Calling all homebodies (pandemic-forced or otherwise)! How has your home felt these past several weeks? Too big, too small, just right? A trend that started in the US after the 2008 recession is taking hold in Switzerland: the increasing popularity of the Tiny House.
An article in today’s Swiss Info explains further: In line with other global trends towards downsizing, minimalism, and eco-friendliness, these homes are nearly self-sufficient, and often (thanks to solar panels) produce more energy than they consume.
Swiss laws are currently unfavorable to these tiny dwellings, but despite the legal hurdles, there is a growing group of supporters. A tiny house is defined as less than 45 square meters of living space, and is constructed with traditional building materials and techniques. They are meant to be as durable as a typical house, and share the same aesthetics. Tiny houses can also be added on/adjacent to a larger property as ADUs (accessory dwelling units), more commonly referred to as granny pods, she sheds, man caves, or just as a getaway for kids or teens.
And you can’t argue with another big advantage: Affordability. You can own (or build) a tiny house in Switzerland for 20K – 200K Fr. (for the structure itself), and around 500K overall (including the land, depending on location.) Meanwhile, the median asking price in 2019 for a single-family home in Geneva was 1.67 million Fr.
They can also be a fun, creative and challenging project for DIY enthusiasts. And well, since the DIY stores have reopened this week, it might be a way to fill the time during the months ahead if you have some extra green space in your garden.
Finally, a lovely memory from a prescient AIWC member who forecasted this trend years ago:
When my daughter, Melanie, was somewhere in the 6-8 age range, and on a trip to visit her grandfather in Australia, she made me a tiny hut out of twigs “Because,” she said, I know how much you like tiny houses.” I treasure this.
We are a group of international women living in Geneva, Switzerland. If you would like to learn more about our activities and excursions, visit our website at http://www.aiwcgeneva.org/
Tiny house or tiny studio – depends on your preferences and ability to serve this tiny thing. And, for sure – size of your family.
PS: What’s wrong with tiny properties in terms of law?
Tatiana Shanina said:
Hi there thanks for this article!! I glad to see that the tiny house movement is taking of in Switzerland too!! I’ve been researching on this topic for some time but my biggest struggle is to find land for sale.. Do you have any recommendations as to where to look??? Thanks so much!
Thanks for reading! It isn’t easy to find the perfect property in Switzerland. Are you looking to buy in Geneva canton? The best website that I know of to search for all kinds of properties is Comparis. I did a quick search for just ‘Land’ and found 13 listings. Below are a couple of links that discuss some owners/builders/associations that could help. If you reach out to them, perhaps they could give some guidance on how they found their land, got started, etc.
https://www.facebook.com/Kleinwohnformen (A Swiss Tiny House forum, primarily in the German)