Buying a Tiny House: 5 Things To Consider + FAQs

10 mins read
wooden tiny house at a distance

More and more people are downsizing their homes and opting for a more minimalist lifestyle. With housing prices on the rise and the average cost of living increasing, it’s no wonder that people are choosing to live in smaller spaces.

Tiny houses have many benefits, like decreased living expenses and a smaller ecological footprint. The average tiny house is only about 400 square feet, which is a fraction of the size of the average American home.

With all the reasons why people buy homes, there are a few things you should still take into consideration before making a tiny house purchase. Here are some of them:

1. How will you use your tiny house?

Well, of course, you’ll be living in it, but will you also be using it as an office space, guest house, or rental property? It’s important to have a clear purpose for your tiny house before buying one so that you can make sure it meets all of your needs.

Here are some important questions to ask yourself:

Do you need a home that can accommodate guests?

If you’re buying a tiny house to accommodate guests, you’ll need to make sure that it has enough beds and that the layout is comfortable for visitors. This may mean sacrifices in other areas, like having a smaller kitchen or living area.

Do you need a home office?

If you work from home or plan on working from home in the future, you’ll need to make sure that your tiny house has a dedicated space for an office. This could be as simple as setting up a desk in the corner of a room or, if you have the space, converting a shed into an office.

Do you need a rental property?

If you’re buying a tiny house to rent it out, you’ll need to make sure that it meets all local zoning and occupancy laws. Be prepared to handle any necessary repairs and maintenance, as well as the marketing and advertising of your rental property.

2. Where will your tiny house be located?

One of the most important factors to consider when buying a tiny house is where it will be located.

You’ll need to think about things like climate, proximity to amenities, and whether or not you’ll have access to hookups for water, sewer, and electricity. Consider:

What’s the climate like?

If you’re buying a tiny house in an area with extreme weather conditions, you’ll need to make sure that your home is properly insulated and that it can withstand high winds or heavy snowfall.

What are the local building codes and zoning laws?

Before buying a tiny house, you’ll need to make sure that it meets all local building codes and zoning laws. This could impact things like the size of your home, where it can be located, and what type of foundation it must have.

3. What is your budget?

Just because tiny houses are small doesn’t mean they’re cheap. In fact, the cost of materials and labor can add up quickly, so it’s important to have a realistic budget in mind before buying a tiny house.

Be sure to factor in the cost of:

  • The land or lot where your tiny house will be located
  • The materials for your tiny house
  • The cost of labor (if you’re not building the house yourself)

How much do tiny houses cost?

While the cost of a tiny house will vary depending on the materials used and the size of the home, you can expect to pay anywhere from $10,000 to $100,000 for a finished tiny house. 

This doesn’t include the cost of land or hookups for water, sewer, and electricity. Check out what to look for when buying a house to learn more. 

4. What type of foundation will your tiny house have?

welcome to our home sign

One of the most important decisions you’ll make when buying a tiny house is what type of foundation it will have. The most common types of foundations for tiny houses are trailer-mounted, skids, and permanent foundations.

Trailer-mounted:

The majority of tiny houses are built on trailers and can be easily moved from one location to another. This is a great option if you’re not sure where you want to live or if you plan on traveling with your tiny house.

Skids:

Skids are a less common option for tiny houses, but they can be a good choice if you want a foundation that’s less permanent than a trailer-mounted or permanent foundation. The advantage of skids is that they can be easily moved and don’t require a building permit in most areas.

Permanent:

If you’re buying a tiny house to use as a primary residence, you’ll likely want to choose a permanent foundation.

Permanent foundations can include poured concrete, block, or post and beam construction. This type of foundation is more expensive and time-consuming to build, but it will provide a more stable base for your tiny house.

5. What material will your tiny house be made from?

Tiny houses can be built from a variety of materials, including wood, metal, and fiberglass. The type of material you choose will impact the cost, weight, and durability of your tiny house.

Wood:

Wood is the most common material used to build tiny houses. It’s relatively inexpensive, easy to work with, and provides good insulation. The downside of wood is that it’s susceptible to fire, termites, and rot.

Metal:

Metal is a less common choice for tiny houses, but it has some advantages over wood. Metal is more durable and fire-resistant, but it’s also more expensive.

Fiberglass:

Fiberglass is another option for tiny houses. It’s lightweight, durable, and easy to maintain, but it’s also one of the more expensive materials used to build tiny houses.

If you go for a fiberglass tiny house, be sure to choose a model with good insulation to keep the inside of your home comfortable.

Buying a Tiny House: FAQs

Q: Do I need a permit to build a tiny house?

A: Whether or not you need a permit to build your tiny house will depend on the building codes and zoning laws in your area. It’s best to check with your local planning department before buying a tiny house to see what permits are required.

Q: How long does it take to build a tiny house?

A: The time it takes to build a tiny house will vary depending on the size and complexity of the design. Most people can expect to spend anywhere from a few weeks to several months building their tiny house.

Q: Can I live in a tiny house full-time?

A: Yes, you can live in a tiny house full-time. In fact, many people choose to downsize to a tiny house to simplify their lives and reduce their living expenses.

Q: What are the benefits of owning a tiny house?

A: There are many benefits to owning a tiny house, including lower living expenses, a smaller ecological footprint, and the ability to easily move your home if you need to.

Q: Are there any downsides to owning a tiny house?

A: The main downside to owning a tiny house is that they can be more expensive to build than traditional houses. Additionally, tiny houses may not have all the amenities that you’re used to, such as a full kitchen or bathroom.

Conclusion

Buying a tiny house can be a great way to simplify your life and reduce your living expenses. That said, there are a few things you should take into consideration before making the purchase.

Be sure to think about the cost, building permits, and where you want to put your tiny house. Most importantly, make sure that a tiny house is a right fit for you and your lifestyle.

Louie Missap

I'm a real estate blogger and writer. I love helping people learn about the home buying and selling process. I've been through the process myself, and I know how confusing it can be. I'm here to help make it easier for everyone!

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