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The Top 5 Barriers In The Tiny House Movement

Posted by Dani Watkins on October 21, 2016
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There are a few barriers that people encounter when getting ready to make the change from traditional living to the tiny house life. The folks at the Tiny Life asked their readers for solutions to the top fives problems that tiny house buyers encounter, and the community came back with some great solutions.

 

Land

Finding the space to park your tiny house is one of the main hurdles to overcome when making the transition.  One way that many tiny home owners have found to be an easy solution is to find someone who will allow you to park your home on their property. In exchange for using their property, tiny home owners have paid rent or even offered to lend a hand maintaining the property.

Another option is cooperative purchasing. If you can find a group of like-minded people, you can pool your money together to purchase a piece of land. Look for pieces of property that have failed the “perk test” or land that is located in rural areas. These are often the cheapest types of land available to purchase. Our listings have a section called “parking wanted” which is also a great place to start.

There is always the option of finding RV parks, mobile home parks, or campgrounds.  It is best to know land laws as well as campground policies before deciding on where to park your tiny home.

 

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Loans

As of now, banks are cautious when taking the risks on tiny houses and as such it can be tough to secure a personal loan. The best way to overcome this issue is to be self-funded and pay with cash. In some cases, you can ask a friend or family member for a loan, just be sure that you have solid plan in place so that your relationship with them as well as your finances stay healthy.

Part of the idea of the tiny life is to scale down on the possessions and clutter that overwhelm your lifestyle. Selling some of the unnecessary things in your current life can be a good head start on saving up money for a tiny house. Another way is to purchase a tiny house with a low APR credit card and treat your monthly credit card bill as a mortgage, however keep in mind that loans mean you will owe in the future which might feel like a burden. We suggest that if possible; you save up and pay for it all upfront so that you can enjoy the lifestyle with all of the burden-free benefits.

 

Laws

Are you wondering about the Canadian building code guidelines for a Tiny House? Section 9 of the code requires that a “home” be a minimum 400sq ft in size. On top of this, in order to keep their tax base up — **some** municipalities require additional square footage (of heatable space, not including walls). One way to get around this is to add a heatable patio that increases the square footage of livable space.

On the other hand, there are municipalities that will consider accepting tiny homes under 400 sq ft so long as they are considered an RV and have an RV VIN#.  The best way to find out is to ask what your municipality allows. Cooperation is always best when you want a Tiny Home in an urban area.

And lastly as an alternative — you can always take your chances and live in a tiny house that doesn’t meet the regulations — thousands of people in Canada and the US already do, and because of the community support and the mobility of tiny homes, the lifestyle benefits outweigh the possible hassle. It’s a matter of personal choice.

To check with your local municipality on whether zoning bylaws allow you to build and/or reside in a tiny house, and if so with what stipulations, check out this link on our resources page. You can also do an internet search for “municipal building requirements in ______ (your location).”

 



NOTE* There are many efforts in place to change building code and zoning regulations to make living in a tiny house more widely acceptable. These include: 

– Live Tiny Canada Petition: change.org petition

– Efforts from Gen Squeeze



 

Social pressure

Big is always better, right? Today, people feel the pressure to live life as to what the social norm dictates. Tiny house owners feel pressure from family and friends about transitioning to the tiny life. In this case we suggest that you have a firm belief in yourself while also understanding their point of view. You can’t convince everyone, but you shouldn’t feel like you have to either. Know what your motivations are, and find like-minded people to help elevate any social pressures you may feel.

 

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Fear

Having fear of moving into a tiny house goes along with the title of this whole article. Think about what it felt like when you made your first major purchase- it feels overwhelming at first because you are taking a leap of faith. The best advice that everyone can agree with is, do your homework. Assess ways to mitigate the risk and put it into perspective based on your lifestyle.



There is a reason that you are drawn to the lifestyle. Follow your heart but use your mind to guide you in making the right decisions.





How about you? What other solutions do you have to offer to other tiny house owners? Let us know in the comment section below!

One thought on “The Top 5 Barriers In The Tiny House Movement

  • natalie brake
    on October 21, 2016

    testing the comments section

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