One of my readers Drue by name had an interesting suggested for another alternative for a place to put a tiny house. It is not without it’s own problems and you must be careful but I think his suggestions are worth looking into. I’ll turn it over to Drue now and please comment below as to your thoughts and suggestions on this matter.
As I’ve read this over the past couple of years, a theme keeps arising of problems finding places where the codes allow tiny houses. I couldn’t find any past posts of tiny parcels (e.g. camping lots, recreational lots, mobile lots, etc.) where one might build a tiny house.
I’ve purchased cheap land in Utah, Colorado, Missouri, and Oklahoma. I live in Texas and am looking here as well. I can’t afford a huge ranch and never will. I’m really not doing this for me, but more as an investment for the kids in the future.
The biggest acreage is in Colorado at 5 acres and the smallest is about 25′ x 140′. All are rural, and the least expensive parcel was $215 with the most expensive being $2500. Two of them are in lake areas. One of those has a Property Owner’s Association (POA), which is both good and bad. Taxes range from $6 a year to $40.
Thus far I’ve put nothing on them, but each has varied requirements as to what is allowed by codes. I think we’ll get a cabin on one of them, and we have a small trailer we can use on any. All are marginal in terms of self-sustainability due to size and climate considerations.
I’ve made sure that all will allow permanent and semi-permanent use of RV’s and cabins.
What I look for are recreational/camping lots with no liens and taxes paid up. A Warranty Deed is the minimum requirement, and it has to be able to qualify for title insurance. A Quit Claim Deed is nearly worthless. The land also must have guaranteed access along a road or easement.
I hate to even tell you this, because most of what these folks sell is junk parcels. But some are good, cheap land as well. Just buyer beware.
There are probably about a dozen others just like it.
Some of them do a contract for deed and charge high interest rates for low or no money down deals. Usually the consumer isn’t getting a great deal, and they don’t even get any kind of deed/equity until it is all paid off. So miss a payment after forking over $20K or so? You lose everything.
Everybody says bail from the stock market and buy gold because cash won’t be worth much.
But the ones selling the gold are taking….hmmm…cash that they say will eventually be worthless? They might be right, but at the end of the day, you can’t eat gold, and you can’t easily chunk off a piece to spend…usually have to convert it back to those worthless dollars.
But land? Now that we’re at the bottom of the market and will likely not move further downward, maybe a good investment. But I don’t buy land simply because of the investment any more than I buy my car just as an investment. The return isn’t so good on that, except that it is a tool that provides the ability to get me where I need to go cheaply and conserve my resources.
Thus I drive a 35mpg used Kia, that I bought for $3000 cash, not a ’10 Corvette convertible that I’ll pay on forever (even if it will be worth a fortune someday, which I doubt because I don’t see fossil fuel lasting forever).
I buy land to live on and invest in so that I’ll always have a place to go (or for my family to go) and produce basic subsistence needs.
Those are the kinds of investments I want to make.
These cheap plots may never be worth a ton of money (and I don’t care), but in the harshest of times are good insurance, and in the best of times teach us how to live more inexpensively and less wasteful.
All told, the man who has the most meager – but debt free – living is the one who is most rich and free.
Below is a parcel Drue found on craigslist in Texas and gives you an idea of what can be found. Is this an alternative place to park your tiny houses? Please comment below and let me know what you think.