Vacant Land/Building Lot

Rural and city building lots give tiny homeowners space.

Vacant Land/Building Lots

Many tiny homeowners look at purchasing vacant land or a building lot to put their tiny home on. While this is currently the only option in many cities and municipalities, tiny homeowners really need to consider the pros and cons of locating their tiny home on them.

The immediacy of buying a lot to put your tiny home on and enjoying the open space between you and your neighbours can be attractive, but owning a home on wheels and attaching it to a piece of land seems at odds, in our opinion. One may believe that they can simply sell the property when they want to move, but unless they find another tiny homeowner wanting to move in when they want to move out, they will probably sell at a loss.

It costs a lot to prepare vacant land or a building lot for occupation, and the way the connections are for a tiny home, do not readily transfer to a traditional home. A rural lot will require a septic system, drilled well and electrical connection. A city lot will require connections to sewer, water, and electricity as well. These costs will run into the thousands and may not be recovered on the sale, in the future.

Pros

  • Tiny homeowners that crave a rural lifestyle, more space between neighbours, as well as more independence from municipal services, can find it on rural vacant properties.
  • Tiny homeowners wanting to live off-grid can have more space to do so.
  • Tiny homeowners looking for an immediate solution for where to live tiny, are more likely to find they can live legally on a rural lot.
  • Those looking to farm for their own use can find the space on a rural lot.

Cons

  • Purchasing a vacant rural or a city lot can be expensive.
  • Adding septic/sewer, water, and electricity can be expensive in both city and rural vacant lots.
  • There is the potential of not recovering your costs to setup your services when you sell.
  • You may be tied to the property waiting for a buyer for some time when you want to move.
  • You cannot easily move to a new location in your home, as you will need to sell your property, purchase a new one and have services installed.

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TTA Commentary

We would expect that cities/municipalities would charge a minimum tax on a property with a tiny home, based on the rate that would be charged for the smallest traditional home. We base this expectation on the occupation of a residence on a building lot. In this regard, the tiny home is no different than a traditional home, as it still occupies a lot that could otherwise accommodate a traditional home. While construction of the tiny home would save the homeowner money, all the city/municipal services provided to that lot are the same as any other type of housing. 

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