Are you getting ready to move into your first home or downsize? Are you wondering if you should buy a tiny house?
Tiny buildings provide a number of benefits for those wishing to live simpler. They are less expensive, easier to maintain, and require less energy to run.
Yet how do you go about building a tiny house on land? Is it simply a matter of finding a piece of property and a cute little cottage to build there?
Here’s what you need to know.
1. Check With Your District
Municipalities have different rules about building homes. You’ll want to know about local zoning ordinances, and you’ll need to get permission from the different departments of the city and state your land is on. You’ll need the development authority, fire safety department, and environment department to issue certificates of clearance before you can build.
If you want to run water into your building, you’ll need to apply to the public works department for a supply pipeline and water tanker.
Construction will also get regulated. There will be restrictions on where you can dump debris, as well as when you can make noise. You’ll want to check with your local authorities on this as well.
Maybe you’re planning an building an accessory dwelling unit, – if so see this guide to pre-approved ADU plans: https://actonadu.com/blog/the-ultimate-guide-to-pre-approved-adu-plans-in-san-jose. You could build an extra apartment, inlaw suite, or backyard cottage on your own land or that of a friend or family member.
If you’re considering an accessory dwelling unit, you’ll need to check with your town’s zoning ordinances before you begin planning or building. Some municipalities permit them, but others may only allow them temporarily.
2. Consider Power Costs
If your unit doesn’t have power, you’ll need to create your own or pay to have power brought onto your property. You’ll have to watch out if you are planning to build somewhere that doesn’t have a lot of other homes close by. It will get more expensive to have power lines hooked up to your home if you’re further away from utility connections.
Going green with solar panels can help keep your home efficient and save you money on energy bills later on. You can find out about this option before you build your unit.
3. Cut Back on Stuff
A tiny home will mean you have less room for impulse buys, including gadgets and knick-knacks. You’ll also have a smaller refrigerator and have less room for stocking food.
Before investing in a tiny dwelling, you’ll want to honestly consider whether or not you can live without the extra space. Try cutting back on your expenditures now and see if you’re comfortable living within your new limits.
4. Think About Financing
Tiny houses are generally much more affordable than traditional homes, but you won’t be able to mortgage one.
You may be able to get a loan for a credit union designed specifically for smaller homes. Or you can take out a personal loan, but the interest would be higher.
5. Get Some Water
You may want to ask other owners of tiny homes in your area how they got water running into their dwellings. If you’re staying in one location, you may be able to go through an RV water hookup, which gives you access to an underground water source.
You can also use a water tank that fits inside your kitchen cabinets. Your town water line or an adjacent well are reliable sources to hook up to. The good news is that running plumbing into a tiny home is fairly inexpensive.
6. Consider Storage
Paring down may require that you store some of your belongings or furniture that you aren’t ready to part with. A unit that’s climate-controlled will have an average price of $146 per month.
If you think storage will end up being a part of your lifestyle if you move into a tiny home, make sure you figure the cost into your monthly budget.
7. You’ll Need Floor Plans and Blue Prints
Written plans are a great way to make sure that your home gets designed attractively and efficiently. You’ll need to know where plumbing, electrical lines, and pipes go. And everything should be measured to ensure proper function and fit. Floor plans created by a professional will also give you the assurance that your home is structurally sound.
8. Plan on Spending a Little Extra
The flat cost of the land, materials, and utilities for your unit may give you an idea of what you’ll be spending, but you’ll want to plan on being overbudget just in case.
You may end up wanting an upgrade, or the cost of your appliances could be more than you were anticipating. Whichever way you choose to build, plan on your tiny house costs adding up to more than you anticipated.
9. You’ll Need Insurance
Just like a traditional home, tiny homes require insurance. It will protect you in the event of a natural disaster or other unforeseen problems.
Insurance can guard you against financial loss, but it works a little differently with tiny homes. Be prepared to do a little research before you get your home insured.
10. Go Outdoors
Your outdoor space will become more important to your home once you downsize. Consider adding a deck, front porch, or patio to your unit. These will become central living spaces in the warmer months.
The Advantage of Building a Tiny House on Land
Building a tiny house on land can be an exciting adventure. With a little planning, you could be on your way to the mini-abode of your dreams in no time.
Don’t stop getting home-savvy now. For more information on great homes and decorating, read our blog today.