Alright, so you’ve set your sights on becoming the new owner of a tiny home. What’s next? Location, location, location. It doesn’t matter if you dream of having a mobile tiny home or a more permanent one, because where you decide to settle on will make a huge difference in your quality of living.
It’s true that tiny living provides flexibility in terms of mobility – for homes on wheels, specifically – and design, as you are not tied down to the features of a conventional home. Unlike traditional houses where regulations are well known and more common knowledge, tiny homes are subject to very different zoning and structure laws.
But don’t let this put you off – the tiny living lifestyle can all be worth it. All it takes is thorough planning and a little bit of proactiveness to find a suitable location to live in. Read on below to find out more on where best to put your tiny house.
Establish your type
Does your house measure less than 400 square feet? If so, congratulations – you’re officially the owner of a tiny home. According to the International Code Council, this is the main requirement to be considered a tiny home. They may not require a minimum size requirement for the rooms, but some local municipalities may enforce different rules.
As tiny home enthusiasts will know, tiny houses come in all different shapes and sizes. But there are two main overarching types: mobile and permanent. When you know what type of house you have, it will ease the decision process. Mobile homes, also known as tiny homes on wheels (THOW), require a thought-out parking plan when you are taking it places.
Building a permanent tiny home means you may be able to live in more unique and remote areas. However, a tiny house built on a foundation is still subject to local building codes and inspections like traditional homes. There may also be non-building regulations to abide to as well, which we’ll uncover.
The most important thing is to know the places where you can park your home legally. Although the tiny home movement is growing rapidly, it’s still stuck in a gray area for most people. Tiny homes can be found all over the country, but some states are more open to them than others.
If a particular state is an important part in your move to the tiny home lifestyle, be sure to do your research before making the jump. A quick search online can help with that: many outlets list California, Texas, Colorado, Florida, and Oregon as the top five states for tiny houses.
Once you’ve narrowed down your geographical location, you can begin to do even more research. You should study on the zoning laws of that particular area, otherwise known as the rules that govern what kind of physical structures can be placed and where. Each state will have their own laws and it’s best to keep up to date with them before moving in.
A tiny house is still ambiguous, as there is still no uniformed, strict definition of what they are. Some places will label your THOW as a house, while some jurisdictions won’t unless your house has a foundation. Before you settle on the idea that an RV vehicle gives you more mobility and flexibility, make sure this is what you want, as some areas won’t allow you to stay longer for a given period of time.
Where to park or build
RVIA (Recreation Vehicle Industry Association) certified homes can park where RVs park. These parks are convenient in all the ways: utilities are set up and ready to go – including water, electricity, and wifi – and there are communal amenities like pools, gyms and common areas. Depending on the RV park, you can stay long-term or have monthly stays at a discounted rate.
Campgrounds and national parks
In the US, there’s an abundance of natural parks to enjoy and park in for rest. Unlike RV parks, you may not be able to stay there for long. Campgrounds and parks are better off for short-term stays. When you do park in any of these, make sure to have a plan for getting drinking water and ample sunlight, if your home depends on solar power.
Out in the country, there are plenty of parking options for THOWs and land to build permanently. It’s also suitable for those looking to live off the grid and become more sustainable. Rural counties are also less strict when it comes to building regulations, but it still pays to research on the rules before heading in.
ADU (Accessory Dwelling Unit)
An ADU is an independent dwelling unit that’s located on the same lot as a stand-alone house. This can be a unit in the basement, converted garage or upper floor. Keep in mind that you will need to comply with strict housing and zoning regulations if you’re going to build a tiny home in an existing abode. THOWs have it easier when moving in due to its flexibility.
A part of the Tiny House Network, they offer listings for private parking, spots on farms, tiny house communities, and more. Most of the listings are also publicly rated to provide transparency to its users. The all-encompassing directory also makes it easy to discover new business and view it on an interactive map.
Tiny House Map
Created by Dan Louche of Tiny Home Builders, this interactive search map helps people to find available land to rent. It’s also made for those that are starting their journey into building tiny homes.
Tiny House Hosting
Tiny House Hosting is a Facebook group for tiny home owners to connect with those with land for rent or sale. Other listings come up on this group as well, such as tiny homes for rent and opportunities to start tiny house communities. The social media platform still proves to be popular, with over 18,000 members already in the group.