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10 smallest homes on the market

Real Estate

(MoneyWatch) How much space do you need to live comfortably in a home?

Think 112 square feet will cut it?

Most people would reject a space that small -- it doesn't even have a bathroom -- but there are a growing number of homeowners that are willing to sacrifice space.

Tiny homes have popped up everywhere over the past decade, and the trend continues to grow. While you may think of the tiny home movement centering around the micro-apartments that cities like New York and Seattle are championing, there's a whole other trend in single-family homes that's taking hold.

These homes are typically less than 700 square feet. Think of them as two or three average-sized parking spaces. That's a lot less space than the average-sized home, which runs at 2,392 square feet, according to the new data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The tiny house trend really started to pick up in the last phase of the housing boom, around 2005, when builder were looking at available land and not finding much, said Leslie Piper, a consumer housing specialist and an agent with 12 years of experience. "Over the last couple years, when the market turned, things were at a bit of standstill, but we're now starting to see the next push for these smaller homes," she said.

Why opt for such a small amount of space? It's all about lifestyle for these tiny-home dwellers. They want access to all the amenities of a desirable area. Whether it's a major city where prices for an average-sized home are through the roof, or unparalleled scenic views -- these tiny homes can be had for a tinier price. Frequently, they are used as second homes or vacation properties.

"There's also the younger generation, individuals under 30 years old, who haven't decided to do the traditional route," Piper said. "They are opting for quality of life over quantity of space."

Many are also interested in sustainability and reducing their carbon footprint by reducing the physical space their feet occupy.

Because there's so many different types of buyers, there's also many different types of small homes. Some are quite old, built out of necessity long before the trend took hold, while others are newer with all the modern amenities. Some are so small they have no bedroom or kitchen or bathroom, while others are large enough for two bedrooms and a living room.

There are thousands of small homes out there, but these are some of the smallest.

10 smallest homes on the market

A modern 623-square-foot Laguna Beach home

This Laguna Beach, Calif. home may only have 623 square feet of living space, but it offers one amazing view of the Pacific Ocean. It's the view, and the location, that gives this teeny tiny chunk of paradise its $800,000 price tag.

10 smallest homes on the market

The contemporary beach loft has two bedrooms, one bathroom, a breakfast nook, living room, kitchen with stainless steel appliances, a patio area and outdoor deck. Plus every room has large windows allowing any future owner a beautiful view from every room.

10 smallest homes on the market

A 510-square-foot central Austin home

This central Austin home is small, but functional. It has one bedroom and one bathroom and is on sale for $224,900. It also has a backyard with a deck that is accessible through the bedroom. Because the tiny home is set back so far from the road, there's room to build a bigger home on the property.

The kitchen has granite countertops, tiled backsplash, new dishwasher, disposal and gas range with a built-in microwave. Plus, the home has a washer and dryer.

10 smallest homes on the market

A 416-square-foot Washington home

Located near the Pacific Ocean in Ocean Shores, Wash., this home is newly constructed in a planned community that's a short walk or bike ride to the beach or to grocery stores, restaurants and local entertainment.

The home has a small kitchen, living area and bathroom on the first floor and a lofted bedroom above the rest of the home. The home is on the market for just $149,000.

10 smallest homes on the market

A 384-square-foot Alaskan cabin

One of the first log cabins in Fairbanks, built by a riverboat captain in 1917, this tiny home is on sale for $53,500. The property is unique for a small home in that it actually has a partial basement -- not counted in the overall square footage.

The home has one bedroom/living room and one full bath as well as a kitchen and sits on a lot with a fenced yard with big birch trees. It's located right in downtown Fairbanks.

10 smallest homes on the market

A Kentucky home at 380 square feet

Located in a small wooded area near the Kentucky River, this tiny home has been around much longer than the small home movement. Despite its forest location, the A-frame house is less than 30 minutes from downtown Lexington.

The home comes with one bedroom and one bathroom, as well as an open deck on both of its two floors. Despite its small size, this home is pretty close to what you'd get in an apartment: Toilets and showers indoor, plumbing, a kitchen area with cabinets and counter space all for less than $30,000.

10 smallest homes on the market

The 338-square-foot former fishing cabin

This home opens up one side entirely onto a large deck overlooking Port Susan in Washington. The home was originally a fishing cabin that was rehabbed in 2005 into a home and seasonal rental.

10 smallest homes on the market

The bedroom isn't separated from the rest of the home, but the bathroom is. The property is fenced off and has a backyard and boat dock as well. The home is selling for $369,000.

10 smallest homes on the market

A 288-square-foot Oceanside home

In exchange for living just steps from the Pacific in Oceanside, Calif. buyers of this beachfront home will have to shell out $600,000. The home consists of one room and a bathroom.

10 smallest homes on the market

The cottage has oceanfront views from its small front porch and yard.

10 smallest homes on the market

A 240-square-foot home in the wild west

This one-bedroom, one-bathroom home is on sale for $54,900. It may seem expensive, until you factor in the 35 total acres of land. The home, located near Pueblo, Colo. and the ruins of a real ghost town, has a small, self-contained bathroom and shower stall, a kitchen with cabinets, ceiling fan and covered porch.

The cabin is fully wired and grounded. The owner would sleep on a lofted bed above the living area.

10 smallest homes on the market

A 140-square-foot Los Angeles pad

This tiny home has all the amenities, plus its located in Los Angeles. It's got one bedroom, one bathroom, a big kitchen sink, a decorated bathroom sink, shower, washer and fridge. The toilet is certainly unique: It's an electric-run compost toilet, which is located in a separate outdoor structure.

10 smallest homes on the market

The owners apparently use a countertop hot plate and convection oven for food prep, but also have a small oven that can be installed for interested buyers. There are two lofts -- one for storage and one for sleeping. The home, built on a trailer bed, is going for $34,000.

10 smallest homes on the market

A 112-square-foot Wyoming cabin

This little cabin is for the true outdoorsman who is neither afraid of vast wilderness nor living without an indoor bathroom. Located near Yellowstone National Park, the cabin offers way more outdoor space than indoor space. The land has views of three nearby mountain ranges and access to the Canyon Canal running through it.

The Daniel, Wyo. cabin is one room, which has enough space for a bed and a wood-burning stove for cooking, but no electricity or running water. The cabin and land are on sale for $34,900.

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