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5 Tips for Designing a Tiny Home

5 Tips for Designing a Tiny Home

Tiny homes seem to be all the rage online. But could you actually live in one? If so, Donna Murray, of COMPASS Real Estate, who is currently in training to be an ADU specialist, offers tips on how to take the next steps to living your dreams.

1. Layout your design.

You may have dreams of living in a tiny home, but could you do it? Donna recommends finding a design you like online or one you make yourself and getting an idea of how big it actually is with tape or with lawn spray paint to see it “in real life.”

There are a number of software programs out there that can give you a feel for how to design your house. You just have to get started!

2. Know your land.

You need to find out if your house will be permitted on whatever piece of property you plan on building on. Are there certain spots you aren’t permitted to build due to legal or environmental restrictions? Are there floods? What way does the sun rise and set? These are important questions to ask yourself in the planning process.

3. Downsize

If you are going to live in a tiny-house full time you need to begin editing your belongings. This won’t happen overnight. This may be emotional, tough and tedious, but unless you want to spend lots of money on a storage unit, all the contents of your home will not likely be able to come with you.

4. Be inspired

Read books, go online, check out guides, watch TV shows and be inspired by all of the ideas before you start planning your own home. Don’t just romance the idea. Keep a list of things you like or don’t like. Good planning will help you design a house that will be beneficial for you.

5. Experience living tiny

Spend the weekend in a luxury camper or an Airbnb tiny house and see if you can actually picture living this way full-time. Look at the house and see what you like. How does It flow? What works and what doesn’t? Take pictures and soak it in. Come back and journal about your experience, which may help you determine if the tiny house life truly might be for you.

More about Tiny Homes

And tiny homes are not just for you to live in. You can add a tiny house on your own property to serve a number of uses. Not only does it increase property value, it can be used to host family and guests from out of town, be a low-cost housing option for senior family members or caretakers, have adult children or college graduates a place to live or offer the ultimate home office or work out space.

Donna notes this could be extra income for the owner to rent. A multigenerational family could use a tiny house to create greater housing flexibility and security.

When it comes time to sell your home, Donna has expertise about what shows well and catches a potential buyers eye. Reach out to her at or call 908-391-8396.


Donna Murray is a Real Estate Salesperson with Compass Real Estate and specializes as a Listing Agent and a Buyers Agent, specializing in Relocation and Consulting. She can be reached at or 908-391-8396 with any questions. 

Donna ranked in the top % of real estate agents in Mercer County. Working together with her team helps Donna meet your needs promptly and to achieve their real estate goals. To Donna real estate is not only a career but a passion.

Donna partnered with Compass RE as a founding agent of their Princeton office. With the solutions-driven mindset of a startup and the sophistication of a luxury brand, Compass supports the aspirational goals Donna has set for her business. 



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