The tiny house communities (or tiny house villages) are a new part of the small house movement, which has a lot of potentials.
As I have written in my other article (Tiny House Community vs Trailer Park. Pros and Cons For Both); Tiny house communities are places that are set up for tiny houses to park and hook up the utilities (power and water) with a monthly fee. While most tiny house communities are general-purpose communities, some are designed for a specific purpose (retirement, homeless, low income, etc.).
The idea behind these communities is simple: Bring the tiny houses together; and utilize the skills, knowledge, and other resources from the tiny house owners.
Since -most likely- the tiny house owners are sharing similar ideas (starting with downsizing, and environmental concerns), creating a tiny house community makes sense. In this way, sharing resources help to decrease expenses, and also the owners may help each other with their day-to-day needs.
As you may have read from my other articles, the tiny house rules and regulations are still in the development stage in the US. If you own a THOW, it is hard to find a parking lot.
According to my research through FB groups (30 Tiny House Disadvantages (With Solution Suggestions)), 15% of the tiny house owners have problems with parking for their tiny houses. The answer to this problem is; Tiny House Communities.
Some tiny house communities are designed for THOWs, some have only tiny houses on foundations, some rent the tiny houses (tiny house rental community), and some of the tiny house communities sell them.
So; there are different types of tiny house villages out there. By searching different tiny house communities, you can find the perfect match for your needs. If you are not sure about long-term tiny house living, there are also options that you can rent tiny houses for the short term – even 2-day rentals are available in some communities.
If the tiny house community has all the permissions and official papers, you will not need to do anything else than hooking up your utility connections and enjoying life as a tiny house owner.
To provide a good tiny house communities resource, I have spent hours on phone talking to community owners and talking to real people who are living in such communities. In addition to my own experience, I have learned a lot after those conversations.
There are a couple of points related to tiny house communities or villages that I earned out of those conversations:
- There are multiple different tiny house community types: While some does not allow any THOWs to park to their land (they provide tiny houses), the others only allow customers’ THOWs to park (no on-site tiny houses). Some of them allow short term rentals, some only provide long-term (6 months, or 1 year min.) rentals. So; the first step should be to list what you need from a tiny house community, before searching the right one.
- There are mainly 3 types of tiny house community ownership:
- Family owned tiny house community: These are my favorite communities. Usually the owners also part of the residents, and they live in the same community. These kinds of ommunities create a much closer connection between the residents. Whenever I need anything, the solution is only a couple tiny house away. Love it.
- Company owned tiny house community: They manage tiny house communities as business. Most of the time, they have mutiple communities. In some cases, it may be harder to get some help over the weekends or in the middle of the nights.
- Non-profit tiny house community: As the name suggests, these tiny house communities are for helping people; veterans, homeless or any other group. They only cover the operational costs, that’s why usually these type villages are the cheapest ones.
One of the things that I have noticed during my research is that it is hard to find communities on the internet (some don’t have any websites, or some have really old websites with very limited information). I am thinking about creating a complete directory of tiny house communities. What do you think?
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Tiny Friendly Towns
I would like to mention one other type of tiny living: Tiny Friendly Towns.
These are the towns that welcome tiny houses by loosening the building codes in their towns. The first example is Spur, Texas.
In 2014; they decided to become tiny house friendly and changed their local building codes accordingly. After a ton of press releases, the town has sold more than 60 lots and welcomed 25+ new tiny-house residents. And the town is eager for more.
One of the local masterminds behind the revitalization effort is Dave Alsbury. He says Spur has the infrastructure to support 3,000 residents.
Since then, there are multiple towns joined to movement:
- Rockledge, Florida;
- Fresno, California;
- Nantucket, Massachusetts;
- and Walsenburg, Colorado.
If you are looking for a place to live with your tiny house, why not to go one of these tiny friendly towns and create your new life there?
How Much Does It Cost To Live In A Tiny House Community?
I have analyzed more than 20 different tiny house communities and talked to residents to be able to get a complete picture of tiny house community living expenses. You will see the basic findings in the below table.
Most of the tiny house villages have all utility connections (water, sewer, electricity) and the monthly rent includes those services. Some of them may not include electricity, though.
The average lot rent for tiny house communities is $550/month; while the cheapest is around $200/month and the most expensive is more than $1,500. The monthly fee usually includes clean and wastewater connections, garbage collection, and lawn maintenance. The other services may be available with additional cost; electricity, wifi connectivity, pool access, etc.
|Tiny House Community
|Paradise Tiny Village, Alabama
|No THOW parking
|No THOW parking
|Delta Bay, California
|Tiny House / Park Model rental available
|Peak View Park, Colorado
|50 RV and Park Model spaces available
|Orlando Lakefront, Floria
|FULL – 9/12 Months waiting list
|10 Tiny House rentals, and 40 tiny house parking lots
|Lomax Tiny House Community, Indiana
|Lots are for rent or sale
|The Hideaway, Missouri
|$425 – $525
|8 lots to rent
|Burleigh Plantation, Louisiana
|11 lots to rent
|Traverse Bay, Michigan
|The Sanctuary Minnesota, Minnesota
|$350 – $450
|4 lots to rent and 1 permanent tiny house
|Elevate Community Branson, Missouri
|48 Low-income tiny houses
|Airstream Park, Nevada
|33 rentable tiny houses
|Utopia RV And Tiny Home Park, New York
|Acony Bell Tiny Home Community, North Carolina *
|FULL / No availability until 2022
|Short term rental tiny houses are available
|Cedar Springs Tiny Village, Ohio *
|Tiny Tranquility, Oregon
|$575 – $600
|Exclusively for Tiny Homes and Vintage RVs
|Palmetto Grove, South Carolina
|$250 – $400
|Many options available, bring your own THOW, rent a lot, buy a lot…
|Tiny Town Extended Stay Campground, South Dakota
|$550 – $725
|26 lots available
|Boxwood Tiny Homes, Texas
|2 available spots left (as of July 2021)
|Canoe Bay Escape Village, Wisconsin
|Only Village tiny houses to rent or buy, no personal THOWs
What To Look For In A Tiny Home Community?
You have completed your research and decided to live in a tiny home community. Now the next important question: What to look for in a tiny home community? How to find the perfect match for your needs?
I have listed the 5 main points that need to be checked before picking up the tiny house community:
- Rent vs Buy vs Park: Do you want to rent a tiny house, or buy the house and live there for a long time? If you buy, can you sell it to others? or can you rent it to others easily? Or you are just looking for a lot to park your own tiny house? I think this is the first question to be answered.
- Tiny House Type: If you have a tiny house, the community needs to be accepting that kind of tiny houses. For example, some communities do not accept any tiny houses from outside, they require the customers to buy a tiny house from themselves. Or, if your tiny house is fully off-grid tiny house, you need to check with the community owners if they are accepting off-grid ones.
- Life Style: Your life style needs to match with tiny house village life style. Some communities are accepting only adult members (no kids), or some of them accepting only cats, or only indoor pets. Or you may want to have a quiet life and you prefer to live in an environment with no kids or pets. So; first decide what you want and then read all the details about the tiny house villages before deciding.
- Community Infrastructure And Amenities: What is being provided by the tiny house community, and for which services they will charge extra? If you don’t want to have any bad surprises after moving your THOW into a community, you need to check which hookups are available, and which services are included in the monthly fee. For most of the tiny house villages, clean and black/gray water connections are included with the monthly fee. While some of them are charging extra for the electricity, some includes into the fee. For example, in one of the tiny house communities that we have stayed, there was $50 charge for the lawn maintenance. However, you could work on the lawn maintenence, and not pay the monthly fee. So; the rules change community to community. Better to read all the details at the beginning
- Official Community Documentation and Permits: If you are plannning to stay in a tiny house community long term, better to make sure the the community permits and documentation is current. As we all know, the tiny house rules and regulations are not clear. Not only there is no single set of rules across the states, but also the existing rules keep changing. Rather than having some nasty situations in the future, better to make sure that the tiny house community has all the lagal paperwork in order and they are working together with the local authorities.
What Are Advantages of Living in a Tiny House Community?
Residing in a tiny house community has a great number of advantages. Let me list them for you quickly:
- a much lower cost of living, including cheaper repair works, and lower taxes
- a much smaller initial and ongoing costs. Usually means no worries about mortgages or bank loans. Renting expenses are also similarly reduced
- less money to spend on heating and cooling because of both the reduced number of rooms to heat/cool and the generally energy-saving, eco-friendly designs of the houses
- Many tiny house communities have the added benefit of having large backyards and outdoor areas, so you can spend more time enjoying nature and sunshine instead of being stuck indoors.
- Tiny houses are very promising as second properties. Lower initial cost and the smaller tax contributions residents have to pay, tiny homes are being taken up by those wishing to have a great retreat in the countryside. Some communities allow the tiny house owners to rent their properties to 3rd parties. This may become an additional income source for the tiny house owners.
- Tiny house is a great idea for retirement purposes. Especially retiree specific tiny house communities are great for new retirees looking for somewhere quiet to spend their autumn years in relative comfort and a stable sociable environment.
- Many of tiny house villages have communally shared facilities (bbq areas, walking trails, community pools, social centers, etc), which adds a much-needed social focus to the increasingly isolated norms of modern life.
- Shared gardens allow tiny home community members to grow their own products and really attain self-sufficiency in a way that is not possible in a regular home.
- In a tiny home community, you’ll be situated alongside like-minded people who have a similar interest in living a simpler life. A tiny house community provides you with the opportunity of really being in a social community.
In this article, I have tried to list everything you need as a tiny house community member (or future member). However, if your target is to build a tiny house community, take a look at my other article: How To Start A Tiny House Community? (9 Great Tips)