How To Start A Tiny House Community in 2021 – The Indepth Guide

Human Beings need a sense of belonging and a sense of relating well with the rest of the community. Another major advantage of living in a tiny house village in 2021 is the fact that they are rich in resources which is where the collective aspect comes in. It is where we find support and comfort in difficult times.

Are you looking for a perfect place to stay in a new tiny home? Are you looking to start your own tiny house movement? If yes, then we have all the details on how to go about it and our top selections of the best Tiny house communities in the US that can inspire you.

In the US, tiny house communities continue to grow in popularity. They are also going to stay on this track for a long time. However, as the cost of living continues to increase and increased lack of affordable options in some counties, cities, and states, more people are pulling their resources together to ensure reduced cost of living and affordable options, especially when it comes to maintenance costs and improvement costs and access to some major utilities and facilities such as hospitals, schools etc.

Many people in the US see tiny houses as cost-effective alternatives to apartments. As more people realize this alternative, most of them are willing to pull their resources and start a tiny house community. So what does it cost to start a tiny house? Where do you start when premiering a tiny house community? Or wondering how to find tiny house community near me?

It might be very easy to start a tiny house community, but it comes with its own challenges. Searching for land, fixing up, funding the project, and securing a beautiful place to start the community isn’t a walk in the park. But this red tape shouldn’t stop dedicated homesteaders’ dream of starting a tiny house community. Don’t forget there are several legal steps that you will be required to follow.

Land and Utilities

The first thing to do before building a tiny house community is to source land in the right place to plant the roots. In this regard, you will be required to search beyond the neighborhood, especially when you want a suitable and affordable place. It’s also important to remember that many ordinances have strict rules and guidelines regarding tiny houses and the size and purpose of a building. In these areas, it will be legally unacceptable to start a tiny house community. Therefore, it’s advisable to locate a suitable place with friendly tiny house rules and regulations.

As a person that is determined to start a tiny house community, it will be advisable to locate the property far from your favorite hardware store. This may not apply to people that are building tiny houses on wheels. If this is the target, then you can start building the houses before you locate a suitable plot. The trick here is to talk to a friend or neighbors that can give you space to start your project. It’s also easy to consider this approach for the final project. If you know farmers that are selling their acreage, it’s easy to ask for a direct purchase to start this project.

You might also need to contact a real estate agent for guidance. Go for the ones with expertise in rural land development. The agent must have the capacity to guide you on the Zoning and building codes and explain whether your project will be viable in this area. You don’t want to waste your money and resources driving to a region with unfavorable zoning rules.

Zoning and Building code Requirements

The zoning and building code requirements in your local area will determine whether you will start the tiny house community in this area or you will have to look outside the comfort zone. You will be required to follow all the Building and zoning codes. As a tiny house fanatic that wants to start a tiny house community, you should be able to differentiate between these two terms.

  • Zoning Requirements-These are guidelines regarding where you can build. You don’t have to automatically assume that the tiny houses will be acceptable in your favorite location. In major cities in the US, the tiny home communities start close to urban areas such as Los Angeles. They start on city property that is too expensive to renovate but too valuable to sell. The idea is to approach the city council and consult about this idea.
  • Building codes-These are the guidelines on which form your house should take and how you should construct the house. This is where the size capping comes in. The building codes might require the tiny houses to be above 70 square feet. Others will state that the bathroom should be 70 square feet which can noticeably alter the design.

To get around the building codes when building tiny houses on foundation, you must consider it as an accessory dwelling. You will be required to have a formal house that meets all the standards and after this, you can establish a tiny house on your property.

Besides, you need to know how to start a tiny house comity in your area where you can share the utilities, and all the necessary facilities. In this regard, you have to talk to all the involved parties’ including the city council and the participants. To ease the process, you can consider the mobile options. It’s easy and less tiring to construct tiny houses on wheels and get certified as RV. Unfortunately, some cities prohibit individuals from living in the RV. What this means is that you will still have to deal with the problem. But very few cities enforce these rules unless some people complain.

Installing the Requisite Utilities

If you are considering starting the community in rural land for which you have obtained the requisite, you will have to install the utilities. If the community is located far from the city water supplies, you will have to dig a well and have a septic tank for waste. For survivalist that would want to do this by hand, make sure to call 811 before you start the process. The team will help you to locate buried gas lines and other utilities that you can hit during the process.

Additionally, electricity poses a severe risk. So, you should rely on a certified professional to reduce the risk of electrocution. Electricity is not one of those projects that you can DIY no matter how competent you believe you are.

Internet and Phone access will also be a serious hustle especially if you live in rural areas. While phone and Internet had been considered fluff some time ago, they are currently very important. The coronavirus pandemic has increased the value of internet. As more and more people spend time in their houses during quarantine, most of them will work from home, attend virtual meetings and watch their favorite movies and TV shows all which requires stable internet connections.

Unfortunately, many rural areas in the US lack reliable Internet and Phone providers. If you are living in a place where there’s inadequate infrastructure for internet and Phone, you might consider satellite internet. Satellite Internet is slow and expensive but it’s essentially the only option you have in your area.

We are waiting for Billionaire Elon Musk and his team to set their StarLink Satellite Internet Up. This project is expected to solve all these issues. In the meantime, search for the best provider in your area. You don’t have to always think about the Cable providers, there are few Satellite Internet providers such as SuddenLink and CenturyLink. But understand that you will have limited download and upload speeds. But you can always improve this through Wi-Fi extenders in some cases.

You will go to towns for some supplies somehow. If the residents will have all-terrain vehicles, well and good but if otherwise, you shouldn’t go far off the beaten path to build the tiny house community.

Mobilizing the people

Starting a Tiny house community means you need to mobilize the people that are considering investing in a tiny house community. This should be the first consideration. Before starting the tiny house community, you should gather a community of interested individuals that have a similar idea.

Fortunately, there’s a huge group of individuals that wants to know how to start a tiny home community. They want to know where to start and who to go to for the best ideas and guidance. In many instances, tiny house communities will house the disenfranchised individuals such as the Homeless. This has been the idea in Los Angeles where Tim Ransom, the president of the nonprofit firm started organizing such villages for the homeless.

What this means is that going the non-profit route will open more doors for you and can as well give you more funding for the community. It’s recommended to check with your housing department and explain the objectives of your project. The local government may have available funds and suggestions that can greatly help you throughout the project.

Funding sources

The cost to build a tiny house community can be very high especially if you don’t have land and other resources. The other imperative thing is to make sure you have great funding for the project. As stated earlier, going the nonprofit organization way can guarantee you funding. But still you shouldn’t ignore the potential Crowdfunding sources for the project. There are many sites that can help you along the way. Some of them such as GoFundMe have become very famous lately for their success in funding such projects. Some of these Crowdfunding projects are helping individuals with medical bills and can as well help you with raising money for such a course. They have greatly helped in building houses for the homeless.

Shortage of Affordable Housing

You should ask yourself whether there’s shortage of affordable housing near you. This means that you are offering to be a solution to an existing problem. This is exactly what can motivate more people to think about Tiny House communities. You can start a petition to see how many people are interested in such projects and how many can help fund such projects. Some of them will donate cash, materials and others will be willing to offer the needed labor for this project.

Approach local Businesses

Companies in the US get significant tax benefits by just participating in community development projects. They can be very willing to donate to a charity because this will benefit the company tax wise. But you will have to notify the authorities so that they can investigate how to set up a 501(c)(3) organization for this venture. You will also need to follow certain steps to start a nonprofit organization to keep everything legal. To make the process even easier, you can look for a local attorney that is willing to look over the paperwork and guide you accordingly.

Codes, Covenants and Restrictions (CC&Rs)

There is varying coding and building requirements that you will be expected to meet. But now that this tiny home village will not include an individual ownership, you will be required to draft CC&Rs regarding the use and control of the community. However, if it’s a charitable project, you might have a primary control over the regulations. But if otherwise, there are some guidelines and rules that you must adhere to regarding the use and control of this land. You will definitely have a high chance of happy inhabitants if everyone has a say.

In most cases such as the tiny home communities in Los Angeles, they provide needed shelter for unhoused individuals. But to succeed in this regard, you need the right disposition and a generous dose of empathy. In the past years, most unhoused individuals have no known agency and there is little chances that they will have it in the future.

In case you want to start a charitable project to help the homeless, you will equally need a lot of understanding. Most of the homeless people’s life consists of being shuffled around from one place to the other. Some others have law enforcement confiscate and you need to get them back. The homeless have also lost everything and in most instances they are terrified it might happen again. You need to help them regain the sense of power and direction in their lives if at all you want to help them.

With all that explained, having a collective meeting and bringing everyone in the same table is very important when you are creating the CC&Rs for the community. This might be the very first time some people have heard of this type of meeting but always be ready to guide them accordingly.

Top Tiny house communities

To inspire you in this project and show you how these communities are run, we have listed some top best tiny house communities in the US’s major cities and states.

Habitat’s Tiny House Homes Community in California

The Habitats Tiny homes is a tiny house building company that is trying out their first ever time house community in San Diego. The community will open soon with more than 50 tiny houses all with a backyard and friendly house living conditions. The houses have energy saving features such as solar power generation and water reclamation features. The intention of this company was to reduce carbon footprint as much as possible.

Sonoma Tiny house community

The wine city is now going to be a home to more than 50 tiny houses developed by Jay Shafer. Jay Shufer is the author of The Small House Book in 2009. The community will be developed solely as a storage unit and will have community gardens. It will actually be the perfect example of a tiny house community.

Lemon Cove Village

This tiny house community is established near Sequoia National Park. It is a community established in Sierra Nevada and is currently housing RVs that provide sites for tiny house utilities. The price point is $450 to $595 per month. The main aim of this tiny house community was to reduce the monthly rent and the cost of living. The amenities in the Lemon cove Village are impressive and meet the standards. There’s a dog-walking park, a Laundromat and a community garden.

If you don’t want to construct your own tiny house in this village, you can get prefabricated small houses for sale. This will be perfect for people that want to evade the monthly payments.

Green Bridge Farm-Georgia’s Tiny House Community

If you want to familiarize yourself with the Georgia’s tiny house community, this is the best place to be. Green Bridge Farm is a community with an organic farm and a 4 acre community garden where you can grow your crops. It is one of the blossoming communities in Effingham County and it’s also the sixth fastest growing communities in Georgia. You can lease a small plot for as low as $300 every month. But if you want to buy the small land, you will have to pay $30,000.

The tiny house community is near the Savanna National Wildlife Refuge. This means that the land is very affordable and perfect for tiny house aficionados that want to stay close to nature and wildlife.

Texas Spur Tiny House community

This community is located in the sleepy town of Spur. Spur is in the West Texas. Spur is praised for being the first town in the whole country to permit tiny houses. The resolution was passed in 2014 permitting houses as small as 500 square feet. If you want to start a tiny house community, it would be wise to start it here. However, the city council has some rules for prospective developers though. The city says no to anything made with clay or mud, no to straw-bale homes and earth homes. The houses are required to have a strong foundation and meet all the building and zoning codes. The utilities should meet the standards.

FAQs

How much does it cost to build a tiny house village?

Los Angeles and several other city governments are paying huge amount of money to build Tiny House villages for the homeless. This is not the only thing required. Money for maintenance and improvement will also be added to the equation. Each of the 39 properties that are included in the latest tiny house village constructed by the LA government costed about $130,000. This statistics is according to the Los Angeles Times.

What states allow tiny houses?

Almost all states in the US have legalized tiny houses. You can build tiny house homes and communities in Arizona, Georgia, Idaho, California, Florida, Colorado and several other states.

How much does it cost to live in a tiny house community?

A tiny house owner can live to lower their expenses especially if they are sharing maintenance and improvement costs with the rest of the group. The expenses might range from $500 to $1000. This can be higher depending on several things such as the rent, the utilities, insurance, accessories and interior décor.

How long does a tiny house last?

Tiny houses can last longer as it’s the case with normal traditional apartment. However, some are made of low quality materials and they can last for 7-10 years. This will highly depend on the materials used to build the house, the maintenance and the local climate.

Conclusion

You now know how to set up a tiny house community, but still, you have learnt that there is a lot to do before the project becomes a reality. But the information in this post has your work cut out by half. Start your research right now and always remember to involve real estate experts and local authorities in decision making. There are some great areas where you can start your own community in the US for tiny houses, In Florida next to Orlando Lakefront for example, there are several tiny house communities that gives you a better chance to do the same.