If you're a millennial, or someone looking into buying a house for the first time, you might've seen the recent advent of "tiny homes" or "tiny houses." With the housing market favoring sellers as opposed to buyers, and at a time when you need to bid over the asking price to have a prayer at getting the home, it's gotten individuals and couples alike thinking about downsizing.

Before we look at some of the eye-catching tiny houses in Illinois, Iowa, and Wisconsin, let's define what a "tiny house" actually is. Realtor.com elaborates on what constitutes as a tiny house:

Typically, tiny homes are between 100 and 400 square feet. While there isn’t a set standard, a tiny house rarely exceeds 500 square feet. Beyond that size, they’re merely, um, small.

 

For reference, the median size of a new, single-family home sold in 2021 was 2,273 square feet, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Need a visual? You could fit 144 tiny houses on a football field.

A quick Google search shows the ostensibly boundless variety of these homes. I've seen some in trees, some on wheels, some assembled from old train cars, and more. I even found a website called Tiny House Listings, which looks at titular homes of that nature that are for sale across all 50 states.

A Tiny Home in Iowa:

Photo Credit: Dragon, TinyHouseListings.com
Photo Credit: Dragon, TinyHouseListings.com
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For just under $38,000, you can purchase a 136-square-foot one bedroom/bath home on wheels located in Iowa City, IA. Essentially, this is a studio apartment on wheels, but with that, means you can transport your house. Imagine being able to literally take your home on vacation with you! Plus the interior of the home is actually quite quaint:

Step inside and be transported into a realm where every detail whispers of perfection. The intimate living space, crowned with our signature Dragon design, promises an unparalleled guest experience. A plush queen-sized bed beckons, inviting travelers to a serene and restful retreat. The well-appointed kitchenette boasts quartz countertops, gray cabinetry, and a stainless steel sink, all accentuated by chic black fixtures. - per the home's listing on Tiny House Listings

Photo Credit: Dragon, TinyHouseListings.com
Photo Credit: Dragon, TinyHouseListings.com
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The owner of this (technically) mobile home definitely put some effort into the furnishing and look of the home, as the walls are pearly white, the floor is hardwood, and the quarters, while tight, do look efficient. I have too many DVDs, collectibles, and other knick knacks to make this house my own, but for a single person, it might be ideal.

A Tiny Home in Illinois:

Photo Credit: Jason, TinyHouseListings.com
Photo Credit: Jason, TinyHouseListings.com
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This 8 x 20 home located in McHenry, IL also has wheels, but is also awaiting a vision. The skeleton is there, but it needs some paint and additional infrastructure work to be habitable.

That's another common component with these tiny houses: some are merely erected but left undetailed/unfinished as the onus is on the buyer to complete the vision:

Tiny home built on a Trailer Made 20' flatbed utility trailer including metal fleshing/jacks. Trailer has been insulated with 5" closed cell aged R 37 and covered with OSB. Walls were built with 2x4 framing. Windows are low E. Plumbing and electrical has been roughed in. Home has been sided with cedar siding and roofed with Ocean Blue Pro-Rib metal roofing. - per the home's listing on Tiny House Listings

Photo Credit: Jason, TinyHouseListings.com
Photo Credit: Jason, TinyHouseListings.com
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As you can see, the home is still in need of walls, paint, and pretty much everything necessary to make living conditions possible. However, the home only costs a little over $15,000. With the money you'd need to put into making this place your home, you're probably looking at a total investment of $50,000 or more (I say that with no expertise whatsoever).

A Tiny Home in Wisconsin:

Photo Credit: Loren, TinyHouseListings.com
Photo Credit: Loren, TinyHouseListings.com
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Of all the tiny houses I perused this morning, this one in Marshall, WI is the most attractive and spacious. It's also the most expensive, however.

At 250-square-feet, the home has two lofts and two bedrooms with one bathroom, and an adorably simple little front porch (see above). This home is also decked out with new appliances, including a stainless steel fridge, sink, dishwasher, and more:

What makes this little house feel so spacious is the abundant windows that provide a flood of light and open it to the outdoors. Double glazed vinyl windows operate easily and all have top-down-bottom-up shades. There’s both a front door and back patio door so you can have a front, and a back yard. The white interior adds to the spacious feel with thoughtfully placed natural pine to add warmth and color.

Kitchen has Shaker style cabinets with slow close mechanisms, quartz tops, stainless farm sink, newer gas cooking appliances, microwave, and a Summit Fridge. A folding ladder stored in the broom closet enables access to the tall upper cabinets. There are 2 pullout pantries, 2 dbl trash can pullouts, a pan drawer, mixer pullout, and that broom closet, all tucked under the stair which lead to the main loft where you’ll find ample space for a King size bed and head room for a 6’+ tall individual when sitting on the bed. The second loft provides a second bedroom or…? The bathroom has is a large vanity with quartz top, large medicine cabinet, linen cabinet, Cinderella gas incinerating toilet, 36” shower, and stacked 24” washer and dryer. - per the home's listing on Tiny House Listings

Photo Credit: Loren, TinyHouseListings.com
Photo Credit: Loren, TinyHouseListings.com
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At $145,000, however, there's reason to argue you might want to look at a larger house for a little more money. However, when it comes to tiny houses, this one might as well be a tiny mansion.

The advent of tiny houses doesn't seem to be going anywhere after gaining steam in lieu of the 2007-08 recession/economic crisis. You can see more tiny houses in the Tri-States, and all over the country, on Tiny House Listings' website.

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On the list, there's a robust mix of offerings from great schools and nightlife to high walkability and public parks. Some areas have enjoyed rapid growth thanks to new businesses moving to the area, while others offer glimpses into area history with well-preserved architecture and museums. Keep reading to see if your hometown made the list.

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