Things to Know Before You Buy a Tiny House

Posted by Larry Tollen on Tuesday, January 22nd, 2019 at 3:15pm

Tiny House

 

There are things to know before you buy a Tiny House. Tiny houses are sweeping the nation with their charming looks and function-packed features. At no more than 500 square feet, they focus on simple living without sacrificing on quality or comfort. And speaking of quality and comfort--tiny houses can be stocked with everything from Smeg fridges to clawfoot tubs. This level of comfort makes tiny houses livable for more than just a vacation. Now before you head off to purchase your tiny home, it’s a good idea to do your research. Here's a look at what you should know before buying a tiny house.

Tiny houses can be divided into two main categories; tiny houses on wheels and tiny houses on foundations.

Tiny houses on foundations are built similarly to standard residential homes; giving you more design freedom as well as location options. On the other hand, tiny houses on wheels are built securely on a trailer. While it can be somewhat tricky to find land for this kind of tiny house, the freedom to move at any time is undeniably appealing. 

You'll need to get creative. Entertaining in a small space is possible with a few, tiny adjustments. Think one pot dinners served in bowls to reduce the Tiny Houseamount of dirty dishes and increase table space. Outdoor seating area is another great addition to a party with more than four people. Add a few LED light strings as an alternative to candles for ambiance.

Downsizing is necessary...to a point. While it's true that a smaller space means fewer places to store personal items, it doesn't mean you have to get rid of everything. Family photo albums and other items of value can be put in a storage unit or at a family member's house.

You can finance your tiny home. If you aren't able to pay up front, there are a number of resources you can use to learn how to finance a tiny house.

Finding a location to live legally in a tiny house can be difficult. This is because zoning codes and building regulations vary greatly from place to place. Some states have yet to even recognize tiny houses, making homeownership a frustrating process for tiny house hopefuls. It's important to contact your local municipality for the most recent information regarding tiny house laws specific to your area.

As a state, North Carolina building codes and zoning regulations make the building of a tiny house difficult (particularly a tiny house on wheels). Here's a look at some of the available information when it comes to North Carolina cities and tiny houses:

Chapel Hill

  • Tiny houses on wheels are classified as RVs. The further outside the city you go, the less restrictive it becomes.

  • RV living is limited to designated areas and for a maximum of 180 days.

  • Accessory dwelling units (ADUs) are permitted in certain zones if your property is classified as Single Family Residential.

  • Minimum lot size for a single-family home can be found here.

Tiny House - StudioDurham

  • According to the Durham Planning Department, lots for a single-family home require a minimum lot space of 5,000 square feet.

  • Additionally, the minimum size for a single-family home is 400 square feet.

  • Tiny houses on wheels are classified as RVs. The further outside the city you go, the less restrictive it becomes.

Raleigh

  • Residential Accessory structures (similar to ADUs) are permitted on the same lot as a single or two-family home. Additional information including steps to obtain a permit can be found here.

  • Tiny houses on wheels are classified as RVs. The further outside the city you go, the less restrictive it becomes.

As you can see, tiny houses are not yet fully recognized by many of North Carolina’s major cities. However, the discussion has started regarding the benefits of tiny living in terms of affordable housing and transitional housing for the homeless. For the time being, living part-time in a tiny house on wheels or opting for an accessory dwelling unit appear to be the most viable (and legal) options.

Do you have useful tips? Let us know in the comments below!

 

 

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