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Acquiring Land for Your Tiny Home: What to Look for, and What to Avoid


Tiny homes give people a chance to reconnect with the things that matter rather than the trappings of everyday life. Plus, it’s one of the most economical decisions a person can make in the face of rising inflation and increasing home prices.

Though tiny homes can be a great alternative for potential home buyers, tiny homes come with a few unique challenges. One of the main questions a tiny home buyer may have is; where am I going to put my home once I buy the tiny home or have it constructed? This question usually is not a problem for more traditional single-family homes, though it might be a challenge for tiny homes. With the right planning and an understanding of common rules, however, finding land for any kind of home can be a breeze.

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Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash

Determining the Tiny Home Lot Size

Potential tiny homeowners will need to know the approximate size of the plot of land they may need, which can be more difficult than it seems. Some tiny home buyers may want their home situated on a five-acre plot of land. However, once one sees how large five acres really is, they may find they only need one or two acres to be comfortable. Since an acre is a 209 x 209 square foot plot, one or two acres could be plenty to raise a few animals or grow a sustainable garden.

Once a person understands the amount of land they may want, they should understand that it may take some time to match up what they want with available properties for sale. Though looking around for land to buy to place your tiny home on can be difficult and time-consuming, it can also be fun and a very rewarding activity.

Often times, a tiny home buyer may find it easier to locate one acre and above land for sale, than land less than one acre. Though a tiny home may do just fine on a standard 50′ X 125′ residential lot, they may not be available for sale – other than for traditional single-family homes.

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Photo by Juan Cruz Mountford on Unsplash

Researching Land Zoning Regulations

Potential tiny homeowners need to be aware of the zoning laws in their area before searching for tiny home land. Dilapidated or unstable land may be cheap, but it may be a useless investment if it’s too difficult to build upon. Additionally, the land may be bound by a local zoning law or regulation that may require that homes placed on the property or the land lot sizes need to be a certain minimum size. Lenders or banks may not be able to approve loans for homes that do not follow zoning regulations. So check to make sure the land you are about to purchase is zoned properly for a tiny home.

One common rule of the thumb is to look for more rural areas where the zoning laws aren’t likely to be as restrictive as in urban areas. Tiny homeowners should also know what utilities may be available on the property. Utilities such as whether the tiny home will need to be attached to the local septic system or if they can have a private septic system. Also, is there water available on the property, is it in a floodplain, earthquake area or other high land impact area.

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Photo by Daniel McCullough on Unsplash

Unique Options for Tiny Home Land

Not every land property listing will show up via an online or newspaper ad, so hopeful tiny homeowners may need to go out and do some of their own legwork. This can be done in any number of ways, from driving around to check out properties with roadside ‘for sale’ signs, to working a personal network to find leads.

Government auctions are another resource that can yield affordable results. When it comes to asking friends, family members, or acquaintances for help, it helps to have the details (e.g., budget, size of lot needed, etc.) ready before asking. For those who aren’t quite as certain about where to start, exploring the area can be a great place to get started. Or reach out to other tiny homeowners (preferably in your area) to learn more about which resources helped them the most.

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Photo by Scott Webb on Unsplash

Consider Tiny Home Finances

Purchasing and living in a tiny home will undoubtedly be a money saver in the long run, but there are ways to save even more when owners know how to crunch the numbers. Many cities, especially those with rising home prices, may give tiny home property lots away to encourage the development of tiny home communities!

As for borrowing money to buy your tiny home or the land that it will go on, there are banks and lenders that will help. Though know that many tiny homeowners (around 68%) don’t have a mortgage at all. A financial planner or a real estate agent can make it easier to discover how to find the professionals to help tiny home buyers buy their land or homes.

A tiny home can be a realistic alternative to the traditional single family home or condo. And the experience of buying, constructing and locating the property where it’s going to land, can be one of life’s most exciting tiny adventures.

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Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

Preston Guyton is a native of the Grand Strand and Broker in Charge/Managing Partner of CRG Companies.

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Alex

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!

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