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.

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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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