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Nowadays you can buy just about anything you need on Amazon and have it delivered to your door for free within two days. That includes a house.
If you already own a plot of land (or have plans to buy some) and are content with the tiny house lifestyle, you can in fact buy a home to live in on Amazon. If you have your heart set on buying a more traditional home from an individual seller or new housing development, then you really should stick with a platform like Orchard to find your next home.
Let’s take a closer look at Amazon’s housing options.
Can you buy a house on Amazon?
In short, yes, you can buy a home on Amazon, but the house options are quite limited. The houses on Amazon are usually prefabricated tiny houses or kits for building a tiny house on your own. While Amazon isn’t limited to selling only tiny houses, it’s easy to see why the homes they sell are usually 1,000 square feet or smaller.
If you are looking to downsize (or to upsize from a small apartment or home), then you may find that one of Amazon’s homes can easily meet your needs. After all, the average apartment size in New York City is 866 square feet and Amazon sells houses bigger than that at 1,000 square feet — which isn’t all that tiny in the scheme of things.
What are tiny houses?
In case you haven’t come across the tiny house trend before, let’s break down what these charming abodes are. Usually tiny houses are between 100 and 400 square feet in size. It’s considered rare to come across a tiny house that is larger than 500 square feet. So even though some of the homes for sale on Amazon look like tiny houses at first glance, some are actually closer to a normal home size. Often tiny houses are prefabricated or come in a kit that you need to assemble yourself.
Tiny houses rose in popularity during the 2008 financial crisis when unemployment rates soared and some found it hard to afford more traditional housing. Others like tiny houses because of their lower environmental impact. Not only is it cheaper to buy a tiny house, but it is much cheaper to pay for utilities, maintenance, and furnishing in such a small space.
You can place a tiny house on land you own or rent or can join a tiny house community made up of other tiny houses.
Costs to consider when buying a tiny house
While the homes for sale on Amazon are significantly cheaper than buying a normal house, you can still expect to make your biggest Amazon purchase yet. Their tiny houses (also known as container houses or cabin kits) tend to cost between $5,000 and $65,000. These homes are so affordable you may even be able to skip taking out a mortgage loan.
You also need to secure the land you will place the home on at an additional cost and you can’t buy land from Amazon. You can however order all of the necessary home accessories you need to make your tiny house your own like furniture and kitchen supplies.
Other separate costs to consider include things like insulation if you live somewhere where the temperatures drop and utility hookups.
Should you buy a house on Amazon?
There’s nothing necessarily wrong with the houses sold on Amazon, so you will need to decide if their offerings can meet your lifestyle needs. If you’re looking for a smaller and more affordable spot to call home for a few years, a tiny house may work well for you and save you a lot of cash on overpriced rent. However, if you’re looking to raise a family or to put down more permanent roots, a house you find on Amazon may not be able to provide the space or permanency you need.
At the end of the day a home built on a sturdy foundation is the higher quality choice, but it will come at, obviously, a higher price point.
Still not sure where you land? Ask yourself these questions for more insight.
- Where will your tiny house or prefabricated house go? Do you already have land to place your Amazon house on? If so, did you confirm that you can add a home to that land with your local zoning board? Make sure you have all of your ducks in a row here.
- Do you have a plan for utilities? Again, before you click “Order,” you need to have a plan in place for handling utilities. You need to know how you will get power, water, and internet service in your home as well as how you will deal with sewage disposal.
- What are your seasons like? Does the home you plan to order make it easy to access or incorporate heating and cooling systems into the home? If your area has brutally cold winters, will you be okay with spending a whole winter indoors in a home that small?
- Does a home from Amazon meet your lifestyle needs? If you like to throw parties, do yoga every night before bed, or to have a lot of pets, the smaller home options on Amazon might not work for you.
- Will you be living with anyone else? Can you handle sharing a small bathroom, kitchen, and other living spaces with another person (like an unmarried partner)? If you work from home you might find yourself getting especially cramped on the workdays.
- Can Amazon meet your needs? There are tiny house builders that will allow you to customize your home. You will find that Amazon’s home options are on the more generic side.
Take some time to think over this decision carefully and crunch the numbers on how much this move might really cost you. You may find that saving up for a more traditional home is more worthwhile.