How Much Does A Tiny House Cost?

Have you ever wondered how much does a tiny house cost? As the tiny house trend is here to stay, the question is, what kind of tiny house should you buy?

Nationwide, the tiny house niche market has taken center stage. It seems the future of modern luxury living is about small rather than large and grandiose spaces.

tiny house cost

Whether building or buying a tiny home, you’ll need to know how much it costs.

Tiny House Costs

A tiny home can cost between $10,000 and $100,000

A tiny home can cost between $10,000 and $100,000. The national average sale price is $45,000. Many tiny homeowners will buy one acre and designate it for their tiny home.  

Keep in mind that finding land to buy and live on is not easy. Densely populated areas have strict zoning laws. If you purchase land, it could also be strapped with back taxes and liens. Even buying a family member’s land will have rules you will need to follow. Some states even have building moratoriums.

Furthermore, most states have laws that mandate single-family residence be 1,000 square feet.

Here are the most expensive and cheapest states per acre in the continental US:

Top 5 Most Expensive US States To Buy Land

  • New Jersey –  $196,410
  • Rhode Island –  $133,730
  • Connecticut –  $128,824
  • Massachusetts –  $102,214
  • Maryland –  $75,429

Top 5 Cheapest US States To Buy Land

  • Wyoming – $1,558
  • New Mexico –  $1,931
  • Nevada – $2,116
  • South Dakota – $2,135
  • Montana – $2,28

What Kind Of Tiny House Do You Want?

What Kind Of Tiny House Do You Want?

Depending on your tastes and standard of living, the average cost of a tiny house, if you want to build, is $45,000.


 Most tiny house owners think it’s cheaper to build than to buy a prebuilt home. You can buy one on wheels, where prices start at $8,000. Five years ago, the median price of tiny home on wheels was $45,000. The price does not include trailer expenses which are an additional $9,000 or more.

If you want to buy one on a foundation, you might pay upwards of $150,000 depending on location. Homes on foundations are treated the same way as traditional houses which means you will pay the same tax rate as everyone else.


A tiny home is between 100 and 400 square feet. Tiny homes cost on average between $100 to $200 per square foot. There isn’t a national organization that regulates their size.

Foundation Costs

Building a tiny home costs upwards of $8,000 in additional expenses. On top of that, there could be homeowner association (HOA) fees, building permits, and zoning laws to address.


When designing your tiny home, you can expect to pay $15,000 to $50,000 depending on if you want to add more custom materials. When designing your tiny home, you can expect to pay $15,000 to $50,000 depending on your tastes.

Tiny House Insurance

The median cost for homeowners insurance for a tiny home insurance policy is $600. The cost will depend on the size and style of the home. If you have solar panels will also influence the cost. And if it’s on wheels, you’ll need RV or mobile home insurance.

For many tiny homeowners, when building your home, you will need special insurance known as Builder’s Risk Insurance during construction.

Landlords who want to rent their tiny home will need a landlord insurance policy.

What Is A Tiny House?

What Is A Tiny House?
Sol Haus

A tiny house can be on wheels or a small foundation. Although there isn’t an official size, on average, the homes are between 400 and 500 square feet.

The size also depends if the house is on wheels. Due to road regulations, when driving, the homes are even smaller per square foot.

Tiny House On Wheels

A tiny house on wheels is a recreational vehicle. Most states have wheel regulations and laws against parking on private property.

Related: How To Deal With A Tiny House Bathroom – 12 Inspiring Design Ideas

Tiny House Foundation 

When laying foundation for a tiny house it must be less than 400 square feet. Anything larger and it would be a small house. The foundation has separate rules. Since you can’t drive it, there are different codes to follow but are also similar to traditional homes.

Why Do People Build Tiny Houses?

Why Do People Build Tiny Houses?
Tiny Tack House

There are many reasons why people want a tiny house. The cost of a tiny house is lower than other home options. The homes offer benefits and have also turned out to be great investments. They also require less home improvement care and lower utility costs.

Cheaper Housing

A tiny home is a cheap form of alternative housing, which might be the number one reason why they are popular. Of course, fewer materials and other factors reduce overall cost.

Connect To Nature

A tiny home on wheels allows you to travel. You can save money by living in rural areas. The niche market appeals to those who want to get back to nature. Eco-friendly, solar-powered homes are popular choices.

Reevaluate Priorities 

Those who want to spend more time with family, or get rid of their possessions, find themselves falling in love with tiny houses. These people find purpose, passion, and a new life by embracing a minimalist lifestyle that traditional houses do not offer.

Related: 20 Smart Micro House Design Ideas That Maximize Space

Tiny houses fit well with minimalism. Marie Kondo, an expert in minimalism is taking the trend through the roof. 

Beating The System

Many tiny home builders have found loopholes in the system which allows them to write their home off as an RV, a “building,” or something else, to evade taxes, local zoning laws, permits, and other government ties. 

Loopholes aren’t recommended. Keeping things out in the open and handled by professionals is the best route. Consult someone who knows the laws on tiny house building.

How Much Does A Tiny House Cost To Buy?

How Much Does A Tiny House Cost To Buy?
The Tiny Project

To buy a tiny house, you’ll need a realtor or visit places like Tiny House Marketplace. For a 200 square feet preowned tiny home, the project price will be between $25,000 and $50,000.

To buy a new tiny house that was built just for you, you can expect to pay at least 30% more than if you purchased a used one. The bigger and more detailed the house is, the more you will pay per square foot.

How Much Does A Tiny House Cost To Build?

How Much Does A Tiny House Cost To Build?
Robert Edson Swain Architecture and Design

Building a tiny house can be both cheaper and more expensive than buying one. Because you have more liberties to take, you can save or spend more. You can make small cuts everywhere and end up saving big.

Most tiny homes cost between $10,000 and $60,000 to build while trying your best. However, some families found out ways to cut corners the right way. This couple paid $8,000 for their tiny home. There are also DIY kits for those who are into the tiny house movement.

The price is $300 per square feet. The cost of a regular house is $150 per square feet.

The tiny home cost, every inch is important. You compact everything into a small space. In a larger house, you average out the price. The middle of the living room doesn’t cost as much as the corner where electricity is installed the same way in a traditional home.

Labor And Materials

The biggest two costs are labor and materials. You can save on materials if you know how to shop. Be aware of your space per square foot so you do not overspend.

Other costs include permits and RV parking fees which apply to tiny houses on wheels. It’s smart to consider all the costs and write them down before you start construction on a tiny house.

Cute Tiny House Ideas

Cute Tiny House Ideas

If you’re thinking about getting a tiny house, then you need inspiration. Looking at plans, interior designs, and tiny house cost structures can help you achieve your dream home. Check out these unique ideas before you build.

Boxcar Tiny House On Wheels

Boxcar Tiny House On Wheels
Timbercraft Tiny Homes

Container homes are popular types of tiny houses. You can get a metal container for very cheap and build in it. This cuts the price of your home by quite a bit considering the exterior is expensive.

There’s a show called “Container Homes” where contractors transform shipping containers into livable spaces for their clients. If you’re a fan of tiny houses, you’ll love watching the transformation of container homes. 

Reclaimed Wood Tiny House

Reclaimed Wood Tiny House

If you’re going to build a tiny house because you want something cheaper, then consider reclaimed wood. If done right, you can find reclaimed wood from barns or other exterior buildings for a great price.

Shop around, contact farms, and other properties for materials. Many will let you have things from buildings they want demolished if you can help them.

Dollhouse Tiny House

Dollhouse Tiny House
Mindy Nicole Photography

If you’ve’ dreamed of living in a dollhouse, then this design is perfect. You can buy a cottage and paint it the cutest color. Maybe you will feel like a kid again, and in all the best ways.

You can build a cottage that is the epitome of elegance. There are two types of cottages. Whimsical cottages and classic cottages with an earthy feel. 

Tiny House Loft

Tiny House Loft
Jessica Helgerson Interior Design

A tiny house needs a loft to utilize its space. A loft room can be used for a bedroom, storage, or getaway. You can add one over half of the tiny house, all of it, or just the end.

For more info, ideas, and inspiration, check out this guide on loft rooms. There you’ll find everything you need to know about the tiny house’s best friend and necessary companion. 

Tiny House Office

Tiny House Office
Chibi Moku – Architectural Cinema

Because you want to build a tiny house doesn’t mean you have to live in it. You can make a quiet office space, which can be used as a write-off, or even a nice playhouse for the kids.

Hobbit Hole Tiny House

Hobbit Hole Tiny House
Wooden Wonders

Well, hobbit houses are tiny, so now is the time to build a tiny house. Dugouts are great, but you don’t need one to build a hobbit house. 

Old-Fashioned Tiny House

Old-Fashioned Tiny House
Richardson Pribuss Architects

Most houses are what we would consider tiny houses today. That’s why building a traditional one is suitable. It’s best to use shiplap, natural colors, and distressed furniture. 

A tiny house is about saving money and bearing down on what matters.

Tiny Home Building

Building codes protect you from dangerous living environments. If you want to build a tiny home on a foundation, you will need to apply for a building permit and hire a professional builder.

By definition, a tiny home is 80 to 400 square feet. Because of its size, some states do not require a building permit. If it’s built on wheels, you might have to comply with local recreational vehicle laws and RV park requirements. Reach out to your local building department and ask which permits are required to build a tiny home.

Off The Grid Living

Living off the grid is the ultimate in your own tiny house. However, some feel the irony with going green is how expensive it can be. Saving the planet has become a hobby for those who can afford it. But most tiny home builders will admit that the tiny homes are worth it. One thing is true, when you are located off grid, life is simple.


If you want freshwater, you’ll need to drill a well or haul water in from an external source or rely on collecting rainwater.

Rainwater Collection

To collect rainwater, you’ll need a catchment area. The catchment area of a roof will not be big enough to capture enough water for you to live on for a year.  

You can add square footage to your roof by adding another structure. Collecting rainwater from an external source would be another option.

After you collect water, you’ll need somewhere to store it.

Water Storage

Water storage requires a cistern. Depending where you live and the amount of annual rainfall you receive will determine the size of your cistern needed to hold your water.

In low-rainfall areas, you will need a bigger cistern so it can collect large amounts of rainwater. For the water to enter your house, it will require pressure so it can be forced into your home and through your faucets.

Professional builders will tell you that elevated water tanks are essential. The tanks will need to be higher than your home’s tallest outlet, which more than likely will be the shower head. Pressure is created by using pumps. And for non-elevated water storage, a rainwater pillow will be your best option.

Power Supply

Off the grid tiny homes can use on solar or wind power. First, you’ll need to calculate how big of a system you will need to power your home. You can pay cash for panels to save money. Installing solar panels will provide enough power for two people.

Internet and Cable

There are a few ways to get internet. Wireless and satellite internet is available in remote locations, but internet speeds are slow and unreliable.

Tiny Home Sewage

Sewage is one of the most important concerns with tiny homes. If you build your own tiny house or buy preowned, do not overlook or neglect the sewage system.

Tiny Home Greywater System

When it comes to off-grid wastewater or sewage, you’ll need to consider the source. Greywater is the term for shower or sink water and is treated differently than toilet waste, known as black water.

Greywater can often be disposed into the ground. This is done by using a French drain consisting of a hole in the ground filled with rocks and pebbles.

Tiny Home Blackwater System

Blackwater is harder to handle.  If you build a tiny house, you can use a composting or incinerator toilet, the waste from your toilet is converted to either soil or ash.

Another option if you don’t plan to move your house for a long time is to install a septic system for wastewater. A septic system allows wastewater to be absorbed into the ground. The system is bigger and has larger chambers to hold solid waste, giving it time to break down and decompose.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)FAQ

Can I Get A Mortgage On A Tiny Home?

For most tiny homeowners, tiny houses offer a mortgage-free lifestyle. However, the average mortgage of a tiny home is $600. It will depend on where you live if you have to pay property taxes.

Do Tiny Homes Have Resale Value?

Tiny homes are like cars when investing. As soon as you buy one, its value depreciates. Although the market is changing as demand increases, a tiny home is not the same investment as buying a small or regular sized home.

For those who bought a regular home with a mortgage they now own their home. Their investment has gone up some 70 percent.

How Big Is A Small Home?

The typical range for a small home is between 400 and 1,000 square feet.

How Much Do Prefab Tiny Houses Cost?

On average, a prefab tiny home costs $45,000. A basic prefab kit costs $4,500. The price doesn’t include amenities like appliances or light electrical fixtures. If you want an all-inclusive prefab model with state-of-the-start amenities you can expect to pay upwards of $200,000.

Do I Have To Have Insurance For A Tiny Home?

If you already have a tiny home, you are not legally obligated to buy insurance. When you go through a bank to finance a home purchase, the bank requires you to take out an insurance policy just as you would when buying a traditional house. Should you build a tiny house, you will need special insurance during construction known as Builder’s Risk Insurance.

Are Tiny Houses Toxic?

A tiny home is like any other traditional home and requires ventilation and cooling systems. If not treated and cared for properly, mold will be a problem. Ask a professional builder to recommend a system.

How Long Does A Tiny Home Last? 

It depends on the materials used to build a tiny house and other factors. Tiny homes last on average between seven and ten years. However, nicer models made with durable custom materials could last upwards of 50 years.

How Much Can A Tiny Home Make On Airbnb?

In California, tiny homes range between $1,000 and $7,000 a month, or more. In other states they’re typically cheaper but vary depending on location and square foot space.

Are Tiny Homes Safe From Burglars?

Tiny houses have stronger windows and doors compared to traditional homes, so they’re harder to break into. Because of their size, you won’t spend a fortune on an elaborate security system. The thing about tiny homes is they aren’t targets for thieves or home invasions. Those who live in small homes do not keep valuable possessions in them. There isn’t enough square footage for valuable storage.

How Much Does A Tiny House Cost Conclusion

Tiny homes are an affordable option, but there are things to consider, like building materials. Maintenance costs can get out of hand. If you don’t build your tiny home right, one small mistake fill force you to spend more money on repairs.

Tiny home builders spend more upfront because the homes are great investments. Now is the time to buy. The trend is getting warmed up and you don’t want to be late for the game.