end, it will pay off.

Claustrophobic Feelings

Claustrophobia is the irrational fear of confined spaces. It’s also super common, but no one talks about this health issue.

But avoiding these places may reinforce the fear. Some people with claustrophobia experience mild anxiety when in a confined space. Others have severe anxiety or panic attacks. The most common experience is a feeling or fear of losing control.

Triggers of claustrophobia

Many different situations or feelings can trigger claustrophobia. Even thinking about certain conditions without exposure to them could be a trigger.

Common claustrophobia triggers include: 

  • lifts
  • tunnels
  • tube trains
  • revolving doors
  • public toilets
  • cars with central locking
  • car washes
  • shop changing rooms
  • tiny homes with sealed windows
  • planes

If you have felt anxious in the last six months about being in a confined space or crowded place, or you have avoided these situations, for this reason, you’re affected by claustrophobia.

Panic attacks are common among people with claustrophobia. They can be very frightening and distressing, with overwhelming anxiety feelings.

Basic Plumbing

The size of your home is small, so the rooms too will be small in size. For instance, some tiny houses have shower heads over their toilets. It is due to the small size of the bathroom.

Some of the toilets are also compost types. They can require you to empty and wash them, especially if your house is off-grid and has no connection to major plumbing systems.

Value Depreciation

If you build your tiny house on wheels, its classification is the same as an RV. So, just like cars, buses, bikes, and other vehicles, they depreciate over time. 

Also, the market for tiny homes is smaller when compared to the one for residential homes. Tiny homes also need a better resale value. Despite the thriving movement, it is still challenging to resell a tiny house. It is because people looking to downsize have specific lifestyle needs. Contractors build tiny homes to fit particular personalities buyers order to build from scratch.


Although a tiny home does not cost much, it can still be challenging to finance one. This hurdle is because a tiny home falls under the classification of RVs, not standard housing. So, if you do not build your tiny house on a regular foundation like traditional houses, getting a mortgage loan for your home becomes an arduous endeavor.

Your major option for acquiring finance for your home becomes an RV loan. It is also tricky since not all lenders or banks give RV loans. Even if you find one, you may not qualify for it. 

Another alternative is to try acquiring a personal loan. These loans are easier to find but still have their drawbacks.

Differences Between Personal Loans and RV Loans

Personal loans are different from RV loans. The terms for getting any of them are diverse. Here is what they both mean.

Personal Loans

The major drawback of personal loans is credit. Due to the level of risk involved, unsecured credit usually comes at higher prices when compared to secure credit. Even if you have good credit, the interest and APRs can still be higher than expected. 

Some personal loans may also have reasonable interest rates, but their repayment terms can be unfavorable. Personal loans also only extend for a short time, unlike RV loans. Many lenders can give personal loans that last six years, while RV loans can last as long as ten to fifteen years.

Choosing to go for personal loans can affect your monthly savings as most of it will be going into repayment.

RV Loans

When considering costs and affordability, it is always better to choose RV loans. RV loans are secured types of loans, so their interest rates are lower when compared to personal loans. You can even find RV loans with low rates like that of regular auto loans if you have excellent credit. 

Your interest rates and the monthly loan repayment will also depend on the terms of your loan. Lenders can offer ten years for compensation on their RV loans, while some can contribute as long as 20 years. You’ll have higher monthly payment rates if you go for short-term loans, but the interest rates will also be lower. 

Sometimes, the monthly repayment for your loan can almost amount to the cost of monthly rent on a conventional residential apartment. However, the benefits still outweigh renting a traditional apartment, especially if the loan is short-term. It’s up to you to decide what is best.

Can Credit Factors Affect Your Ability to Take Loans?

Most landlords and mortgage lenders will review your credit report and check your credit score thoroughly before giving out loans or letting you rent an apartment. It means your credit can affect how you take loans or rent houses. 

You can avoid collecting a loan when buying a tiny home or building one since it costs less than conventional homes. Instead of looking for financing, you can get an estimate of the total costs and save on it. 

If you choose to rent a house and have poor credit scores, a landlord can decide not to let you rent theirs. Some will request you pay a higher amount of deposit for security. It can increase the upfront costs of renting a home.

This additional cost is why it is vital to regularly check your credit cards and ensure you have good scores if you’re considering taking out a loan or renting a house.

Renting an Apartment: Pros and Cons

Pros of Renting an Apartment

Pros of Renting an Apartment

Minimal Cost of Maintenance

One benefit of renting an apartment is that the maintenance bills or cost of repair are minimal. When you rent a property, the major responsibility for maintenance is on your landlord. 

Whether the issue is with a leaking roof or a faulty AC, you don’t need to worry about fixing it.


Access to Amenities

Another thing you enjoy when renting an apartment is that you get the benefits of local amenities without spending much. You can also access luxury places around you, such as a fitness center, when you live in upscale apartments. 

You don’t need to spend thousands of dollars to install a gym at your location. Renting at the right place gives you access to these amenities.


No Depreciation Concerns

Properties appreciate and depreciate. It can hugely affect landlords and homeowners, especially when they want to resell. As a renter, you’re not concerned about these issues. 

Although the value of a home can affect how much a person pays on property taxes, this will not adversely affect you because you’re not the owner of the house.


Cons of Renting an Apartment


Limited Control and Inability to Build Equity

Equity is simply the amount of your home that you own. You don’t build any equity when you pay rent because you are not the homeowner. You are making payments to your landlord. Instead, you are helping the owner of the home build their equity. 

You have limited control over the house you live in when you rent. There is a limit to how you can design and personalize your home. What more? You may suddenly be required to pack out of the house under unexpected circumstances. For instance, your landlord can decide whether to use or sell their home.


Increase in Rent and Utility

Another major disadvantage of renting an apartment is the steady increase in rental and utility costs. You will likely renew your lease every 6 to 12 months, and there may be an increase in the rental amount each time. 

It is unlike buying a house. Even if you are taking out a loan to buy one, you can get into a fixed mortgage term. You can rest assured that your monthly payments are the same.


Considering all the above-listed points, you’ll realize that buying a tiny house is cheaper than renting an apartment, especially in the long run. 

Buying a tiny house on a foundation will allow you to build home equity. Renting an apartment may look good for some time, but it hampers your ability to own your own home. 

If you look forward to buying a tiny house, you should get an estimate of the costs of building or owning one. Then you can decide to save towards it or balance your credit scores and seek the appropriate loans.