Tiny house living can be super rewarding and liberating but, like anything, it involves a lot of planning and forethought before jumping in with both feet.
Maybe you, like us have been binge watching Tiny House Nation and are buzzing with great ideas and dreams of ditching city living and all that clutter for an idyllic life on your own land and embracing affordable tiny house living.
These are a few important factors to consider before putting your home on the market, buying vacant land and beginning to build your tiny house living future.
This page may contain affiliate products that we believe may be helpful to our community. There is no additional cost to you. If you choose to make a purchase after clicking a link, we may receive a small commission. We thank you for your support!
Tiny House Building: DIY Or Hire A Builder?
The usual rules apply when deciding whether to buy or build a tiny house as they do to a standard house. If you choose to build your own tiny house, you can often make considerable savings. But it is best to actually have design skills and building skills if you choose to go this route.
If you have no building skills or experience, it is not a good idea to make your first project your own home.
There are plenty of places you can buy tiny houses that are stylish and modern with everything done for you.
Yes, you can even buy a pre- made cabin kit on Amazon.
All you DIYer’s and HGTV’s aficionados can take this kit and build the perfect tiny house and make it uniquely yours. You could also draft the blue prints yourself and make your tiny house out of recycled materials.
However if you don't know anything about building a home, please just hire the professionals and get it done properly. You will save a lot of money and headaches in the log run.
Check out this fabulous video of a couple of who did build their own unique tiny home. Note the guy was a bathroom/kitchen installer and already had many skills.
This enabled him to build a home to their own spec- and get a much bigger, modern tiny home and one that they could stand up in on the top floor.
How Much Will You Need To Spend On Tiny House Living?
There are two main things to consider here- the cost of the actual tiny home itself plus the ongoing costs of living.
A tiny house should cost less to build and require less cash and work to maintain. But be careful and do your homework as a tiny house does not always equal tiny bills!
It depends what you need, the size you choose and how luxurious you decide to make it.
A luxury tiny house with all the bells and whistles could cost you up to $150,000.
If you are handy and you plan to build the tiny house on your own, possibly using recycled materials, it should cost a lot less. If you have building experience, you can get the costs way down to below $20K.
The average self built tiny house tends to cost between $35,000 to $45,000.
In this article we break down the typical tiny home costs you may not have thought of that you need to factor into when building your tiny home.
A tiny house built by a licensed builder could run you anywhere from $50,000 to $80,000. The bottom line is this, the smaller your square footage the more likely your tiny house will be affordable.
Where Can You Place Your Tiny House?
Where are you going to put your tiny house? A tiny house isn’t typically designed to be moved frequently like an RV.
Sure, a tiny house is mobile and generally on a trailer on wheels, but the goal for many people is to put your tiny house on a parcel of land that you own and live a minimalist lifestyle. The amount of land you need for a tiny house varies on personal preference and what the zoning calls for.While there will not be much room inside for a big party, many "tiny homers" do create a nice big deck with a good size outside area where you can entertain guests. This is also a great strategy to make tiny home living easier for day to day living as well by feeling like you have more space.
Prior to beginning the build, check with your local municipalities about any zoning laws to follow and building permits needed to start construction. Rural areas are the most popular for tiny houses, because of privacy and more affordable land.
Some counties do NOT allow tiny house living. If you are buying land specifically for tiny home living, be sure you have express permission from your planning and zoning department before you start your project.
These are the top states that are tiny house friendly:
- North Carolina
Also remember that the zoning rules can change at any time, so please do your own research. Also note that different counties in each state can have very different rules.
Many counties class a tiny home as an RV and will not permit you to live in your tiny home as a permanent dwelling.
American Tiny House association also has some useful resources.
Am I Required To Pay Property Taxes When I Am Tiny House Living?
Yes, if you own your land, you will pay property tax on it.
If you create a permanent dwelling, even if the tiny home is on wheels, you will pay property tax on it.
You will typically pay extra tax per square footage of the property. Living in a tiny home with average square footage 100ft-400ft, you will pay a lot less property tax than the standard 2000 sq ft home.
Property taxes will be one of your ongoing costs along with energy costs, and maintenance.
Tiny House Living Off The Grid
You can choose to live in your tiny house either on or off the grid. Some people love total isolation with peace and quiet. The whole point of tiny house living is to require less possessions, use less resources, get off the grid and minimize environmental impact.
If you choose a rural location, the land will be more affordable, you may have enough space to grow your own food in the garden, have a few animals and supply your own energy and water through rain water harvesting, solar panels or a well.
Modern homesteading is a common minimalist strategy for tiny house owners. Many grow their own produce, chop wood for their heating source, collect rain water and raise livestock. Also, many tiny house owners use their own solar power for their energy needs and some even make more money by selling any surplus back to the grid.
Tiny House Living And The Purge
If you make the big decision to move from your big home with all its “stuff” and move to a tiny home, you will have to declutter –on a massive scale. The minimalist lifestyle often looks attractive but can you actually say goodbye to all those possessions you have kept around you for years “just in case”?
If you can, you will often feel extremely liberated and find you can think more clearly with less clutter, less clothes, less knick-knacks, less expensive bills, and only keeping those items around you that you actually use and need.
Tiny house living and minimalism means that you enjoy living with less, you enjoy less financial burdens and you value experiences over possessions.
Minimalist’s create room for what’s important in their life and as a result, have more freedom, can focus on health, hobbies and happiness. If you are patient and weather the storms that can come with any big lifestyle changes you will live a simpler, happier and more peaceful life.
Entertaining When Tiny House Living
Some people worry about social isolation. But depending how remote you decide to be, there can still be plenty of scope for parties and entertaining friends and family.
Other people who choose tiny home living prefer to live in closer proximity to services and community. There are several tiny house communities around.
Here are two examples of many tiny house communities around the country:
Lux Tiny in Lakeside, ArizonaCommunity First in Austin, Texas
Is Tiny House Living For You?
Living a minimalist lifestyle in a tiny house is hard work and is not for the faint of heart. Living without as many possessions, working to cultivate your land for food and shelter and not seeing friends as often are some prices you pay living the tiny house, minimalist lifestyle.
For many, this way of life is a reward not a punishment. Eliminating possessions and negative influences, like the media and politics can actually keep us healthier and living a more satisfied life.
There are a lot of considerations and pros and cons to weigh up but this is a trend that is here to stay. More and more people will move to tiny house living over the next few years for many reasons. Technology is also allowing more people to work from anywhere which further allows people to move out of big expensive cities and into smaller communities and be closer to nature.
If you are looking for land for your new tiny home, be sure to check out what land for sale we have available at the time. Remember to give planning and zoning a call to confirm the land can be used for the purpose you need.
Any questions, always feel free to get in touch with us and we will help you as best we can. There are no silly questions 🙂