A Tiny House in Philadelphia: Should You Buy One?

Tiny houses are all the rage these days. But in Philly, tiny houses have been around for centuries. You could argue that the city’s trinity houses are the original tiny houses. Here are a few pros and cons of living in a small house.

If you take a walk in Center City, Philadelphia, odds are that you’ll soon come upon a narrow side street. Some of these streets are so narrow that an average size car can’t even fit down them. Take a turn down one of these streets and you’ll find row after row of trinity houses, the original tiny house in Philadelphia.

Tiny houses are definitely trendy these days, even though the average new home size in the U.S. is well over 2,000 square feet, according to the Census Bureau. If you’re considering making the move to a tiny house in Philadelphia, whether it’s a classic trinity or a newer small home, it helps to weigh the pros and cons before you make the leap to a small space.

A Trinity Explained

Trinity houses are so called because they are typically three stories. Each floor often contains one room, such as a living room on the first floor, a bedroom on the second, and another bedroom on the third. Since the homes were often built before kitchens were a standard feature, many have kitchens added on or in weird locations, like the basement. Although there are some bigger trinities in town, many of them are less than 1,000 square feet in size. Some are closer to 500 square feet.

Tiny House Pro: Less to Clean

One of the biggest benefits of moving into a tiny house is that they are typically a bit easier to maintain. The smaller space means less to clean. Since there’s typically no yard, you don’t have to worry about lawn work or landscaping, either.

Tiny House Con: Not Much Space

Although plenty of people decide to go tiny because they want less space, the lack of room can be an issue from time to time. If you live in a smaller home with others, it can feel as if you’re right on top of each other at all times. There might be nowhere to go in the home to get some privacy, even if there are separate floors and separate rooms.

Tiny House Pro: A Unique Living Experience

If you live in a trinity house in Philadelphia, you’re getting an experience you won’t get in any other city. Your home can be the topic of conversation at dinner parties (just not your own dinner parties, due to the small space). Additionally, living in a trinity can mean that you get to live in a neighborhood in the city that would otherwise be out of your price range.

Tiny House Con: Not Necessarily Cheaper

While trinities do cost less than larger homes in the more expensive parts of Philly, such as Center City or Queen Village, they aren’t going to be less expensive than larger homes in areas of the city that are further removed from downtown. For example, you can get a lot more house for the same price as a trinity if you look further south in Philly, over in West Philadelphia or up in the Northeast.

Tiny houses or trinity houses aren’t for everyone. But if you’re looking to live in or near Center City but slightly away from the hustle and bustle, it might be worth it to take a peek down one of those side streets to see what’s going on in a trinity.


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