Tiny Home Case Study


While setting up home insurance for her tiny-home owner clients, our expert Home Insurance Broker Juliet asked a few questions about tiny home living, and the considerations they took into account when making the move. Read on to learn some of the ins and outs of tiny home living!

What classifies a tiny home?

There are many differing definitions or opinions on what classifies a “tiny home”. To us, a tiny home is classified by the small square footage (400 sqft), creative uses of space, and all the amenities to allow us to live comfortably full-time. There is of course the bonus of tiny homes having the ability to be mobile, allowing you to change location if needed.

Who will be living in the home?

We as a couple are sharing our home with our two pups, a 2 year old border collie lab and a 1 year old Australian shepherd.

Why did you choose a tiny home?

There are a multitude of reasons for deciding to go tiny! After owning our own home, we realized how much space we didn’t use and how many “things” we really didn’t need. We also took into consideration the amount of resources used to run an “average” sized home and wanted to try and cut back on waste. We have always enjoyed spending most of our time outdoors or participating in activities away from our home, so taking the next steps to decrease our house size seemed natural.

Another motivation to go tiny was our hope to move back to Vancouver Island. Realizing just how expensive and unattainable the housing market is here, and that renting to a couple with two dogs would be almost impossible, we started thinking outside the box!

How difficult was it to purchase the home?

We were very fortunate with the selling of our previous home, making equity to enable us to purchase our tiny home outright. There was also the option through the company we built our home through, to finance the tiny home. Overall, the process to purchase was very smooth and straight forward.

Did you find it difficult to get insurance or financing?

We were actually quite happy and surprised with how easy it was to find options to insure our tiny home. We had great support from our broker at Harbord Insurance who made sure we were getting the best coverage possible. We recognize this went smoother having a professionally built and CSA certified tiny home.

Is it good value?

This is a bit of a biased question, but for us absolutely! We are so happy with our ability to go out and enjoy life without the constraints of larger home living. No big bills, no cleaning for days on end, no need to furnish huge spaces, we can simply focus on what is important to us!

Is downsizing important to you?

Tying into the question above, downsizing to us means gaining so much more in lifestyle! We haven’t felt like we have missed out on anything from downsizing, and in fact, feel we gained more freedom with less stuff.

How long will the home last?

Well, we are hoping a very long time. Like the majority of homes, maintenance is required to keep it running smoothly and looking good. As well, with it being professionally built with higher quality finishes we hope that it lasts for many years to come.

Any tips for living in a tiny home?

  • Make sure you have a solid plan of location before embarking on building your home, including a good foundation/pad to put it on.
  • Give yourself enough time to downsize, then probably downsize again.
  • Think about what rooms are most important to you (which ones you spend the most time in) so you can create a space that fits your lifestyle.

What have you learned on this journey?

One of the first things we learned starting the tiny home journey was to trust our instincts and to simply start the process! We started looking into tiny living on social media, into certified builders, district zoning and regulations that accompany tiny homes. Most of the information we found was both exciting and motivating, however we also learned of the red tape and negative perspectives from some districts. We also learned that going tiny with a builder was definitely gaining momentum, as many of the builders we looked into were booking 2 years in advance!

Initially, as we have never owned or spent much time in an RV, using different utilities such as propane was a small learning curve as well as levelling and securing our tiny home off of it’s wheels, but we got there in the end! We were happy to learn, once living in the home, how truly functional and user-friendly it is. Living tiny wasn’t as much of an adjustment for us even though our previous home was around 2000 sqft.

Resources from both the builder and online have allowed us to learn and grow into our home and this new journey of living tiny. As tiny homes become more popular, the available information will only expand and become more readily accessible, making tiny living not seem so intimidating!

Does tiny home living sound like the right fit for you? Contact us for information about insurance for tiny homes today.