Tiny Houses

The five best tiny houses under $50,000

The five best tiny houses unde...
New Atlas highlights the five best tiny houses currently available to purchase for under $50,000
New Atlas highlights the five best tiny houses currently available to purchase for under $50,000
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The container home's bathroom features a shower and bathtub
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The container home's bathroom features a shower and bathtub
The container home's kitchen area
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The container home's kitchen area
Storage-integrated stairs lead to the container's sleeping loft
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Storage-integrated stairs lead to the container's sleeping loft
View of the container home's main living space
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View of the container home's main living space
The container home's upstairs sleeping loft
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The container home's upstairs sleeping loft
This container home includes a porch area, main living space, kitchenette, and a generously-proportioned bathroom
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This container home includes a porch area, main living space, kitchenette, and a generously-proportioned bathroom
For the money, you get 312 sq ft (28 sq m) of floorspace constructed from a single 40 ft (12 m) shipping container that has been cut and extended in height
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For the money, you get 312 sq ft (28 sq m) of floorspace constructed from a single 40 ft (12 m) shipping container that has been cut and extended in height
This unnamed shipping container home by Archie, Missouri-based Custom Container Living will set you back $47,000
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This unnamed shipping container home by Archie, Missouri-based Custom Container Living will set you back $47,000
Close-up view of the Roving's kitchenette
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Close-up view of the Roving's kitchenette
The Roving boasts a large closet
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The Roving boasts a large closet
The Roving's bathroom and kitchen area
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The Roving's bathroom and kitchen area
The Roving features a main sleeping loft and secondary storage loft
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The Roving features a main sleeping loft and secondary storage loft
The Roving features 154 sq ft (14 sq m) of floorspace split between a living area
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The Roving features 154 sq ft (14 sq m) of floorspace split between a living area
With the Roving tiny house the idea is, handy types willing to roll up their sleeves can buy a kit or a completed shell without interior. Those wanting the hard work done for them can purchase it complete too
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With the Roving tiny house the idea is, handy types willing to roll up their sleeves can buy a kit or a completed shell without interior. Those wanting the hard work done for them can purchase it complete too
The Man Cave features a small kitchenette, plus a pull-out BBQ in the rear
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The Man Cave features a small kitchenette, plus a pull-out BBQ in the rear
The exterior of the Man Cave is pretty basic and plain
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The exterior of the Man Cave is pretty basic and plain
The Man Cave gets electricity from a roof-based solar array
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The Man Cave gets electricity from a roof-based solar array
The Man Cave's tiny putting strip
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The Man Cave's tiny putting strip
The Man Cave's upstairs balcony can be reached via exterior stairs
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The Man Cave's upstairs balcony can be reached via exterior stairs
The Man Cave features gun racks and fishing gear
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The Man Cave features gun racks and fishing gear
Designed by Upper Valley Tiny Homes, the Man Cave is best suited for hunting trips, weekends away and the like
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Designed by Upper Valley Tiny Homes, the Man Cave is best suited for hunting trips, weekends away and the like
The Man Cave squeezes in a total of three separate sleeping areas
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The Man Cave squeezes in a total of three separate sleeping areas
The wildcard of our selection, the Man Cave tiny house costs only $42,830
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The wildcard of our selection, the Man Cave tiny house costs only $42,830
The Man Cave's upstairs balcony can be reached via exterior stairs
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The Man Cave's upstairs balcony can be reached via exterior stairs
The Man Cave features gun racks and fishing gear
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The Man Cave features gun racks and fishing gear
The Bitterroot Valley is clad in reclaimed materials and off-cuts, including rough cut lap cedar, rusty reclaimed corrugated metal, and cedar shakes
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The Bitterroot Valley is clad in reclaimed materials and off-cuts, including rough cut lap cedar, rusty reclaimed corrugated metal, and cedar shakes
Inside, the Bitterroot Valley tiny house includes a main living area, kitchenette and bathroom, in addition to an upstairs loft reached by storage-integrated staircase
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Inside, the Bitterroot Valley tiny house includes a main living area, kitchenette and bathroom, in addition to an upstairs loft reached by storage-integrated staircase
According to Rocky Mountain Tiny Houses, the Bitterroot Valley tiny house gets its name from Montana's Bitterroot Valley and its picturesque barns
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According to Rocky Mountain Tiny Houses, the Bitterroot Valley tiny house gets its name from Montana's Bitterroot Valley and its picturesque barns
The interior is so spartan as the customer intends to stain and paint the interior of the Bitterroot Valley herself
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The interior is so spartan as the customer intends to stain and paint the interior of the Bitterroot Valley herself
The Bitterroot Valley's kitchenette includes a sink and two-burner stove
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The Bitterroot Valley's kitchenette includes a sink and two-burner stove
Storage-integrated stairs lead to the Bitterroot Valley's loft bedroom
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Storage-integrated stairs lead to the Bitterroot Valley's loft bedroom
New Atlas highlights the five best tiny houses currently available to purchase for under $50,000
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New Atlas highlights the five best tiny houses currently available to purchase for under $50,000
View towards the Vista's bedroom area
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View towards the Vista's bedroom area
The Vista's bedroom area/day bed with optional pop-up TV
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The Vista's bedroom area/day bed with optional pop-up TV
The Vista has plenty of storage 
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The Vista has plenty of storage 
The Vista's dining table
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The Vista's dining table
Shot of the Vista's kitchen area
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Shot of the Vista's kitchen area
The Vista can be outfitted to operate off-grid
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The Vista can be outfitted to operate off-grid
The Vista is clad in clear cedar siding and trim, with steel accent and protective panels
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The Vista is clad in clear cedar siding and trim, with steel accent and protective panels
Inside the Vista, floorspace is split between a kitchen and main living area, bathroom and bedroom area
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Inside the Vista, floorspace is split between a kitchen and main living area, bathroom and bedroom area
View gallery - 40 images

If there's one trend that's surprised us in the small living movement, it's the steady rise in prices, to the point that luxury models fetching around US$100,000 are pretty much the norm. That said, there are still affordable options out there and each of these five tiny houses are available for under $50,000.

To be clear, we're only covering homes that are available to purchase (or at least were at time of writing) and have tried to feature as wide a variety of designs as possible, including a modern design, barn-style tiny house, and a non-towable shipping container-based home.

Here's our pick of the five best tiny houses under $50,000, plus a few honorable mentions, and be sure to check out the gallery for more images of each tiny house.

Vista

The Vista's bedroom area/day bed with optional pop-up TV
The Vista's bedroom area/day bed with optional pop-up TV

Escape is a big hitter in the tiny house scene and has produced a number of attractive homes, but at $46,600 the standard Vista hits the sweet spot between features, size and price. With a total floorspace of 160 sq ft (14.8 sq m) all laid-out on one level, there's not a whole lot of room available in there, but hopefully the generous glazing prevents it from feeling too claustrophobic.

The Vista includes a kitchenette, dining and living area, and a bedroom area. There are plenty of options available too, including a pop-up TV in the bedroom and a full off-grid setup with solar power, composting toilet, etc.

For those looking to save even more money, the firm also offers smaller and cheaper iterations of the Vista: the Vista Go and Vista Sport, the latter costing just $29,800.

Bitterroot Valley

The Bitterroot Valley is clad in reclaimed materials and off-cuts, including rough cut lap cedar, rusty reclaimed corrugated metal, and cedar shakes
The Bitterroot Valley is clad in reclaimed materials and off-cuts, including rough cut lap cedar, rusty reclaimed corrugated metal, and cedar shakes

Deriving both its name and design cues from the weathered barns that dot Montana's Bitterroot Valley, this tiny house sits on a 20 ft (6 m)-long trailer and was constructed using SIPs (structural insulated panels). It's clad in reclaimed materials and off-cuts, including rough cut lap cedar, rusty reclaimed corrugated metal, and cedar shakes.

Inside, the Bitterroot Valley tiny house includes a main living area, kitchenette and bathroom, in addition to an upstairs loft reached via storage-integrated staircase. Floorspace comes in at 272 sq ft (25,2 sq m) and though the model we covered recently didn't even have a shower, Rocky Mountain Tiny Houses says it will build another with water heater, shower, basic appliances and plumbing for $46,000.

Man Cave

The exterior of the Man Cave is pretty basic and plain
The exterior of the Man Cave is pretty basic and plain

The wildcard of our selection, the Man Cave is less a proper house and more a party pad on wheels. Designed by Upper Valley Tiny Homes, the Man Cave is best suited for hunting trips, weekends away and the like, and measures just 7 x 18 ft (2.1 x 5.5 m). Its price currently comes in at $42,830.

Aside from a basketball hoop and a ladder to access the rooftop deck, the exterior is pretty plain, while a removable ramp and garage door allows a (small) quad bike to be driven right inside. The snug dwelling includes three beds, including a sleeping loft upstairs, while elsewhere lies a tiny putting strip, kitchenette, and bathroom with toilet and shower.

At the rear of the Man Cave is a large slide-out BBQ and power comes from a 500 W rooftop-based solar array.

Roving

The Roving features 154 sq ft (14 sq m) of floorspace split between a living area
The Roving features 154 sq ft (14 sq m) of floorspace split between a living area

US building supplies firm 84 Lumber takes a neat approach to tiny houses that we're surprised isn't offered by more firms. With its Roving tiny house the idea is that handy types willing to roll up their sleeves can buy either a Build-Your-Own kit with trailer, plans, and materials for $6,884, or a Semi-DIY kit for $19,884, which includes tiny house shell and trailer already complete. Those who prefer their tiny houses built for them can purchase the Move-In Ready option for $49,884.

The tiny house itself has a total floorspace of 154 sq ft (14 sq m), split between a living area, kitchen, closet, and bathroom with shower and composting toilet. A sleeping loft and secondary storage loft are both accessed by ladder.

Custom Container Living

This unnamed shipping container home by Archie, Missouri-based Custom Container Living will set you back $47,000
This unnamed shipping container home by Archie, Missouri-based Custom Container Living will set you back $47,000

Not a tiny house on wheels but still very much part of the small living movement, this unnamed shipping container home by Archie, Missouri-based Custom Container Living will set you back $47,000.

For the money, you get 312 sq ft (28 sq m) living space built from a single 40 ft (12 m) shipping container that has been cut and extended in height by 30-in (76.2 cm). The interior includes a main living area, kitchenette and a generously-proportioned bathroom with tub and shower. Storage-integrated stairs lead to the sleeping loft and a secondary smaller small lies at the other side of the home for storage purposes.

The firm also offers another larger container home that's suitable for a family for $54,900.

Honorable mentions

That rounds out our look at sub-$50,000 tiny houses. A few models worth a mention that didn't make the cut include France's Tiny Stream, which costs the equivalent of just $26,600 and the Wheel Pad, a disabled-access tiny house not intended for full time living for sale for $50,000.

There's also Escape's Vintage, which offers a more traditional cottage-style look but costs $59,800. Finally, a tiny house that was built for just $500 highlights what can be achieved with some scrap materials and a lot of hard work (not to mention a friendly landowner to let you put the home on).

View gallery - 40 images
9 comments
GaryA.Miller
Why is the cost per square foot for tiny houses so much more than for a regular house? I understand they have wheels under them but that should be offset by the cost of not needing a foundation.
Helios
@GaryA.Miller Because as others so long ago understood, there is a sucker born every minute.
CourtA.Newkirk
I fully understand the concept of downsizing one's living space. But ! Here in Oklahoma you can have a very energy efficient full sized home with a space to protect the investment you made in your car for these same prices. Plus a yard where one can grow their own food.
MerlinGuy
At this rate they will be selling refrigerator boxes with composting toilets for $10,000.
RogerMepham
If you are interested in "tiny houses" you should check out British caravans like for example the Bailey Vigo http://www.baileyofbristol.co.uk/bailey-unicorn-vigo/
My wife and I have lived in one for the past year, including 2 months touring in Italy, see http://www.janeandroger.com
These cost around $30,000, are lightweight and very comfortable. The UK has a thriving caravan scene with dealers and sites all over the country.
Daishi
I looked a bit and it actually appears to be pretty expensive to build these. The square footage is low but you still have heating, kitchen, bathroom, plumbing, electrical, etc. and they are all custom. You could save some money going DIY at the cost of a lot of time. If I were seriously considering something like this I think it would be hard to talk me out of looking going with an all weather camping trailer instead of similar or less money. Even the high end all weather camping trailers like Northwood Arctic Fox 25Y are $10k cheaper than the lower end custom made tiny homes. My grandparents generation were living RVs and campers in campgrounds around the country for years before the tiny home thing and tiny home communities became popular.
Tom Lee Mullins
I think those are really nice. I would not mind living in one of those.
Bob
How can there be a best tiny house design when there are not even any good ones??? I'm serious. Every small RV or travel trailer I have ever seen beats these inefficient designs by a huge margin and they cost less, much less.
RobertLaQuey
Such nonsense. I am an American expat living in the Philippines. I can show you small homes that cost $1000 to $2000 all day long here.