≡ Menu

A $35k Tiny House w/ Land in California For Sale But You Can’t Live In It

This is a ‘grandfathered-in’ tiny house with land that’s for sale in Big Bear, California but unfortunately, you cannot legally live in it. I guess you would have to figure out how to meet code with this property by either expanding this structure or building a larger home on the property to meet code? Either way, it’s listed on Estately for $35,000 as of August 28, 2017. So how would you handle this property and structure? Let me know in the comments and enjoy!

$35k Tiny House w/ Land in California (But You Can’t Move In)

The Tiny House You Can't Live In Is For Sale

Photos via Estately

The Tiny House You Can't Live In Is For Sale

The Tiny House You Can't Live In Is For Sale

The Tiny House You Can't Live In Is For Sale

The Tiny House You Can't Live In Is For Sale

The Tiny House You Can't Live In Is For Sale

The Tiny House You Can't Live In Is For Sale

The Tiny House You Can't Live In Is For Sale

The Tiny House You Can't Live In Is For Sale

The Tiny House You Can't Live In Is For Sale

The Tiny House You Can't Live In Is For Sale

The Tiny House You Can't Live In Is For Sale

The Tiny House You Can't Live In Is For Sale

The Tiny House You Can't Live In Is For Sale

The Tiny House You Can't Live In Is For Sale

Photos via Estately


  • Big Bear, CA
  • 5,000 sq. ft. lot
  • Grandfathered in tiny cabin
  • Views of Baldwin Lake
  • Listed at $35,000 (as of 8/28/17) but sold for $21k on 5/24/18


Delightful piece of land 5,000 sq. ft. with bonus vintage cabin grandfathered in to stay, however per County of San Bernardino you can not LIVE in it. Stunning views over looking Baldwin Lake, mountains and tree’s.1


Our big thanks to Candace Ramirez for sharing!🙏

Share this with your friends/family using the e-mail/social re-share buttons below. Thanks!

If you liked this you’ll LOVE our Free Daily Tiny House Newsletter with more! Thank you!

More Like This: Explore our Real Estate Section

See The Latest: Go Back Home to See Our Latest Tiny Houses

The following two tabs change content below.


Alex is a contributor and editor for TinyHouseTalk.com and the always free Tiny House Newsletter. He has a passion for exploring and sharing tiny homes (from yurts and RVs to tiny cabins and cottages) and inspiring simple living stories. We invite you to send in your story and tiny home photos too so we can re-share and inspire others towards a simple life too. Thank you!

Facebook Comments


{ 24 comments… add one }
  • Avatar MICHAEL August 28, 2017, 4:31 pm

    Why would anyone pay $35K for a storage shed on a lot smaller than many houses in a place where you are not allowed to live in it. Must be one hell-of-a view. No kitchen, no bathroom, no closet. I don’t get it.

    • Avatar Laura August 28, 2017, 6:50 pm

      I agree Michael. But that’s California for you!

      • Avatar jerry August 28, 2017, 7:32 pm

        I agree, it is unlivable, it would not get a COO anyplace I know though, not just CA

  • Avatar Judith August 28, 2017, 5:16 pm

    I would turn the structure there already into a storage area – man cave or she shed and build another larger but small home to live full time.

  • Avatar Large Marge August 28, 2017, 5:39 pm

    How are the government agents defining “…live in…”?

    If we beg permission (and grease a few palms), can we use the structure for cooking? While the THOW parks nearby?

    Will the government agents (if we are sufficiently subservient) allow us to catch rain or snow?

    In Ecuador, our friends built a huge stone and concrete mansion. Employed dozens while enriching the local economy significantly. And still do… without permission nor any government agents needing to interfere. Win-win.

    This might be a good time to discuss expatriating.

    • Avatar Marsha Cowan August 29, 2017, 2:20 am

      I wonder if the totally unprotected heater may be the reason it doesn’t pass inspection? That heater should be a certain distance from the walls, furniture, and wood storage, and anything else flamable in that room. Instead it is sitting right next to the sofa with no fireproof panels around it or under it, and I saw no place in the house that it could meet even the most menial fire code. May have to build an outcrop addition just to accomodate the wood stove, but that would be pretty, like a fire hearth cooking area. Just a thought. . .

      • Avatar A Johnson August 29, 2017, 1:11 pm

        Too right about the woodturner. It needs to be sitting on stone/ tile with insulation underneath, and the walls with fireproof tiling or insulated metal sheathing in the whole corner– with 6″ minimum clearance to walls, and 2.5′ clearance to anything flammable meaning that couch. I think the place is only standing because the stove hasn’t been seriously used . . . .

    • Avatar Kathy August 29, 2017, 11:12 pm

      Sorry for the “report” — it was a wayward finger tap on my iPad! What I wanted to do was to agree wholeheartedly with Jerry. And add that for as beautiful an area as Big Bear, the lot leaves a lot to be desired too. Best I can say is, Big Bear is known to have wild fires from time to time, and its for sure this field of stones wouldn’t burn! LOL. The tiny is kinda cute, considering its really tiny, but unless it has a hidden bathroom, it’s a lonnngg stony walk uphill to the nearest gas station!

  • Avatar Laura August 28, 2017, 6:51 pm

    Agreed Sharon! I’m glad my Father got out when he did.

  • Avatar Jesse Fitz August 28, 2017, 6:54 pm

    I would speak to the local zoning officer and ask for a “special permit” where they can test the tiny house theory for a year. This way the city will get its taxes and the owners will get to live in their house without paying a life sucking mortgage and perhaps agree to spend time in the community volunteering? (Firefighter, EMT, coaching, etc) I mean, with all that free time they will have it could be a win/win for everybody!

  • Avatar Tom ament August 28, 2017, 8:25 pm

    What spicifiy code item does it not meet? Size, plumbing, electric or what? The title of the article says 20 acres but the lot is 5000 sq feet so what is the 20 acres referring to. I am interested but want to understand basically what the county is complaining about. I currently live in Oklahoma in a 100 year old house that we restored but now retired and ready to go west. Also. What is grandfathered in referring to. I understand grandfathered but not what was grandfathered. Thanks and looking forward to your reply

  • Avatar Maria August 28, 2017, 10:12 pm

    Thank you for this lively repartee. I am finding the same zoning challenges in Washington State. But, I do believe, given the state of the high cost of housing and rents, that the Tiny House movement will continue to inch forward, progressively. We are, after all, pioneers of a new paradigm shift in alternative housing. God bless us all with whatever roof over our heads, that we dream of.

    • Avatar Michele in CA August 29, 2017, 5:49 pm

      Grandfathered means it can stay, they won’t make you tear it down, but you can’t build any more like it.

  • Avatar mike leduc August 29, 2017, 3:28 am

    Why not buy the property above it. And add to it.and probably would be solved .

  • Avatar Eric August 29, 2017, 4:50 am

    Congenital huh? Wow, in other parts of the world people are congenial but not in Wyoming or the Carolina’s it would seem… ; )

  • Avatar Eric August 29, 2017, 4:54 am

    I’d have thought, given that it is grandfathered in, that it must be classified as legal. That being so they couldn’t stop someone living in it.

    Otherwise, “hey we ain’t livin’ here. Just sleeping overnight.” For 365 days a year…

    • Avatar Alison August 29, 2017, 12:52 pm

      It is probably grandfathered as a shed or utility building, but not legal as a dwelling. Where I live in California we are allowed to build a 120 square foot building without permits, but one cannot reside in it, because it wouldn’t necessarily have a roof that can hold the snow load, or adequate ventilation, and other safety requirements. Though regulations do sometimes get out of hand, they start for good reasons, and are not all bad.

  • Avatar Shana August 29, 2017, 1:19 pm

    Well there is no bathroom. It isnt livable. Maybe use it as a playhouse or guest house. Or a mancave. Maybe an office. I would like to know how they installed the box stove so close to the wall. I have the same stove. You cant modify the clearances by using double or triple walled insulated piping. You still need a lot of clearance. Dangerous. I would not buy this property.

  • Avatar Vicki August 29, 2017, 3:59 pm

    Don’t forget to bring a boat, and never live on ground level!

  • Avatar Michele in CA August 29, 2017, 5:48 pm

    Why? Great weather to start. No tornados or hurricanes. (Extremely few earthquakes.) Almost no humidity (except for right now, that is). Clean environment. Great, health conscious people. Oh, I could go on, but won’t.

    • Avatar James D. August 29, 2017, 10:46 pm

      Obviously you’ve never read any of the environmental reports on California… Especially in certain areas like Fresno — in particular a 3,000-person tract of the city’s west side where diesel exhaust, tainted water, pesticides and poverty conspire to make it No. 1 on California’s toxic hit list.

      While examples like Los Angeles County’s air quality has improved compared to the 80’s, health officials say pollution still kills 1,300 people a year, making it the deadliest air in the country, that number is more than triple the number of air pollution related deaths in New York…

      Let’s not even discuss how much of the states water actually meets EPA standards…

      As for earthquakes, southern California only averages about 10,000 per year! Most people wouldn’t call those “Extremely few”…

      While historically wrong about hurricanes, Southern California is actually the only portion of the Pacific coastline in the Lower 48 that could see a tropical storm or hurricane landfall from the eastern Pacific… It’s just something like once every 150 years or so… So very rare but you’re eventually going to get hit by one… But Tornadoes are more frequent, especially around central California but southern California as well and you can look back on 2016 for a fairly recent example in Vernon, it’s just not as frequent as the more middle states…

      While the San Andreas Fault means eventually a large section of the coast line is going to sink into the sea… So there’s that eventuality looming ahead…

      And of course the droughts haven’t exactly been unnoteworthy either…

      You are right about the average humidity and health conscious part and despite its problems there’s still some great natural areas to enjoy and reasons why Californians love the state but that’s about it as it’s clearly not without its issues too…

  • Avatar Alison September 3, 2017, 3:11 pm

    But if you get involved in local government, you _can_ make changes. This has happened in the southern California city of Ojai. They are making tiny houses on wheels legal. Of course there are lots of restrictions and rules, but that makes sense for a city that is already built up, with a diverse population with different thoughts about increasing the density of their town. It is a start. Progress is often slow and moves in fits and starts, but if you want to make tiny houses legal in your area, get involved!

  • Avatar James September 8, 2017, 3:44 pm

    Just add wheels and call it a trailer.

  • Avatar Van September 11, 2017, 3:11 pm

    Allison, yes you are right, you can get involved in local government and make changes. Look what happened to Ojai. Lol. “Of course there are lots of restrictions and rules….” I don’t know anything about any of those, but enlighten me please, how many hoops one must jump through to get a THOW approved there? Is it worth it? I guess if one wants to live in a New Age, Art village with artists suffering 1st world problems of social injustice while happily obey the restrictions and rules placed on them by the very same entity they profess to hate.
    Not that anything is wrong with it, lol each to its own.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Next post:

Older post: