Got a tiny house on wheels and looking for a nice place to park it – so you can actually live in it?
Just because you have a tiny house on wheels, doesn’t mean you can live in it!
You actually can’t just run some power and hoses to it and start sleeping in a tiny house – even if you OWN or have rights to use the property its on. In all honesty, it can be a little tricky finding a place that will allow you to live in your tiny house on wheels; those same non-traditional freedom advantages of mobility, affordability, lack of any building code enforcement, etc also limits where you can reside in one.
Most cities in fact will NOT let you live in a tiny house legally.
For those that do, its usually only limited to certain rare areas where the zoning will allow such residency, and that’s also assuming the infrastructure is in place to accommodate this type of housing. That’s why typically, unless you have some land out in the country with laxed building codes and infrastructure already setup, or you’re setup for off-grid – most people find a tiny house community their best bet for living in a tiny house on wheels.
What are the benefits of living in a tiny house community? What kind of amenities can you expect?
There are many benefits to living in a tiny house community. The main being that once you’re approved for a spot/lot, you typically are able to just bring your home in, level it and hook up utilities and you’re now living Tiny!
Of course, there is a cost associated with having everything “done for you”:
- finding suitable land (with the funding to purchase it)
- getting approval and permits (and paying the fees and property taxes!) to the authorities
- liability insurance
- putting in the infrastructure; working with the utilities, subcontractors and lots of heavy machinery to put infrastructure in place
- roads, parking pads, street lights,
- water, power, septic/sewer, gas/propane, internet
- mail facilities, trash facilities, laundry, outdoor cooking/grilling facilities
- pet area
- typically some kind of public space or club house or gathering area
- security (cameras, gates, fences, access codes)
- additional storage or garage space or a shed or decking, etc
- communal vegetable gardens to grow your own food
- storm drainage/run off control, landscaping
It’s not uncommon for this monthly “lot rent” or lease to be as high as $1200 or more in places and with zero vacancy & waiting lists (but more commonly $700-$900/mo) – and sometimes utilities can be on top of that (though normally at least some are included at the higher ends).
Because of the high cost of developing land (especially in the last few years with prices going up and up), it’s also common to pay “key money”, or an access fee of sorts to secure the rights to that lot for a period of time (like a 2 year lease for example, at which point you could end the lease or continue to renew annually). This key money can be $5,000 to $10,000 depending on the community, with some of the more difficult and remote properties charging as much as $30,000 (just so you can be aware of that ahead of time).
In Huntsville, Alabama we have one such tiny house community (currently; working on a developing a larger property in the near future…) with views of the backside of Monte Sano and very quick direct access to highway 72, just minutes from downtown Huntsville. Only a few remaining spots for a couple more “tiny housers” seeking a longer term residency (12 months or longer; no black water hookups – gray water systems only currently)…
In East Albuquerque, New Mexico we have another such property available, currently undergoing expansion due to the large demand for spaces out there. On the backside of Albuquerque mountain, this beautiful property is nestled along groves of pine nuts tree which can be harvested and consumed as well…