When I started building my tiny house on wheels, I had no idea where I would park it. I followed my instincts, which where that if I built it, the land would appear. And I was right about that: I was able to rent the ideal piece of property in the town near where I wanted to live.
However, just because I didn't have a piece of land picked out from the start doesn't mean that my design wasn't influenced by where I wanted to live. On the contrary, there were several big considerations about land that influenced my design.
I knew that I wanted to be in Vermont, and that meant including really high quality insulation in my tiny house. I opted for Spray Foam because it offered the highest R-value per inch and also acts as a vapor barrier. (For more on this topic, see the Insulation section in Tiny House Decisions).
My tiny house dreams were never about traveling the country with my house in tow. Conversely, I wanted to build a home that could be moved in the event that I wanted to live somewhere else or I was forced to move for other reasons. Therefore, I didn't skimp on size or weight.
The result is that I have a tiny house that weighs near 10,000 lbs, and requires a big truck to move. I don't own such a truck, but being on the move was never my idea in the first place.
Plumbing and Utilities
Because I didn't know where I would park, I set the house up for maximum versatility: While I'm not currently off grid, the house uses very little electricity, instead relying on propane for heat and cooking. If I ever needed to go solar, it wouldn't take a big array.
Additionally, I opted for a hybrid plumbing system that contains a tank and pump as well as a traditional hookup for pressurized “city” water. This way, I can take advantage of the utilities that are on hand.
Your design will affect where you can park your house
As you can see, the design of your tiny house will greatly influence when and where you can park it, as well as how frequently and easily it can be moved. So how do you go about finding the perfect spot for your home? Read That's why I've put together a brand new book, called Tiny House Parking. The following is an excerpt from the book where I detail several websites to help jump-start your search.
An excerpt from Tiny House Parking:
Where to Look Online to Find Tiny House Parking
TinyHouseCommunity.com is an online hub that provides useful information to help connect tiny house owners with builders, communities, and each other. It includes maps of tiny house communities and builders, a classifieds section, and an events calendar, so it’s a perfect resource if you’re looking for somewhere to park your tiny house.
TinyHouseMap.com is an interactive map that you can use to search for tiny house builders, tiny houses for sale or rent, events, workshops, people, and open house opportunities.
TinyHouseParking.com (not associated with this book) also provides an interactive map, which can be configured to display parking places available for rent or purchase. You can even create a “tiny house parking wanted” ad here.
Be prepared to step outside of the tiny house community in your hunt for land. You may have better luck finding land for sale or rent on websites and through organizations for landowners and seekers than you are on a site for the tiny house community
Sites such as LandWatch.com, LandsofAmerica.com, and LandAndFarm.com are great places to start. Run searches according to your requirements on as many websites advertising land for rent or sale as possible.
You may be able to find some leads in online tiny house forums such as SmallHouseForum.com and The Tiny House Forums. Check out forums in the landowner, self-build, and sustainability communities, such as Selfbuild.com, as well.
Set Your Search Up for Success
Finding land for your tiny house doesn’t have to be a daunting task. To make sure you’re putting out the clearest and most appealing message, here are some final tips:
Know Your Audience
Before you approach someone, consider what’s in it for them. What do you have that your prospective landlord might want?
Of course, the answer will depend on the kinds of people you approach. If your prospective landlord lives in a really wealthy area, gaining a few hundred extra dollars a month might not make hosting you worth it for them. But receiving one-of-a-kind custom-made jewelry or pottery (if you happen to be an artist) just might.
Keep in mind that certain people may be more likely to accept your offer than others, so it's worth giving some thought to who you approach. Senior citizens, for example, may have more space than families and need a bit of help around the house. Farmers are also likely to have plenty of land and probably won’t say no to an extra hand around the farm. People already familiar with the tiny house movement might also be more amenable to the idea of hosting a tiny house than those who’ve never heard of it.
Bear in mind that a lot of people will not have heard of tiny houses before. The concept of tiny living might confuse them, so be patient and have lots of photos on hand. Explain your reasons for wanting to live in a tiny house, and be as friendly and polite as possible.
Make a Good Impression
Make sure your tiny house looks nice and is well maintained. The same applies to you. Strangers will be much more likely to consider welcoming you into their home if you look like you’ll take care of it, so make sure you scrub up well. Tidy your tiny house, give it a fresh lick of paint, and do your hair!
Think Outside the Box
Be creative. Tiny houses are still a novelty, so just giving people the opportunity to see and interact with one is a great way to get people interested. Here are a couple of ideas to get you started.
Create a video of yourself and your tiny house. Explain who you are, what your background is, and why you want to live in a tiny house. Film a virtual tour of your home. Explain how everything works, focusing on any special requirements you might have (like how you’d connect your utilities).
Host a “get to know you” get-together at your tiny house. Invite people over to see firsthand what tiny living looks like. Let them poke around and ask questions to satisfy their curiosity.
Even though the search for land can seem overwhelming, there are tons of resources out there, and with some time and energy, I am sure you’ll be able to find a spot that suits you and your tiny house!
That's the end of the excerpt, but that's just 3 pages out of an 80 page book that gives you in depth strategies, notes of caution, and general advice for locating, bargaining for, and ultimately moving your house to the perfect piece of land for your tiny house!
Download Tiny House Parking today!
How are you going about finding land for your tiny house? Leave your answer below!