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..... Read More
I met a visitor in the Tumbleweed office today named Adam Nelson. We sat together for a while to talk about his idea of the perfect spot to live in his Tumbleweed, a Lusby that will be delivered May 25th. After chatting with him, we decided to send out a message on his behalf to our Tumbleweed folks in his neighborhood to see if we could help him find his dream spot.
Adam works in Clive and would love to walk or bike to work, so his ideal location would be somewhere in the west side of Des Moines within 20 miles of Clive, the closer the better. The space would need to be available at the end of May, and if everything else works out well he sees himself living there for a year or two. He's a quiet guy who doesn't expect to entertain frequently, so he just needs one parking space for himself and access to one extra spot occasionally for a visitor. He's incredibly easy going, and couldn't think of anything in particular that would disqualify a potential locale, but I finally got him to tell me any illegal activity on the property would be a deal breaker.
He has no idea what kind of rent rate people would be looking for but he would be delighted to pay less than $400 per month if possible. He would consider being on call for a little work trade to offset his expenses and his offerings could include dog sitting, watching over the property during the owner's absence, and potentially making his professional skills available for things like occasional contract reviews and legal work, speeches, arguing things, or any tasks involving reading, writing and researching. He is allergic to cats, so if you have a cat in your house, he would not be able to hang out in your home or let your cat hang out in his little house.
On a personal note, I enjoyed Adam's company and found him to be warm-hearted, positive, cheerful, articulate, and just a very personable guy all around. If you or someone you know is in the right neighborhood and could use some extra income and the inspiring daily vision of a Lusby in your yard, get in touch with us at spot"at"tumbleweedhouses"dot"com
Workshop Presenter / Designer
Could you live in this 32-square-foot house? It could be yours for only $1,200!
Our good friend Derek "Deek" Diedricksen is selling his "Gypsy Junker". Check out the article that was posted on The Huffington Post.
Watch a video of the "Gypsy Junker" from Deek's youtube show Tiny Yellow House:
Don't Miss Your Chance to See Deek at One of Our Upcoming Workshops!
Yesterday's open house was a whirlwind. I'll admit that I spent the morning fairly certain that no one would come- the weather was weird, Sundays are lazy, and I sometimes lack social confidence.
But you, tiny house people, did not let me down. At exactly 12:58, a throng of people appeared, trudging through the mud. Children, farmers, urbanites, college officials- an incredibly kind and interesting crowd filled the house from start to finish. There was even a line outside!
One lovely lady brought me daffodils; another family brought me a cake from a favorite bakery. Everyone brought questions, cameras, and positive reinforcement. I wish I'd taken more pictures, but I was so busy answering questions that I didn't get a chance! Here's a few photos I snapped:
Some of the first attendees- laughs all around
Tumbleweed Open House
Don't miss your golden opportunity to view this Fencl!
Our writer Nara Williams, who is spending her semester living in this Fencl is having an open house this weekend for you to come see a tiny house for yourself.
When: Sunday March 3, 2013
To read more about Nara's semester in a tiny house, click here
We hope to see you there!