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Monday, August 28, 2017

Finding Tiny House Land- Where and WHAT to look for?

    Lets face it, its not easy to find any town that will allow a tiny house, backwoods cabin, or a live-in tree house to be built in, but there ARE some that:

-Just don't care (and want your tax dollars per square foot and nothing more)
-Aren't staffed enough or organized enough to care
-Won't ever be able to find you (again, understaffed)
-Just want anyone new to be part of their town (spending money IN town, helping the local economy)

There are MANY other reasons as well, but those seem to be the main ones. Of course, as I'll mention in a second, this often places you in an area that is not so, er, "metropolitan". Some gun for the solitude of far-out, small towns, while others blanch at the thought.

I've found that looking into what are deemed nationally as "4th class cities/towns" are the ones most apt to have the fewest codes. Is not that they don't care necessarily, its that they can't and don't have the resources to (they might have bigger fish to fry).

Anyway, having bought "boondocks" land a few times before (and THAT might automatically place some of you out of this interest group/discussion ("I only want my tiny home downtown in NYC! (not gonna happen))), this video mentions a few things I look out for when considering inexpensive land. Remember, often times, cheap land IS too good to be true, so make sure you take your time looking into it- and certainly VISIT THE LAND, where and when possible.

A FEW QUESTIONS TO KEEP IN MIND: In no particular order.... 

Does it flood?
Will wetlands zoning restrictions hamper your plans and add in stress and limitations to your build?
Is the area a drainage basin that will receive flash floods? Is the land in a valley?
Do you get adequate sunlight?
What is the resale market of the region (stagnant? on the rise?)
Are there amenities nearby that will make your build and future tiny-life convenient enough?
Is there the possibility for electricity? Are poles nearby, or will it cost a fortune to bring in?
How much work will it take to clear space for solar panels if you want to go that route?
Do you need to build a bridge, or clear a road for access? ($$$$)
What are the nearest neighbors like and will they frown upon your plans and make things difficult?
Is there easy access to the plot? (not 1000 turns on barely passable dirt roads 50 miles off anything paved)
Is there a mud season in the region that might render the road impassable?
For materials, is their a lumber yard close enough to the land/town?
How rough is the terrain- soil, all rock? Steep?
Are there any existing tax liens on the property?

And on and on.....

The point I'm getting at is that you need to know your needs and MUST do your research.
I know too many people who too-excitedly jumped into a land purchase and later regretted it.
Don't be that person.

-Derek "Deek" Diedricksen


  1. Thanks for opening my eyes to things to consider. This is amazing. I really enjoyed your article. Personally, I recently joined the Tiny House Movement and am enjoying every bit of it.

    ps. i personally built a picture site dedicated to the tiny house movement. You can share all your Tiny house living pics from your building process to plans used, for the benefit of others just joining our movement. Please check it out.

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