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7 Most Popular States for Tiny Homes

Published on: 21 June 2024 (Fri)
7 Most Popular States for Tiny Homes

Tiny homes are an easy way to embrace sustainable living and reduce your carbon footprint. Every inch of a tiny home has a function, making it stylish and comfortable without the wasted space and resources of a traditional house. 

While not all areas are friendly to tiny homes, more and more states are getting on board with the movement. Ideally, you want to be in a state that allows you to build a tiny home on your property or park your residence on wheels.

Business Insider indicates tiny homes are under 400 square feet. People’s reasons for living in a small abode include being able to put it on wheels and travel, creating an off-the-grid lifestyle, lower price points and helping the environment. 

Some factors influencing whether a place is a good choice include the cost of living, rules and regulations, construction costs and proximity to family or amenities. The list consists of states where it’s inexpensive to build and maintain a tiny home, popular destinations and a mix of locations from north to south and east to west. 

1. Mississippi

If you’re looking at cost alone and are open to living in the south, Mississippi has inexpensive construction rates and cost of living. However, you will need a car, which can add to your expenses. Unless you are in a larger city, finding work can also be challenging.

One option is to secure a work from home (WFH) job. With a WFH position, you can take your tiny home anywhere and enjoy the advantage of higher hourly wages in an area with lower expenses. 

Each county also has rules about tiny homes, so research thoroughly before moving to the state.

2. California

The cost of transporting your belongings can add up. A self-driven rental truck costs $60 a day and up. Depending on the area of the country you are moving from, California can be a long haul and require multiple days to drive. 

However, the mild weather in the state is attractive to many people who want to be more self-reliant and avoid adding to the environmental overload. However, some more populated places have limitations on where you can set your structure. You should also consider the state’s higher cost of materials and labor expenses. It might be best to build elsewhere and move your tiny home later. 

Check the counties you would like to live in, but users on Reddit discussion forums indicate that Sonoma County is one option. In 2020, California updated its accessory dwelling unit (ADU) laws and classified tiny homes and backyard cottages. 

3. North Carolina

Do you love the charm and fall colors of the East Coast? Heading to North Carolina could be a viable option. Many locations still have low construction and living costs. 

Acony Bell is a community of 80 lots with sewage and electric hookups. The group of tiny home owners live close to Asheville, home of the Biltmore Estate and plenty of restaurants and nightlife. 

Numerous places in the state are friendly to tiny homes. As with all states, regulations vary by county, so you’ll have to find one that allows you to park your structure.

4. Oregon

If you need more ideas, you should head back to the West Coast for a state with tiny-home-friendly legislation. The weather is cooler and rainy at times, but the state is a beautiful one with national parks and plenty of outdoor activities to keep you entertained. 

As with most things on the West Coast, the cost of living is higher. However, companies also pay higher salaries, offsetting added expenses. Build your tiny house on wheels before heading to Oregon for the most bang for your buck.

If you have a friend who will let you set up your house on wheels in their backyard or lease you a small spot of land, you’ll have the perfect setup. 

5. Alaska

At the opposite end of the climate spectrum is Alaska, with harsher winters and mild summers. However, much of the state is undeveloped or small towns, offering many options for where to travel with your small cottage on wheels. 

Things cost more as resources are harder to access. However, the pace of life is simpler. You may spend less and focus more on things such as having a greenhouse and spending time with friends or in self-reflection.

Living simply changes your perspective. If you practice gratitude for the little things, you’ll be a happier person.  

6. Kentucky

Nestled between the South and the Midwest, Kentucky is a viable option for tiny home living. You’ll have access to larger northern cities, such as Louisville and Lexington. To the south, you can set up near the college town of Bowling Green and be a close drive from Nashville, Tennessee. 

Many parts of the state lack clear construction rules, making tiny homes a possibility. However, some counties require certain types of foundations for all size structures. You will have to follow local building codes, so do research beforehand to see what’s allowed in each location. 

7. Texas

Next on the list is a humongous state in the southwest. People often cite the state as friendly to tiny home living. Several big cities mean people frequently move in and out for work. Rather than make it difficult for people to find dwelling, they embrace the concept of a house on wheels.

Austin, Fort Worth and Houston have dedicated tiny home communities with solar power and community areas. The city council of Spur, Texas, passed the first tiny-house friendly resolution in the nation in 2014. Although it is a small community, it is open to alternative dwellings. 

Other Options

While the seven states listed offer a lot to choose from, you can build a tiny home almost anywhere. Experts predict the tiny home market will increase by $4.17 billion by 2027. Expect to see more and more communities passing regulations on how and where you can place your house on wheels. However, they will also make accommodations for those wanting to live in a smaller square footage structure. 

You may have to adjust whether the structure is on wheels or how you handle electricity and plumbing. Pay attention to building codes. When in doubt, take a trip to the county courthouse and talk to the authorities about what they permit for new construction. With a bit of research and an open mind about where to locate your new house, you’ll find the perfect solution to suit your needs.

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