The Tiny house Blog

Tiny Houses for Sale: What to Look for in a Tiny House

Updated on:
June 9, 2023
Beautiful tiny home with fire pit

Thinking about going tiny? Tiny homeowners have 89% less credit card debt than the average American, plus their taxes and overall expenses are much cheaper too. So why not go tiny?

Tiny houses for sale could be the answer to all your problems!

Tiny Houses for Sale: What You Need To Know

Before you say yes to buying a tiny home, there are a few things you'll want to think about first. Beyond design and location, check these tips out.

First, What Are Tiny Houses?

Tiny houses are small homes, typically under 600 feet. Although, some tiny houses are even less than 350 feet! These compact homes are cheaper to build and access than a traditional home, but they come with limited storage and small spaces.

Tiny house communities are popping up all over, where groupings of tiny houses share facilities like outdoor space and laundry rooms. Many people enjoy the idea of living simply and having a smaller footprint than they would in a typical house. Speaking of, living in a tiny home is very environmentally friendly, since many use innovative means for electricity and water collection.

Tiny homes can also be moved, which makes them appealing for millennials or frequent travelers who don't know where they'll end up. Although it takes a truck or U-Haul to pull them, certain tiny homes can essentially go where you go!

Brush Up On Zoning Laws

Since tiny houses are a unique form of dwelling, it's important to know the zoning laws associated with your potential new home. To start, a tiny house can be on wheels or on a foundation.

If your home is on wheels, it's technically a recreational vehicle, so you simply need to adhere to sizing regulations and find places to park and hook up your home. Keep in mind that if you do plan on traveling with your tiny house, there could be some damage done to the exterior on the highway due to high winds.

On a foundation, a tiny home becomes a little more complicated. Many plots of land that are zoned for housing have a specific square footage. Without that square footage, your tiny home is technically an Accessory Dwelling Unit, like an in-law apartment or granny flat.

The problem is that to have an Accessory Dwelling Unit, there needs to be a larger home on the premise too. This is why some people apply for a variance on the zoning, although those can be denied.

DIY Vs Buy

Believe it or not, there aren't many used tiny homes for sale. People love them enough to stay in them! You can check out what's for sale on the Tiny House Community page.

There are two ways to go about getting yourself a tiny home once you've worked out the wheels vs no wheels and location situations.

You can do it yourself or buy a pre-made home.

It's definitely cheaper to DIY a tiny house than it is to buy it, but there are a few pros and cons to both scenarios.  

Pros to DIYing a Tiny House:

  • More affordable
  • Total creative control
  • Ability to source your own materials

Cons of DIYing a Tiny House:

  • Takes up a lot of your time
  • Involves an ability to do plumbing, carpentry, electric, water lines, building etc.
  • Need to find a place to build it
  • New expenses can come up easily
  • Can affect the resale value of the home if the construction is flawed

Pros of Buying a Pre-Made Tiny House:

  • Professionally built
  • Fastest option
  • Up to safety codes

Cons of Buying a Pre-Made Tiny House:

  • More expensive
  • May not be exactly what you want
  • May have added costs like shipping and transportation

To Loft or Not To Loft?

Many tiny homes use a lofted bed to save space and make use of the height of the tiny home. However, some tiny homeowners have found these to be cramped, hot, and difficult to actually use in practice.

Plus, they really only work if you're able-bodied.

You can choose to loft your bed, use that space as a living space or office, or simply incorporate a higher-pitched roof or extra air conditioning unit during the building process. Otherwise, make sure there's enough room for a pull-out bed or mattress on the ground floor.

Consider Space

This might seem like a no-brainer, but make sure that your favorite things can fit in your new home. Although many tiny homeowners embrace minimalism, you may still want to bring your favorite desk, couch, or have some needs like a full-sized refrigerator or stovetop.

It can be jarring to realize how many belongings we really have, so think about storage and space when you look at a tiny home. It may seem like there are many options under staircases and seating areas, but basic living needs to take up a fair bit of your tiny home.

Outdoor Access

Whether you're looking at a plot of land to buy yourself or a tiny home community, think about what type of outdoor access you want. Some tiny homes have porches or even rooftop spaces. Others use communal yards or design patios behind their homes.

If you have children or pets, making sure that they have adequate space to play outside your new home is important!

Buying a Tiny House

Now that you know what to look for, it's time to start the process! If you're still unsure, try staying in a tiny house on vacation. That way, you can get a feel for the space and see what you like and dislike about a tiny home layout.

Visit an array of tiny houses for sale so you know you're getting the right one for your family and your life. For more advice on tiny living and how to buy a tiny home, check out the rest of our blog!

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