What to Know Before Building or Buying a Tiny House
Looking to join the tiny house movement?
If so, you’re not alone. America’s fixation on these mini dream homes has gone to a whole new level, thanks in part to the HGTV shows “Tiny House Revolution” and “Tiny House Hunters.” In addition to their instagram-worthy cuteness, tiny houses provide many with a practical and affordable path to homeownership. Measuring less than 400 square feet of space, they also give homeowners a fantastic excuse to declutter and live a less materialistic lifestyle. If a tiny house appeals to you, keep reading to find out more about the cost, building options, restrictions and more.
What is the overall cost of a tiny house?
The overall price of a tiny house varies and is largely dependent on its size, as well as the finishes and materials used. While a luxury, custom-built tiny house could cost upwards of $150,000, a DIY build will, of course, cost much less. Those building a tiny house themselves could pay as little as $10,000 – but this is rare. According to PAD, an educational site for tiny house owners, a DIY-built tiny house will likely cost anywhere from $35,000 to $45,000. A tiny house built by a reputable builder could cost between $50,000 to $70,000. And a custom-built tiny house usually costs upwards of $80,000 to $100,000.
According to Good Money, the average cost of a tiny house is $23,000. However, the website points out that in order to keep the cost of a tiny house this low, owners “have to maintain a square footage of 186 square feet.” So if you’re hoping for more space in your future tiny house, expect to pay somewhere in the $50,000 ballpark.
Are tiny houses considered RVs?
Some tiny houses are considered RVs (recreational vehicles). According to Curbed, there are two types of tiny houses. Those on wheels (or trailers) are registered as RVs. Those built on a foundation are legally considered an “accessory dwelling unit,” or an ADU.
Can I buy a pre-owned tiny house?
Yes. As anyone who’s ever watched “Tiny House Hunters” on HGTV knows, homebuyers can purchase a new or pre-owned tiny house. Many tiny house builders have ready-made models for purchase. For example, one of the most popular builders of tiny houses is Tumbleweed Tiny House Company. This tiny house builder offers finished Tumbleweed tiny houses with several different models and floorplans to choose from. To purchase a pre-owned tiny house, you can also search through local listings on Realtor.com, as well as listings on Tiny Home Builders’ Tiny House Marketplace. Depending on the square footage and finishes, these resale homes tend to run between $25,000 and $100,000.
How do I build a tiny house?
Those looking to building a tiny house have several options:
- DIY Build – Prepared to roll up your sleeves and get to work? Those capable and willing to build their own tiny house will save a boatload on labor costs. They’ll also be involved in all aspects of the design and creation of their tiny house. However, do-it-yourself building does have its downsides. Being your own contractor will mean having to source all materials yourself. And unless you have family and friends willing to pitch in, you may end up having to outsource part of the labor. If you’re lacking the desire or know-how to design and build your home from scratch, you can opt for a tiny house kit instead. These kits often provide homebuyers with blueprints, instructions, and materials for constructing their own tiny house. For more information on tiny house builders that offer ready-to-go tiny house kits, check out The Spruce’s list here.
- Custom Build – Perhaps the most stress-free approach to building a tiny house is to simply have someone else – preferably, professionals – do it for you. If this is the route you wish to take, you’ll need to find a local contractor who either specializes or has experience in building tiny houses. To find a tiny house builder in your area, check Tiny House Listings. The cost of a custom-built tiny house typically runs higher than a DIY home, but given it’s more streamlined approach, many tiny house owners will tell you it’s worth the pricetag. Working with a contractor who is knowledgeable of the tiny house market should also ease the process of obtaining the right permits and meeting certain codes.
Where can I build or park a tiny house?
Before purchasing a tiny house, you’ll need to decide where exactly you will park it. Many owners choose to park the tiny house in a friend or family member’s yard. Good Money reports that tiny homeowners can rent lots in “tiny house co-ops and communities, where monthly prices range from $250 to $500.” The website points out that buying a lot in one of these communities costs around $65,000. Keep in mind though that tiny house communities may not be allowed in your state.
Tiny homeowners may have the option of purchasing an empty lot in their own community. However, due to city and county zoning regulations, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to simply park your tiny house on just any empty lot. For instance, if your tiny house is legally considered an RV, you’ll need to park it in an area zoned for RVs, such as an RV park. Given that many residential neighborhoods are not zoned for homes less than 1,000 square feet, you may have trouble finding a viable lot. So make sure to talk with your local zoning department before purchasing land.
For more details on zoning regulations and building codes, check out the American Tiny House Association’s informative website.
Do I need permits?
Yes. When building a tiny house, you’ll need to apply for various permits. These include electrical permits, plumbing permits and more. Permit costs and forms vary from place to place, so check your local building permit requirements on the city or county website.
How do I get a loan for a tiny house?
According to the Tiny House Community, there are six ways to obtain a tiny house loan. These include:
- A traditional mortgage
- Bank loan
- RV loan
- Your builder
- Credit Union
- Private or peer-to-peer lending
What are the indirect costs of owning a Tiny House?
In addition to the direct costs of buying a tiny house, such as land, trailers, materials and finishes, you’ll also need to consider indirect costs. These include the price of actually moving – whether you hire a moving company or move yourself. Other indirect costs include storage and fuel costs for towing the tiny house.
Ready to move to a tiny house?
To find the best moving company to handle the job, check Moving.com’s extensive network of reputable and reliable movers. All relocation companies in our network are licensed and insured, so you can rest assured that your move will be in good hands.
If you’re planning to downsize to a tiny house, you’ll need to rent a storage unit – at least temporarily. To locate self-storage facilities in your area, use Moving.com’s ‘Find Storage Now‘ tool. All you have to do is type in the zip code or your city and state, and click the ‘find storage’ button. Moving.com will pull quotes from the closest self storage unit facilities near your new home, so that you can compare costs and offerings. Best of luck and happy moving!
Published at Fri, 18 Aug 2017 18:54:59 +0000