Top 5 Biggest Barriers To The Tiny House Movement

I was driving into work today when the idea came to me for this article.  Why does it have to be so difficult to achieve the life so many of us would love to live?  There are no simple answers to our reasons, but we need to face them head on.  Since I don’t like to focus on the negatives too much, my next post will be on some of the possible solutions and approaches to overcome these barriers.

UPDATE:   Here are the solutions to these:   Part 1  and Part 2


Getting Land for sale


One of the largest hurdles for people wanting to live in a Tiny House is access to land.  Land is expensive, in growing short supply and people want a balance of having land and being close to city or town centers where they can access services, entertainment and employment.  These things are often in conflict with each other.  The closer to the city center, the smaller and more expensive the lots.  To have a Tiny House, you don’t need much land for the actual house, but you do need enough to be able to obscure the house from prying eyes in order to fly under the radar of code enforcement and curmudgeons.

Problem Getting Land


At this point, banks don’t feel that Tiny Houses are a viable option because they don’t have a good resale value.  This means their loan isn’t secured with collateral.  It is this dynamic that means for us to get access to loans, we need to get creative.  Some borrow from a family member, some save up years to pay with cash, others use credit cards and carry a balance.  There isn’t a good answer in this area yet, it’s a tough problem to crack.

Tiny Home Violations


Despite the approach of putting a tiny house on trailer, this isn’t the magic bullet that it is often claimed to be.  The issue comes when you look at your municipality’s minimum habitable structure definition.  These definitions almost always exclude Tiny Houses from being a dwelling and give code enforcement a strong leg to stand on when it comes to condemning your Tiny Home and/or levying fines.  This code does serve a good purpose; it prevents abuse on the part of slum lords and gives a mechanism for the courts to hold slum lords accountable.

Laws and zoning

Social Pressures

In our society today, bigger is better, more is better, we are conditioned to want more and more stuff.  These cultural norms are a very strong current in maintaining the status quo.  Tiny Houses fly in the face of such things, questioning much of what people hold dear.  People can react in a very visceral way when we suggest there is a problem with the way things are.  People work their whole lives to get as much stuff as they can, to suggest that is wrong, in a way, is to suggest their life’s work is wrong.  People can get very defensive and social pressures can make the shift to living a simple life in a Tiny House very difficult with some people.  We need to be sure not to come off as judgmental or preachy, we want to present it simply as an alternative.

Don't be afraid to fail


This ties into a few of the above points, but is none the less a real barrier.  When faced with the prospect of bucking the system, initiating a radical lifestyle change, and spending a good chunk of money to do it, it can be scary.  I know from personal experience when you are close to the moment where you must make the decision, where you have to take the leap, a whole series of self-doubts come to the surface.  You are left trying to decide if these doubts are simply normal big decision jitters or if they are valid concerns your unconscious is trying to make you aware of.  The sorting of these thoughts and processing of them is taxing, a little emotional, and of course scary.  Even those of us who deal with change well will struggle with this significantly, fear is a powerful emotion and we must face it to achieve our goal.

What are some ways we can over come these?

Let us know in the comments!

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  1. Really wish builders in the city would start building tiny home neighborhoods! I’d love it! Could build one in the country but then you’re stuck in a tiny house 24/7 with nothing to do or anywhere to go!

    Don’t see it really taking soon b/c Americans think they “need” 2,000+ sq ft to live!! Sad!

    • Americans are being told incessantly that they are ‘consumers’ as if that’s a good thing – I was at the doc’s today waiting for someone and read a rare Woman’s Day magazine – it was 99% ads hidden as ‘feature articles’ with dozens of pretty things you were encouraged to buy to re-decorate or renovate your house, with price and source handily mentioned. A discussion of weight loss on one page followed by a ridiculously rich dessert on another… it’s obscene. ALL the magazines are like this, encouraging a blatantly costly lifestyle, redecorating to impress people, and the underlying theme is ‘you’re not good enough, your house isn’t good enough, spend more, spend more, spend more. Resisting it all takes an act of willpower on a daily basis, and turning off all commercial (heh) inputs from the teevee to the radio to magazines. Oh, and use ABP (AdBlock Plus) on your computer to block ads there too… I look forward to the day that the building codes are changed to allow a person to do what they want on their own lot (when that flag they’ve been waving in our face actually means ‘freedom’) and when the building codes are changed to accommodate everyone, not just the rich and those with enough money to pay the fees and ‘hookup’ charges that are now required to build even a modest house.

      Someone needs to sue to allow tiny house and off grid housing to be ‘allowed’ constitutionally…

      • “But what about the resale value?” is what I often hear.

        Well, damn. I’m not planning to sell it, I’m planning to live in it.

        When did our dwelling places come to be seen as a supposed money maker?

        • We lived in 3,300 square foot house, the kids are gone now,
          time for smaller place. We lived in 1200 square foot and it felt tight it was a badly designed space. We are building a 2200 square foot house for us, and future grandkids. We bought a prefab to live in while we wait for the house.
          The space is 420 sq. foot modern,light bright with lots o transom windows, high ceilings, Maple floor, and maple kitchen cabinets, We knew ahead of time we would lose money on this investment, so we plan to just rent it out.We picked all the colors to be neutral and made sure that the place feels light and open, we hope that will work in our favor when we rent it. That is one way to slowly get back your investment.

          And to the guy that moved to the Oregon Coast more power to you, Why get caught up in debt, when you can be free to do what you want and live the life you want. Enjoy your life!

          • Where did you buy the pre-fab house? And did you buy another lot to put it on? Or did you buy it used? I guess I have to research what pre-fab means. Thnx for info.

        • I’m actually looking to buy one, but prices are way to high,

          I have 10gs at my disposal to get one,

          I was thinking about buying a trailer home for 4/5gs stripping the wood and redoing it with the remainder of it’s origanal utilities, and funds.

          Giving a 15foot total of hight,
          So I have my loft,

          Wondering if since it will be a guest room/man cave,
          If I can have it I’m my 2acre backyard kinda like a grown up house fort on wheels.

          • Finding low property taxes is possible. What stays are heating and cooling costs. Big place=big bills. Right now, my kitchen, dining, storage/clothes is all in a 140 sq ft area; which includes 15 appliances, 32 pairs of shoes and 15 coats/jackets. My tiny house will have the height for a loft and parked in the back of a large parcel.

            Bottom line: yes, I intend to live in a rural area; not much traffic, zoning for rvs, etc. It will also have a house on property. This way, I am paying property taxes, I have multiple-use land and I’m away from neighbors who may be anti-tiny.

            Below bottom line: It’s unfair, so anti-constitutional to limit the legal sq footage and height a person can inhabit. It’s unfortunate that tiny house people, the most environmentally-conscience people must ‘hide’, must move sometimes 100’s of miles to find land where they are ‘somewhat’ accepted.

            In the ’90’s I rented rooms in my house, to pay the mortgage and corrupt inflated taxes. My ceiling height was 2″ below their 7’5″ limit and deemed ‘unsafe’. Unsafe for whom? Giants?? Well, with every angry boarder, neighbor – I went to court. I paid a fine. I was warned. WHAT DID I DO? WHAT COULD I DO? My daughter liked her school, I stayed. This was my home, my land. I stayed and paid. AND THAT’S WHAT I INTEND TO DO AGAIN IF NEED BE.

            Yes, zoning laws are outdated. But before anything changes – remember: no one wants to put tiny home dwellers in jail. no one’s burning down tiny houses! If you get a summons – appear in court and shake it off! Will it happen again? meh, maybe. I went to court 5 times. While paying $263k in property taxes I had no rights. It’s just court, folks!

          • As long as you are thought to be living in your main house, they have no problem with you camping in your backyard in your tiny house for years.

            Also, 15 feet high?! You’ll never be able to move it legally without having to pay a lot.

      • Hello,
        Although it’s over a year – everything you said is true squared. Holiday ads have done it again – more is more! I shop with ‘tiny house vision’ ergo – ‘..would this fit in a tiny house?..’ BACK TO CODES, AERIAL PHOTOS, FENCES, and all strategies to live simply: it’s horrific. There should be laws limiting how LARGE a dwelling can be built Considering climate change; expansion – using more energy and other resources, taking down trees, limiting the Earth in its natural state – is the real crime. During WWII we had camo to hide aircraft carriers from enemy planes – is a tiny house that serious a threat??

      • Great critique. Sadly our current capitalist economy depends on the consumer-culture which US citizens gladly accommodate. Those very ads you describe, other media, credit/banks, ceos, pop stars, franchises, megamarts and shopping-addictions help buttress that entire paradigm, but I hope public critiques like yours and, especially, action like tiny-house building can cause a paradigm shift and set people free. Barter economies, limiting carbon footprints, self-discipline (“I will NOT buy that”), and critical thinking aren’t new, just beyond the reach of many due to brainwashing by cultural norms…let’s change that!

      • Perhaps we should file a class action lawsuit on behalf of all the people who can’t afford housing, yet can’t find a legal place to locate the tiny house they could afford.

        • Right!?! as we all see the price for rent sky rocket and no one is doing anything about it but there isn’t any other options besides ending up on the streets. I have two little ones at home living on the streets isn’t an option but I don’t know what to even do anymore. I wish that I could afford a tiny home I currently pay $800 a month for rent and my lease ends in 3 months I am scared to even hear how much the prices have gone up since I signed the lease. They had gone up $75 within the first week after signing which is crazy! on top of that I pay $600/month for one childs child care. I don’t even know how they expect people to survive anymore.

    • That’s what I’m currently attempting to do.

      If you’ve made any progress in this please let me know.

      I want to have tiny house spread out for an entire neighborhood of like minded individuals looking for a a different way of living.

      • Reed,
        Thanks – me too! Nothing would be better than to live in a tiny house neighborhood; surrounded by people with the same vision of lifestyle and global awareness. It would be awesome. And it would be great being surrounded by a variety of expressive exteriors.

        • Aren’t those called RV parks? Mobile home parks? Really! To much hype for me… Tiny homes are just customized RV’s…and not necessarily built to the same standards and specifications…

          • RV parks /=/ global awareness. Sorry to burst your bubble.

          • There is a huge difference between mobile homes and thows. Mobile homes are the ugliest dwellings ever created, so toxic there are forms of cancer that only mobile home dwellers get. I have watched with dismay the charming early designs of Jay Shafer be replaced by essentially double decker trailers.

            Lower income should not mean a sacrifice in health or charm.

    • I agree. I would love to see neighborhoodsome of tiny houses. I think builders would be surprised to see the numbers of people interested in buying them if they were really available.

      • It’s not really up to Builders. It is up to the City. Have to start there.

        • RVs aren’t meant to be lived in full-time, so the HVAC isn’t always as efficient as a house (of any size). They’re NOT ‘glorified RVs/mobile homes’; they have insulation, larger bathrooms (I used to own an RV & the bathroom was tiny. They often have full-size appliances.
          In fact, they DO have to pass inspection, at least where I live (Georgia). And when you have a Tiny House on Wheels (THOW), meaning a trailer, the TH has to pass the building codes for every state in the country because it’s able to be moved any time the owner(s) like. There are more than one companies that will help make sure one’s TH is up to code, such as NOAH.

        • I imagine it varies by location but I’ve been advocating a TH Community & have been told that developers don’t find them ‘financially feasible’. They’d rather build McMansions &, in my town (Athens, GA, a college town), student housing is being built like crazy—but they’re not (in my opinion) built to last, they’re ‘flimsy’.

  2. I have 5 acres of land that I’d love to make into a tiny home village. I don’t have resources of where to begin. It is near Longmont CO on hi way 287.
    Any advice or developer contacts?

    • You might want to contact the local code enforcers/county planning office and ask them what would be involved. It shouldn’t be much different from a mobile home park, but that’s complicated enough. I imagine getting the infrastructure set up, water and sewers, not to mention electricity, would entail big bucks worth of investments. I *have* found though that an ad in Craigslist requesting ‘parking’ spaces for a tiny home, hookup to house water hose and possibly electric with shower privileges if needed are available. People need the money and are willing to deal, especially if they have enough land to hide the trailer on. I had one person respond that they needed an on site ‘guard’ for their avocado farm when they were out of town and were willing to provide parking space for free in return.

    • I live in Johnstown, Co and would totally be up for this in Colorado. I’ve been researching for about a year. The only thing holding me back is a place to put my tiny house!
      Keep us posted!

    • Tammy,
      Wee Casa, located in Lyons might be a good resource. I have also heard talk of an RV park in Loveland considering making space for tinys. It seems like there is a lot of interest in NoCo, I would love to hear if you have come up with anything!

    • did you have any luck with your 5 acres??

    • Im in longmont co and am tired of being homeless and im willing to buy a tuff shed turn it into a tiny home just need to kno where i can put it?

      If you are still around call Tom…303 949 4863..thanks..

    • Tammy, I live in Fort Collins, have a tiny house featured at and own that company. I’m a retired architect and have done land planning for commercial developments. I’d like to know more about your parcel, what the current planning and zoning status is for the property, and discuss what you’d like to try to do. At no cost to you, I’d be interested in exploring what the jurisdiction is that your residing in and what their attitude might be. A Loveland RV park has several tiny houses located there on a semi-permanent basis, hooked up to utilities and skirted. Please contact me through our web page… I’ll be sure to see it and will respond.

    • Were you able to figure out anything on having a tiny house community Tammy? Longmont CO is actually where I would like to check out, I want to build a tiny house and move there or somewhere similar in CO.

  3. I am building regular homes here in Florida and we put solar panels and solar hot water heaters on all our homes. I was thinking this might be something to branch out into since most of these tiny homes are usually off the grid or on a trailer. The solar panels should cover all the energy needs and Im sure you could drill a well (depending on the area) and put an electric pump on it for water. What do these tiny houses typically use for sewer if not available?

    • Composting toilets and gray way garden watering in lieu of sewer hookups… I’ve been wondering if solar panels (in the right climate) would work to source fresh water; there are devices that work the same as a dehumidifier to pull water out of the air and after filtration whether this would be enough for a tiny house’s needs. I’m thinking coastal areas especially, desert not so much but if it worked there, it would work anywhere.

      • Ok thanks for the information. I was thinking about the comp toilets but I think they can get pricey…not sure. Haven’t heard about grabbing moisture from the air. Sounds very interesting.

        On a side note, what is the market like for these tiny houses? Are there a good amount of people actually buying/building their own tiny homes? I’m thinking about possibly building and selling these tiny houses. We already build regular houses with solar and I think it might be a good fit if the need is there.

        • I think the market is just getting going and there will be a real call for these as word gets out and perhaps some towns amend their codes; I’m also quite sure that there are plenty of ‘stealth’ campers out there hiding in backyards and in rural locations, hoping for the best. There are now dozens (an estimate) of tiny house builders out there, do some research on line and you’ll find plenty of them. What is really needed is a way to pay for them since a mortgage is hard to get for something like this, and the main reason people are doing this is because their funds are limited – if you’re willing to ‘rent to buy’ or be paid on=ver time, you’ll have a leg up on the competition. Consider installing a hidden GPS chip in the body of the house to find it if it ‘goes missing’ before you’re fully paid off… as far as the ‘water from air’ idea, I’ve toyed with it but can’t figure out exactly how much water could be sourced that way; much depends on overnight dew levels and fog, as well as water catchment of yearly rainfall but trucked in water is quite cheap as a supplement if you have the holding tanks.

        • Hey Kevin!! I wish you lived closer toMichigan! I have an empty lot on a lake channel and want to build a home there, but they won’t allow a tiny house. Now I want to find someone to build me the bare minimum requirement of 24×24 720 sq ft minimum living space. I’d love to go mostly off grid, but can’t find anyone reasonably priced to do the build!!

          • Kristi,

            Will they allow a tiny house on a trailer with wheels? I have seen some tiny houses on wheels and they might be considered RV’s and fall under different rules. If they do allow it you could have it built anywhere and just drive it to your property. I would love to start building Tiny Houses!

          • Hi Kevin. Trailers are only allowed for approx. 3 months and then they have to be moved. I’d like a ‘tiny house’ on a slab so it could eventually be my permanent residence.

          • Ok, yes then it would have to be built according to all the local building codes. This would add time and costs to the build but it would be the permanent structure you want. What is the cost difference your getting between a tiny home on a slab and other typical tiny homes?

          • I looked into a tiny home here before I found out they were not going to be allowed on the site, and it was $39,000. So far the quote I am getting on a 785 sq ft shell is closeto $80,000. We need the foundation on engineered piers which will cost us about $20,000. I’d love to have just a simple tiny house!!! I wish the county would change their minds and allow it!!! I want to go tiny!! Lol

          • Kristi,

            I also live in Mi and am wanting to build a tiny house but am getting frustrated because of the codes, what solutions have you come up with? You can start a campground but not sure what is required for that… May I ask where you are? We are in Holland. Thanks!


          • Hi!! I’m not too far from you. We live in Kentwood,and have a lot on Gun Lake. I wish we could put a tiny house there, but codes won’t allow it!!

          • You are close!! On Monday I am calling the city to see if I have a park model with 400 square feet on the bottom and 320 as a loft if that will meet the 720 rule and since it is on a steel platform (trailer), if that counts as a “foundation”… Praying they say yes!! If you ever want to get together and chat about this let me know… Most people think we are crazy!!

          • Hi!! Did you find anything out yesterday? I’ve been seriously thinking about a Tiny home on wheels and spending 3 months at a time at different campgrounds. I’d love to be south in the winters!!! Unfortunately I have to wait until my youngest is out of the house!! I really wish there was a community of tiny homes here in MI!!

        • I looked into it and found that they are pretty expensive to build. Between 30k and 70k I think the sweat equate is the savings to add solar panels would raise it further yet. I haven’t found a way to make a decent profit the trailer you start with can cost you over 4k alone. I believe the only way to make your money back is to do as much of the work as possible yourself. Live in it for a year or so or rent it then sell it you might break even. You’re probably asking why does it cost so much. The answer is it has to be able to be towed down a public road witch means a whole new set of code’s to adhere to.good luck all

  4. I have been watching tiny house nation and tiny house big living. Ever since I started watching these shows I have been doing a great deal of research on this houses. I would love to obtain one so much but my issue is where to get one and to put it. I live in upstate NY but my plans are to move next spring to Buck Co Pa. I just research financing tiny homes and some topics came up saying it’s possible. After reading the blogs not so sure now. Does anyone know for sure about this?

  5. I did it all. Left a huge career, sold everything and now live in a 500 sq. ft. house with very few belongings, my dogs and my kayak on the Oregon Coast. I’ve never been happier. I now work 20-30 hours a week at minimum wage, no stress, more time to hike and enjoy life and because of the changes I can afford to live just fine. I’m finally selling the last of my “stuff” and though it’s emotional, I feel this weight lifting by getting rid of all the insurance and licensing requirements which just financially rape each of us. I’m debt free, money in the bank and can afford to do fabulous kayak vacations that I never dreamed I would ever do……but I’m doing them. Success is about loving life NOW, not waiting for the next “thing” that will finally make us happy. Money doesn’t equal happiness nor does success. To me happiness is seeing a whale surfacing, camping on a wilderness site with no noise except that of nature, seeing a curious young wolf come near to just watch us…..those are things I value not huge paycheck.

    • I’m so very Happy it has worked out for you. It is very difficult to aline all ducks in a row to accomplish what you have. Im trying though! Wish me luck!

    • Jill,

      That is amazing! You have such a healthy outlook on life!

  6. Check out this architect’s plans for tiny cottages and small houses. They are really beautifully designed, and with a few tweaks could be adapted for full time living. I’m considering one of his designs for a garage with living space above because although I could live in a very small living space, I don’t think I could give up my garage and workshop. Architects name is Ross Chapin

  7. I love this site. I’m sold on tiny living. Where do I start and can I get any financing?

  8. I’m new to the Tiny Home revolution. I’m interested in the Escape Homes and looking for a place to locate it in either Virginia, North or South Carolina. Any information you can forward would be appreciated. Thanks!

    • go to demo sites and ask to take stuff from the construction dumpster. contractors throw away valuable things all the time!

  9. Some really awesome info here. The tiny house movement is alive and thriving!

  10. I own a lot and an old mobile home which I plan to ‘remodel’. I am looking into the codes and such. Starting from scratch so to speak since I know nothing about our local codes. I am sick of working full time to pay for a house that I live in only half the time and only use a third of it. Like others said, the builders only build for resale value, not to what you want. I am single, 52, and to think I would be able to pay a 30 year mortgage plus upkeep on a 3 bedroom 2 bath home is stupid. I hope to use cash, credit cards and favors in order to ‘remodel’ my old mobile home into my ideal tiny house. It may take me a few years and more money than if I could actually do the work myself, but I am going to go for it.

    • I’m currently rebuilding a house on a lake in New Hampshire, where there are many small sub 1000 sq ft homes, and my son lives in a development in Portsmouth called “Atlantic Heights.” (A development by the navy I believe, brick homes in the 700 sq ft range) I can’t stop thinking of cluster development, which I remember from my Zoning Board of Adjustment days in town politics.

      Purchase a piece of land in the 5-10 acre range, and constructing pad sites for houses of 4-700 sq ft homes, all sharing a large septic system and wells…clustered together in small areas, surrounded by untouched space of common land to divvy up between the owners for gardens, parks, and recreation. If one looked up the Heights, you’d see what I mean. People clamor for these homes, small as they are, as an alternative to apt living.

      I’m beginning the process with a developer to try and move this idea forward. I think it’s a no-brainer. It solves so many problems, and many communities allow “cluster” development. If one were to move forward with one of these ideas, though not 200 sq ft “Tiny Houses” per se, but in the aforementioned slightly larger size, it’d be not only doable, and desire able, it’d be profitable and fun.

      Just sharing my idea, though I’m sure I can’t be the first to think of it these days.

      • Troy, That’s a great idea; especially if they’re as efficient and modern as tiny houses.

  11. This has been interesting reading for me, as my husband and I live a life that is the antithesis of the tiny house movement. We have a 250 year old 8-room house on 2 acres, a lake cabin on 1/2 acre on an island, and a log cabin that we call home on 52 acres. We both grew up in working-class families in the suburbs and both longed for a life away from crowds. As a child, what I really hated was the complete lack of privacy. All living spaces were shared and the neighbors were 15′ away on either side. There was no place to go to be alone.

    I am fully aware of the millenial generation’s need for connectedness and continual communication which does no put a premium on privacy. On a very primitive level it’s like my ancestors lives when they first came over from eastern Europe in the 1910s: 5-6 people crammed into a two room flat on the upper story of a multi-family house. I can only imagine the transition from living on 100s of acres of farmland and then moving to a city, and then the inevitable house in the suburbs on a 50’X 100′ lot.

    Could I even imagine living in a tiny house? Not just no but HELL NO! But I appreciate those who do as it leaves some wide-open spaces for people like us.

    • As I live alone I would love this!!

    • I used to think ‘more is more’ and after watching all the creative means towards efficient space I’m veering towards the tiny house. I’ve redesigned/renovated/replaced about 75% of my space but if I was working with a blank slate it would all be coherent; more natural light, a variety of interior lighting, new construction materials (like frosted acrylic walls that change color). Heating/cooling would be more controllable. The obvious; you could MOVE it and change your habitat. You’d become less materialistic and think less cluttered. Maintenance would be easier. Solar; all the time. Even selling or renting – much easier! I’m exploring the cons because the pro list is quite long.

    • Bragging about three different huge houses on a tiny house website saying it ‘makes more room for you’, when tens of thousands of children and veterans are homeless in this country is tone deaf at the least, and @#$%^ at the most.


    • There is always one downer anywhere you go. You are it.

  12. Hello folks! I’m writing from Alaska, so it’s interesting to see all the hoops that people have to jump through just to park a tiny home on their property.

    While Alaska has zoning, and within the city limits, building codes, neither of these represent any great challenge for tiny homes here. As long as you don’t put it too close to the property line, or open up a business in a residential area in your tiny home, no problem.

    The issue up here is taxation. We have a nearly 16 mill property tax, and the local assessor’s office will assess property based on valuation, not square footage. So, if your tiny home is worth 60 or $70,000, you could end up paying nearly $1200 per year just for the privilege of parking it on your own property. That to me, just seems like overregulation, and severely infringes upon personal freedom of property you already own.

    You would not tax a class a motorhome or fifth wheeler or travel trailer parked on your lot, yet tiny homes, well, look like homes, and this can create a big issues with the local assessor’s office.

    My advice to anyone going tiny is to keep your place looking as mobile as possible. If you’re using stabilizers, then use RV stabilizers, not say concrete deck peirs. If you want to go with a deck, make sure it hinges to the tiny house, and can travel with it. Careful about adding skirting or anything that would otherwise make the place look more permanent.

    I’m told a few people in Oregon were able to get by putting their tiny homes on say 5 acres of land as the only structure. This is very unusual, as most cities will not allow such small structures as permanent dwellings. In this case property tax actually solidifies the fact it is a residence.

    I just want to make folks aware that if they already own property, and think they can just put up a tiny home in their backyard, you might be surprised. Check your zoning first to see if it’s legal, and don’t be surprised if the local assessor’s office comes by and you get a thousand dollar or more tax bill.

  13. Be aware that tax assessors and county code types use aerial photographs to see if anyone has built anything new on their properties, whether a deck or an accessory building. Perhaps camouflage roofing material or a big overhanging tree might be in order… along with a 6 foot privacy fence beforehand.

  14. Hy friends in the world. Its time to change nearly everything, what we got used in our lifes. Tiny house movement is even important as Solawi=Agriculture solidary and at least to devellop a real spiritual inner live in relation to earth, nature, people and angels. Then we realize a step into the future of mankind. We build this near Berlin. Everybody is Uzo

  15. You should add aging. What you can do when you are young, climb ladders and crawl around a tiny loft bedroom, is not going to work for you as you age. So why don’t you just move, you might ask. It’s not going to be that easy. In a tiny home, you’ve built up depreciation, not equity. Unless you save your savings, if there is any after you have to find a place to put your home, and connect to utilities, you’re going to have a hard time finding a place you can tolerate as a senior citizen.

  16. Great thread, keep up the good work. Will be in touch,
    Ken and Victoria Pond

  17. After my divorce I started looking for a house for my daughter, dog, and myself. We sold the 2400 sqft house and moved in with a friend for a while to save up money. Here in Indianapolis there are lots of older homes that require a lot of work but run 600 sqft and up. I picked out one of the smaller ones. The lot is really small, but the kid and dog can go outside and I don’t have much to mow. It takes imagination and good diy skills or contractor for these almost 100 year old homes. The small ones are 1 or 2 bedrooms and 1 bath, but some are under $10K! The reno is another $25 but that was still doable and less than some of the mobile tiny homes. Plus with my daughter I needed a permanent house.

  18. I got into the Tiny Home culture through a combination of factors. I wanted to be close to Show Low and Lakeside-Pinetop AZ, but Real Estate is really expensive.

    10-15 miles to the east is a large rural area full of thousands of one acre parcels most with a fair amount of 6-10 foot tall evergreen bushes/trees.

    Many of these lots likely won’t pass a peek test, so a building permit and a traditional site built or even mobile home are not possible.

    RVs are an option but out of concern for security against potential break ins and vandalism I discarded that idea.

    Then I discovered the movement to build Tiny Homes from steel connex/shopping containers.

    Containers do not require permits or licensing like RVs and Mobile Homes.

    There are plenty of container home examples on. YouTube.

    I purchased a 1.2 a.c. lot 15 minutes outside of Show Low for $1300 then I purchased a 20′ container from. Local (Show Low) container outlet for$3000 delivered to my lot. I will use 55 gal barrels for Water Tank, Holding Tank and Grey Water Tank. When my holding tank gets full I will have. Septic service come with it out.

    It is OFF GRID so I will out of desire and necessity have very limited electronic footprint. (Cell phone with solar charger, solar lights), wood burning stove for cooking and heating, and a gas powered generator for power tools rented from the local Home Depot as needed.

    The goal here is to eliminate the two biggest obstacles to prosperity the average middle or lower class American faces (1) Mortgage/Rent payments and. (2) Utility Bills

    The only national carrier for Cell Phone service in this area is Verizon and I get 2 bars. 4GLTE service with good reliable service. $35/mo. through ecomobile.

  19. I have been watching the Tiny Home movement for the last few years as an option to retirement.

    For me, a Tiny home will be about survival. I’m 62, a registered nurse who at one time “had it all.” Big house, rental property, lake house, boat, all the toys, you get the idea. When my long term relationship ended in my mid 50’s, I lost a lot and had to start over again. I’m so glad it happened. Life is now harmonious and my priorities have shifted dramatically.
    What appeals to me about a Tiny Home is the financial output. I own a home now and with the proceeds (barring another banking/housing disaster) I can buy a tiny home outright. I’ll keep reading, staying informed and maybe in 3 yrs or so, I can enjoy my own tiny home. Cheers!

  20. I am just looking into getting a tiny home but don’t know how people deal with where to put it! I see many for sale that I can afford – then what? There do seem to be more and more people interested in forming communities but I can’t find organized information about it. I will keep researching and watching sites like this. I’d love to move to Oregon or northern CA – possibly find people who can pool money to purchase land or something and put a few tiny homes. I am similar to you KKing in that with savings and proceeds from my current home, I could by a tiny outright (but would have nowhere to put it!). I could probably afford some land somewhere as well, but much research is needed I guess to figure out permits, etc.

  21. Liz, that’s the issue! Where to go… its not which Tiny Home to buy and I’m not worried about resale.. its WHERE to go.

    I would love Oregon too, or even Washington State near Bellingham.

    I like your idea about just a few tiny homes on land purchased by all.

    I’m going to keep up the research too.


  22. interested in any tiny houses in the upstate new york area. such a wonderful idea! TIRED of working so hard for my house.

  23. Liz and KKing, I am interested in the exact same thing! It just makes sense to have a few people go in on some property because all the property I have been looking into is far too big for what I need or want. Perhaps we should start something and stop waiting for others? I am looking for Oregon area as well in oct 2017 or so. I hope this find anybody with similar ideas.

    Cheers 🙂

  24. As with tiny houses, I’m having problems finding a lot to build a 815 sq ft home (1 bedroom/1 bath) with a 1 car garage w/side storage area. (See: Adria house plan) The home is built around the walkin closet!! This home is just a few feet short of the 2br/2ba apt I’m living in which is more space than I need and the layout is so functional. This home is great for a single person like me or an elderly couple that wants to downside.
    If I had the money I’d build a community of these home for retirees.

    • Anyone interested in a little community in New Hampshire? I’d love to build one, small town common, 6-12 little homes, driveways in the back, pedestrian in the fronts…so sweet.

  25. Most people don’t want to live in tiny or even small homes. A better question is why does it have to be a “movement”? If you want to live in a tiny home then do. No need to preach to those that don’t. I live in a small house because I want to, but I don’t talk down to people that don’t because I’m not a d-bag.
    Seems like everyone calling it a “tiny house movement” are just pawns working for an evil Soros funded group that seeks to corral everyone into tiny unlivable homes so they can be better controlled.
    Live where you want/can afford and quit preaching to everyone. All the tiny house fools are almost always leftist idiots that haven’t a clue about anything…just watch the youtube videos of all the a-holes that give this crap up after a few months because they can’t handle it.

  26. I have 18 acres that I had originally set up as an RV park. I’ve since changed my mind and decided to go with tiny homes. Water, sewer, Elec. Buy or lease to own. Community center. Storage on site. In Texas at hey 259 and FM 450. We also build shells up to 14×36. 9037677759

  27. To the people in Michigan….I have heard that there is a tiny house community in Traverse City…they may have answers to some of your questions.

  28. Alternative to Sewer (off grid)
    Gravel packed bed filters system consisting of two filter barrels charcoal and sand & PVC pipe. Look this up on-line
    Collection of grey water Buckets (under sinks) for watering plants, using biodegradable soaps.
    Dry spin toilets – I prefer over composting or insinuator toilets.
    Compost pile for Humanure.
    On my second Tiny House build, building in the Tow-fer style = half of the house on skid foundation other half is a Thow (Tiny House On Wheels)
    This way I can leave my tiny village of Georgetown Ohio for road trips.

    Stay flexible and build Tiny.

  29. I have been considering a tiny house, and have reached the following conclusions:

    1. Many are looking for a tiny community to join, but to no avail. Tiny homes already exist in the form of slums and trailer parks (hence the strict laws to govern this type of dwelling). What I think tiny homeowners are looking for is like minded minimalism. The very nature of tiny home owners makes this type of coalition improbable, most I have interacted with seem very transient in attitude. Not a bad thing, just a limiting factor to forming a community.

    2. As penned by another on this forum “Success is about loving life NOW, not waiting for the next “thing” that will finally make us happy. Money doesn’t equal happiness nor does success. To me happiness is seeing a whale surfacing, camping on a wilderness site with no noise except that of nature, seeing a curious young wolf come near to just watch us…..those are things I value not huge paycheck.”
    I realized that this description of success is fine for some. Many in this “movement” are trying to escape the truth that money does not bring happiness, but for me the isolation and limitations of tiny living are as crippling as seeking more money. For me it will be more balance. Good luck in your endeavors

  30. “This code does serve a good purpose; it prevents abuse on the part of slum lords and gives a mechanism for the courts to hold slum lords accountable.”

    Nonsense. There is no better way to help people than to let them live as they choose. Outlawing “slums” simply outlaws affordable options for people to live as they set fit with the resources that they have. It reduces their available options to improve their lives.

  31. I have been living (as an outlaw) in 94 square feet for the past two years, in the middle of a small town — on my own property. The windows are blacked out at night, and music/sound is kept very quiet. Anne Frank in 1942? No, retired schoolteacher in 2016. I’m hoping laws change before I’m raided and forced into homelessness.

  32. I, would love to see tiny home neighborhoods. I own land in Florida
    And would love to downsize to live a better life, not spending all
    The retired hard earned cash on high insurances and extravagant taxes.
    Tired of working for the roller coaster ride system.
    Hoping that soon everyone looks at this as great option and realize life
    Goes so fast that when you get to your 60’s you look back and you really
    Did not get to enjoy life, just had time to work and pay for stuff……
    Congrats to Tiny home living.
    Regards to all that comment.

  33. “What are some ways we can over come these?”

    Freedim isn’t free. It actually costs lives.

    If you want the freedom to live a peaceful and affordable life in your own lot without being taxed to death and without being tokd what you can and cannot do on your own lot, there is only one solution:

    WAR !

    At some point, if you are serious about freedom, you will have to put your life where your mouth is and arm yourselves, train, form an army, fight, kill and DIE ! For the freedoms you want.

    There is no other way.

    The fear of death of the general population is the reason you and I are living miserable and impoverished lives with no freedoms.

    Tyranny is a fire that can only be fought by fire.

  34. If you want the freedom to live in a tiny house on your own lot, then only two questions comes to my mind:

    1) How many lawmakers, law enforcers and sympathisers are you willing to kill ?

    2) Are you ready to sacrifice your life to earn this freedom ?

    There are absolutely NO other way !

  35. Municipalities want tax money and tiny houses represent a too small value to tax.

    They claim their laws are made for comfortable and healthy, safe living and so that is why a house should be of a minimal size.

    But the real reason is that they want your tax money.

    It’s always about money.

  36. How about coastal sea steading ?

    Small, cheap boats close to the coast that you live in. You pay no taxes because you are not on the land.

    It is absurd that you cannot own your own property but must pay taxes and are told what you can and cannot do with your property.

    • This is so true, I have few properties and to tell you the truth Tiny homes caught my eye just
      to see how affordable and happy we can live. The problem with a Boathouse or Sailboat
      is a great idea too, and your going to laugh at what i’m telling you and that’s ok, I laughed too…
      My husband can’t swim and has a fear for boats & the ocean. LOL otherwise that would be a great option here were we live, there are many young couples doing this right now. I think further up in middle Florida there must be places that would allow these Tiny homes, I’ll be checking on that shortly.
      Thanks for the good advise, but laws are changing and just maybe they will approve the Tiny homes
      in a Special type of Tiny Home Lots…… Food for thought …. If not I’ll head up north and have one where they are allowed, after all being Retired we can move on, and on, .

      Happy Night…. to all these wonderful people out there.

  37. I love the idea of tiny house living…the creative way space is used for storage and multi-purpose use…that said I do have questions and it is not about storage….
    1. loft area for bedrooms…won’t people get tired of bending over and scooting around on their knees? What about as a person ages and knees do not hold up to being used that way, I know my knees cannot be used that way anymore. Kids growing up in loft spaces, will there be skeletal problems of stooping over so much?
    2. as kids grow up, especially girls, there are times they need their privacy at certain times of the month. very little of that in tiny homes.
    3. sickness, one person sick coughing barfing and EVERYBODY hears it and with one bathroom, that will be a hardship on the others and just the natural passing of gas, it will fill the whole area.
    4. mom and dad’s intimate moments will be heard throughout the place
    5. storms/high winds/snow/tornadoes??!?!?
    6. growing families- 3 kids in under 400 sq feet, will there be more kids? accidents happen

    and last of all

  38. I think more people, especially young singles, would be open to the idea if people weren’t so openly encouraged to shit in their showers or a bucket. Just saying, running water and a real toilet goes a long way. Even the designs where the toilet is in the shower is a turn off to many becauase you pull your pants down and your butt and your clothes get wet. I know some of you folks don’t care about ironed clothes and social norms, but some do.

  39. Some well minded business man should buy some forest and build a basic infrastructure like sewage and electricity dedicated for tiny houses.

    • Or business woman… ? I have actually thought of doing this myself as I have a little cash to buy some land. However, it is much more complicated than that. I’ve done a little research and the cost of that infrastructure is tremendous and I read that permits can take up to 3 years! Yikes. I would love to provide a legal place for tiny homes both off and on grid, and have a safe place for my own tiny home as well. It’s an overwhelming process ?.

  40. Late to the party & looking for “accessibility/aging in place” ideas & perhaps “bicycle/electric golf cart” travel to shop communities – even perhaps located for “quarterly” vs only N-S “snowbird” travels 🙂

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  42. For those who mentioned wanting to just build a shed and live in it, I did just that. I have a 1000sq ft house, too big for me, had a tenant lined up. I researched the laws for my town and found that I could build a 120 sq ft structure without a permit, provided I didn’t do any digging. I built a 10×12′ shed, 13′ tall, with a nice loft, windows, doors, etc. up on cement blocks for around $8k. I get water and power from the main house via a long extension cord and long hose. The interior is a work in progress but already very comfortable. No wheels, I don’t intend to move it. My point is, look at your situation, look at various options. Look at what your town DOES allow and work within that, if you can.

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  46. HELP! I own a 600 sf manufactured home. I hired a dealer who I believed was a contractor. I paid for the unit and it is really pretty, but I can’t move into it because I had to have the county rescind the illicitly obtained certificate of occupancy. After paying for the house, the transport, septic, electric, propane, etc., I had $60000 left in the escrow account. The (NOT)contractor took the rest of the money. I now have a lovely unit sitting on my daughter’s land on VERY IMPROPERLY INSTALLED piers, no grading, and ready to slide if we get a lot of rain. I have NO ONE to go to but the Housing and Community Development dept of the state of CA. BUT in order to access the funds therein, I have to get a judgment. I can’t find the right kind of lawyer first of all. If I could find one, I have zero funds left. EVEEY single agency I”ve approached agree that the whole thing is AWFUL, but no one can help. The county who initially issued an occupancy certificate, when forced to send out ANOTHER inspector, agreed that it is not habitable as placed. DO YOU KNOW OF ANY ENTITY that can help me AT ALL? It will cost between $35000 and $45000 if I have to get a crane to turn it around. I need $5000 5o $10000 for the proper plot plan, etc. What can I do now? If I could get my money back or have someone do this project in exchange for a “do it properly” video showcase, or something, that would be great. As it is, you cannot reach the unit without some risk in getting to the house over the hills of dirt left piled against it. I was supposed to have a paver walkway. Well, he put in 50 $0.50 cent pavers and I would not be able to go to the house or take my small dog out. I am a 77.5 year old grandmother. I am pretty active, but much younger people approach the unit with a lot of caution. You are professionals and if ANYONE could give me any helpful guidance, it would be you. I am now penniless and have ONLY my social security. I am staying with me daughter temporarily and I can’t do that forever. It is stressful and not my style of life. I wake up every morning and see my little house about 35 yards away and I call it the ‘titanic.” Do you have ANY ideas of how to remedy this situation??

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