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Breaking news: Mansions are out, and micro-mansions are in. That’s right: The latest home trend advocates living simply in small spaces--800 square feet or less. 

Why all the fuss in favor of living smaller? Skyrocketing construction and maintenance costs mean a lower price tag, for one, while aesthetic and ecological concerns are also motivations.

Here’s a look at some of the best-looking, most efficient tiny homes around and why you might find yourself lusting after your own micro-mansion.

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Why would you want to live in a tiny house?
It costs less, trains you to live with less stuff and is easier to maintain.

But where can houseguests stay?
The lack of a guest room might be another plus.

Aren’t there building code restrictions against this?
Each municipality has its own rules (for example, Los Angeles County requires new single-family homes to be at least 800 square feet), but you can request a building code variance or move into a smaller, older space.

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How could I live comfortably in less than, say, 800 square feet?
Ask Whitney Leigh Morris, a design consultant whose Instagram shows her living quite happily with her fiancé in a 362-square-foot cottage on a Venice canal, or any of the zillions of small-apartment dwellers in New York City or Tokyo.

Won’t it be a bummer to downsize after living in a larger space?
It’s actually liberating. For instance, interior decorator Peter Dunham relocated from a 3,500-square-foot home to a 550-square-foot apartment, and finds it much more carefree to live without constant maintenance issues and upkeep. Plus, it’s so cute it made the cover of House Beautiful.

Peter Dunham’s Los Angeles home.

Where can I get ideas for houses?
Look on blogs like Tiny House Swoon and read The Small House Book by Jay Shafer.

One last thing--why are so many of these houses on wheels?
Basically, it’s a way to get around the building codes, since when the houses are on wheels, they can be easily transported to another site. Don’t worry--most models can be built on a foundation if you’re not into the trailer look.

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