Recently I've lost count of the number of times I've seen online posts asking the question "Hi I'm Jane, I'm thinking about building/buying a Tiny House but I want to find a permanent parking spot first."
OR my personal favourite are the comments that state "Don't even bother starting your build until you've secured land!"
Why does this frustrate me so much?
1) In response to the latter comment- HELLO, you have www.parkmytinyhouse.com.au.... finding land is a piece of cake
2) In regards to the first?
Let's think about this.
If you're still in the "just thinking about it" stage- you might change your mind. You might lose interest.
Let's say you do go ahead with building one yourself.
If you've never built one before- take the "6-12 months of weekends" you've estimated- and DOUBLE IT. AT LEAST. 100% serious. Life happens. You get sick. Maybe you lose your job or run out of money. It's likely you won't have a completed Tiny for at least one year, if not TWO!
Let's say you go the route of having a professional Tiny House company build one for you.
The planning process can take weeks (that's assuming you know EXACTLY what you want- which few of us ever do!) And do you know what the lead time for some of the more popular builders is right now? SIX MONTHS. And that's bare minimum- many are closer to 12 months! And THEN it will take that builder anywhere from 4 weeks to 4 months for the build itself. Again, you won't get your keys for well over a year.
OR let's say you want a Tiny House RIGHT NOW and are happy to buy one second-hand, "off-the-rack". Depending how many criteria you have for the dwelling, it’s quite possible it could take you over a year to find one that checks ALL the boxes (even if you’re continually stalking Australia’s largest Tiny House BSS group @tinyhousesbuyandsellaustralia)
Of course, all this is assuming you have cash ready to go. If not, add another month or more for the finance approval process.
So from the time you were "thinking about it" and found a block of land- you're leaving your potential landlord in a position where they're "holding" your spot for WELL over a year, and possibly two- with no income.
Is that fair?
Not to mention- a LOT can happen in a year!
Your landlord might decide to sell up. Or they might change their mind about you.
Or even worse- they might find someone else ready to move in right now and give them your spot!!
At this point in time, we're still in the infancy of the Tiny House movement here in Australia. The majority of landowners still have zero clue what a Tiny House on Wheels actually is, let alone know that people who own one are looking for a spot to park on!
As such, the number of Tiny Housers looking for spots far outweighs the number of landowners currently willing to offer land.
This is why our Property Hosts are in full control of the matching process. They are the lynchpin to ensuring the success of this platform, and that it continues to grow as we all envision. For this reason, we will do everything we can to ensure the process is as smooth as possible for our Hosts, and that we can find them a suitable tenant as soon as their property becomes available. That could be right now, 2 weeks from now, or up to 3 months’ time.
This is also why I ended up choosing a paid membership model for the platform.
It’s the only way I can guarantee our Hosts won't be mucked around by people leaving them hanging on promises of "let me think about it", or "let me check with my partner". But that’s a story for another post..!
So. Back to the actual question!
WHEN SHOULD I START LOOKING FOR LAND?
My recommendation is no longer than 3-6 months from the estimated completion of your Tiny House.
We don't accept applications for our listings further than 6 months out from your estimated lease commencement date
Six months out- purchase your membership here: www.parkmytinyhouse.com.au/listings
This gives you some time to get a feel for the type of properties and their availability in the area you're looking. You also have the opportunity to personally let me know where you're looking, so I can keep feelers out in that area.
Three months out- we're likely to have found a property for you in the area.
You apply. You're accepted. You relax! OR- maybe that one’s not for you, but you still have a 3 month safety net before finding the perfect spot.
The day you pick up your keys- you breathe a sigh of relief as you hand over your new home address to the tow truck driver (and you write us an amazing testimonial because we took all the stress and hard work out of the process for you).