How rentable are tiny houses

19 Replies

1 bed 1 bath 520 sf house in a college town in Texas

The asking price is $32,000. Plumbing and electric has recently been updated. It has central heat and air. The listing says it is currently being rented for $450 a month but will go up to $500 when their lease is up. It doesn't seem like a huge risk as far as asking price goes, I just wonder how easily such a small house will rent when the tenant leaves. Thanks for any input...

Anything would rent if the price is right. Especially in a college town, I know for a fact many college students would love their own place (even if it's tiny) after a year of sharing a dorm with a stranger

I have a 720 sqft 2/1, recently rehabbed, window A/C and wall heater, rents for $750. As said, it'll rent for the right price, just be prepared for some seasonality if you rent to students.


I have a couple of rentals in a college town. The demand (so far) has been great and we haven't has trouble renting them. We have a great relationship with a realtor in the town who helped us understand appropriate rents and general demand. I follow him on social media too and watch the comments section when he posts one of his properties for rent--always 10 or more inquiries on the first day via that avenue. In short, it depends on the particular town, but small spaces don't seem too detrimental to a college kid. Good luck!

I have 2 small rentals , both 1 bedroom , under 500 sq ft and they rent great . They are small , Ideal for single occupancy but will work for a couple . They are cheap compared to 2 and 3 bedrooms , they are efficent . I can repaint the whole house in 1/2 a day alone , due to small size maintenance is less . I wish I had more of them in my area , but when they come up for a good price they are torn down and larger homes are built.

I think the target tenant for that type of property would be a younger person without a lot of stuff. A college town should have plenty of those! There's a certain cachet to tiny houses right now, actually:

If you can up the "cute factor" of a tiny house you should be able to up the rent as well

Thank you all for your input. It is very helpful.

@Tina Crabb I have 2 small rentals, one is seasonal one is a yearly rental. Close to the ocean though, not a college area. I want more of them! Easy maintenance, low utility costs, and as @Jean Bolger mentioned a narrow demographic. Fun to work on because I can get to everything without stairs and extension ladders. Susan Susanka writes about small spaces too. It's also a trend for urban living...micro units.

All depends on the market. I picked up a 350sf house for roughly $10,000 and wasn't really sure I could rent it out. Had it rented about a week before rehab was done at a decent rate ($350/mo).

I have some small units SFR as there is less costs to turn them over when people leave.

These also airbnb quite well if you describe them accurately. 520SF is comparable to many hotel rooms. Depends on the market but something to consider.

Boy. Maybe I'm just missing the boat big time.

My concerns with a small house would be the following.

1) The price we pay here by me to drop down from say a 3 to a 2 bedroom isn't that much 10 to 20k but the rents drop considerably - 300 or 400 less.

Thats a problem for me with the numbers.

2) The renter pool. Now this one I may be quite a bit off on. I had always thought that the renter pool for that 3 bedroom home (i.e. families) was much greater than the 1 or 2 bedroom. But based on the responses here, maybe I'm off there and I might need to look into that more.

3) Financing and profit. This is really the biggest drawback for me on the smaller homes. One, its harder to get financing on smaller homes because the numbers are simply smaller. And the truly difficult part in growing a portfolio is not finding the deals (which is tough in its own right - its finding the financing. I just hate to think of putting in that amount of work on the financing for such a small amount of profit.

If I'm going to have a bank say yes to doing a loan for me, I'd rather use that Yes to make 300 or 400 a month instead of 100 to 200.

This seems to be the future in expensive cities because of the increase of single renters. We are seeing 200 sf units being built close-in renting for $650.

@Tina Crabb Everything has a price and everything will rent. When it comes to houses, people will always flock to them because they provide more security, privacy, and comfort than an apartment will. At a price this reasonable you will have no problem finding someone. Good luck

Just look at New York City!! They rent car space for $1000. Supply and demand.

Originally posted by @Zaid R. :
I know for a fact many college students would love their own place (even if it's tiny) after a year of sharing a dorm with a stranger

LOL, this man knows what he's talking about.

The smallest place I have is 672 sqft and it rents for $750/month + utilities.

I think it depends on that the area is like. Are most of the other properties in the neighborhood tiny? If so and you're happy with the rents then you may be ok. In my area i would look to build on and make the properties larger. It's a big trend here and It adds a lot of value

I am hoping to find out more information on this in the Hudson Valley of New York. I have only briefly looked at the various sites that are only land or have land and a residence built on it already. The tiny homes are either one with wheels - considered mobile. Or ones that don't have wheels. These I think are different categories. Also, I think it's different when you are just adding a tiny home on your lot when you already have a house on it. I want to see if you can make money on Airbnb by adding a tiny home on the back side of my property if it already has a home on it. 

@kevindee check out the NY Times article from maybe 2 weeks ago. Tiny houses sound like a logistical nightmare if you want to do them legally. I think the article said 90% of them in the US are not legally zoned to code. Where is your property? I am pretty sure Great Neck would not be friendly to the idea. Maybe in NH. There are some beautiful tiny home designers out there though...

Free eBook from BiggerPockets!

Ultimate Beginner's Guide Book Cover

Join BiggerPockets and get The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Real Estate Investing for FREE - read by more than 100,000 people - AND get exclusive real estate investing tips, tricks and techniques delivered straight to your inbox twice weekly!

  • Actionable advice for getting started,
  • Discover the 10 Most Lucrative Real Estate Niches,
  • Learn how to get started with or without money,
  • Explore Real-Life Strategies for Building Wealth,
  • And a LOT more.

Lock We hate spam just as much as you

Join the Largest Real Estate Investing Community

Basic membership is free, forever.

By signing up, you indicate that you agree to the BiggerPockets Terms & Conditions.