Living in a tiny house is both economical and fun. Tiny house owners have the chance to enjoy a life full of greater independence, more freedom and fewer possessions. However the challenge that exists is to comply with the existing guidelines in different counties, cities and states and getting a place to park the tiny house.
Due to the ever increasing cost of living in Los Angeles, many people are considering minimalistic lifestyle. Most of them are choosing alternatives to traditional residential living and opting to tiny houses. So what exactly is a tiny house? Is it legal to own a tiny house in Los Angeles? Where can you put your tiny house in Los Angeles? All these questions are answered in this post.
Tiny houses are built to fit on trailers and they usually have wheels. However, there are some tiny house owners that choose to establish these tiny houses on a piece of land on a permanent foundation. While most tiny house owners choose to build their tiny dwelling spaces from the existing floor plans, some can go for ready-made options based on the layout designs and sizing.
Tiny houses on wheels can be built as small as 70 square feet all the way to above 400 square meters. They are a great way to downsize and offer some unique options to cord cutters. Unfortunately, these tiny homes create a few problems of their own. The first issue is the fact that the idea of buying land especially in Los Angeles and putting a tiny house on it is not a money saving idea.
However, the sole intention of many tiny homers is not to save money on land. Most of them regard to Tiny homes as a super-sized American lifestyle that can help them save on other things. Are you curious to know whether the Tiny house lifestyle is the right one for you? And which are some of the best tiny house communities in Los Angeles? We have gathered some advice from Los Angeles top real estate experts to help you decide.
Things to know before buying a tiny house in Los Angeles
If you want to know if the tiny house life is for you, this is the perfect opportunity to know how to deal with it. There are several things you should always familiarize yourself with if you want to build a tiny house in Los Angeles. Here are some of them and what you should do in different situations.
The Building codes
The first thing to do is to call the city and ask whether the land is connected to the city utility and whether the zoned area is for building tiny house. This might not apply if you are going for tiny houses on wheels. But if you are choosing tiny houses on foundation, this is a must. The fact remains that even structures like a garage or a shed requires a foundation. In most instances, the foundation will require permitting from the city council.
Immediately after matching the code requirements with what you need, take a moment to weigh the pros and cons of buying the specific land for the tiny house. In some situations, the land can have more pros than cons which is when you should consider buying the land.
Always go with a flat lot
The main reason why you choose this minimalist life is to lower the costs. This means that you should try your best to minimize the foundation costs. As a matter of fact, looking for a flat lot is the best bet. Luckily, central Los Angeles has a lot of flat places but the land can be very expensive. Always take time to search the market for exactly what you need. If you want to put your tiny house outside the city such as the Sherman Oaks and Compton, you might get a piece of land for as low as $100,000.
Mobility is important
It’s also important to embrace mobility. Most tiny house owners will choose to keep their tiny houses on wheels than getting a permanent foundation. But you have to make sure that the house is certified by RVIA. This will make sure the tiny house on wheels is allowed in the same backyard as a RV.
There are still few regulations that you will be expected to adhere to. Some regulations have been created for tiny house owners especially those on wheels. They must maintain a certain size and weight.
Price the foundation first
If you are going with a permanent tiny house on foundation, you should start by pricing the foundation. This is mainly because foundation takes the highest cost. Most real estate agents advices that it’s very important to make sure that the foundation will not take more than 1/3 of the whole house cost.
How to get started living in a community in Los Angeles
Many tiny house enthusiasts usually, share the dream of living in a Tiny house community in Los Angeles. Some of them want to cut the cost of living in an apartment and traditional houses while others want the freedom of movement and cost of public transportation. Some other people want the country lifestyle and cutting the cost of living extravagant lives. At this point, we want to guide all potential minimalists on how to start living in a tiny house community in Los Angeles.
Find the best Tiny house community in Los Angeles
Tiny houses were legalized in Los Angeles in 2019 meaning that there are few tiny house communities and villages that have already started growing. The first thing to do is to gather enough information about tiny house communities and villages in Los Angeles and narrow the options down depending on what community meets your standards.
Gather enough information about the area
The second thing to do is to have enough information about the tiny house community or village and make sure it has all the facilities and utilities that you might need. How close is the tiny house village to schools, sewer lines, proximity to on-grid electricity and government facilities.
Decide on what you want
Do you want a tiny house on wheels or a tiny house on foundation? After answering this question, you will be able to clearly say what you need and exactly where to start before joining the community. If it’s a tiny house on wheels, you might be able to buy land for parking or subscribe to a RV and tiny house on wheel parking space.
If you want to go with the tiny house on a permanent foundation, then you might have to research about the tiny house local zoning regulations. You might also create a planned unit development or pocket neighbourhood and provide the locals with extensive details of the types and density of the houses needed.
Who will own the land?
When you want to start a Tiny house community or a tiny house village as a group of tiny house enthusiasts, you must first of all determine who will own the land and how the resources will be shared. It’s always good to own the land as a group.
Community rules and expectations
Living in a tiny house means that there are certain rules and regulations that will be set to guide each member on how to share resources, and how to coexist. With those details, it’s important to start by deciding how the decisions, rules and expectations will be conducted.
Controlling ongoing expenses
The fact is that there are a lot of expenses that will accrue in the future. Always start by asking yourself how the future expenses and purchases be shared. These will accrue mainly because of the improvements and maintenance.
Cost of Living in a tiny house in Los Angeles
The cost of living in Los Angeles keeps on skyrocketing. If you want to establish a community there or want to join a tiny house community in Los Angeles, there are chances that you want to know how much land you’ll require, the cost of purchasing the land and the cost of living in this area.
How much land do you need to park a Tiny House?
The size of land you need to park your tiny house will directly be determined by the size of your tiny house. For people with tiny houses above 200 square foot, they definitely need relatively larger space to park their tiny houses. Different counties have different requirements when it comes to tiny houses. This means that you have to adhere to the minimum square footage requirements.
How expensive is it to rent land in L.A for a tiny house?
There are several factors that will determine the cost of renting land for tiny houses in Los Angeles. Here are some of the factors that can affect the cost.
- Water and sewage access
- Cable and Wi-Fi
- Recreational facilities nearby
- Water features
These factors can increase or reduce the cost of renting land for tiny houses in Los Angeles. If you choose urban locations, then you will have access to all these amenities. The cost of renting land in the urban areas of Los Angeles can range from $300-$1,500 every month. After having the figures, you can start hunting for the best rental spaces within your budget.
Can I build a tiny house on vacant land in Los Angeles?
The fact remains that what is legal in one place in the US might not be legal in the other state or city down the highway. A good example is Los Angeles rules and regulations on tiny houses. So whether a tiny house is legal and what conditions apply if you want to build it will differ from one place to the other. Deciding whether you can build a tiny house on a vacant land in Los Angeles is a serious decision and you have to conduct site-specific research.
You should do due diligence before you buy a tiny house in Los Angeles. You have to complete what lawyers calls due diligence to minimize chances of getting on the wrong hand of law. You should ask yourself several questions such as does the local zoning code allow use of tiny houses as a residential dwelling? What development standards apply in these areas and what building and safety standards should you meet?
Applicable zoning ordinance
In Los Angeles, the city council controls how land is used through the land use regulations. The regulations are codified in zoning code also known as development codes or zoning codes. Check the Building on Vacant Land: Zoning Issues that you might face in that specific area. You will have to ask yourself what the underlying zone is and what uses are allowed in that specific area.
Tiny Houses must meet the safety standards. The California Department of Housing and Community Development in specific areas issue an information Bulletin to confirm all the standards that a tiny house must meet. To be a lawful dweller, you must construct tiny houses on a camping cabin; a site built dwelling unit, a park trailer, recreational vehicle or manufactured homes.
Types of Foundation
There are different types of foundations that you can build your tiny house on. The fact remains that even the foundation of your tiny house is still managed and controlled by the government. They must meet the different building and safety standards.
Where to build a tiny house
Chandler Street Tiny Home Village
The first Tiny Home community opened in Los Angeles in Feb 2021 with more than 75 beds for the homeless in Los Angeles. The Chandler Street Tiny Home Village was funded and built by the city of Los Angeles in North Hollywood. The city of Los Angeles partnered with Councilman Paul Krekorian a and the community is now organised and run by a non-profit organisation referred to as Hope of the Valley.
This village currently has 40 homes and more than 75 beds. Each tiny home constructed here is 64 sq. ft. The houses come with air-conditioning, windows, a small desk, locking front door and two beds. The residents in this area are promised onsite meals, showers, mental health and housing support, small dog run, WiFi and Job training and placement.
Park Delta Bay
Park Delta Bay is another legal tiny house community California that you should familiarize yourself with. It is just a small community with just few owners. The community is occupied by tiny houses and dozens of park models. It also comes with club amenities such as Bathrooms, clubhouse, tennis courts, lush green lawns, fishing docks and volleyball court.
The main benefits of choosing the Park Delta bay is the fact that it offers a relaxed country lifestyle. However, it’s close to the urban centres of Sacramento and San Francisco Bay area. You can always get reviews of new models from manufacturers that can help you set a tiny home in Park Delta Bay.
Are there places to park my Tiny House in L.A?
There are many tiny house parking spots in Los Angeles where you can park your tiny house on wheels or RV. Though, the challenge is to find a great spot to meet your needs. If this is your goal right now, we have a comprehensive guide with things to consider for parking spaces for Tiny houses on wheels in Los Angeles. Some of these include the Budget, various rules and regulations, social utilities and amenities. Instead of driving around the city of Los Angeles, we have compiled this guide to narrow all the options.
Tiny houses and RVs have almost the same requirements. This means that you can consider parking your tiny house on RV parks. The RV Park is a large area that the city council has designed to cater for the needs of RV owners to park and access amenities such as kid’s playground, hanging lines, laundry service, bar, bathroom, toilets, picnic areas, bathroom, the sewer system and so forth.
A good example of a RV park in Los Angeles is Hollywood RV park. The occupants of the RV and the tiny house on wheels will determine the best spot to park the RV or the tiny house. The Hollywood RV Park is located on 7740 Balboa Blvd, van Nuys.
Tiny House communities
Given the fact that the tiny homes are on the rise, there has been buzz about the creation of tiny house communities in Los Angeles. One of these tiny house communities is the Tiny House Enthusiasts that was designed to help tiny house owners find a great spot to park their RCVs and tiny houses and access some important facilities and amenities.
Dockweiler RV park
This RV parking spot is managed by the Los Angeles County Government. It is designed for beach and ocean lovers and people that wanted to get a break from the busy urban life. This parking spot is directly located close to a beach, with a great view of the Malibu and Catalina Island. You can actually park your tiny house here and swim all day and eventually take a shower and clean your clothes because all the amenities and facilities are available here. The rates are reasonable considering the location of this spot.
However, this RV park spot is close to an airport which means there’s a lot of noise but you can enjoy seeing planes take off and land in a clean environment. The staffs is very actionable and can always help you settle and find exactly what you want. Here is what you will get in this parking spot:
- Daily rates as low as $55
- Full hook-ups
- 30-50 Amps
- Pull through and back-in sites.
Golden Shore RV Resort
Here is another parking spot for tiny houses close to the suburb of long beach. The parking offers all tiny home owners and RV owners a great access to aquarium of the pacific. It is relatively larger than the park we discussed above and also has variety of great tourist attractions and museums.
It is located in the downtown area of Long Beach. There are hot tubs for adults only, a deep pool and showers for everyone. There’s a laundry area next to the pool and a fire pit to keep you warm during all times of the day.
Are tiny homes legal in Los Angeles?
Yes, there are certain areas where you can establish your tiny house. The ADU is approved by the LA City Council. ADU permits movable tiny homes as permanent and permissible habitable dwelling units.
Where can I pack a tiny house in Los Angeles?
As additional tiny house owners choose to keep their homes on wheels, this could mean limited parking areas. However, as long as your house is built and certified by RVIA, you can always find a place to park your home.
What cities in California allow tiny houses?
You can always start a tiny house in the counties of Contra Costa, Lake Mendocino, Sacramento and Sonoma. These houses are allowed here as caregiver dwelling areas. What this means is that you can have a tiny house in your backyard and move around with the tiny house on wheels to offer the needed assistance.
How much does a tiny house cost in Los Angeles?
Los Angeles pays a lot of money to build tiny homes for homeless people. The cost of tiny houses is estimated to be about $130,000 according to the Los Angeles Time. The cost can skyrocket depending on the materials used and the interior décor and accessories.
Living in a limited space with a lot of duo purpose equipment and walk-in closet may not be for everyone. But if you wanted to start a tiny house community or join a tiny house community in Los Angeles, this guide might be very useful.