How to Buy a Tiny House From Scratch: If I Were to Do It Again…
As I'm sure you've gathered, the Tiny House Expedition blog is the best possible place to hang out if you intend to buy a tiny house.
Why is that? Well, because Alexis and Christian have been doing this for a while.
Admittedly, I have only been living tiny for two years, but let me tell you, that experience has been seven-hundred-and-thirty days of intense learning. And I went into this with a real estate license.
If we haven't met, my name is Alaska. I'm the millennial who couldn't take the American narrative for one more second, quit her life, and started over in a tiny house. And today, I'm going to tell you how to buy a tiny house from scratch.
What follows is twenty-four months of my condensed wisdom. May it save you pain and suffering.
Oh, and before we dive in, might I suggest you share this article on social media? That way, you'll have it to reference when you take the leap.
OK, Let's do this: sharing how to buy a tiny house from scratch and what I would do differently if I did it again.
1) Decide if a tiny house is truly the answer.
Many people decide to buy a tiny house because they think it will be the easiest or cheapest possible housing. Depending on where you live, it could be cheaper, but it will likely not be easier. So make sure you're in it for another reason as well.
Personally, I wanted to own a fabulous house, live in an expensive area, and have locational freedom. I'm also a natural minimalist. All these things added up to a tiny house being the answer for me, but before you go buy a tiny house of your own, make sure it's the best answer for your situation.
Sound good? Good talk.
OK, ready for tip number two?
2) Do not, I repeat, do not try to find tiny house parking first.
I know you are worried about finding tiny house parking. And while I encourage you to learn about your options before jumping in, I discourage anyone from trying to find the perfect spot before their tiny home build is underway.
It will probably take you 4-8 months to obtain financing, locate a house, or work with a builder to build a custom home. And if a tiny home parking space is ready and available, no landowner will want to save it for you while you try to get your hands on a house to go with it.
I know it's scary to jump in when you don't have a tiny home parking space, but this is where I have to show you some tough love: just do it. The tiny home community will catch you. I promise.
And remember, even if you desire to live on private land, you can always start in an RV park and find the perfect spot later. Also, it's way cheaper to put your tiny in storage for a few months than to pay land rent when you don't have a house. Just food for thought.
And that brings us to tip number three!
Sometimes, going tiny is WERK!
3) Do an insane amount of due diligence.
If I had to go tiny again, I'd spend more time on this step.
I got lucky when I bought my secondhand tiny home. The sellers were honest, and the builder was good, but my story could have turned out differently.
I don't want to put fear in your head or cause you to overthink things, but it is important to do your research.
The following is not an exhaustive list, but here are some questions to consider:
- How experienced is the builder?
- How happy are past clients? Have there been any problems with the houses?
- Does the builder offer a certification? (Hint: they should!)
- How deep is the build queue? (Good builders will have a line, but good business people won't have a line so long they can't deliver a quality house in a reasonable amount of time.)
Additional pro tips:
- If you buy a secondhand tiny home, check out the seller's social media channels. Make sure the story they told you matches what they report online.
- However you buy your tiny home, please get an inspection! You are buying a home, after all!
My tiny house, in all of its beautiful, imperfect glory. I love it, and I would totally go tiny again!
4) Stop screwing around and get financing.
Whoops! There I go again with the tough love!
But for real. So many people get stuck in the loop of wanting to buy a tiny home and feeling like it's impossible when they haven't even really tried.
I totally get that applying for financing is scary, but it must be done. So do it. Then your dream tiny home will be on its way!
*This tip is mainly written for me. I currently want to buy the land under my tiny home. And I am scared to death of applying for financing. You are not alone.
5) Stop telling everyone about your tiny house dreams.
Why would she say that?!
I don't want to admit this to you, but I have a long history of getting too excited about my future plans and telling everyone.
And do you know what happens next?
Because sharing excitement releases pressure- and we need that pressure to make our dreams a reality!
That's why, if I had to go tiny again, I would only share excitement about the progress I've already made.
Here are some examples of things to share:
- I got a roommate to put an extra 750/month toward my tiny house down payment!
- I chose my builder and have a floor plan in the works!
- I researched parking laws, and this is my plan A) and plan B) for parking!
- I applied for financing!
It won't be as immediately rewarding to share your tiny home journey in this way, but I promise you it's the version that ends with you living in a tiny house!
Gotta trust your passion when you go tiny!
How to Buy a Tiny House Wrap-up
Alright, Friends, there you have it. If I had to go tiny again from scratch, that's how I'd do it.
I'll be back in two weeks, but in the meantime, I'm sending you all kinds of good juju for your tiny home journey.
Thanks for reading, and know that I believe in you.
You can do this!
*Insert high-five here*
Alaska is a writer, realtor, and tiny homeowner living in the great state of Colorado. She is the founder of The Tiny House Concierge, a company that offers consultation and copywriting services for people looking to rethink their housing and rewrite their lives. In addition to her website, she can be found on Instagram and YouTube.