Buying a tiny house comes with several financial considerations. There are fully built homes, or you can purchase a shell or even build from the ground up, just to name a few.
Tiny homes continue to rise in popularity, with an estimated worldwide growth of $5.80 billion from 2020 to 2024. Whether in it for the financial freedom that comes with tiny living or trying to reduce the eco-footprint, there are still ongoing costs for owning a tiny home to consider.
With so many possibilities, investing can feel overwhelming, so let’s break this down.
Buying a new tiny house
A tiny home can cost anywhere from $10,000 to $100,000, depending on what all is included.
The price can vary depending on the size, amenities, finishes, and land needs of the home. Working with a builder and asking the right questions is the best way we recommend ensuring the home is fitting for families or other use, such as a profitable Airbnb.
When buying a tiny house that is fully built, the price tag will be higher than buying in pieces. In addition to the base price, you can select trim packages, extended porches, added lofts, or other customizations. Add in delivery fees, a trailer (if the home will be moved often), upgraded appliances, and the cost could increase significantly.
Purchasing a fully built tiny means nothing needs to be added:
The house will have sleeping space, living room, kitchen, bathroom, and everything needed to move right in. This is the ideal option for someone who isn’t skilled in the construction area or looking to start earning income on a tiny house quickly.
If you want to customize the interior of a tiny home, purchasing a shell is a great alternative.
There are still options to choose such as how many square feet, lofts, and porches, but beyond that, the investor builds out the interior.
Shell-built is the right choice for someone who is confident with their construction skills, has the necessary tools, and is trying to keep costs lower. Going this route is vital to consider timelines and research the availability of appliances, flooring, and other necessary materials.
Some builders also offer DIY blueprints or packages.
If purchasing the blueprints, you’re responsible for buying all the lumber and other materials needed to build the home. This can get tricky during item shortages. Also, make sure to price out the materials needed vs. purchasing one of the done-for-you options because the pricing on lumber has hit an all-time high.
The next option is to buy a package from a builder, which typically includes the building structure materials and blueprints, and the customer builds the home on their own. While you can save time going this route vs. acquiring the materials on your own, the price is typically higher with a builder.
Buying pre-owned is a great alternative as well, as the price can be less expensive, and any additional costs outside of land needs are likely based on transporting the tiny house to the new location.
The Tiny House Listings website has thousands of tiny houses for sale (or rent) and is a great place to start looking for a completed home. A pre-owned home works well if there is no customization required and if the purchaser likes the idea of a more turnkey solution.
Always make sure to look at the house, the seals around windows and doors, the materials used, and check for a builder’s warranty.
Some areas do not allow tiny homes, so learning your area’s zoning and restriction laws is essential
It is also crucial to ensure that the land being purchased has access to water, septic or sewer, and power. While there are options to live entirely off-grid with a tiny house, you will still need to consider the additional costs of a generator, solar, water tanks, etc.
An alternative to purchasing land is renting. Tiny home communities, mobile home parks, and someone else’s land are great places to start looking.
All these options should come with water, power, and sewer, one less thing to worry about.
The American Tiny House Association is a fantastic resource for finding the laws, restrictions, and zoning rules in the desired location.
Tiny homes come with the same maintenance requirements that a traditional home has.
Keeping up on paint, servicing heating and cooling systems, checking the doors and windows for leaking, and following a regular maintenance schedule for all the appliances in the home are critical. Initially, using higher-grade building materials may increase the cost of the house; however, it can save on the longevity of the house. Make sure to ask the builder about their warranties!
There is a lot you can do to reduce monthly costs such as using SIP panels to help with heating and cooling or choosing appliances that run off propane, or using solar panels. Insurance for natural or unforeseen emergencies is highly recommended.
No matter what direction you want to take, Turn Key Fabrication takes pride in working with customers to make sure they leave with their dream home in mind.