Finding land to park your tiny house is an incredibly important part of living in a tiny house so it deserves some attention. With the tiny house movement growing rapidly in Australia the need for private land owners to offer their land to tiny house owners is growing just as fast. So where do you look, how do you contact land owners, how do you explain it all to them and then how much should you pay?
With the following information you will be well equipped to find your very own piece of paradise, in your dream location and potentially for a fraction of what you ever dreamed of as possible! The incredible opportunity of tiny house living is that you have the opportunity to live in your dream location today and not some day in the distant future when you finally have amassed the money to buy in that area. When everyone around you is up to their eyeballs in debt with million dollar mortgages you have the opportunity to live in the same location but with a better lifestyle for a fraction of the cost! Sounds too good doesn’t it? Well it’s not and people all over Australia are doing it!
Step 1: Create A Good Plan.
Creating a good plan isn’t as sun and exciting as what you were hoping for I know but it is the difference between living in your dream location and not. So it counts and it can be fun! To convince a land owner that it is a good idea for them to rent you a place to park on their land involves some careful thought to a few key areas and there are a couple of different approaches which can both work.
Option 1: You can approach land owners before you have begun building your tiny house; or
Option 2: You can build your tiny house first and then search for a place to park it.
No approach is really better it just depends on your preference. If you are more risk averse then option 1 will probably suit you better. Some people like to plan everything first and then start and others like to work it out as they progress. It is totally up to you. Both approaches will work as long as they are accompanied by a good plan.
So where do you start with a plan?
1. Get some tiny house plans drawn up.
Having a professional set of plans drawn up by an expert will not only ensure your tiny house is easy to build but ensures it is structurally sound and will go a long way when negotiating with a land owner when they can see that it is professionally designed and can actually look at the plans if you approaching them before building it.
2. Plan how you will handle electricity, water, grey water and compost from your toilet.
Planning for how you will generate your power, where you will get your water from and how you will handle your compost and waste are all very important areas that you will need to discuss with your potential land lord. If you go to meet with land owners and you have a clear plan for how you will handle each one the easier it will be to get a “YES” from the owner.
Some key points to consider:
- Do you need to plug into mains power via an extension cord (like a caravan) or will you be completely self-sufficient by using solar panels and battery storage, a wind turbine or other means?
- Will you need to connect to the land owner’s water supply via a hose or will you collect rain water yourself?
- How will you handle your grey water? Will you catch it in tanks or have a soak well and use only environmentally safe products?
- Will you have a compost toilet and if so where will you empty it and how will you ensure that it is composted properly to ensure that is generates healthy soil that can be used down the track?
- What will you do with your household rubbish? Can you use their bins or will you take it to the tip regularly
3. Gather some really good photos of tiny houses you really like or of you own tiny house if you have already built it and use these when talking to land owners to help show them what you are talking about. Photos go a long way especially when accompanied with the other points above!
Step 2: Think In Terms Of The Land Owners Point Of View.
In order to make any negotiation a success you really need to think of the situation from the other person’s point of view. Why would a land owner want to rent their land to you? What is the benefit to them?
When you embark upon the process of contacting land owners you will be asked a myriad of questions and a lot of them will be the fears of the land owners. Here are some common concerns of land owners in general that may be worth thinking about so as to come up with an answer. That way you will be well prepared should a land owner ask you one.
- Will they leave a mess or rubbish on my land?
- Will they pollute the land?
- Will they have parties and create a disturbance?
- Will my neighbours complain about this tiny house on my property?
- How will they get power?
- How will they get water?
- Is this tiny house moveable so it can be moved if the need arises?
- How long are they wanting to stay for?
- What are they willing to pay?
- Are they willing to pay a bond?
- Are they willing to sign a tenancy agreement of some sort?
- Can I give them notice to move if I have to for whatever reason?
These are only a few but if you think through each one and come up with your own answers you will be much more likely to succeed in negotiating a spot in your dream location!
Step 3: Where To Look To Find Land To Park Your Tiny House.
There is no shortage of vacant land in Australia so there is no shortage of opportunities for tiny house owners. You just need to get in contact with the owners of the property which can be done in many ways. Here is a list of ideas to get you started:
Tiny Real Estate – www.tinyrealestate.com.au
We specialise in tiny house listings. Whether you are looking to buy a tiny house or rent some land you will be able to find something by using the search tool at tinyrealestate.com.au. If you can’t find what you are looking for then why not create a “Wanted” add for free and reach thousands of land owners who may have exactly what you are looking for!
Airbnb – www.airbnb.com
Airbnb is nothing new but it is not the first place you would think of when looking for a piece of land to park a tiny house. This was my wife’s wonderful idea and it is how we found our 20 acres of paradise to park our tiny house. You can message the owners directly and quickly find out if they are open to the idea or not. Make sure you send plenty of information and you may want to ask for their email address so that you can send them some photos as you can’t do this through the Airbnb messaging tool.
YouCamp – www.youcamp.com
You camp is a listings website full of fantastic properties aimed at campers who are looking to camp on private land right across Australia.
Gumtree – www.gumtree.com.au
Everyone know gumtree but did you think about searching for land on their? It could be worth a try. You never know what you might find on there.
Send a letter
You’re probably thinking what is a letter? Yes it is old fashioned but letters do still exist and nonetheless are an effective way to contact land owners and ask the question. You may be surprised at the responses you receive.
Step 4: How Much Should You Pay For Land To Park Your Tiny House?
Like with any property purchase or rental is really depends on the properties size, location and also what is included with the rent as to what you will be likely to pay. I like to compare the renting of land to renting a more traditional house or apartment as it gives us something to compare it to. To rent a suburban house in Australia you would be unlikely to find anything reasonable for any less than about $200 p/w if you are looking at an entire property. Even private rooms in some areas can be as much as this. So in using this we can be certain that land should be much less than what is paid for a whole house or apartment.
I have seen cases where people have found land to park their tiny house and were able to negotiate to stay for free whereas some others pay as much as $100 p/w. If you were closer to the city and had access to power, water and rubbish collection then you would probably be paying more than this. But like anything, it is all negotiable between you and the land owner. The key is to find a win win scenario!
Even though tiny house living is a relatively new concept in Australia it doesn’t need to be a challenge to make it all work. There countless examples already of people both in Australia and overseas who are successfully living in a tiny house. With today’s technology for off grid living and the wide range of helpful websites that can aid you in finding that perfect spot to park your new home, you really have no excuses not to get started.
The opportunity awaits you to live your dream lifestyle, in your dream location, in as little as 6 months from now rather than the traditional strategy of working hard your entire life to maybe realise that dream at 65. This is an idea that more and more people are beginning to consider and act upon and it is not hard to see why.
If you need help getting started on your tiny house plans and/or a professionally designed and built trailer to build on you can get in touch with our team by sending us an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org or feel free to give us a call on 03 9005 8191.
If you have any questions please leave a comment below and let us know how you found land to park your tiny house. We love hearing other people’s stories!