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Living Tiny Legally: Three Part Docu-Series

We at Tiny House Talk show you a lot of examples of where you can purchase a tiny house, how you can build your own, and what your tiny house could look like — But what about living tiny legally once you get your dream home?

We’ve discussed that to some extent here and here, but Tiny House Expedition has started a three-part “docu-series” on the subject and you can watch part one right here.

If you like it and want to get involved, you can consider donating to help out with parts two and three and help tiny homes become legal everywhere.

Please enjoy, learn more, and re-share below!

Living Tiny Legally: Three Part Docu-Series

Living Tiny Legally

Screenshots via YouTube

Living Tiny Legally

Screenshots via YouTube

Video: Living Tiny Legally: Part 1


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Natalie C. McKee

Natalie C. McKee is a contributor for Tiny House Talk and the Tiny House Newsletter. She's a wife, and mama of three little kids. She and her family are homesteaders with sheep, goats, chickens, ducks and quail on their happy little acre.

Latest posts by Natalie C. McKee (see all)

{ 18 comments… add one }
  • Doug Bauer
    November 1, 2016, 10:26 am

    This whole subject of Tiny House legality is perhaps the biggest example of how “regulations” are made to protect the interests of the moneyed class at the expense of those with modest means. If the “right” to shelter oneself was mandated on a federal level, we wouldn’t even have it up for discussion. It seems we place more value on ensuring “property values” continue to rise than something as simple as even just “surviving” within one’s own ability. Perhaps it’s time to question our acceptance of using the word “mortgage” which is French and means “death pledge”.

    • Barnie
      November 1, 2016, 6:32 pm

      I’m admittedly fearful of the effects of “regulation” on tiny living too, as much as my rational side wants to be supportive. Regulation sounds well and good given the current grey area re: tiny housing, however I suspect it will eventually dictate the cost of tiny becomes grossly more/sq.ft. than the conventional McMansion. It’s a note of apprehension I’ve been kicking around for a while, not sure how I feel about it as yet.

      • Natalie
        November 2, 2016, 7:30 am

        It’s always tricky! I wish I had a great answer for this trouble. We want tiny houses to be legal so people can live happily, but we don’t want regulations to shove them out of existence! — Tiny House Talk Team

        • Barnie
          November 2, 2016, 1:55 pm

          Yes, a bit like walking a tight-rope in the fog.

  • November 1, 2016, 2:07 pm

    Thanx for the info. This is a big issue that if resolved can make tiny house living a lot more desirable and easy. Good to see this going!

    • Natalie
      November 2, 2016, 7:31 am

      Agreed 🙂 — Tiny House Talk Team

  • Denis
    November 1, 2016, 2:25 pm

    Very interesting video! I see many general and the same questions about tiny housing in Russia. The best style of life – is tiny! Tiny housing forever! 🙂 Is there some video with more information about zoning and other legislation questions? Thank you!

    • Natalie
      November 2, 2016, 7:31 am

      They might be putting more of that in parts two and three 🙂 — Tiny House Talk Team

  • Dick
    November 1, 2016, 5:14 pm

    Interesting video. I’m only about halfway through it, but I’m impressed with the way Rockledge, FL is handling the issue. I had not heard of Ross Chapin pocket neighborhoods before this, but it seems to be a good way to approach city planners and city government.

    I’d recommend that before you even begin planning your specific tiny house, you watch this video and take some notes. I’m going to email my insurance agent about this; he has a client who wants insurance for a TH, but is trying to find a place to put it, so this might help.

    • Natalie
      November 2, 2016, 7:32 am

      Yes it’s really interesting! I’m so glad this is out there. — Tiny House Talk Team

    • oxide
      November 4, 2016, 1:55 pm

      I didn’t watch the video all the way through, but those Ross Chapin small (600 sq ft) houses are valued at upwards of $290K each (look em up on Zillow zipcode 98260). At that price point, the city doesn’t care what the square footage is because they know that:
      1) $290K will provide enough property taxes for pay for schools, utilities, police, etc.
      2) $290K means that the owner makes a good income, which means they have a good job and probably won’t trash the neighborhood.

    November 2, 2016, 2:21 pm

    I appreciated what time I had to view the included video, although I did not watch it all to be honest as it was rather long.. But I am sure it was not meant to be long winded but informative.. I applaud the city of Rockledge, Florida, and any other community in which adopts this idea… I do agree with the fact that it does need to be regulated as they have done in order to preserve the value of homes in which I am more than sure people had payed large sums of money for, and will continue to in order to preserve their way of life… They need to be reassured that tiny house living will not drive down the cost of their homes and what they may or may not have invested into them… But need to know they are not going to go bankrupt over night because they had a tiny house community built down the road from them… OK…! Now having said that I still believe that we are responsible for the inflated costs of tiny houses and we are the reason why builders are getting away with inflated costs to the tiny houses.. We need to stick together, that does not mean that we need to live in shacks but it does not mean that we should let them charge us astronomical amounts of money so that we can live this life style that we all would like to live.. The whole thought process I believed what was what I had heard the movement was founded on was to be able to get out from under heavy debt, and to be able to live or start life with out going into debt..! Everyone should be able to house themselves as others do, and be able to live a life of the same comforts that are expected of their larger home neighbors….! So does this mean we need to pay some builder 60, 70, 80, or even 100,000.00’s of dollars to live in a tiny house as we would like to live, I say no way….! It’s to much…! There are still a lot of people who can not afford that kind of money.. There are people who are still around from world war II yet, who still live the life of the impoverished and shut away in some hole in the wall that they are paying crazy amounts of money for a rent on a house or apartment, that is no more than a pig sty..! We need to be real about this we have a great opportunity here with places like Rockledge, Fl. willing to go that extra yard to let communities of the kind in which we would all like to live…! And the only way we can succeed is by staying together and refusing to pay these crazy amounts that builders who are poping up overnight willing to grab the money while we are all fighting each other because we will not agree that over pricing is a big threat to our way of life…! And what about some of those boys and girls who are coming home today from war that they fought to a world of housing that they will not be able to afford because they are no longer able to work like others, should they have to pay these sums of money these builders are asking…? No way in hell would I expect them to, they deserve to live like everyone else does, they fought to protect our way of life, so why would you expect them to pay those astronomical amounts either…? So if you are not willing to stick together and say no we are not going to pay that crazy amount for a tiny house, then we have let not only ourselves down we let them who fought for our freedom down as well….! I think we can make a great change in this country today, but it is only if you want to be a part of a movement that will not only help you but help others who are in need as well…! Think Before you buy…! There is so much more to be said about this but I can not be the only person to say these things you need to as well….! I hope this idea which I find to be a great hope for not only a few thousand across the country in small pockets, but as a nation on the great climb to restore our prides…. I Thank the Good Folks from Tiny House Talk for all the opportunities it has given to us to leave input by doing these docu, series, and I thank you all who have taken the time to read my words… Thank you all and God bless ….!

    • Natalie
      November 3, 2016, 9:26 am

      Thank you for all the time you put into this, Zachary! — Tiny House Talk Team

  • Alison
    November 2, 2016, 8:00 pm

    Regulation will surely drive up costs, but is inevitable for cities. A lot of the discussion is really about density–do the current citizens want to allow higher density living in some areas? Will we simply be creating cute versions of trailer parks? It will work in some towns, not in others. And all these delightful tiny houses with composting toilets are not going to fly in most communities in the U.S. So then you have to hook up to a sewer or septic, which costs money, even in established neighborhoods. As someone who is building my own THOW for a rural lot we already own, I am concerned that I will be told I should have met some code (ANSI?) that currently is not set up for self-builders to meet. I watched the entire Part 1, and recommend it. Thank you, Tiny House Talk, for sharing this.

    • Natalie
      November 3, 2016, 9:22 am

      So glad you enjoyed it! I think it’s a real treat! — Tiny House Talk Team

      November 3, 2016, 12:04 pm

      I agree but I know how easy it is to convert to regular flush toilets and plumbing, and I believe that the cost will still be below the national average of living to comply, so I don’t see that to be a very great issue either… Even RV hookups are little in cost and can be done in a couple of hours in a afternoon with some simple parts, and not a great deal to ask… If the purist wish to compost their toilets then let them but not in cities which require regular hookups, They should seek rural land in which they may do as they please if they own, or lease the property with understanding from its owner to the terms and conditions of their stay… As I see it, a majority of Tiny House Homesteaders, are just that looking to plant roots, but down size, and are going to be long term dwellers and not over nighters , or doing the month to month thing anyway….! So those issues are not a great deal to work on… It is the acceptance of a tiny house and how it is viewed by it’s neighbors, no one likes to live next door to an eye sore, I know I wouldn’t.. I want to be a part of the community, and not an antagonist or pariah in which the community would want to shun or petition against… And if my Tiny House does not fit do to some outrages design in which brings on a negative response then I know I’m doing something wrong… We all have a responsibility to act accordingly, and as in some nicer restaurants respect the dress code, And houses are no different in this respect..! We are the ones looking to be excepted into communities, so we need to conform in some ways, we can not demand everything to be just taken as is… No one wants to have that and it’s understandable in a lot of ways..! As I said in my previous statements, we want but we must also be willing to except as well, there are limitations to everything, and that are in respectable proportions of the rights to living with others… We are not above anyone else’s station in life and we need to respect their needs as well… These things are the very fabric of what it means to be a community…! And if they don’t want you composting your waste in their town than who are we to complain, we are the ones looking to be excepted….!
      I’m sorry I did not mean to run on but I am in such high hopes for the future of tiny homes that I some times get over passionate on the subject… So please forgive me, i know I can be some times a little out there, LoL…! But if more people would than we wouldn’t be having this discussion now would we…! LoL…!

      • Natalie
        November 4, 2016, 9:27 am

        There’s no problem with “running on.” You are passionate and we need people like you as part of this movement! — Tiny House Talk Team

          November 4, 2016, 11:29 am

          Thank You….! And yes we do need more…..!

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