You know that you want to build a tiny house, but where are you going to put it? Finding the right piece of land isn’t as simple as you might think at first glance.
You must consider the location, zoning regulations, and even simple electric hookup capabilities. Even more than that, you have to think about the size of the land.
How much land do you need for a tiny house?
The amount of land you need for a tiny house will vary depending on your personal preference. Many people prefer to live in rural areas where they can have more land and privacy. However, it depends on how the county zones land in your area.
What’s The Average Size of Land People Have for a Tiny House?
Many people are jumping on the bandwagon and downsizing their mega-mansions for something simpler.
Tiny houses take up an extremely small footprint, with most measuring at four to five hundred square feet or less. When your house is this small, what size land do you need to build on or park your tiny house on wheels?
A lot of people wonder what the average land size is for a tiny house. The answer depends on where you want to build and what your goals are.
Some people build their houses as accessory dwelling units. This is typically the case if you already own property and have a residence on the same plot of land. For example, you might be building a tiny house in the backyard for an elderly parent to live in or for guests to stay in when they come to visit. When this is the case, you do not typically need much land for your home.
Others want to go completely off-grid and may have more success doing so with a larger piece of land.
Being off the grid makes it more difficult for the county to track you and draws less attention to yourself if you are living in an area where tiny house building codes are a bit more stringent.
For this reason, many tiny house dwellers will move out to more rural areas and build or park their tiny homes on large plots of land.
The further you move out into the country, the less likely it is that the seller will want to divide up the land into smaller pieces. If you desire to live in the country, you should prepare to care for and pay for a larger piece of property.
How Small a Piece of Land Do You Need?
The size of your land is largely determined by the size of the tiny house that you plan to build.
Some people who tote around a 200 square foot home will need only a small sliver of land while others may need twice that size. Remember that some cities and counties do have the minimum square footage for homes.
This number might be high enough to impact the size that you need for your lot.
If you are only building your home for people to stay in occasionally, you probably have enough space to fit a tiny house right in your current backyard. You don’t need to have a tremendous amount of space to park your tiny home, though many people do prefer to have a little bit of breathing room.
Do People Rent or Buy Land for Tiny Houses?
The answer to this question depends on what your goals are with tiny home living.
Some people find their way to their first tiny house because they like the idea of traveling and seeing the world. They do not want to be tied down to any one particular property. If this describes you and you only plan to stay in one place for a short while, renting is probably the way to go.
You might also want to consider renting the land if the area you live in is not tiny-house-friendly. If you have any concerns that the county might send you a notice that you are living in your tiny home illegally, renting the land is the safest option for you.
When your lease ends, you have no more investment in the property. On the other hand, you might be making payments on it for years if you decided to purchase it.
However, there are a lot of reasons why people choose to purchase the land for their tiny house outright. Many plots of land do not already have electrical or water and sewer hookups. Unless you intend to live off-grid, you are going to need to invest in these hookups.
This process does not come cheap, and most people view it as an investment in their property. The cost will vary depending on your area. However, you should be prepared to spend several thousand dollars prepping the land for your new house. A new sewer system alone can cost upward of $10,000.
If you are renting, your landlord can decide to call it quits at the end of your lease, and you will be out of the money spent to acquire these hookups.
How Easy Is It to Get Land for a Tiny House Project?
Some people may find it a bit of a challenge to get land for their upcoming tiny house project.
Certain parts of the country have building codes and zoning regulations that are friendlier toward these small dwellings. The rules in your area play a major role in how easy it is to get land for your tiny house project.
First and foremost, you need to make sure that the type of tiny house you plan to build is legal for the area you live in. Some areas require that tiny houses be built on a permanent foundation while others allow for tiny homes on wheels. Tiny houses on wheels are often treated as RVs and are held to a different set of standards.
Once you know how the city categorizes your project, you can go about finding the right piece of land.
Building an accessory dwelling unit is the easiest way to build a tiny house, as long as it is permitted in your area. You simply begin construction on your project right in your backyard after filing for the building permits or signing a contract with a tiny house builder.
If you want to build a standalone tiny house, it might be a bit harder for you to get land.
To build your tiny home, you must make sure that the land meets the zoning requirements for the project. This can be different in each state, city, and county. It will require a lot of research and due diligence on your part, but it is possible.
Keep in mind that many people purchase land in rural areas for their projects. They do so because they feel that it gives them more privacy and makes them less susceptible to draw attention to living in a tiny home illegally. If you are caught, you could be facing serious consequences. For those who built their tiny home on a foundation, it can still be deemed unfit to live in, and you would lose your investment.
Even if you built your tiny house on wheels, you might find yourself having to move it from the plot of land you purchased. If you paid for electric, water, and sewer hookups, you might have lost all of the money you invested in the land.
How Much Does it Cost to Buy Land for a Tiny House?
The cost for a piece of land varies greatly depending on your zip code, the type of land you want to acquire, and the size of the plot.
For a small piece of land in a rural area that is relatively wooded with no hookups, you may pay just a few thousand dollars.
However, you can easily spend more than $100,000 for land in a big city near the center of town.
A piece of land will typically cost more if it comes equipped with electricity, water, and sewer. These are major investments, and the seller often wants to recoup those costs. Expect to pay a little more out of pocket for the convenience of having this already taken care of.
Can You Buy a Tiny House With Land Included?
Yes, you can purchase a tiny house with land included. While many people choose to build and purchase tiny houses on wheels, others do build their projects on a permanent foundation. As a result, they must sell the land along with the property.
If you are looking for a tiny house with land included, you can use websites like TinyHouseListings.com.
They allow you to sort according to listing type, and you can select homes that come with the land as a filter.
Building a tiny house is an exciting project, but you need to know where you are going to put it once the building phase is over.
There are no hard and fast rules about how much land you need.
Instead, these are some guidelines and things that you may want to consider before purchasing land and making a major commitment
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Maria is the founder of GoDownsize. While studying architecture in Denmark she became fascinated with designing living spaces for boats, tiny houses, RVs, and other small spaces.
She mainly writes about space optimization, interior design, and downsizing. She’s also in charge of our YouTube channel. Read more about Maria here.