First, to spread the word about what I do with Tumbleweed, and with tiny housing and design in general, I’ve started a new Facebook discussion/tiny house page- where you can also reach me with building, design, and workshop questions- its www.facebook.com/tinyhousehub
I just wanted to thank those involved with the very recent Boston, MA workshop for being such a kick-butt, super-friendly, open-minded, awesome group. I had an absolute blast teaching the class, we were able to unveil/introduce one of Tumbleweed’s newest team members, solar-guru Ross Beck, AND, we even got to go on a field trip to visit THE FIRST EVER built Tumbleweed Tiny House!
Other guests included Sage Radachowsky, who lives near the city in a self-built tiny house (you can check out a full video tour here)
AND Chris Haynes, who built a Tumbleweed XS AND a Tumbleweed Bodega in MA recently. The guy did an amazing job! And you’ll see more from him soon!
Also, I hope to see some of you at the class I’m teaching in Vancouver, BC, or perhaps another workshop down the road! Do check out the details over on the “Workshops” page of the Tumbleweed site.
Until then, Stay Tiny! Or at least modestly sized….
‘Financial freedom’ is a phrase rooted in the appeal of tiny houses. I used it before I lived in mine because not many people seem to have it, and it was a great reason to give to inquiring minds that must know why the heck you want to build this unusually small house.
It sounds good, ‘financial freedom’, doesn’t it? But though I used the term frequently, I couldn’t know what it would mean to me in real life terms because I wasn’t there yet. Now that I live tiny full time, I am slowly understanding the weight of this, and just how few people really do have it.
The freedom that tiny houses allow isn’t just financial, it’s a full circle of inter-connected possibilities that exemplify the word and absolutely blow my mind. I could write a novel, but here are just a few of the freedoms I find living tiny.
Freedom to Change
I can change things now that would have seemed unchangeable to me with the strings of my conventional life. I can change the position of my house with the seasons or move across the country and take that same house with me.
I have already changed the way I live and think and I’m able to start changing habits that were making me unhappy; I am clean and tidy in my house, I make lists and get way more done. My new part-time job with Tumbleweed that I love is all I need to do because my overhead is so low.
The initial changes of committing to—and building—a tiny house broke the stagnation that held me back and set me on a path of forward movement....
If you’re interested in a Tumbleweed cottage, they meet code in most places as a primary residence, so just take the study plans for your chosen model to the local zoning authority and check with them.
Tiny houses on wheels are a bit of a hybrid – neither conventional house nor truly a travel trailer. There are places where it’s clearly legal to live in one (such as RV or mobile home parks), places where it’s clearly illegal, and places where it’s a gray area.
They are generally viewed as Recreational Vehicles by zoning officials and therefore can be researched at your local zoning office as an RV or travel trailer. Laws vary from place to place but it’s generally legal to ‘camp’ in the yard of an existing home in an RV, but not legal to ‘inhabit’ one full time. For the most part, communities don’t have the manpower or budget to actively enforce those codes, and the only way you would come to their attention would be if neighbors called in complaints. If you’re a good neighbor who keeps things clean, lives in harmony with the people in the area, and treats your wastes responsibly, you can greatly increase your odds of living peacefully for as long as you like in a given locale. The unique charm of a tiny Tumbleweed often makes them so attractive to people that they’re more likely to come over and see your place, introduce themselves, and generally be delighted to have you as part of the neighborhood.
Your best bet is either finding someone who is willing to rent a spot on their land to place your little house on, or buy land that already has a house on it – perhaps an extreme fixer to save you money. You can place a little Tumbleweed on the land and live in it while you renovate the existing structure. As far as renovations blowing your budget – maybe the renovations just take a long time. Someday when they’re done, you can consider renting out the main house for income. It’s a gray area, but folks are often able to live in peace indefinitely because the houses are so charming that people rarely complain.
The reason to avoid raw land is that most communities would never voluntarily let your tiny Tumbleweed be the only house on the land. In order to get utilities in place you would have to get a permit for building a conventional house, which requires full plans and expensive permit fees – and the permits and costs for getting utilities to a piece of land are astronomically high, unless you want to develop your utilities off grid.....
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