Answer for "What States Allow Tiny Houses?"

Cottell Cooper real estate agent
  Palatial Property Partner, LLC

“What states allow tiny houses?” – that’s a very simple question that yields a very complicated answer.

And that’s because:

  • Building codes vary not only from state to state but from city to city. So there are states that have some cities that do allow, and other cities don’t;
  • There are states – like Alaska - that don’t mention anything about it on their building code and have not registered any Tiny Houses, so we guess there aren’t enough Tiny Houses there to make the building of it an issue;
  • There’s a whole complication caused by the differentiation of Motorhome RVs, Tiny Houses built on the floor and Tiny Houses with wheels. Yes, RVs are, essentially, a Tiny Home, but the fact that they are on wheels, require different and additional laws. Same thing with Tiny Houses that actually have wheels beneath them and can be towed by a car.

As you see; a lot of variables when answering what states allow tiny houses, right?

Plus, the truth is that the fascinating trend of tiny houses is a very new one. Chances are that if we single out this or that state/city as not allowing, something changes and the information becomes incorrect. So, better than answering what states allow tiny houses, is pointing out the *best* states for Tiny Houses; that is, states that might even have some cities who specifically do not allow tiny homes, but have some outstanding cities that are “tiny homes friendly”.

California – the counties of Alameda, Contra Costa, Lake, Mendocino, Napa, Sacramento, and Sonoma allow Tiny Houses on Wheels to park in the backyard of a person in need of assistance. They’re classified as “caregiver dwellings”. In the city of Fresno, you can park your Tiny House on wheels without the requirement of the owner being a caregiver. Once Fresno did that, the city of Ojai followed suit and started drafting amendments on their building and zoning codes. A ripple effect is likely to happen, especially when you remember California is one of the most progressive states in the country, however, Los Angeles has been surprisingly reticent towards the movement with the police even seizing some tiny houses. Well, not that surprising, as the city is already crowded, so they are more cautious about it.

Florida – When questioning what states allow tiny houses, Rockledge Real Estate Agents will tell you their city loves Tiny Houses. Rockledge, Florida has one of the most progressive Tiny Houses zoning ordinances in the country! You can find definitions for both tiny houses and tiny houses on wheels on their zoning codes, which provides two appropriate zoning districts for the establishment of tiny homes communities of 150 to 700 square feet parking space.

Colorado – another very progressive state, Colorado has in Walsenburg one of the cities that adopted the Tiny House movement at an early age. Since 2013 they allow tiny houses between 120 and 600 square feet.

Oregon – Portland Real Estate Agents will say their city is the best cities for tiny houses. Portland city zoning allows (and supports) the construction of accessory dwelling units; or ADUs. This made possible not only a community of tiny houses around a larger structure (with bathrooms etc.) but also a tiny house hotel, where – instead of staying in a room, you get to experience what is like to live in a tiny home.

Texas – The city of Spur wanted to challenge Portland for that title, so local government basically voted away nearly all their restrictions back in 2014. All one needs to do is send their design for approval and agree to connect the tiny home to the municipal sewage system, power grid, and water supply. Plus, because the city is right by the tornado alley, the tiny homes need to be fixated on concrete foundations. Fort Worth and Austin Real Estate Agents will note that their cities have been relaxing their codes for tiny houses as well, and some rural areas are basically “wild wild west” with no specific rules and ordinances, so, basically, you can build whatever you want. In the end, because of all that, with big cities allowing and small cities not even aware of it, of the states that allow tiny houses, Texas might be *the* best one.


Real Estate Tip:

The absolutely fail-proof way to discover what states allow tiny houses is to find a local real estate agent and just ask! He/She will know all the right and wrong ways to make all the big decisions for your tiny home. But if you wish to continue researching so you know what you’re talking about, check more Real Estate Questions; they might have the answer you are in search of.

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