Buying a Tiny House? Look Before You Leap (or Hop) Into It

Reblogger Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Real Estate Agent with DFW FINE PROPERTIES 0506509


Lise Howe wrote an excellent blog post that would be great to be featured. I hope you go to her post, read it, and most of all, I hope for the benefit of all, it gets featured on ActiveRain.

Original content by Lise Howe DC AB15253

TinyHouse Lise Howe 2404015577 KwCPBuying a tiny home can be a way to get out from under the burden of a home loan—or at least lead to a smaller mortgage—but there are other costs buyers should know about before they find the tiny house of their dreams. Here are some:

Building costs: A tiny house may not cost as little as you imagine it will. A tiny house can cost $15,000 to $80,000 or more, depending on whether you’re building it yourself or paying a builder for a custom-built tiny home.  Of course,the higher the quality of the finishes or if you are adding in extras like additional lighting or storage, you  should expect to pay more.

Financing options: If you are trying to save money, you need to do additional research! Tiny TinyHouse Lise Howe 2404015577 KwCPhomes may not qualify for traditional mortgages if they don’t meet minimum loan amounts. Instead, borrowers can use recreational vehicle, or RV, loans that are unsecured, fixed-rate mortgages with payoffs in two to seven years.

While these loans don’t have application fees or closing costs, then can have higher interest rates that traditional home loans and can be capped at $100,000. They’re also NOT tax deductible.

Another option is to find a lender that specializes in tiny home loans and is willing to fund a loan for less than $100,000 for a home that isn’t built on a permanent foundation.

Zoning laws: Laws vary by local, county and state zoning regulations, so start by looking up the regulations in your state that’s offered by the American Tiny House Association.

TinyHouse Lise Howe 2404015577 KwCPSome laws have a minimum square foot requirement for new houses on foundations, may not allow a tiny house in the back yard of an existing home, and have a time limit for “camping” on private land.

If the land you want to settle on doesn’t meet all of the zoning requirements, you may not be approved for a loan.

Neighbors: Make sure that your neighbors are okay with your building a tiny house on your lot.  Even if the zoning allows construction, your neighbors may not be welcoming. Wichita Kansas is dealing with this right now.  The city council approved a  plan to put about 90 tiny houses on 15 acres of land just outside the city limits at Harry and 143rd Street East. More than 30 residents came to a meeting on August 21 to oppose the plan. The site is surrounded by homes on large lots valued at $300,000 to $1 million.

The tiny homes are projected to be about 500 square feet plus loft space for sleeping and to sell for less than $100,000 each.

“It’s a great concept but a terrible location,” said Russ Hamker, one of the neighboring homeowners.

Neighbors said they’d been told by Realtors that they’d lose about 30 percent of the value of their homes if the tiny house development is built.

The developer, David Murfin, made two requests to allow the project to go forward: annexation to the city and approval of a plat for the development. According to Planning Director Dale Miller, annexation automatically rezones the land from a minimum lot size of 20,000 square feet to 4,000-5,000 square feet. And if annexation was approved, the City Council has no legal authority to deny the plat, said Miller and City Attorney Jennifer Magana.

Extra costs: Building a tiny home can include such costs as buying a parcel of land, construction costs, solar panels, furniture, landscaping and ongoing maintenance.

The good news is that if you’re using an RV loan, the money can be spent however you choose and not just on purchasing a tiny home. The money can be used to buy smaller furniture to fit in the tiny home, special building materials you may want to make the home more energy efficient, and to start a maintenance fund.

If you are looking for a home in the DC metro area, you know there is more to the process than just picking a property and making an offer. You need to find the best location for your wants and needs, get a great price, and work with a lender who will make your life easier - not harder.  Trust your search with a Realtor who is licensed in DC, MD and VA and really knows the city and all its secret neighborhoods.

Start your search with the Lise Howe Group, Washington Natives who love the city and all its quirkiness! If you are moving or relocating to Washington DC, be sure to ask for our relocation guide. Call us at 240-401-5577 to schedule an appointment or email us at  Too excited to wait to talk to us about a great home? Just click here to start that home search.

If you want to see what is for sale in Washington DC, Chevy Chase and Bethesda, check out these links below:

Bethesda Condos for Sale

Chevy Chase Condos for Sale


Bethesda Single Family Luxury Homes

 Bethesda Single Family Homes Under $1 Million

Chevy Chase Single Family Luxury Homes

Chevy Chase Single Family Homes Under $1 Million

Luxury Single Family Washington DC Homes

Washington DC Single Family Homes Under $1 Million


Washington DC Condos


Lise Howe

Keller Williams Capital Properties

4646 40th St NW 

Washington DC 20016

240-401-5577 (24 hour direct)
Licensed in DC, MD, and VA
Associate Broker, GRI, ABR, CRS
The Lise Howe Group
Howe Real Estate Should Be!






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