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Intriguing World of Tiny Homes Vacation Rentals

Venture into the fascinating world of tiny homes vacation rentals. This guide for property owners unpacks the allure, investment potential, and uniqueness of these small but mighty homes. We'll touch on various aspects, from costs to making your tiny property standout, giving you a solid foundation to start your tiny home rental journey.


By Kristy Baylor

Published on July 11, 2023

Guests who’ve chosen your tiny home over sprawling villas, not just because it’s a trend but for the unique experience and charm these compact abodes offer. The uniqueness lies in the tiny size, but it’s more than that. The tiny homes wave has swelled into a thriving vacation rental market, providing property owners a significant return on investment.

These homes can make an excellent Airbnb or second home investment. Their popularity has been fueled by the minimalist lifestyle movement, where less is indeed more. Unlike conventional houses, tiny homes allow property owners to maximize their rental earnings, and offer guests an unforgettable experience, all while being mindful of their carbon footprint.

Are you curious about the various types of vacation rental properties?
Our overview of different Airbnb property categories can get you started.

What’s Special about Tiny Homes Vacation Rentals

Tiny homes are no ordinary homes; they have their unique personality. They are often custom-built, maximizing the available space to deliver a cozy, homey environment. With their eco-friendly architecture and compact yet comfortable interiors, these homes stand out in the vacation rental market.

  • Economical Investment: Tiny homes are usually less expensive to purchase and maintain compared to traditional homes. Lower overhead costs allow for a more significant profit margin on rental income.
  • Eco-friendly: Tiny homes typically have a smaller carbon footprint, which appeals to environmentally conscious guests. They’re often equipped with energy-efficient appliances and sometimes even solar panels.
  • Unique Guest Experience: A stay in a tiny home is an opportunity for guests to try out a minimalist living, a novel experience compared to typical vacation rentals.

Types of Tiny Home Vacation Rentals

Tiny homes are diverse in style and layout, each bearing a charm of its own. From rustic to modern, the design of these homes can be as diverse as the owners’ imaginations.

  • Converted Shipping Container Homes: Known for their durability and ease of transport, shipping containers provide a sturdy skeleton for a unique tiny home.
  • Travel Trailer Tiny Homes: These homes on wheels offer the bonus of mobility, providing a nomadic vacation experience.
  • Caboose Style Tiny Homes: Designed to resemble old train cabooses, these homes cater to guests seeking a hint of nostalgia.
  • Architectural Miniature Homes: These homes mimic traditional houses on a smaller scale, offering the comforts of a full-sized home in a petite package.

Tiny homes are popping up across the nation, and some cities, renowned for their unique charm and welcoming communities, have truly embraced this new wave of living small. From coastal towns to mountain retreats, each location offers a distinctive experience for guests, attracting a growing number of tourists year after year.

  • Fresno, California: The first city in the country to approve tiny houses on wheels as secondary dwellings. Known for its rich agricultural lands, guests can enjoy the local farmer’s markets and wineries.
  • Spur, Texas: Declared as the nation’s first tiny house-friendly town, Spur offers a unique taste of the rural Texan lifestyle with its cowboy culture and expansive ranchlands.
  • Rockledge, Florida: With its friendly regulations and tropical climate, this is a go-to destination for beach-loving tiny house vacationers.
  • Brevard, North Carolina: Nestled in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Brevard offers ample outdoor activities and has a thriving arts scene.
  • Denver, Colorado: The outdoorsy culture of Denver makes it an ideal place for tiny home living and vacationing
  • Portland, Maine: With its picturesque coastal setting and historic charm, Portland is a haven for tiny homes, boasting an established community.
  • Olympia, Washington: Known for its vibrant arts scene and natural beauty, Olympia has a growing tiny house community and offers a peaceful retreat for vacationers.
  • Putney, Vermont: As a town that promotes sustainable living, Putney provides a unique fall foliage experience for tiny house vacationers.

Common Amenities for Tiny Homes Vacation Rentals

Though tiny in size, these homes pack a punch when it comes to amenities. You’d be surprised at the kind of comfort and luxury they offer. Fully-equipped kitchens, cozy sleeping lofts, stylish bathrooms, and inviting living spaces are standard in most tiny homes. But there’s more.
Many tiny homes flaunt unique amenities that add to their charm.

  • Convertible Furniture: Multifunctional furniture like murphy beds and modular sofas maximize space and offer flexibility to guests.
  • Rooftop Decks: A popular feature providing an outdoor living area with views for guests to enjoy their surroundings.
  • Outdoor Showers: For a rustic touch, some tiny homes offer an outdoor shower experience, sometimes even with a view!
  • Hot Tubs: A relaxing hot tub under the stars? Yes, some tiny homes offer this luxury too.
  • Fire Pits: A fire pit area offers a socializing spot, perfect for roasting marshmallows or simply unwinding in the evening.
  • Solar Panels: Sustainable power source offering a touch of eco-friendliness that appeals to green-conscious guests.

Activities and Attractions Near Tiny House Rentals

With tiny homes often nestled in unique locations, guests can enjoy a range of activities and attractions that enhance their vacation experience.

  • Nature Trails: Many tiny homes are situated near nature trails, offering guests the joy of hiking or biking.
  • Local Farmer’s Markets: These markets offer a glimpse of local life, fresh produce, and homemade goods.
  • Wineries and Breweries: Guests can enjoy tasting sessions at nearby wineries or breweries, a fun activity for those inclined.
  • Artisan Shops: Local artisan shops provide a chance to buy unique souvenirs or observe craftsmen at work.
  • Water Activities: If your tiny home is near a lake or sea, water activities like kayaking, fishing, or swimming can be major draws.
  • Wildlife Spotting: For homes in rural or wilderness areas, wildlife spotting can be an exciting activity for guests.

How Much Does a Tiny Vacation Home Cost?

The cost of tiny homes varies greatly depending on various factors such as location, size, amenities, and finishes. Generally, you can expect to pay anywhere between $30,000 to $180,000 for a ready-made tiny home. Here’s a quick look at the price range in some of the popular tiny house-friendly cities across the US:

  • Fresno, California: Tiny homes in this agriculturally-rich city can range between $75,000 and $150,000, owing to the higher costs of living in California.
  • Spur, Texas: In the tiny house-friendly city of Spur, you can expect costs to be lower, in the $55,000 to $100,000 range, reflecting the affordable rural lifestyle of Texas.
  • Rockledge, Florida: Given its proximity to the beach and a desirable climate, tiny homes in Rockledge can vary from $85,000 to $155,000.
  • Denver, Colorado: With its mountainous terrain and outdoor activities, tiny homes may set you back anywhere between $70,000 and $120,000.
  • Brevard, North Carolina: In the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains, tiny homes in Brevard range from $60,000 to $115,000.
  • Portland, Maine: Coastal living and historic charm come with a price tag, with tiny homes in Portland averaging between $90,000 and $160,000.
  • Olympia, Washington: As a city with a vibrant arts scene and natural beauty, tiny homes in Olympia range from $80,000 to $145,000.
  • Putney, Vermont: Known for sustainable living, Putney offers tiny homes ranging from $65,000 to $120,000.

When considering the cost of a tiny home, it’s important to remember that this is just the purchase price. There will be additional costs for land, utilities, and possibly homeowner’s association fees if the home is located in a tiny house community. However, compared to traditional housing options, tiny homes can provide an affordable entry into homeownership or a lucrative investment opportunity as a vacation rental.

What Factors Affect the Cost of Tiny Home Vacation Rentals?

Several variables can influence the rental price of tiny vacation homes, contributing to the diversity in costs across the market. Key factors include the home’s location, size, style, amenities, and time of the year.

  • Location: Like any property, location plays a significant role in the cost of tiny vacation rentals. A tiny home located in a popular tourist destination or with proximity to attractions or amenities such as the beach, ski resorts, or national parks will command a higher rental price.
  • Size and Style: The size and architectural style of a tiny home can greatly affect the rental cost. Larger tiny homes or those with unique or luxurious designs will generally be more expensive to rent. For instance, a two-bedroom tiny home will likely be priced higher than a loft-style single-room home. Similarly, a modern, minimalist-style tiny home may have different pricing compared to a classic, rustic cabin-style home.
  • Amenities: The types of amenities and comforts offered can also influence the price. Homes equipped with high-end appliances, luxurious fixtures, or outdoor additions like a hot tub or a large deck often have higher rental rates. Similarly, tiny homes offering unique experiences like rooftop terraces, fire pits, or even unusual structures like a tree house can attract higher prices.
  • Season: The time of the year can significantly affect rental prices. Rates may increase during peak tourist seasons and holidays, while off-peak periods may see lower prices. For example, a tiny home near a ski resort could charge premium rates in the winter months.

In addition to these factors, the cost of maintaining the property, including insurance, taxes, and upkeep, can also impact rental pricing. Owners will want to ensure their pricing covers these costs while providing potential guests an appealing and competitive rate. Pricing a tiny vacation rental requires a balance of understanding the market, recognizing the property’s unique value, and catering to the expectations of prospective renters.

How to make your Tiny Home Rental Property stand out to guests

Making your tiny vacation home stand out in a competitive rental market requires creativity, attention to detail, and an understanding of what guests are seeking in a vacation experience. Adding personal touches, enhancing the guest experience, and highlighting unique features can make your property a sought-after destination.

  • Highlight the Unique Charm: Every tiny home has its unique charm, and it’s crucial to bring it to the forefront. For example, if your tiny home is a rustic cabin in the woods, consider highlighting the woodwork, installing a wood-burning stove, and offering an outdoor fire pit. If your home has a modern aesthetic, add touches like smart home features or a rooftop deck. The cost can vary widely based on the feature, from a few hundred dollars for a fire pit to several thousand for a deck or smart home upgrade.
  • Offer Local Experiences: Stand out by offering guests local experiences that they might not find on their own. This could be as simple as providing a guidebook of your favorite local spots. Alternatively, you could partner with local businesses to offer guests unique activities like a private wine tasting at a local vineyard, cooking lessons from a local chef, or guided hikes in the area. These can range from complimentary to several hundred dollars, depending on the nature of the activity.
  • Invest in High-Quality Amenities: Providing high-quality amenities can make a significant difference in how guests perceive your rental. Invest in comfortable, luxurious bedding, provide a well-equipped kitchen with quality appliances, and consider additions like a high-end coffee maker or plush bathrobes. Guests appreciate these thoughtful touches, and they can significantly enhance their stay. The cost for such upgrades can range from $100 for high-end linens to a few thousand dollars for premium appliances.

Our Thoughts

As a property owner, diving into tiny home vacation rentals can be an exciting and lucrative venture. These pint-sized dwellings offer unique experiences to guests and potentially high returns to owners. It’s about making the most out of every square foot, creating unique guest experiences, and capitalizing on this burgeoning trend in the vacation rental market.

Written by

Former Airbnb host turned content writer and avid runner, passionate about crafting engaging content, sharing inspiring stories, and finding joy in the power of running. Let's make every word and every step count!