When looking to build a house, location is everything. Tiny houses give the illusion of temporary change but for some it’s a permanent solution to living. In many countries, building a house is governed by laws set up for each state, county and town. These guidelines fall under the zoning regulations and building codes that should be followed to make the building legal. Anyone breaking this law is liable to complaints by nosy neighbours, landlords and issues with the law.
Buying or renting out land is less challenging if the prospective owner already knows the requirements necessary for building a house on that piece of land. The biggest challenge is that most land is allocated to average residential homes as compared to tiny houses. In many countries the zoning regulations for where to put up a tiny house are unclear. Below are some of the important questions to have as food for thought when hunting for land.
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The location and size of the land
The very reason for moving from a big house with indoor comfort to a tiny house is to seek comfort in some outdoor activity. Get to know if you want to buy or rent a piece of land. Finding a place to park a tiny house in the city is more difficult than in the countryside. Most states allow for tiny houses to be built as long as they follow the building codes. The most common tiny houses are accessory dwelling units that are built in the backyard of main residential houses. Sites such as Land And Farm, Landwatch, Zillow can help find suitable land based on the location. Many states that are tiny house friendly offer activities such as hiking, mountain climbing, Kayaking, cycling and backpacking. Tiny house communities make it easier for new members joining to get easily adapted to the new lifestyle.
The climate of the area
It is a wise idea to build your tiny house in an area that does not normally experience storms or other harsh weather. Even with an adventurous spirit, a tiny house on wheels that is not built on a solid foundation close to the beach is not a good idea. Areas such as the Northeast region that gets snowy require houses to have insulation and heaters. These will not be the same for an area like Florida where the weather is very hot. Houses built in areas that experience hurricanes and tornadoes should be tied down and secured to the ground.
Zoning regulations and building codes
Doing research on the zoning regulations and building codes per state is very essential before buying land. Zoning regulations give mandate on the areas that allow tiny houses to be built. Building codes give the required measurements and details that go into the ceiling, bathroom, living room and safety. Some areas are not tiny house friendly so find out which states allow for both accessory dwelling units and houses on wheels. Some states such as Spur, Texas, Brevard in North Carolina and Fresno, California do not have strict size restrictions. The International residential code gives guidelines on the minimum size of a tiny house. The standard size requirement for each living space should be 120 square feet but this varies depending on the state. The house is to be inspected by a structural engineer and should be connected to the municipals water, electricity and sewage.
Network and talk to friends
The easiest way to spread information is through word of mouth. Often times, someone knows something about the same thing that is in question. Many tiny homes owners form communities that come together to discuss the challenges they face. Some people can even allow you to build a house in their compound as long as there is some sort of deal made. A real estate agent will be a very useful person when searching for land to build on. They are usually aware of the spaces available and their sizes. Housing agents can also come into play to help in setting up a tiny house as some are specialized in tiny houses. Social media sites such as Craigslist, Meetups and Facebook can also be a big help in finding advertized land. Your networks will provide some of the best leads when looking for parking.
Granted it is not easy to find land, the process can be made much more enjoyable by being aware of all this information that comes in handy.