Tiny Homes can face big obstacles

Tiny houses have certainly captured the imaginations of many. You can see numerous TV shows and read countless articles all dealing with what some consider a trend, and others are turning to as a way of life. There are companies that produce tiny homes, often for under $50,000, which makes them affordable and possibly appealing to those who couldn’t afford a more traditional home. They are marketed to those who want to live off grid, those who are burdened with student loan debt, or those who don’t have the retirement savings they had hoped, as affordable alternatives to either enter or maintain home ownership. A tiny home can be anywhere from 80 square feet to around 700 square feet and no matter how you choose to power it, they have less of an impact on the environment that your standard model house.

Small, tiny red house situated amongst trees. Small eco footprint

However, for all the enthusiasm and TV shows that help pique the interest of potential buyers, there are some major obstacles to being able to legally live in a tiny house. In many areas of the country the zoning laws are not written with tiny houses in mind. You may find that single family homes need to be at least 1,000 square feet, or that you aren’t allowed to have a permanent home on wheels (which is a common feature of many tiny houses and part of the appeal for many). Getting insurance can be another problem and you certainly want to insure something you just spent 50k or more on, especially when it is your home. There are other obstacles as well, such as financing. Many banks or other lenders seem to be unwilling to provide the financing for a tiny house that they may for a traditional home, or even an RV. So, while tiny homes may hold a lot of appeal, you need to do your homework on your local zoning laws, insurance policies, and more before you go out and make that investment.