At one time, buying a huge house with a white picket fence was the ultimate dream. While many Americans still have that dream, rising home prices drive people to explore different options. Instead of buying a huge, expensive home filled with lots of stuff, some people are downsizing, cleaning out their clutter, and living a simpler life in a tiny house.
What is a Tiny House?
A tiny house is exactly what it sounds like – a very small house. This doesn’t include a home like a one-bedroom home that’s 1,000 square feet. A residential structure under 500 square feet is considered a tiny home, although there isn’t a set definition, so some homes may be slightly larger.
There are many different types of tiny houses. Some have wheels so they can be moved from place to place, perfect for the traveling homeowner. Other tiny homes are stationary. Throughout the nation, there are tiny house communities. In some areas, tiny house owners choose to live completely off the grid.
The interiors of these homes are creatively designed to get the most out of such a small space. Built-in storage, no bathtubs in bathrooms, smaller kitchen appliances, and lofts that serve as bedrooms are just a few of the ways people comfortably live in tiny houses.
Because these are dwellings, building and zoning laws apply in most areas in the U.S.. These laws vary by state, county, and even city. Many areas do not even have tiny house laws since this is a relatively new idea, but laws may be implemented soon as popularity grows. The proper building permits must be acquired in all states, and builders must follow all zoning regulations.
Which States Are Best For Tiny Houses?
Tiny homes are legal in all US states. Some states have outlined specific laws for tiny houses. Again, these requirements and regulations vary state-to-state and even city to city within states as well. Some states are particularly good choices when looking to purchase and live in a tiny home.
California is one of the most tiny home-friendly states. Fresno was the first US city to label tiny houses on wheels as secondary living units. Most cities in California allow owners to build and occupy their tiny homes. Maine has quite lenient regulations across the state for tiny homes as well. Anything under 400 square feet is considered a tiny home in Maine.
The cities of Austin and Spur in Texas are also good choices for tiny home living. Austin allows tiny houses of any size to be built as long as the building has a foundation. Spur was the first American town to remove regulations about minimum size from tiny homes, making it an ideal location for your tiny home.
Tiny house communities are popular in Pima County, Arizona because tiny homes with a foundation are zoned the same as detached single-family houses. Washington also has less strict regulations as long as your tiny home is built on a foundation.
Many communities are also established in Florida because of their tiny living hotels and RV parks. Similarly, Oregon has also shown its commitment to being a location for tiny home living through its creation of the tiny house hotel. These six tiny houses built in a residential neighborhood illustrate the state’s acceptance and understanding of the desire for tiny home dwellings.
While laws vary across the nation when it comes to tiny homes, this growing movement could push lawmakers to create more specific laws in the future.