There's a lot more that goes into picking land for tiny houses than one might think. Here's our quick guide to picking the right land for your new home.
Building a tiny house can be an amazing, once-in-a-lifetime journey. Rather than buying a home that other people have lived in, constructing a home from scratch to your own specifications can be an incredible way to live. And when opting for a tiny one, the price is much more attainable.
But in order to make this dream a reality, there is a lot to do. One of the first considerations is thinking about where you are going to put it.
Is it important for you to have your own land?
We share four key considerations when looking for land for tiny houses, whether movable or on a fixed foundation.
1) Where Can You Find Land for Sale?
Available land and undeveloped lots are not abundant everywhere in the country and can be hard to find. Driving around in search of for-sale signs is not an efficient way to find land.
Good news: more than ever before, there are more online land sales sites.
These allow you to search by location, property type (farm, recreational, etc.), and special features.
For more in-depth information about an available parcel, be sure to contact the realtor and local jurisdiction (city, county, or both) to learn about regulations to be aware of.
Search for land here:
- Land is Home (see their tiny house lots section)
- Land and Farm
- Lands of America
- LandFlip and LotFlip
- Rural Vacant Land
2) Will You Have Space for a Garden?
For many tiny homeowners, creating more self-reliance is a top priority when considering a land investment. So it follows that space for a garden is vital.
Besides lot size, you'll want to learn about the soil and any local environmental restrictions.
Be sure to consult with your realtor, and possibly your project manager and excavation contractor to find out what's possible.
3) Can You Build an Extension in the Future?
If you decide to start a family at a later date or to expand your current family, then you may find yourself needing more space.
There is no point in building the house of your dreams if there is no option to expand it when you need to. This particularly applies to fixed tiny houses.
Find out about the land and property next to your house. Who owns it, and what are the leasing arrangements? Would a buy up be possible in the next 5-10 years?
If you find that your options are limited in this regard, then it might be worth buying a bigger piece of land that you can expand upon if necessary.
Movable tiny homeowners might have more flexibility when it comes to building a larger home later on. Simply relocate your tiny house on wheels to a corner of the property, while you build your foundation based home.
Then the THOW can be placed in the backyard to be rented out or used as an in-law suite.
Importantly, many jurisdictions allow you to live in an RV on your property while you build your foundation-based house. This process can potentially be stretched out for a few years.
4) Does the Location Outweigh the Small Space?
One of the reasons many people opt to go for a smaller piece of land is because of the location. If you want to live someplace like San Fransico Bay area in California, then a land purchase is likely out of reach (unless you are a multi-millionaire).
For massive metro areas, the next best thing would be finding a backyard for your fixed ADU or movable tiny house. If you're able, you could buy a primary residence to rent it out, then live in the small home in the back.
Additionally, for many mid-sized cities, a small piece of land is all you will probably be able to afford (again, unless you are a millionaire).
However, that small piece of land and the smaller house might be worth it if it means you don't have to commute each day and add to the pollution that is causing the climate emergency across the world. You will also be in the center of everything if a vibrant social life is one of your top priorities.
Ponder on how vital access to city life is to you before proceeding with your land search.
If you don't need to be in the center of a city, then you might want to consider buying a bigger piece of land in the country or in the outer suburbs.
What Are Your Options for Land for Tiny Houses?
Your options for land for tiny houses can be limited, but understanding what's essential for you, like a room for a garden or an expansion, will help you tremendously in your search.
However, if you want to live in a big city or a sought-after area where space is at a premium, then you'll need to adjust your expectations on what's possible.
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Do you have more time at home? Enjoy some inspirational reading from Tiny House Magazine!
- Discover different types of tiny houses from liveaboard boats to Alaskan yurts, converted school buses to high wall tents.
- Try recipes from a tiny house kitchen. Each month we feature a recipe from the Tiny House Foodie. Learn to make it work and still cook like a pro.
- Hear from those living with kids in a tiny house. What happens when you build for two but end up with four? Can it really be done?
- Read excerpts from books on tiny houses, downsizing, and a host of other related topics.
- Each month brings new topics and new, exciting articles!