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Tiny House Cost – Does The Lifestyle Outweigh The Expenses 2023

If you want to know more about the tiny house cost in 2023 and how it compares to your current living conditions then we answer all your pressing questions and more,.

In recent times, housing affordability has been on “crisis levels” that financial incentives such as mortgage-free living, inexpensive upfront costs, lesser monthly costs, etc, are driving more people to consider tiny house living.

Apart from that, young adults that desire to own a home are finding it difficult to do so because of incurred student loan, hence they’ve to make do with tiny houses.

The truth is that homeownership is a huge accomplishment but it attracts more commitment and debt, hence, that where a tiny house comes into the picture.

The concept of a tiny house entails downsizing your current lifestyle which will allow you to live a life free from much dept.

While it’s possible to buy an already assembled house or a customized one on the wheel, you can still save extra resources if you decide to make it yourself.

Like it’s believed, a tiny house is an avenue to cut down on your cost and spend the money on some other things.

tiny house costs

Costs associated with building a tiny house

At this moment you must have known that living in tiny houses is characteristically cheaper than a traditional home.

But how much do you think setting up this dwelling will cost?

Tiny houses vary in terms of prices because they’re diverse just like regular houses.

What tends to drive the price up is building material cost and other indispensable appliances.

Before you commence any construction, two things are important; land and an appropriate building plan.

When the land has been acquired, you need to inspect it to make sure it meets the requirements.

The cost of land depends on the market, alternatively, you can also consider starting a tiny house on wheels which provides the opportunity to park in storage space, driveway, or even a camping ground.

In short, you can approach your family members or friends to make use of their land at no extra cost.

Next is a building plan.

A good number of builders display different plans on the internet or you can decide to approach an architect for a bit of professional advice.

When a construction space (land) and the plan is ready, next major thing is to get acquaint yourself with the necessary legalities of setting up a tiny house.

Sometimes zoning regulations can be very complex depends if it’s a home, an additional dwelling unit, or a recreational vehicle.

Your area may or may not support all three designations, hence you’ve to choose the approved one.

In a situation, where you’re in an area that does not support a permanent dwelling to be a tiny house, you might declare yours to be an ADU or RV.

But you need to have a better sense of the law operating in your area.

For those that prefer a movable tiny house, there are important factors you might want to consider; the overall weight, the vehicle’s towing capacity, bridge weight limit along your intending route because you’ll be driving.

This information is very important so you can easily manage any tiny house you eventually set up.


When putting together a tiny building, there is a lot that goes into it that makes the price to be expensive.

Below are some things to consider as you make your budget;

  • Wood for interior & exterior including the roof
  • Insulation
  • Weather protectants like rain & ice shield, house wrap, and.
  • Different hardware like screws, nails, bolts, nuts, etc.
  • Reinforcements like nail plates, hurricane straps.
  • Door and window materials.
  • Breakers, electrical wiring, switches, and outlets.
  • Plumbing for bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen
  • Painting and flooring
  • Tools like saws, hammers, level, drill, etc.

The list above is will take care of the house frame and didn’t include built-ins, cabinetry, sinks, outdoor space, or countertops.

Indoor modification for stairs or loft has its materials.

Hence, you need to be acquainted with the floor plan.

For those that cant do all any of these, you’ve to engage the services of a builder.

If you want your tiny house to be on the wheels, then you need to purchase a trailer or any vehicle that has a maximum towing capacity and also a hitch.


This might vary based on what you prefer.

Some people might prefer things like compost toilets, rainwater harvester, solar panels to make the surroundings as friendly as possible.

Others might desire their tiny house to function just like a regular house.

This will make them install normal electricity and plumbing.

Any of the setups you prefer has its unique requirements.

For cooling and heating, this will need serious planning so you’ll be comfortable.

In as much as you need to save money, let it not be to the expense of your comfort.

Security Systems

Everyone enjoys a safe environment.

With the latest security technology in the market, makes this easier to accomplish.

Locks for doors and windows is a good place to start.

Security cameras and alarm systems are other things you might need to consider.

Whether you choose a build on land or leave it on the wheel, the perimeter needs to be secured.

For a tiny house on a trailer, the wheels need to be secured, hence you need a hitch or wheel locks.

However, it’s important to note that no security system is fail-proof but if you’re intentional and plan it well, any likelihood of theft can be reduced to the barest minimum.

Décor and Furnishings

Once there is a roof and walls around, you need some elements of decoration, though your budget will vary based on your preference.

You’ll spend less if there is existing furniture and other things.

Just know it’s important to set aside a budget for furnishing your new space.

Costs Associated with Maintaining A tiny house

Just like the cost for building isn’t fixed, the same is applicable here.

You need to set aside money for repairs every month.

This is because tiny houses have the essential equipment and numerous moving parts.

Occasional, they need to be maintained just like things in a regular house.

The point is that something must either be replaced or maintained.

pros and cons of living in a tiny house and the cost

Rent / Parking Fee –This is normally the biggest expense if you’re considering a tiny house.

For instance, there are RV resorts around that have recently embraced the idea of the tiny house movement.

Utilities – Things like gas, power, water, internet are regular bills per month.

You can use a propane water heater and a propane stovetop in your tiny house.

For instance, to fill a 15lb propane tank that can last you for a month or more depending on the usage cost about $7 on average if you choose to refill the tanks at a gas station instead of doing an exchange.

Electric Utilities Bill – The average cost is approximately 13 cents per kilowatt-hour and water rates about $50 per month.

It’s preferable to have low energy home that can use say a 50amp plug.

Again, ensure that all the lights are LED.

You can go for AC split with inbuilt AI features.

This is important to auto adjust the temperature based on some factors around.

With this, the house will be normal and you spend less.

Internet – Go for local internet providers that come with a modem or router.

Your bill might be within the range of $40 per month for both your phone and computer.

Cable internet is out of the equation because you’ll spend more.

Pros of living in a tiny house

People that choose this living lifestyle speak so much about the benefits they enjoy that have made their lives better.

Let’s take a look at these factors;

Lesser Expenses – The truth is that you might likely struggle to afford a regular home unless you’re financially stable.

But once you don’t have the resources, it’s better to downsize.

Normally, a regular house will require high maintenance and other related expenses but the opposite is the case for a tiny house.

In addition, you’ll tend to spend more on water and electricity bills in a larger home.

All these can be curtailed in a tiny house, allowing you to invest in other ventures.

Recent appliances favor tiny houses – You can get AC, washer, dryer, stovetop, bathtub that is suitable for your tiny house.

So that you reside in a tiny house does not mean to inconvenience yourself.

In short, some tiny houses even resemble a large home when it comes to luxurious conveniences.

There are more affordable appliances you can add to name your tiny house a masterpiece.

No Mortgage – A good number of people cannot afford a house without enrolling for a mortgage which in turn adds to the cost.

For instance, a 20-30 years mortgage with an interest rate of 4.5%, can increase the overall cost to about an average house to $482,000.

According to a report by Tiny Life, about 68% of people that living in tiny houses are free from any form of mortgage compared to about 29% of the entire homeowners.

Lower Energy Use – Apart from not costing much, tiny houses are also cheap when it comes to maintenance in areas like water, fuel, electricity bills including waste disposal.

Also, it’s easy to live off-grid in a tiny house because, with a small wood stove, you can heat the entire space or use a small solar array to power the house.

Majority of tiny houses have a compost toilet that breaks down waste rather than hooking it up in sewage.

Easier Maintenance –Tiny house is easy to maintain.

For instance, there is less space to clean, few repairs to make, spend few minutes on chores.

This translates to more time for hobbies, relationships, and work in general.

Harmony with Nature – Environmental movement aligns with tiny house lifestyle.

For instance, you only need fewer materials to build and a little energy for power.

With the small size, it’s easier to site it in an area close to nature.

Freedom of Movement – Since this has a small footprint, it just needs a small portion of land.

The majority of them are built on wheels meaning it’s easier to take them to a new location.

For those that prefer to enjoy their life on the road comfortably, this is the ideal lifestyle.

A Simpler Life – Once you’ve a tiny house, there won’t be space for things you don’t need such as sumptuous electronics, big wardrobes, massive libraries of videos, and books.

What you just need are essentials that will add value to your life.

Mobility – If you have desired to live near a sandy shore or on an overlooking hill, your dream is valid with a tiny house because relocation is easy.

true costs of living in a tiny house

Cons living in a tiny house

It might not be completely idyllic to live in a tiny house.

In short, according to reports, any home that has a minimum of 500 square feet, obliviously has drawbacks.

Some of them are as follows;

Less Living Space – There is the absence of full-size luxury be it a living room, bathroom, or kitchen.

You’ve to give up the idea of an advanced bathtub, kitchen appliances, etc.

Yes, it can be an ideal place for one or two persons but it will be crowded if it involves a family.

It’s worse for families with teenagers that might want to have more privacy to do their stuff.

Low Resale Value – If standard houses depreciate because of their location, what do you think will happen to tiny houses?

Of cause, they’ll depreciate faster than even cars.

For instance, because most of these houses fall under a grey area, it’s difficult to get loans, sell them.

Most times the investment might not make sense when you compare the cost just for a square foot.

Even if you decide to upgrade it before you sell, it’s not a guarantee you’ll recoup the amount spent.

Any little instability in the real estate market tends to affect tiny houses.

Limited Storage Space – For families, suggesting the idea of a tiny house entails them giving not essential pocessions and hobbies collecting dust like home brewing equipment, kids’ toys, exercise equipment, prized shoe collection, pets and etc.

The cooking is complicated – Cooking in a tiny house sometimes might be really difficult because you’re cooking with half a stovetop and half a counter.

Because it can only contain a little fridge, it means you constant cooking and visit to the grocery store.

This means using more propane or even eating out most of the time.

Limited Entertaining Ability – There is no way you can plan to host Thanksgiving dinner for like 10 persons inside a tiny house that barely have any seat.

You can even invite your relatives because there won’t be any place for them to sleep.

Some add guest cabin just to make up for this inefficiency.

Zoning Rules – We’ve ascertained that a tiny house does not require much space however, government authorities now make erecting one difficult.

Some zoning laws comprise a minimum size dwelling of 200-square-foot which is so small to make the cut for a tiny house.

This has made some owners go out of their way to purchase a full-sized house, put it up for rent, then make use of the backyard for their tiny house.

Some tend to use trailer parks as a space for their tiny house.

Security Issues – Tiny houses do not mean burglars can’t target you.

In short, it’s even easier to steal and taken to miles far away from your location.

Taking your tiny house closer to nature is fun but you’re making yourself vulnerable to attacks unless you choose an already exiting remote parking arrangement with security.

Composting toilet – Different types of toilets can be used in a tiny house but this seems popular.

It’s made in such a way that separates solids and liquids, thereby keeping the smell contained.

However, there seems to be user error especially during summer that produces a tough scent.

Though some people now drop sugar or vinegar in the toilet to reduce the odor.

Another thing about the toilet is that men will have to sit as they urinate.

So that’s what you’ll lifestyle.

Also, inform any male guest that might be coming to visit you.

There is also clear it out.

Toilets vary as well as families.

For a single person in a tiny house, urine dumping might be every 4-5days while solid waste might be every 4-5 months.

Remember, it involves deep cleaning.

Complicated to Maintain – Cleaning a tiny house might involve less time but it needs to be done regularly.

Tiny houses are compact and they need a thorough cleaning to keep it in shape because an offensive odor lingers more than a tiny house.

In addition, these categories of houses do not have a septic tank or normal plumbing, it needs more commitment if you’ve to live in one especially with the composting toilet.

In general, overall maintenance done in a tiny house might be less but because the appliance and tools are used daily, there is more tendency for wear and tear.

In Conclusion

In recent times, buying a home seems to be more expensive because the cost of houses continues to increase.

For most people, their desire to own a house is now a distant dream.

But with tiny houses in the picture, it now a good alternative for most people to own a house that fits their needs.

Whether you prefer a tiny house on land or wheels, you’ll get something within your budget.

Frequently asked questions

Is it less expensive to purchase or build any tiny house?

According to different builders, it’s cheaper to build than to buy.

With less than $10,000, it’s possible to get an 8-foot-wide, 24-foot-long, 13-foot-tall tiny house.

Tiny houses seem to be illegal, why?

Well, in most states in the US, tiny houses are legal once you maintain their building code.

But some states are yet to recognize tiny houses as a legitimate structure, hence it’s illegal there.

Is it possible to erect a tiny house on my personal land?

According to some building and zoning regulations, individuals are prohibited to purchase land and build a tiny house on it, it must be an accessory dwelling unit for a single-family.

Can I finance a tiny house?

The truth is that it’s difficult to find a mortgage lender interesting in financing a tiny house.

For those who offer these loans, the amount is still greater than the cost of most tiny houses.

What is the average monthly cost of life in a tiny home?

On a general note, it can be in the range of $500 to $1000 or more.

This comprises expenses on rent, insurance, utilizes, etc.

How often do tiny houses downgrade in value?

According to real estate experts, a regular house has more resell value when compared to tiny houses.

In short, it has more profit margin it also sells faster.

In addition, regular houses appreciate more in value while tiny houses depreciate faster than even cars.

Therefore, this makes a tiny house a bad long-term investment.

Is it worth it spending my life in a tiny house?

Having the ability to saving is one of the major advantages you’ll enjoy in a tiny house.

This is due to the spaces are small compared to a regular house.

Also, you’ll use less electricity and lower costs for upkeep.

The house in question will cost less to purchase upfront or at least it will have a small rental payment.

Is it mandatory to pay tax on a tiny house?

Tiny houses on wheels do not attract any property tax because the house can be just anywhere.

But as a result of zoning law, you need to pay before you can park it anywhere.

In other words, there are parking fees.

Tiny house living costs