You’ve purchased your plot of undeveloped rural land, now you need to make it habitable. One cost-effective option for new land owners is to purchase a so-called tiny home, part of a burgeoning industry that includes construction companies as well as many do-it-yourselfers. With the lure of downsized, cheaper and more eco-friendly living, the tiny house movement has gained in popularity over the past decade, no doubt bolstered by the mortgage and housing meltdown following the 2007-09 “Great Recession.” Tiny homes are typically living spaces of between 100 to 400 square feet, a drastic miniaturization from the average U.S. house size of over 2,000 square feet. However, oversized benefits to tiny-house dwellers include little or no mortgage debt, lower living expenses, minimal carbon footprint and the opportunity to take your tiny abode on the road for whatever adventure lies around the next corner. From millennials to empty nesters, tiny houses promise freedom and flexibility in contrast to our more traditional home-buying expectations.

Landowners with a penchant for design and construction can find dozens of blogs and online resources, as well as purchase tiny-home kits and floorplans, to help build a tiny home for use on their property. Or choose from any number of tiny-home construction companies selling models that typically cost between $40,000 and $70,000 (with various custom add-ons available). These companies will assemble as well as ship your new tiny home to your location, meaning you could comfortably be at home on the range in a matter of weeks. Sure, tiny-home living is not for everyone, but we think the following models from these four leading tiny-home manufactures look pretty darn sweet!

tiny homes for sale
Interior of Tumbleweed Tiny House Company’s Linden model (image courtesy, Tumbleweed Tiny House Company)

Sonoma, California-based Tumbleweed Tiny House Company started out in 1999 as a RV-focused operation that has since evolved to a nationally recognized business building tiny homes, selling DIY floorplans and running tiny-home workshops throughout the country. Of its four primary models, the 20-foot Linden offers 177 square feet of livable space, including an upstairs sleeping area and storage loft. A pair of dormers on the roof bring in more light, while a front porch provides seating and outdoor living space. Price: $61,000; www.tumbleweedhouses.com

tiny homes for sale
Interior of Monarch Tiny Homes’ Twenty-Footer model (image courtesy, Monarch Tiny Homes)

Supremely elegant in its simplicity and efficient use of space, Monarch Tiny Homes’ Twenty-Footer model sacrifices nothing when it comes to the quality of its workmanship and building materials. Founded by two friends following an early-morning workout, Monarch’s 20-foot tiny home offers 160 square feet of living space on its lower level and a compact but nicely integrated 110-square-foot loft. At $47,000 for the prebuilt package, this is one of the most affordable offerings on the tiny-home market. Price: $47,000; www.monarchtinyhomes.com

tiny homes for sale
Exterior of Tiny Home Builders’ Tiny Living design (image courtesy, Tiny Home Builders)

Florida-based Tiny Home Builders is a family-run business that got its start after its owner built a tiny home for his mother. Today, the company sells tiny-home plans and provides advice and assistance for people looking to make the move into minimalist living, along with building a line of custom tiny homes. Their Tiny Living design features a good-size family room, plus a design that places the entryway at the back of the house and affords more room for a seven-foot sleeping loft up front. This model comes in four lengths (12, 16, 20 and 24 feet) to suit a variety of lifestyle needs. Price: $37,000-$61,000 depending on house length; www.tinyhomebuilders.com

tiny homes for sale
Exterior of the Escape Traveler tiny home (ESCAPE RV/Steve Niedorf)

The Escape Traveler functions as an RV-style tiny home with a number of upscale features including Pella windows, interior pine-paneled walls and a cozy fireplace. The home is designed to sleep up to six people and would easily lend itself to a mobile life on the road along with providing comfortable living space on a private parcel of land. Among the tiny homes featured here, the Traveler’s design offers ample light-filled space with a big central window fronting the great room. Other custom-build options are available. Price: $66,000; www.escapetraveler.net

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