There is an ongoing tiny house movement in the USA, and the momentum it is growing at is plausible. The trend is expected, with reasons related to sustainability, portability, and economics driving the idea. However, there is more to living in a tiny home than the excitement and the low utility bills. You ought to consider the available means for transporting the unit and feasibility of the building. Finding a permanent spot for the unit in the USA is not always an easy task, but some cities make it easier. The top cities you should consider are:
1. Brevard, North Carolina
A partnership between the City of Brevard and the United Way of Transylvania County published a detailed guideline to the building of tiny homes in the city. The guide outlines the requirements to be fulfilled before such a house is built. The key requirement is that a tiny home cannot be built independently. There must be a primary dwelling. Additionally, the primary and secondary dwelling should be owned by a single person. Also, the tiny home should have a foundation as opposed to being built on wheels. The highest square footage allowed for the entire house is 800 sq. ft.
People who are considering owning a tiny home in the future, even if it will is not in Brevard, can use the guide to learn more about the steps to take in owning such a unit in the other cities which have the allowance.
2. Walsenburg, Colorado
The city is located in Southern Colorado, and the approximate population is 3,000 residents. In 2014, the zone rules governing the city were revised to allow tiny homes to be built in residential areas. Nevertheless, the houses should have a permanent foundation and connected to the basic utilities. Trailers are not considered as tiny homes. The minimum footage of the homes is outlined in the city guidelines, but some of the subdivisions fall under HOAs (Homeowners’ Association). Before building the house, confirm the authority it falls under.
3. Spur, Texas
Spur is a town in Texas, and it is famous for being tiny-house friendly. The trend has contributed to the recent increase in population witnessed in the town. There are minimal restrictions on construction of tiny homes in Spur, which is meant to attract new residents. Even so, the foundation of the units should be permanent.
Property prices in Spur are among the lowest in the whole country. The strong wind and ever-blazing sun allow the residents to tap into alternative energy sources, which makes off-grid living an attainable goal. The town is well connected to the Internet via fiber optic, and the public education system is comprehensive.
4. Fresno, California
This is a city of about 500,000 people in Central California. California is large, and the zoning regulations and building codes vary widely. Some counties in the state of California allow tiny homes to be built on wheels. However, the person living in the unit should be employed by the main house occupant for housekeeping or as a caregiver.
Fresco was the first city in California to allow its residents to build tiny homes on their residential properties, with no housekeeper or caregiver requirement. The homes are not required to be built on a permanent foundation.
If building a tiny home is not an option, you can check out the various tiny house communities in the country. In most cases, the communities are owned by realtors who build the houses for sale, but renting is an option.
Some communities are state-owned, and you can get a space to pack your tiny home. However, you have to pay for space. If you plan to be moving from one community to the next frequently, a movable unit is cost-effective.
How much does building a tiny house cost?
Building a tiny home costs less compared to a larger home. Nonetheless, the cost can be on the higher side if expensive materials are used. You will incur less too if you handle the building project on your own as opposed to hiring a contractor. Once the construction work is finalized, the cost of maintaining the house, and the utility bills it attracts are minimal.
You can cut down the cost of living in such units by use of renewable sources of energy, locating the house in a region with low cost of living and growing your food.
The future of tiny homes in the USA
With many states revising their building codes in favor of tiny homes, more people are warming up to the idea. So the number of tiny homes in the country is expected to increase. If you are interested in owning or living in a tiny home, you can choose one of these cities to move to or wait until your city zoning, and building rules make allowances.
John Dawson is a contributing writer and media specialist for North American Van Lines. He regularly produces content for a variety of moving blogs.