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.

Tiny House on a plot of 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.



  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.


      • Susan,I feel the same way. I can’t get this notion of downsizing into a tiny house out of my head. It’s just me and the two dogs so 400 sq ft or less would be fine for me.

        • I’ve been reading some of these blogs and it’s kind of interesting how many single women are out there looking for tiny homes I’m in the same category single senior citizen with four dogs so I’m looking for a tiny home preferably in the North Carolina area is just hard to find any communities that allow multiple pets more than two so then I’m forced to kind a look for Landon then you get into zoning and digging wells and sewage and things which is far more complicated than I want to go so finding the right realtor is it Best most important thing in the search so any information or numbers would be very welcomed and appreciated thank you

          • Hey Donna,

            I heard that there is tiny house community in or near Asheville, NC. You may want to check them out.

          • Single woman with 3 dogs hear, looking to do the same. In about two years my kids will both be at college so there’s no need to keep paying so much for a house. Too much to keep up with anyway. I’m hoping this site can help me get started and avoid any major mistakes

      • Check out www.TinyHouseRealEstateAgent.com

      • My name is Ron Mann and I own several real estate Companies in East Tn. To find land you have to find the right realtor!! You need to find a realtor that specialize in Land, to do that talk with friends and people in the area you want to buy property and find a realtor that specialize in land. Search websites that specialize in land in your area also websites that will allow you to search for land only. You need to find a realtor that will think out side the box. To lower the initial cost of you might find other like minded people and go in together to find land. Have a your financing our money together. Most lenders have shy away from financing land. When you are searching for land don’t make the first priority the price. Accessibility location, how much of the land is useable should be the first consideration, then the price. Get familiar with the Google Earth website. There is a free version that can be down loaded. This will allow you to see the surrounding area with out traveling to the area. Have your realtor send you a copy of the Tax Map of the property. Network with people that familiar with the internet. If your interest in in East Tn. I can help you

        Ron Mann

        • Hi Ronn, im actually looking for a place in TN… Ideas?

          • Please give me a call some time. I exclusively work in East Tn. The land that I have is in Hancock, Grainger and Hawkins Co. Are you looking for a Tiny Home community or land just for your self. Because of the up front costs of a well and septic it is easier to pair up with other like minded people to share those expenses. Give ne an idea on what you are trying to accomplish It would be easier if we could talk.

          • Hi Ron
            I am looking for a small lad purchase in Simcoe county preferably in Georgina ontario

        • Hi Ron,
          I am looking for a lot for a tiny house, preferably with water and sewer hookup. Tennessee is lovely country. I am wanting to relocate from Philadelphia and build a tiny house. As I am on a limited budget, I am looking for a good price for a good location. Inside a town or city would be excellent.thanks

          • I own several lots in an unrestricted area of Pulaski County, KY…south central KY. The lots are available for purchase. There are no zoning or HOA restrictions on these lots. Public water tie-in is available and electricity is at the lot line on these lots. Please see my website, www(dot)landinspire(dot)com for more information.
            (Apologies for the website “code”)

    • thank you. I would love to buy a tiny home somewhere remote but on the grid, near water , somewhere warm, but… I don’t know where to begin.
      Where did you find land ?
      Thank you

      • Terlingua Texas anyone know of anywhere else tiny homes are permitted on land you can buy? USA or outside the USA

      • Check out www.TinyHouseRealEstateAgent.com

    • Hi!

      Were you able to find land to rent for your tiny home or was this a purchase? My husband and I want to find land to rent so we can maintain mobility.


      • we want to find land to rent, too!! any leads? I have no idea where to start.

      • Although not always glamorous surroundings, a couple of good places to start the search for property (land only or land/utilities) rentals is with rv parks or mobile home parks. Even if they don’t have the space you are looking for, they are at least knowledgeable of the sort of property you are seeking. They might be able to point you in the direction of someone who has what you’re looking for.

        Depending on your location, you might also execute a web search for tiny house lots. There are places in which the movement has caught on in a big way, leading to tiny communities springing up. I have plans to begin one such community within the next year.

        Good luck in your search!

        • check out www.tinyhouserealestateagent.com to connect with real estate agents specializing in tiny homes

        • Where are you looking to start you community? I would love to one day start my own. I am young & my funds are low so for right now I am looking to expand my knowledge in the movement. I current travel in an RV & would be more than thrilled to work are a low wadge just to learn & get my foot in the door!

          Looking forward to hearing from you!

    • Coffewitholiver, Can you share the realtors name and contact information with me?? I have a tiny house and would like to find land. Most of these realtors dont even want to bother with tiny houses.

  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?

      • Yes,,we have a large lot in Dover, Arkansas, has septic, water & electricity, we have an older airstream on it right now…hope to build a 500-600sf house on it too.

        • I’ve been interested in Arkansas, mainly because I think the cost of living is lower. How much is a couple of acres there, do you know? I’d like to be out in the woods, with trees around, however, I’m an older woman and would also be fairly close to a small to medium size town.
          Thank you for your response.

          • Hi Helen. We have 3 parcels of land not that far from beautiful Beaver lake Arkansas. We have just recently been considering building tiny or small homes on them to sell or offer them as a rent to buy opportunity for those with limited finance.
            But before we go ahead with it we need to know if anyone would be interested in this opportunity.If you or anyone you know are interested please let me know.
            All the best…

      • yes, rural areas.

    • 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.

      • I am with you Rod! It is a dream of mine to create a communal living space with tiny houses and a community “family” center building with a kitchen, etc. Looking for an investor.

    • Check out the article written by Erika Lundahl, in Yes magazine posted 2/20/2014. This may help with some ideas for you.

    • I feel the same!!! I want a step by step on what needs to be done to finding land to feel safe in an area you can put your tiny house.

      • Check out www.TinyHouseRealEstateAgent.com We can help evaluate your goals and identify land that is a good fit.

    • The Grand Marais, Minnesota (Cook County), zoning laws are open to putting a tiny house on your own lot and living in it full-time. You can have your own sewer and water. They simply require you to take your wheels off. Murphy Mountain, which is 5 miles west of Grand Marais, has lovely, very private, wooded lots for sale, and you can easily have electricity. Grand Marais is a beautiful harbor town (with a lighthouse) on the North Shore of Lake Superior.

    • Yes, Tammy
      I bought my park model tiny house about a year ago and it was a nightmare finding somewhere to put it. Still looking for another option than renting a lot at a RV park. My only suggestion is dont buy anything until you have secured somewhere to park it and get everything in writing. Oh and make sure the land or lot is legal, in otherwords make sure there are no restrictions and it is out of Austin City limits.

  4. My wife and I are truck drivers I am also a disabled vet in roughly 4-6 yrs I will need a double knee replacement we are looking for a tiny home in the gulf coast roughly 350-500 sft all single single level would like to be lake front or river front to help w my rehab willing to be in a park community and rent a lot but want to own home can some one help us please

    • I know I’m late but check out wolf river rv park in pass christian mississippi.
      they have lots for around $15,000.

  5. Great advice! It’s important to always consider zoning laws when working with large amounts of land. Thanks for the tips!

  6. My husband and I would like to purchase a large piece of land around a lake in upstate NY, build our tiny home and rent out the lots to others who would like to park their tiny home on wheels. Once we’ve saved up a bit of money from the rentals, we’d like to start building other permanent tiny homes like or own on the property and rent those out as well. I’ve barely gotten started and have realized that we may have to wait several years for this to catch on a bit more and for some of the laws to change. It’s amazing to me how difficult they make this when it seems like such a reasonable practical thing to do.

    • so agree with you Donna

      • I agree. I would love to do the same in Austin. I would love to buy 5-10 acres, build one for myself and my two dogs;then lease to a few tiny home owners and establish a community garden. I have the ability to do this now, but definitely in about 2 years when I retire, but do not know where to start.

        • alma, has your dream materialized yet? we are retiring too and are in the early stages of pursuing tiny living – Austin may be worth considering for us. Presently we live in Washington state but are open to moving elsewhere.

          • To Lynx and JB, we may have a WA State option for you for visit us at www.tinyhouserealestateagent.com

    • Donna let me know exactly where you’d be permitted to live in a Tiny home or more of them on one parcel of land how small or big can the land will be.

  7. I am an agent and I am new to this movement in this capacity. I have a client that wants to live in a tiny house on wheels, other than a campground community I can’t think how else to help her. Any ideas? Chicago Area…. codes are an issue!

  8. I think the whole tiny house movement is busy ignoring reality. There are very few places you can set up a home like this. I’m all for it, but it’s fraught with so many difficulties, it’s almost not worthwhile. Oh, you can find lots of cheap land on sites like Billyland.com. Often it is zoned recreational and you can’t build anything there. Or it has no access. Or there is no water available and you’ll need to spend $20,000 on a well. Or pay the water company $5,000+ to hook you up if there is any. Or $10,000 plus to get electricity to your place, even if it less than 100 feet. These are real numbers in some places. We all know the legal hurdles with trailer mounted houses; but with “regular” small houses, you’ll need permits and inspections etc that will often cost more than your house. And some places simply forbid you to live in anything less than 1800 sq.ft. Isn’t low cost one of the prime reason people want to live this way? Not to be slaves to a mortgage? Well, reality won’t let you, even in the land of the free (HA!) The only person I know who has had a tiny house built for her ($53,000!) lives semi-legally in a corner of a farm, where she gets power from an extension chord and has a bucket toilet. I’m sure the authorities could pull the plug on her situation any time they wanted to and who wants to live with that threat ? It’s depressing…

    • Peter, I totally agree with you. This whole process is easier said than done. The biggest hurdle is not buying the home. It looks like some builders are offering financing options, but like w/most homes; land is an issue. And that is the reality of the tiny home movement.

      • Yes, Peter, I agree as well. I wish someone would start a mobile home type of park for THOWs. The same hook-ups, but people bring their own TH.

    • Peter, you’re a very smart man. I would like to know more of your thoughts concerning these very profound points that you make. I would love to travel and sell my children’s books and my wonderful potato salad and I am going to need water and a stove to cook. This is very depressing.

  9. Thank you for the tiny home tips. We are in the process of getting a loan and buying another home. The tiny home option is a good one. We just need to go find some land.

  10. I would like to add a thought regarding construction. One can easily expand any tiny home using manual or automat roof expanders.
    I never see this being applied.
    Look at a T6 Volkswagen ocean van.
    The roof expands! This could add a beautiful skylight effect while allowing an upper loft “standing room”.

  11. Any thoughts please share..

  12. I have a one acre lot for rent in Lexington, Georga. Rural huntng area wth lots of deer, fox, geese, etc. ths is a five acre property wth a stream. I live on the ffth acre.
    Property is off grid although you can tie nto the electrc grid whch is by the property at your own expense.
    You would need a compostng toilet. The stream water is okay for everythng but drinking.
    Located 25 miles east of Athens, Georgia with plenty of civic and cultural events. Eighty miles from Atlanta.
    $300.00 per month with a $250.00 depost. Good for a tiny home or RV.
    This is rural Georga. The neighbors are retired but do target practce. Hunters do hunt nearby.
    I wll not be addng a well or septc. You can do so at your own expense with no reduction in rent.

  13. I’ve always thought that if like-minded people could connect, several people purchasing a piece of property would significantly cut the cost of the land. Obviously, the details would have to be worked out, but it could be done. Also bringing in sewer and water could be shared. Normally the power companies are required to provide power, so the ‘infrastructure’ for that would be minimal. Of course, if you wanted to off-grid, that solves many problems.

  14. I am trying to find land or small cottage near or on the gulf coast I need to be in warmer weather for health reasons and I love to be near water all that is available is condo living of which I’m not particularly interested.

  15. I’m also very interested in this. I’m from upstate New York, 30 and single. I would like to move to warmer climates in Florida. No idea where to begin. Any thoughts or suggestions?

    • Florida is seeing a mass exodus to Georgia and others Southern states. You might want to watch a few BP oil and drilling into the New Madrid fault in the
      Gulf before choosing Florida.

  16. Yeah, I think the hardest is to find a piece of land to build the tiny house, I beeing looking for land ,for over a year in California or anywhere,don’t .

  17. I’d love to be able to buy land in upstate New York think Clinton, Franklin counties. It would be great to build a tiny house &/or tiny house on wheels. Heck perhaps both, using one for rental income.
    Would it possible to get a loan to purchase land, build the home(s), making them green? Solar/wind, etc.

  18. I’m looking for a place to build a tiny home in AZ on a slab and have an RV parked adjacent. Want enough land for a garden. Tiny home would be around 400 sq ft. Can’t find property north of Phoenix. Need some land owner to be willing to develop a tiny home community here. There would be plenty of takers I’m sure. I’m a retird architect and have been through a myriad of zoning and land development projects.

    • Jerry,Not sure if your know about pinetop lakeside az. They are starting a new communityear it’s called lux tiny. I am also looking for over a year.

  19. I have 2,2.5 acre parcels of land for sale in upstate NY, in the town of Delanson. There is a drilled well on one parcel, new electric at the road, driveway with culvert professionally installed. Septic site started. Husband and I started to develop for a home, had all building permits. Quiet tranquil location with beautiful views. Easy travel to market and entertainment locals. Plenty of room for home, patio and porch / deck. Land is flat and treed. Enjoy photography? The wildlife and views will not disappoint!!

  20. I have an acre in the river in liberty hill Texas. I have three of my RVs there and I go only on eke ends. I’m selling the trailers and putting a tiny home on it. I’d like to share it with two other tiny home owners.
    Anyone interested?

  21. How do I go about finding a realtor? I have Googled “specializing in tiny houses” but am not finding what I need. Please let me know if you have any suggestions. Thanks.

    • Check out www.TinyHouseRealEstateAgent.com

      • 70000+ for Tiny House, 15-30000 at least for lot land, assuming already cleared?? Another 15-20000 for well, and septic at least for a total of 100-120,000??? WHERES THE VALUE???

  22. Looking for land to lease for a tiny home in Portland Oregon area (west Portland / Beaverton / Hillsboro). Anyone know if any agents?

  23. I don’t want huge piece of land, I want small, not even a car.
    Is that possible to get that small a land?

  24. I discovered tiny living in 2012 and have been fascinated every since, but the problem is the zoning laws and finding land. I would love to live in a stationary home 500-600 square feet but it’s hard to anything in NJ. Land is sometimes very expensive, the tiny house community needs to form an organization to change how america view small and tiny living. I too would love to buy land and build a tiny house community but its so hard to get started.

  25. I love in Ohio, Summit County, looking for land to build a 500 to 600 sq tiny house. Want flusing toiket, a priority. Can anyone help?

    • i also live in summit county,ohio and an looking for lad for a tiny house have you had any luck

  26. Any ideas for central oklahoma ?

  27. How far from Fort Mill SC/ Charlotte, NC?

  28. Looking at finding some land in Eastern NC for tiny home or tiny home community. In and around Wilmington? Anyone interested ?

    • I’m looking in Western NC. Let me know if you change your mind on location in NC!

  29. I am planning on retiring and buying a tiny house on wheels in Northern California. Hopefully early 2018. Thank God California is becoming more liberal and by then I hope to find a plot of land to call home. Good luck to all of you Tiny House dreamers. It’s going to get easier!

  30. I didn’t know that there is a certain size requirement for land when building a house. If I was going to build a house then I would want to make sure that I was inside the law requirements. Maybe I should speak with a professional before building a new house. http://www.triangleareaproperties.com/Pages/ClaytonNC.aspx

  31. Does anyone have any information on tiny houses in Kentucky? I live in Louisville, and super anxious to purchase a tiny house. All of the land I have found is way over my budget, but I don’t want that to be the deciding factor on purchasing/living in a tiny home.

  32. If anyone is looking for land or offering land for Tiny Houses you can check out TinyHouseFinder.net

    If free to search for and list land for sale or rent.

    Another great resource for land is tinyhousecommunity.com

  33. Does someone know of land where it’s permissible to have a house put on in Missouri prefer Southeast No. Thks

  34. Your suggested tips are so much impressive. You wrote the right thing that I am looking for.

  35. Can anyone tell connect me with a Tiny House Realtor in New Mexico. What are the zoning laws in Albuquerque.

  36. I don’t know why this isn’t addressed in any articles – can you buy land and put a tiny house “RV” on it? How much would that land cost?

  37. Hi everyone .. this is such a great resource. I am currently trying to relocate my 85-year-old father in Florida, near Orange City or nearby, and have found a wonderful tiny-house built into a 12×32 foot (384 square feet) barn-style shed. I have been trying to find land to purchase on which to put it, but the zoning laws all around that area require a minimum of 850-square-foot house. I am allowed to put this building on my own land _if_ I first build a “regular size” house and use this as an accessory structure — but I am not interested or financially able to build a “regular house”. Does anyone know of anywhere near Orlando where zoning would allow me to buy my own land and put _only_ this 384-sq-ft barn/house on it, connected to water/sewer and electricity?

  38. This is really crazy and sad how the greed of the government takes over everything. Zoning laws require homes to be 850 square feet or more. They make those stupid laws because they want more money from property taxes.

    In my area they tore down the old abandoned factories, apartment buildings and commercial buildings to build 1-2 bedroom luxury condos at 600-850 square feet. Starting price for 1 bedroom $1600, the 850 square foot apartment has 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, priced at $2400 a month; the greed in my town is disgusting. The mayor thinks it’s the best thing since sliced bread; he doesn’t understand that nobody can afford those apartments. Even if they could, who wants to pay $1600 a month for 1 bedroom. Just plain crazy.

    Houses were originally a modest 500-700 square feet, until society started doing better financially as a whole; then house sizes went up. Now, they don’t want us to go back to modest size homes. I wonder if they will allow more than one tiny home on a lot; to add up to the 800+ square feet, like a cul de sac community. How does the manufactured home communities do it? Each manufactured house has a very small yard, if they have a yard at all.
    The tiny home community needs to come together to get the zoning laws changed.

    I think the problem is that too many people get the tiny homes on trailers and not enough people want to build a tiny home on a foundation. I want a tiny home on a foundation, I don’t want a lot of land because I hate yard work; but zoning laws don’t allow for small lots of land to be sold.

    What can we do today, so in 2-3 years zoning laws will be favorable for all housing types and sizes?

  39. How do we get land? Even if we can buy land, this being america, we still don’t truly own it. Do they still allow homesteading?

  40. Im new..dont kno anything about this other than wanting to own my own tiny home. I dont kno what to do. I need some guidence please…

  41. I am afraid that all the reality shows about tiny homes has turned simple and modest living into a fad; which is skyrocketing the price for land and for tiny homes (someone is selling their vacation cottage in the middle of the woods for $350,000). I live in a metropolitan/urban area, which makes tiny homes illegal. The closest living space to tiny homes in the city are studio apartments which goes for $800-$1200 a month in my neck of the woods. That amount of money in 2 years time is average price of a tiny house on wheels.

    I wish homesteading was still allowed; to my understanding Alaska, North Dakota and South Dakota still allow homesteading. No one wants to live in those states because the the winters are terrible.

  42. This is some really good information about properties for small houses. I liked that you pointed out that you need to look at zoning laws. I wouldn’t have even thought about checking that out for a tiny home. But it does make sense in some areas like a city.

  43. I like that you took the time to include how important it really is to find an experienced agent. Just like you explained to us, you should look for contractors and agents who are professional and know what the state’s zoning laws are. I have been wanting to build a home for quite some time now but have not come across any land that really interests me. I think that if I were to consult with an agent, they would be able to show me the potential of the land and give me some options. Thanks again for all the help!

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