How to Find Land for Your Dream Tiny House: 3 Hot Tips
Are you wondering how to find land for a tiny house?
Are you wondering what kinds of traits and characteristics to look for when buying land for a tiny house?
It may feel intimidating to do this, but I can tell you that it’s not impossible!
For the last five years, our family of three has lived in a tiny house in a medium-density residential area.
I have some important tips when you do a property search for a tiny home. Hopefully you will learn from our mistakes.
Stay flexible when searching for land
When you begin your search for land for a tiny or small home, just remember what you are trying to do is outside of the norm of expectations.
You have to be thinking outside of the box. You may have certain aspirations of where you want to live, but you may have to curb and be flexible about those expectations. This is especially important if you don’t have a huge budget for land!
Here are three specific things you need to look at when you are trying to buy land for your tiny house:
1. Where to look
You can look for land in so many different places, like eBay, Realtor.com, and Zillow. But my wife found the land we eventually moved to for sale on Craigslist!
Another good site for finding land is called LandWatch.com. It’s important to know what you’re looking for before going on these sites.
2. Characteristics to look for
This depends on whether you want to be on the grid or off the grid and whether you want to grow food on your lot.
If you want a property on the grid, you need to make sure you have access to water or whether you have to drill for a well. You need to know how to connect to electricity and sewage.
But whether you are on or off the grid, you want to know if your property is in a flood zone. If you’re in a flood zone, your tiny house will float away and it will be tough to grow food on the land.
If you find a property that’s low-priced, dig deeper because you may find that the property is indeed in a flood zone but they don’t divulge that right away.
If you do find a cheap lot, look at the surrounding homes. If the surrounding homes are larger styles, don’t be fooled into thinking you will be allowed to park your tiny home on the lot.
Housing developments like that have certain zoning regulations to maintain property values.
In reality, do you really want to live in a tiny home in an area surrounded by huge homes?
3. Look for a diamond-in-the-rough property
So what I found when looking for land for a tiny house is to search for a diamond in the rough. Look for properties that have been for sale for over a year. In those cases the sellers may be more likely to negotiate on price or what type of home that can be put on the lot.
I’ll give you an example with an experience we had. We looked at another piece of property in a neighboring county and contacted the listing agent with our plans to park a tiny house on the lot.
We asked if we were able to do that on the piece of property that was for sale. The agent contacted the local zoning department to figure that out. She found out we could park there if we hooked up to electricity, dug a well, and that our house had to be put on a permanent foundation.
We saw the property but realized it was too close to major intersections, which is why it hadn’t sold and was kind of cheap. But those are the kinds of questions to ask and things to look for.
Just be right up front with agents and land sellers about what you want to do. You don’t want to buy a property and find out you can’t park your tiny house there legally.
Search for recreational land if you’re looking for off the grid lots. Recreational land is something hunters would purchase to set up temporary shelters and cabins during hunting season.
Also look for land in unincorporated townships. These townships have no municipal authority governing and regulations, specifically zoning, because the population size is so small.
Another benefit of living in an unincorporated township is that the taxes are very low. The downside is that there are very few if any services, such as snow plowing the local roads.
Our property is in a borough. And most of the borough is in a flood zone. However, the property that we found is not in one of the flood zones. We’re a little bit more elevated and our drainage is good.
We got a good deal on our property, we are not in a flood zone, and I think our county may have made an exception for us to put our tiny house here even though it doesn’t look like all the other surrounding homes, and some of them are quite large. I think the county needs the tax revenue and a lot of people are moving away from the area.
Finding this diamond-in-the-rough was beneficial for us and for the town, as well.
How to find land for your tiny house
I hope these tips have helped you learn more about how to buy land for a tiny house.
Let me know if you have encountered other obstacles when looking for land for tiny homes or have other characteristics for the land that you’re looking for.