Tiny House, Tiny Living, The Tiny Life.

3 Tips To Finding Land For A Tiny House

The tiny house movement has made huge strides in the past few years by promoting efficient living spaces and minimalist lifestyles in 400 square feet or less. More homeowners are seeing the benefit in downsizing to lessen environmental impact, save money and eliminate home-related stressors.

Building a small home is generally less complicated than planning and constructing a large home. However, it is more difficult to find appropriately-sized and cost-effective land for micro homes than it is for average-sized homes. Most micro home builders aren’t looking to pay full price for open plots, since tiny homes are more economical to build.

Interested in joining the tiny house movement? Consider these three tips to find appropriate land.


1. Location, Size and Price

Micro homes can be built anywhere as long as construction follows state building codes. Some states even allow homeowners to build micro homes in their backyards. However, a lot of tiny homeowners don’t have pre-owned properties to use for construction. Use Zillow to find land based on location; just search within a designated city under home type: lots/land.

Search for comparable properties online to determine typical ratios of home square footage to land size.  A home that is 100-400 square feet requires far less property than the average 2,500-square-foot home. Regardless of home size, land sizes vary in price based on location. Typical tiny house proponents stray from city centers, as the land is more expensive and prone to complicated code laws. Further, most tiny homeowners are advocates of eco-friendly lifestyles and therefore prefer more rural locales.

2. Consider Zoning Laws

Tiny home builders may be automatically looking for small plots, but states require a certain amount of land for people to live and build on legally. Review state zoning laws to determine the subdivisions and restrictions in a potential area. Tiny homeowners should examine city documents to understand potential long-term neighborhood development plans prior to purchasing land. Most people don’t want to live next to an interstate or strip mall, and knowing about those types of changes helps weed out bad investments.

3. Find an Experienced Agent

Search for a real estate professional who can aid in a tiny land search. There are agents who specialize in niche markets – tiny homes included. Make sure to check up on an agent’s qualifications before hiring them to ensure they are the best fits for tiny house searches. While these steps won’t guarantee the perfect plot for tiny home construction, they certainly help homeowners get started.

This is a guest post by Jennifer Riner of Zillow


  1. I agree with all of the above! Good points, all. I especially like number three, to get an experienced realtor involved, who knows the area you are interested in moving too. I spent a lot of time on the phone with agents from various areas, telling them what I wanted and asking about the “reality” of being able to do so. I was polite, I was clear in what I wanted to know, and not one of them gave me the impression that they were annoyed by the time spent with me, even though of course most of them gave me bad news, heh.

    When I found the right area, with the TREMENDOUS help from my agent, it was so smooth….he drove me around for two days, looking at properties far and wide. I fell in love with one, and when the owner rejected my offer, my agent, on his own, contacted the owner of my second-favorite, and got me a heck of a deal! Funnily enough, this piece of land was my agent’s number one recommendation. :)

    I was able to save a whole lot of money, got treated to first-class attention, and found my future home by reaching out and asking. You’ll possibly save a lot of time, as well, and might even make a new friend.

  2. Thanks for effort on this article. Hopefully this is constructive criticism rather than just anonymous web-bashing.

    I hoped this article would provide more information than just the recommendation to contact an agent. What are the considerations in terms of utilities for rural versus urban? What are recommendations for minimum plot size? Where have other tiny home owners had success in acquiring property? Are their alternates to owning land i.e. renting land? What search words are recommending when using zillow to search for vacant lots?

    I think answers to these questions goes further to help potential tiny home owners. Just a thought.

    Also, I would suggest that urban settings are potentially a more ‘eco-friendly lifestyle’ option because they cut down on development of ‘green’ land and locate the owner closer to amenities (which reduces potential driving miles). Urban living is typically a resource efficient option.

    Anyway, thanks for the article

  3. I’m with Joel on this one.

    I have been having a tiny house fantasy for over a year now and have had NO LUCK finding any affordable lots/land which are buildable to purchase within a reasonable driving distance from work. If the lots are buildable, then the house would have to pretty much totally off grid because there are no amenities. I’m not apposed to being off grid, but the zoning laws are.

    If the tiny house movement is going to blossom we need some help on this front. I would love a tiny house team to organize with developers to start building us tiny house communities in urban areas! That would be fantastic.

    I’ve also looked into renting or buying an RV space, but that is even really challenging to find. Anyone else having any other ideas, suggestions,success stories, luck finding land to put a tiny home on who are still working day jobs? I would love to hear about it.

    Thanks for the tips, still waiting for more…totally craving a way to make my tiny house fantasy come true!!!

    Tammy :)

    • Are you interested in Arkansas?

    • Hi Tammy,
      All I can think of right now is to find someone you know who might invest in a piece of land and develop it as a tiny house development. You know for about 20 tiny houses.

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