Author Topic: Build a tiny home and AirBnB it out? Critique my side hustle idea  (Read 2123 times)


  • Bristles
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Hey all,

we've been reading about the tiny house movement, and we're interested in starting to experiment with it to see if it could work for us in FIRE. We don't live in a McMansion like our neighbors all seem to, but it's still a good sized house. We have paid of rural land that would be perfect for a couple of tiny houses, one for each little branch of the family. I want to eventually go mostly if not totally off grid, and a tiny house seems like a good way to do it.

Ok, so my idea is to scour craigslist, IFTTT, and local Facebook groups for cheap and free building supplies. Then, build a relatively self sufficient mini house on a trailer, a basic dual axel 8x16 or so. Then, I want to rent it out, possibly delivered locally on AirBnB. I see the idea as like a mobile hotel room. in laws staying with you but don't want them that close? park this in your driveway for a few days!

I don't see it on being a hugely great financial income for us, but more to help pay off the supplies I can't get cheap or free. I already have a truck that will tow up to 5000 pounds, and I would only rent this thing locally, within about 4 miles with no highway driving to get there. I have almost all needed tools already, and we have construction experience in every needed area of construction.

Eventually we would like to buy a tiny bit of lakefront land close to us, and leave it there full time for a "vacation home" and vacation rental.

so what do you think? Anyone do something similar?


  • Handlebar Stache
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Re: Build a tiny home and AirBnB it out? Critique my side hustle idea
« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2016, 05:49:38 AM »
Since you asked what I think:

I think the whole "tiny home" movement is a fad.  I've only seen them on TV and when some bother to tell what the cost was, I'm amazed anyone would spend so much for so little.   Then, there is always the issue of whether or not you can get it registered in your state (if you have to for movement on a roadway).  Then, how do you insure it.

If I were you (and I'm not) I would consider buying either a nice travel trailer and using that OR buying an older travel trailer that has the size you want and then re-doing the interior if you have the skills.

However, having just completed a complete renovation on a rental house, If I can't do a TV renovation, I'm no longer interested :)


  • Bristles
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  • Age: 63
  • Location: Massachusetts
Re: Build a tiny home and AirBnB it out? Critique my side hustle idea
« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2016, 06:56:34 AM »
That is a very creative idea! It also might help somebody get around zoning laws that would prohibit building a permanent mother-in-law extension to their house. I wonder what your tiny house category would be for zoning - still a trailer or an unattached structure?

Zoning is on my mind b/c I had thought of AirBNB but did not want to cohabit with the guests. My town in MA has suddenly gone crazy with new restrictions on what and where you can build on your property. They also are starting to smell money in the AirBNB establishments already present. Apparently we need town laws and taxes for those too.


  • Handlebar Stache
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Re: Build a tiny home and AirBnB it out? Critique my side hustle idea
« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2016, 01:01:39 PM »
I don't understand how you would list it on ABnB since you're not renting it at a specific location.  Does ABnB have a function for that??
Building it (them?) from scraps can be done, but it has all sorts of issues of it's own and can come out kinda tacky, which can reduce the rental appeal / value.
I would hold off on the 'self-sufficient' part of it for now other than making it well insulated. Solar panels and batterys etc. are gradually getting better and better.