The Most Tiny House Friendly Places in the United States

Several states in the U.S. have regulations allowing tiny houses, but there are some places that are particularly welcoming to these small dwellings. Here’s a look at some of them.

New Mexico

The state of New Mexico is a welcoming place for tiny house owners. Although there are some restrictions, living in a tiny house is widely accepted. In New Mexico, tiny homes must sit on a permanent foundation and must comply with the Energy Conservation Code. In addition, tiny homes must have a smoke alarm and 32-inch-high doors.

New Mexico is a state that is becoming increasingly popular for tiny house builders, with friendly zoning laws and longstanding traditions of living in smaller spaces. Before you start building your tiny house, decide on its purpose, the type of foundation, and the amount of mobility you want.

California

California has a unique set of rules and regulations when it comes to tiny houses. Every city and county in the state has different building codes, zoning ordinances, and restrictions. California has over 58 counties and 478 cities, and not all of them share the same laws. For this reason, you must make sure that your tiny house is compliant with local laws in your area. Fortunately, there are ways to find out what your local laws are before you build your tiny house.

When it comes to building tiny homes, California is one of the most tiny house-friendly states in the country. The state is also eco-friendly, making it a great place to build a tiny house. However, with its pluses, California has serious regulatory, land use, and tax issues that anyone will want to consider before building here.

Florida

If you’re looking for a warm, welcoming place to build your tiny home, Florida may be the state for you. Florida has many cities and counties that allow tiny houses, but building codes and zoning ordinances vary from county to county. Before you move to Florida, you should check to make sure that your area allows tiny homes.

Before you build your tiny home in Florida, you should know about the minimum square footage requirements. Some counties in Florida permit small units as little as 375 square feet, while others require at least 1,000 square feet. Knowing the minimum square footage requirements will help you design your tiny house properly. Although there are some restrictions regarding square footage, Florida is one of the most tiny house friendly states in the country.

Texas

If you’re looking for a state where tiny homes are legal, Texas is a great option. Its zoning laws are incredibly lenient, and the state even has a spur tiny home community that’s growing in popularity. The first tiny house-friendly town in the country is Spur, Texas, a small town outside of Lubbock. The town is home to about 1,000 people and has plenty of outdoor recreational opportunities, including parks, golf courses, and walking trails.  At one point people were buying lots for just a few hundred dollars. Spur is a perfect spot for people who want to avoid city taxes and live simply, but still feel like they’re living in a community.

Although the west coast still dominates the tiny house market, Texas is rapidly becoming a hotbed for new tiny homes. As a result, it’s quickly becoming one of the nation’s most tiny house friendly states. Though the west coast continues to be a trendsetting state for tiny houses, liberal urban areas such as Texas have embraced the lifestyle.

Kentucky

While many cities and states have laws prohibiting tiny houses, Kentucky is one of the few that allows them as a single-dwelling unit. Kentucky’s tiny house ordinance applies to new and permanent tiny houses and varies by city. Some cities allow them with a permit, but some do not. Other cities and states categorize them as recreational vehicles and prohibit them entirely.

The tiny house movement in Kentucky has been slow to catch on, but some cities have made progressive changes in recent years. For example, Lexington, Kentucky’s second largest city, has amended its zoning ordinances to allow tiny houses and other accessory dwelling units in certain neighborhoods. The zoning rules still require them to meet all of the city’s other requirements.

Final thoughts…

This article has focused on the general attitudes in several states, however, it cannot be emphasized enough that each local entity has their own unique approach to tiny homes.  You can find locations in a state with both the most restrictive and most friendly laws in the country.  Whatever you do, make sure to do plenty of homework before making decisions on your tiny house adventure.

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