Tiny houses aren't just for people on HGTV who want to unclutter their lives but don't understand why a bathroom in a shipping container doesn't have a tub. They are, ostensibly, for anyone who wants to spend less to own a home but doesn't like the idea of living in a condo or the bungalows their grandparents and great-grandparents once loved. With tiny houses now in every corner of the landscape, we've found ones for sale in each state that can be had for less than the average cost of a new car.
This 128-square-foot home is admittedly a bit of a work in progress and costs $25,000 if you take a 2002 Chevy Cargo Express 2500 van ("126k miles — runs great") with it. But with a queen bed, closet space, a full-bed futon, bathroom with composting toilet, kitchen, ceiling fans, solar panels, and propane-heated, on-demand hot water, it's livable until you can put the finishing touches on it.
Right, this is more than $20,000. Alaska doesn't have a bunch of tiny homes on sale, and this 200-square-foot model built in Colorado was the least expensive we could find. That said, it has sheep's wool insulation, seven windows, a skylight, Russian Olive window sills, and is made with wood wall accents from old barns in Colorado, beetle-kill pine, reclaimed cedar siding, and shou sugi ban flooring. With a wood stove, propane hot water heater, full kitchen, a custom walnut fold-out table, and a 20-foot trailer attached, this model is ready to go as long as you're willing to install a toilet.
Arizona tiny-home listings are noteworthy for the sheer amount of gypsy wagons, Mongolian yurts, and other hippie/new age dwellings. This 72-square-foot "beach house" on wheels is sided with repurposed corrugated metal, topped with a maintenance-free metal roof, and tiny enough that a bucket with a toilet lid has to be inserted in the shower to have a functional toilet. With a full-size bed, a small kitchen and propane-heated water, this is an escape built for one to two, tops.
This company makes vardos — campers modeled after European gypsy wagons — of various sizes, but this 80-foot model is the biggest of the bunch. Many people use them for shops, but there is A/C, a whole lot of insulation, and room for a large bed. A kitchen or bathroom may need to be negotiated.
Surfers have been building U-Haul trucks into rolling beach bungalows for decades, and this one makes a fairly stealthy little hideaway. Though just 100 square feet, it has a roomy kitchen, a full bedroom, a bathroom — and a rebuilt engine and transmission. With a solar panel for electricity, a functioning outdoor shower, and a sliding murphy bed, this is the undercover surf pad of someone's dreams.
Good deals result from unfinished homes. This 70-square-foot, 3,500-pound-home is decked out with LED lighting, a stereo system, and solar power, but needs trim, entry door paint, and a cover plate for the electrical system. With cedar cladding outside, beetle-kill pine inside, a galvanized metal roof, insulation, built-in cabinets, and a single-axle trailer to tow it, it's a nice little home for a solo excursion.
Connecticut doesn't have a whole lot of tiny houses on the market, and the ones it has are either as costly as the state itself or a little weird. This one in Litchfield wine country is basically a 140-square-food backyard cabin with a hookup for a wood-burning stove, kitchen with sink, wiring for solar panels, vinyl windows, and an antique bed and rocking chair "if selling price is right." But it's sitting on railroad ties and will need to be moved at your expense.
The upside is that this 400-square-foot tiny house is basically a small apartment. But it's a frame someone didn't want to keep building. It's on a fairly substantial trailer and has been built with an insulated floor with aluminum moisture/insect barrier and insulation, but it still needs roof framing and all exterior sheathing. That said, you'll get 15 new vinyl windows with it.
If you're new to tiny houses or just don't have a lot of money to spend, a shell is the way to go. This 26-foot home with 208 square feet is fully insulated and wired. It's trimmed with cedar and has metal roofing, but it'll be up to you to give it the finishing touches.
Built by a carpenter and farm owner, this "Tin Shed" custom house has 100 square feet of floor space surrounded by insulated wood, tin, and Lexan windows. A retractable porch, a 16-foot trailer, and loft bedding for two make this a cozy, if somewhat amenity-deprived, little retreat.
Location: Kaloli Point
It's fairly spacious at 288 square feet and comes with a full bathroom, kitchen, and loft bedroom, but unless you want to pay to float it somewhere else, you're going to have to keep it on the Big Island. Meanwhile, it's fully wired, has a hot-water heater, and has French doors that would be especially lovely looking out onto the views from the Kaloli Point peninsula.
Sometimes you just want a tiny house until you don't, and the current owners changed their plans. This timber-clad, fully wired 160-square-foot home is beautiful, but incomplete. The seller is including all parts, paint, hardware, and other items that were bought for the house, as well as a trailer to get it wherever you'd like it to be.
The students and staff of the Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences built this 144-square-foot home as a project and equipped it with electricity, plumbing, two decks, a full kitchen, and some modest appliances, but it comes with a $2,000 credit for additional appliances.
An Airstream is a whole lot of people's idea of a tiny dream home, and this 1967 Airstream Caravel is particularly dreamy. With a large open lounge floor plan, two wardrobe closets, a convertible hideaway dinette table, and sleeping space for two, this Caravel has been restored meticulously with some modern touches. With a full propane heater, new plumbing, refrigerator/freezer, air conditioning, new window seals, and lots of original hardware including a chromed out Magic Chef oven, vintage radio, and a wall mount barometer thermometer, this 350-square foot palace is no trailer.
The screen door, shingle roof, shiplap siding, and multipaneled windows are cute, but there's some work and haggling to be done on this 128-square-foot home. The owner will take $800 off for kitchen cabinets, sink, and shower head to be installed. It will also cost about $500 to $800 to move it on its trailer, or $100 to $150 a month to leave it in place. But it's fully wired and has hardwood floors and paneling, a wall-mounted propane heater, window A/C unit, high-speed internet hookups, a shower stall, an RV toilet, a small fridge and a range hood.
Designed as a photography studio, it doesn't have a kitchen or bathroom, though the current owners are open to suggestions. But this 180-square-foot home has full wiring, spray-foam insulation, a metal roof, a portable air conditioner, and a loft for a full- to queen-size mattress.
Location: Mount Vernon
The Mount Vernon-based Shed Squad makes various tiny homes, but this 384-square-foot version comes with four windows, a steel-insulated door, vapor barrier on the walls and roof, and its own porch. What you do with the rest is up to you.
We won't lie: We wanted to list this Victorian tiny home last used as a shop, but we thought it might be better to give you somewhere you could live. The 72-square-foot cabin isn't much, but it's on a trailer, has full electric and plumbing, a water heater, a 22-gallon gray water tank with RV sewer connection, full kitchen, full bathroom, and air conditioning. A couch folds into a queen mattress, while bunk beds can sleep up to two kids.
Another way to get a tiny house on the cheap: Get it as a kit. You can get a 384-square-foot tiny home with a wall of windows, an A-frame roof, and a 16-by-16-foot sleeping loft, but to get it at this price you'll have to put it together and trim it out yourself.
Another state without a whole lot of tiny homes under $20,000, Maryland does have this gem of a 70-square-foot cabin that's on a trailer, has plumbing for a sink, and a fridge in the kitchen. If you want to expand the plumbing to an outdoor shower, be our guest, but with a twin mattress and no real room for a stove, get used to roughing it.
Real estate in Massachusetts is costly, and tiny homes are no exception. But if you want a cedar-shingled beauty with 150 square feet, a trailer for towing, a sleeping loft, and an open floor plan for whatever other amenities you'd like, this seller can have it ready in two weeks.
It's half-finished, but this 270-square-foot home is already on a steel, military-grade 27-foot trailer. With 30-year siding and a steel roof, it should be impervious to the elements, but you'll have to lay the Brazilian wood flooring yourself and install half of the electric, half of the lights, and all of the insulation. That said, you'll get a new toilet, tankless hot water heater, enclosed shower room, vanity, and sink. For $22,000 more, you can buy the acre of land under it.
This 192-square-foot home on a trailer was built by a contractor. It has its own forced-air propane furnace, tankless on-demand water heater, full plumbing, touchpad keyless entry, 30-gallon water tank, power meter, battery chargers, cedar paneling, and galvanized roof. The butcher block kitchen counter, oak cabinets, rainfall shower, fold-out, full-size bed, queen-size loft, and USB outlet are just showing off.
It looks like a wooden shed, but this 70-square-foot house on wheels has a queen-size sleeping loft, propane water heater, full electricity, composting toilet, refrigerator, and mobile stove. In a space that some people have a tough time using as a studio, someone's made a functional home.
Want to go off the grid, but still need 160 square feet to do so? This trailer-hitched home comes with four 100-watt solar panels, a propane three-burner range, energy-efficient fridge, propane furnace, and a full gutter system with rain barrels for catching water.
If the choice was ours, we'd fill this whole list with renovated "schoolies" such as this 1981 Blue Bird bus. Not only does a school bus give you more than 250 square feet of living space, but room for a full kitchen with a four-burner oven and gas stove, bathroom with a flush toilet, a sink, four bunk beds, closets, storage space, a refrigerator, a wood stove, electric heaters, and kitchen shelves and cabinets. It's also fully wired to run on a battery or generator.
Location: Hay Springs
It's basically a cabin from a 1950s cabin hotel with some tweaks to its 128 square feet. With laminate flooring, LED lighting, pump-fed water, composting toilet, and portability (though you'll have to provide the truck or trailer), this self-sufficient little home can be your tiny house or just a small guest house on your property.
We're going to see a couple of these vardo wagons on this list, but none as beautiful as this 70-square-foot dream. The custom fabric and paint really commit to the theme, but the two-burner propane range, full solar setup with 120-watt panel, 12 volt outlets, LED lights, custom raw edge wood countertop and benches, stained glass window, and 18-gallon water tank with utility sink and shower hookup make this an attractive, towable home on the road for one or two.
This is a surprisingly big 136 square feet. There's no loft, but there's room for a full-size bed, fridge, small stove and range, full bathroom, and lots of storage. It has 450 watts of electricity from three solar panels, full plumbing for the sink and shower, propane for the stove, and more. It needs some cosmetic touch-ups and batteries for the solar panels, but is otherwise ready to go.
New Jersey is a tough housing market that's tough on tiny houses as well. The best choice under $20,000 is this gorgeous former 1970s travel trailer. With electricity, full plumbing, and a towable frame, it almost makes up for the fact that you'll have to finish out the bathroom to make it work.
Another gorgeous school bus conversion, this 1999 International 3800 T444e has 107,000 miles on it, but it has a bathroom with compostable toilet, back bedroom big enough for a queen-size futon, front bench for sleeping, a mason jar pantry area, hand-pump sink, cabinet, and fridge. With air conditioning, three heater choices (electric, propane, and wood-burning), and solar-powered lighting, this is a great hippie home looking for the right stretch of road.
At 160 square feet, this is spacious in tiny-home terms. A queen-size loft frees up much of the main floor space for a compost toilet, propane stove, large living space, and solar-powered electronics. Even better, as a shipping container, it can be easily moved by a shipper or on a flatbed trailer.
This barn-style tiny house is a relatively massive 384 square feet. It has a full kitchenette, bathroom with standup shower, loft for a queen bed, and a large living space with bonus area that could be used for washer and dryer or a closet. That said, it still needs a water heater, and the bathroom and kitchen will need to be plumbed. Oh, and you're going to have to find a way to move it; it isn't on a trailer of its own.
Dakota Adventist Academy students built this 83-square-foot space as a motorcycle garage or "man cave," but it's equipped for much more. The roll-up garage door can turn it into a nice indoor-outdoor space, but it's fully wired, has a loft built in, and residential-grade construction throughout. If you want to plot a layout for a kitchen, bathroom and living space, go right ahead: You still have about $13,000 to work with.
In this region, Amish construction lends a bit of local flavor and inherent stability to the tiny homes. In this case, a 192-square-foot home comes with full electric, water hookups and sewage hookups, and is built as sturdy as a full-size home. With a full bathroom, kitchenette, and plenty of room for a full or queen futon, folks within 100 miles can have it delivered free and be sitting on their porch by the afternoon. Everyone else pays a delivery fee.
It's a shell, but it isn't. The structural work is done and sleeping and storage lofts are built atop a 32-foot trailer, but this 240-square-foot home need some attention. It comes with a bathtub, toilet, bathroom sink, kitchen cabinets, a range, a refrigerator, and kitchen cabinets, but you'll have to finish out the interior. That includes insulation, paneling and some of the electrical work as well.
Do not judge this 1991 Ford Econoline Cargo Van by its exterior. This former U-Haul has a 130-square-foot living space constructed of pine, cypress, cedar, bamboo, and oak. It has a sleeping loft, but can sleep five in its various nooks. Fully plumbed and wired, it has a full kitchen with a small propane four-burner stove with oven, a stainless steel sink and a 5-foot refrigerator/freezer. It also has a bathroom with a full shower stall and porcelain mini toilet.
It's 336 square feet, lovely — and has been holding a family of four. With a washer and dryer, shower, laundry sink, kitchen sink, stove, and full electric and plumbing, all it really needs is something better than its denim-and-roxul insulation. Propane fuels the hot water heater and wall heaters, while a compost toilet in the bathroom is absolutely replaceable. That said, you'll have to pull it out on a flatbed, as it is not on a trailer.
Like Alaska, Rhode Island is short on tiny houses as we think of them (though there are plenty of small homes). If you can haggle away that extra $3,000, you'll get an incomplete house with full wiring, plumbing and insulation, as well an installed shower pan. But you'll also get boxes of tile for the shower and bathroom floor, cedar paneling for the ceiling, shingles for the exterior and an RV stove. It's on a trailer, so if you're looking for a project to finish, you can tow this one away.
It's a 224-square foot home, but it's also a project. Built on a trailer with a completed exterior, this home has a large sleeping loft, a foot of storage under the main floor, bamboo flooring, a pocket-door setup for the bathroom ... and little else at this point. You're going to have to wire it, plumb it, insulate it and panel it, but it'll be yours.
The tiny South Dakota market doesn't have a lot of tiny homes, but this 320-square-foot one has a low price for a relatively big unfinished space. With its own porch, a large bay window, insulated door and a complete exterior, this is basically looking for an owner and a floor plan. It's off to an incredibly cute start, but needs someone to bring it home.
We told you you'd see a bunch of gypsy-inspired vardo wagons on this list, but this one is special. Though it isn't wired or plumbed (there's space for it), it is fully insulated, made of cedar, pine, and plywood, and has salvaged windows and doors. It's only 70 square feet, but full-size bunk beds and a fold-out couch make room for at least five people.
This 192-square foot home is fully plumbed and wired and has a full bathroom, small kitchen, office/living area, and lofted bedroom and storage. Equipped with heat and A/C, this home is missing only some interior paint (which the owner will provide) and a means of transportation.
Utah doesn't have a lot of affordable tiny-home options for a state in the American West, but this 96-square-foot cabin has a floor plan for a full bathroom, a kitchenette, and a large living space with room for a Murphy bed or foldout couch. It can also be fitted with solar panels for those choosing an off-grid lifestyle.
It isn't finished, but it's close. The plumbing and exterior need work, but it is insulated, wired, and has a beautiful picture window with window seat. With a lofted bed, kitchenette, maple laminate floors, and lots of room for two, it's a deal for anyone looking to customize a mostly built home.
This is one impressive shipping container. Its 160 square feet contain living and sleeping quarters, a full kitchen with refrigerators, full bath with shower and composting toilet, tankless water heater, and a roof deck for entertaining. It's being sold with its furniture, so all you'll have to do is move it.
Location: Walla Walla
In the middle of Eastern Washington wine country sits this 1960 ABC Heritage 50-foot travel trailer with an added living room. At more than 500 square feet in total, it has a full bathroom and kitchen, a furnace with floor vents, two air conditioners, an electric stovetop, and hookups for a washer and dryer. While it will cost $365 a month to keep it in Walla Walla, it can go anywhere.
This is one big shed at 240 square feet with a porch. Never used, it does not come with furniture, stove, or refrigerator, but there's enough room for a full living room, kitchen, and bathroom. Heating, air, water heater, plumbing, and wiring is ready to go, but it has to be moved.
Why would you pay $20,000 for an incomplete home? Because it's been sitting under cover in a large workshop and is 80 percent done. It's already on a trailer; all an owner needs to do is install the included water heater and propane heater, and trim it out a bit. The included photos show the effort that went into construction, so don't get feisty because they're asking you to do the easy part.
We saved perhaps the most beautiful tiny home on the list for last. Mimicking a Conestoga wagon and already mounted to a trailer, the Teton Spirit has inside lighting, refrigerator, and water pump powered by rooftop solar panels. It also has two skylights for stargazing, four stained glass windows, a small wood stove, a propane oven and cooktop, a lofted bed, and magnificent wood detailing throughout.