Are People Actually Happy in Tiny Houses?

A recent survey suggests that the answer is no.

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Between their efficient organization and streamlined design, tiny houses have totally taken over on TV and social media in the past few years. The idea of scaling back on belongings (as well as mortgage payments) is certainly appealing. But how many people could—or would—be able to actually live in 400 square feet? Not many, according to a recent report by .

The online real estate resource polled more than 2,264 U.S. adults about what they wish they had done differently with their current housing. A whopping 44 percent of participants had housing regrets, and the biggest regret among homeowners had to do with size. One in three homeowners said they wish they had chosen a larger home, compared to only nine percent who wished they had downsized.

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There has been plenty of criticism around tiny living. "Deep inside the expensive custom closets and under the New Age Murphy beds, the pro-petite propaganda has hidden some unseemly truths about how the other half lives," Gene Tempest penned in a personal essay for . "No one writes about the little white lies that help sell this new, very small American dream."

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As Tempest points out, the items in her microhome (in which she lives out of financial necessity) seem much more imposing than they would in a larger space—and they get more wear and tear, which accelerates the rate at which she must replace them. Plus, building a tiny home comes with a host of challenges, including but not limited to, complying with business codes and .

Still, others swear by the benefits of tiny homes: They require less money and fewer materials, and encourage living simply and wasting less. The number of current homeowners aching for extra space is actually down one percentage point from Trulia's , so perhaps the recent tiny house movement has convinced a few converts. Still, 33 percent is a pretty big chunk.

Meanwhile, the biggest regret among renters (at 41 percent) was renting instead of buying in the first place—yet only a third of renters feels more positive about the possibility of owning a home than they did five years ago.

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