This has to be one of the biggest challenges for most people – not getting it or building it – but where to keep it once you have it. Some reside in friends or family members yards for awhile. Others set up camp in various RV parks. Some work out arrangements as security or caretakers for farms, shops, boat yards or other such properties in exchange for a place to keep their tiny homes. Different things work best for some people in certain places than others do, and much of it depends on the individual situation and desires of each tiny home dweller.
The best solution to me – and you may or may not agree – is to own your own piece of dirt somewhere that is relatively private. Close enough to the city or town but not too close. This provides a nice combination of accessibility, affordability and freedom. Such land is plentiful and cheap and isn’t hard to buy at all in most of the country. But what if you live somewhere that is very anti independence and very anti tiny home with its excessive rules, regulations and general meddling? Move. That’s my recommendation anyway, and the nice thing is that you have that right and that ability anytime and anywhere. They can only meddle in your life if you stay – and they can’t make you stay since this isn’t a communist country.
No work there? Move. Everything too expensive? Move. Too much hassle by the local government? Move. Don’t like the attitude of the place? Move. Life is too short and too precious to put up with a bunch of crap when you don’t have to. The great thing is that if enough people stop putting up with nonsense and move then the tax base for that little communist want to be town or city will drop so low that it will either change its ways of go under. The people always have the power – whether they realize it or not.
Of course you can stay and fight silly rules and organize events and protest, and try to get the local rule makers to change their ways first – if you are interested in taking the time and effort to do so. Either way it’s up to you and there are some places that will change their ways and become more reasonable – but if they don’t there are thousands and thousands more that will be more than accommodating and happy to have you.
Find a place that you can keep your tiny home and live in peace. Then as you can afford to do so, build a fixed foundation home with your own hands and with paid for materials piece by piece until it’s done. Anywhere in the country you can build a fixed foundation home and so long as it meets the local minimal requirements once built you should never have anymore problems. Of course whether you live in that little house or continue to spend most of your time in your tiny house parked out back is up to you. The smallest thing that works the better off you will be in all cases and the less it will cost to heat and cool. Even when you own a larger house, it may make sense to spend the hottest and coldest parts of the year in your tiny house to minimize those utility costs.
Even a nomadic lifestyle is better if you have a home port to go to when you need to take a break and sooner or later everybody wants a break from traveling. It doesn’t have to be much, it doesn’t have to be expensive, it just needs to be yours. It can be a little odd sized piece of land that nobody else would want but it would be perfect for such a use and since its undesirable to most other people the price will be extremely low. Do a little research yourself and see what vacant land costs and also look at land that has a derelict old house or barn on it – to you it is a goldmine of materials that you can use in your own little house and it being there drives the cost further down on the property, so from your point of view it can be a good thing.
How can you afford to buy land? It may be easier than you think especially if you are looking at the right kinds of land in the right places. For just a few thousand dollars in most cases you can find somthing that will work. Less than the cost of a decent used car in most cases and far less than the average cost of a cheap new car in almost all cases.
One way to quickly save the money up is to temporarily live in a tiny truck camper or converted van or a converted cargo trailer and do so by covert camping (stealth camping as many call it) for a few weeks to a few months and put every single penny you can save by doing so into savings for your land. Can you do it – absolutely? Will you do it? Well that is for you to decide. It all depends on how bad you want to change your life and how motivated you are to actually get up and go do it.
Think about what ever you are now paying for rent or a mortgage payment. That amount can be saved – all of it. Now think about what you are paying for gas, propane or electricity to heat and cool it? That amount can be greatly reduced to almost nothing if not totally eliminated. Then that amount you can save too. So if you saved this money up for a few weeks to a few months how much would it be?
How about if you were to also sell off all the crap that you have but don’t use and don’t need? Look in your closets, garage, storage unit, attic, yard, driveway, drawers and every other crack and crevice of where ever you live now. Make a list. What do you have that you could sell at a yard sale, flea market, Craig’s List, eBay etc.? With this money and the money you could save by going extreme for awhile and covert camping to eliminate your rent or mortgage – then how much could you come up with?
Look around the area you want to live and start becoming familiar with the average market value for the type land you need. How much is the average cost of such land? Once you have that – then you have your answer on how long it will take to save enough money to buy your land. By the way, if you are seeking freedom and a better life and really want to change your circumstances – seriously consider doing it this way. Please DO NOT finance it! Debt destroys peoples lives and getting out of debt will change your life in ways that you probably can’t imagine right now. Buy it when you have the money to pay cash in full for it and you will be much better off.
Once you own the land then build a tiny house on a trailer if you like. Plenty of plans and ideas are available from many different sources – or learn the basics about construction and tiny house building techniques and design and build your own. Check out Jay Shafer if you haven’t already. Then just do a couple of Google searches for tiny house plans and see what you come up with.
Build your tiny house. Then live in your tiny house and continue to save up your money as fast as you can. Look at small house plans. Check the local requirements for minimum size and other minimum requirements for your county and then find a set of plans for something that will be able to meet them. When you are ready then build your little house – be sure you have investigated all permit and other legal requirements and considered them before proceeding.
In choosing your home design be careful to select the smallest and the simplest design that meets your requirements. Resist the temptation to go for something bigger, more expensive, ornate and complicated to build. That doesn’t mean it has to be a box with no character – on the contrary. It can be something very nice and visually beautiful as well as functionally efficient. Just look at the whole thing including material costs, time and afford in terms of labor and other considerations necessary to get it off the page and into reality.
If you are willing then you can turn your dreams into reality. So what do you want to do, just dream – or get up and go actually do it?