With growing trends like minimalism, the tiny house market shows no signs of slowing down. There are currently over 10,000 tiny homes in the United States and with an average price tag ranging anywhere from $10,000-$125,000, they’re an economical way to live almost anywhere.
But you don’t necessarily have to live in a tiny home in order to reap some of the benefits. Because their popularity continues to grow, investing in tiny houses can end up being a lucrative business if you know what you’re doing.
Since most real estate professionals know that location is everything, why not consider steering away from tiny homes in urban areas, and instead place your focus on tiny cabins in rural settings. A tiny cabin in the woods might sound like the opening scene of a 1980s horror flick, but building or refurbishing a tiny home in the woods can be a sound financial decision. People looking to escape to peaceful, quiet areas, or those who want to live more sustainably will likely be drawn to small cabins in the country, so keep that in mind when you choose to put your time, effort, and funds into your tiny investment.
Let’s look at what you should know as you get into the real estate side of tiny houses, and how you can choose the right locations, market them well, and make a decent profit from your endeavors.
Getting Started in the Tiny Home Real Estate Market
Whether you have some experience in real estate or not, investing in tiny cabins in the woods is going to be a different type of adventure. If you’re not familiar with market values, trends, or conditions, it could be worth it to work with a real estate financial analyst or to take classes yourself on real estate finance. Once you have a better understanding of how market trends can shift, you’ll know when the time is right to make new investments or when to hold back.
If you’re buying an existing property to refurbish, there are a few things to keep in mind before you enter the real estate market:
- Think about how much you want to recoup when deciding on your list price.
- Network with people already in the tiny house community for a faster sale.
- Stage the home so it looks “lived in.”
- Take photos and videos to share online for potential buyers to see.
- Create a detailed listing and try to answer any questions buyers might have.
You also have the option to get into tiny cabin construction. There are a few ways to go about this, but a lot of your focus should be on the land. In some cases, you can build the home at a specific construction site and transport it to your wooded area. That allows you to construct the home no matter what time of year it is.
If you truly want to start from the ground up, you’ll want to take a look at your surroundings. One of the best ways to do that is with aerial footage of the land — best captured by a drone camera. Most drones can legally fly up to 400ft in the air, which is exactly where you should aim to get your aerial footage. Not only can you use those shots to determine the best spots for your houses, but you can also show potential buyers the type of land that will surround them.
Marketing Your Investment
Once you’ve made your investment and your tiny cabin is constructed or refurbished, you have to start thinking about what potential buyers really want. Two out of every five tiny home buyers are over the age of 50. Retirees will likely want different features and amenities than younger single people or couples.
First, cabins in the woods are likely to be ideal homes for critters and creatures of all sizes. Keeping mice and other pests away should be your top priority, whether you’re building or revamping an existing home. Of course, potential homebuyers aren’t going to want to see mouse traps or rat poison laying around either. Block all entry points, keep everything as clean as possible, and keep the doors shut to reduce the risk of rodents getting in.
As far as marketing to any audience goes, play up the strengths of the location. Living in a peaceful setting has many benefits. Living in the woods can actually lower your blood pressure and stress levels while boosting your immunity.
You can also have a little bit of fun as you market your investment, depending on where it’s located. Talk about the history of the location in your listing. In some parts of the country, gold prospecting was a big deal (and still can be!). If your tiny cabin is located in one of these areas, offer potential buyers the opportunity to try their hand. While you can’t promise they’ll be able to strike it rich, it can be a fun way to stir up some excitement with your listing.
Is Tiny Home Investing Worth It?
Now is a great time to invest in tiny cabins. You can buy or build, refurbish and sell, or rent out tiny homes to make money faster. The future of the tiny homes market looks bright. In 2017 alone, sales increased by 67%, and that’s been a continuing trend ever since.
As more people turn toward a simpler lifestyle, and as the baby boomer generation continues to retire, it’s likely that the tiny home trend will continue and more people will want to find some peace and quiet in rural areas. If you’ve been thinking about getting into the real estate market and you’re willing to learn as you go, you can find big success from tiny homes.