So you have decided to make the move into a tiny home, but you are stuck wondering where the heck you are going to put it. This article will help you decide where exactly to put your new home and what some of the best places around the world are that are known as premier spots for tiny homes. Whether you are looking to place it in a city, out in the middle of nowhere, or in a tiny home community, we will look at the legalities and the options that are available for you!
Where can you legally put it:
Before you decide to set down your roots, it is important to know what factors to consider before you plop your tiny home onto your new property.
The first thing you want to know is if you are able to put your home on wheels on the property, or if you need to build your tiny home as a stationary house. You will want to look at the zoning requirements of the location you want to put it to make sure you are following the rules.
Tiny Homes have a square footage regulation to be considered tiny homes. Generally, they are required to be 400 square feet or less. If you are planning to move your tiny home somewhere you are not familiar with, it is important to check what that communities’ own requirements are because they may be different. Also note that square footage requirements only apply to homes that are stationary, so if you are on wheels this will not apply to you.
A good thing to remember is that if your home is built on a foundation it will be subject to all building codes and inspections.
If your Tiny Home is on wheels, in many jurisdictions it is technically declared as an RV which means it doesn’t even qualify as a house. This can sometimes be a good thing because it will qualify you for more options to place your home. A good way to make sure you are in compliance with zoning is to ask your realtor when you purchase your land.
You can also place your tiny home as an ADU. An ADU is an Accessory Dwelling Unit, which is a secondary unit placed on an already existing single-family residence. So, basically, if you build your tiny home on a foundation that you place on the property of someone who already has a home on that property it will be considered an ADU.
Currently, tiny homes are legal in every state, however the zoning legality is the problem. You may find that some states have stricter restrictions on where you can legally park your tiny home permanently, and they may not allow permanent parking for tiny homes on wheels at all. You may have to use a variety of temporary parking locations or may only be allowed to build a permanent foundation tiny home.
Parking options for tiny homes are available in mostly every state. These locations can be RV parks, National Parks, Campgrounds, Tiny House Communities, Towns that accept tiny homes, Rural locations, or as an ADU.
What are the best cities and where can I put it?
Briley Township, Michigan: This township has become more tiny home friendly in the recent years. They have adopted a zoning ordinance that allows people to live in tiny homes between 240 and 500 square feet year-round. In order to meet this requirement, you must have your foundation approved and must meet other requirements the township has set. This township is nice to live in for the outdoorsman because it is known for its abundance of deer and elk and it also has many nice fishing lakes.
Washington County, Utah: Although this county requires homes to be at least 800 square feet, they have updated their zoning requirement in 2016 to allow tiny homes in residential areas. The stipulation to this requirement is that you must have a foundation and you must be hooked up to all utilities.
Walsenburg, Colorado: This town of 3,000 changed their zoning rules so that you are now allowed to build your tiny home on a regular residential lot, which makes it one of the most tiny home friendly towns in America! This means you must have a foundation and not be on wheels, and you must hook up to city utilities.
Fresno, California: Fresno was the very first city to allow secondary dwelling units on wheels to be placed on residential lots. This meant that any residential lot with a primary dwelling could have a tiny home placed on the same lot. In previous years, they would only allow this if the owner of the tiny home was the caregiver for the primary home owner on the lot, but since this new regulation was issued in 2015, you could place a tiny home (stationary or not) on any residential lot already occupied by a home.
Where are the best rural locations?
If you are looking to stray away from the busy city life or just away from a community in general, you might find pleasure in placing your tiny home in an awesome rural location.
If you are looking for a cool spot for a temporary tiny home location, the beach is definitely a number one choice. Tiny homes make great vacation homes, and you can usually rent a temporary location next to the beach to set them down at. A lot of people will rent out their own land for tiny home owners to park.
If you are more of an outdoorsman and want something permanent, you can look for National Parks or State Parks that allow permanent parking for your tiny home. Another option for living in the woods would be to purchase a very small piece of land for a low price off of someone or building your tiny home as an ADU on someone’s land. Building as an ADU is often cheaper than renting a piece of land at a park while still offering a view of the great outdoors.
Another great option for water and forest lovers is a lakeside spot. Lakeside rentals are usually available for temporary placement at state parks or national parks. You could also build as an ADU on land owned by someone else that owns a lake if you know someone. If you get lucky and find a piece of land to buy that has part of a lake or a small pond on it, you can build on your own land!
You can virtually place your tiny home anywhere you desire as long as it meets the law requirements and you are legally renting a space. If you find a space that will allow it weather on a mountain or in a valley, you are all set to go!
What are the best tiny home communities?
1. Flat Rock, North Carolina: This development is made up of about 6 different micro-communities featuring 400-550 square feet tiny homes. Here, you can lease your piece of land and have all of your land maintenance and utilities rolled into your monthly cost. There are also amenities on the property like a pool, a yoga studio, a dog park, a fishing pond, and plenty of open grass.
If you like to adventure, this is a nice region in the Blue Ridge Mountains so you can enjoy hiking, boating, mountain biking, and more right next your home! You can purchase your own tiny home in the development or bring your own. Homes start at $99,500.00 and your monthly lease will start at $550.00 a month.
2. Community First! Village, Austin, Texas: This village is a wonderful 51-acre development that is dedicated to giving their tiny homes to people who are coming out of chronic homelessness for low prices so that they can have a nice home to live in while rebuilding their life. If you are struggling financially and/or have been living on the streets this is a great place for you to find a community of tiny homes being offered to help people.
3. Spur, Texas: With lots starting at just $5,000.00, Spur has become one of the most tiny home friendly communities in the nation. Now with over 1,000 tiny homes in the community, Spur is a growing development of tiny home lovers. They even have their own golf course!
4. Four Lights Tiny House Village, Sonoma, California: This tiny home village in California is a great place to be a part of a growing tiny home community. The village was planned with the idea to share a lot of amenities so that people can enjoy their tiny homes without needing to worry about allocating some of the little space they have to certain things like lawnmowers, washers, dryers, etc. The village features shared wash rooms and shared lawn equipment which makes it cheaper for residents to live there.
With a range of $35,000- $90,000.00 and monthly fees to cover the cost of shared living spaces, this village is a lot cheaper to live in than other places in California. It also is very cute! Winding stone pathways and an old-style village look will provide you with a very homely looking community and make you feel like you are part of your own little town.
There are a lot of places in the world where you can place a tiny home. When deciding where you want to place it, it is important to consider whether you want your location to be permanent or temporary. If you are planning to travel a lot, look up a few state parks and national parks you want to live in temporarily around the world. If you want to choose your forever property, there are also plenty of options and Tiny Home friendly towns and cities for you to visit to choose a place that feels like home.
Before you settle on a location please make sure that you research all of the requirements of the state, county, and town that you are planning to live in to make sure that you are not going against regulations. It is always safer to build on a foundation if you are planning to stay stationary, although this sometimes costs more. As a traveler, you still have a lot of options and likely the more scenic options as well.
Living in a tiny home community is a great way to live with people who enjoy the tiny home life like you, and it is a good way to save some money on equipment that can be shared like lawn mowers and washing machines. Plus, you’ll feel like you are living in a high-end development with all of the amenities available to you.
Have fun exploring your tiny home location options, and may all of your dreams come true!