Right now I’d like to take you on a virtual tour during my visit to an up and coming tiny house community in an Orlando, Florida RV Park (College Park Village) where Emily Lindahl, of Emily’s Tiny Adventure, is currently living simply in Elaine Walker’s tiny home.
I was glad to see so many people in Florida interested in the tiny house movement. There were over 300 people who came to the Florida Tiny House Enthusiasts Meet Up. Wow!
Orlando Florida Tiny House Community Meet Up
Image © Alex Pino
I encourage you to watch, enjoy and re-share my quick video recap of the event below:
My Coverage of the Meetup and Orlando Tiny House Community
Guided Tour of Elaine and Emily’s Tiny House on Wheels
In addition to my video, Emily and Elaine put together their own video with a guided tour of the tiny house Emily’s currently living in which I think you might enjoy because she shares more about how she lives and how everything works in her little home. Watch and enjoy below.
Image © RelaxShacksDOTcom/YouTube
Related: The Dorian Tiny House on Wheels (shown above)
Images © Alex Pino
Learn more about this tiny home community in Orlando: http://www.orlandolakefrontth.com/
Learn more about Elaine at her site: http://tinyhousecommunity.com
Join the Florida Tiny House Enthusiasts Group on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/TinyHouseFL/
Access Florida Tiny House Enthusiasts at MeetUp: http://www.meetup.com/Florida-Tiny-House-Enthusiasts/
Our big thanks to everyone involved for organizing this amazing gathering.
If you enjoyed this update and coverage of an up and coming tiny house community in Orlando, Florida you’ll absolutely LOVE our free daily tiny house newsletter with even more! Thanks!
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Very nice!! I’ve been talking about this for a while, converting trailer, RV and campgrounds into tiny home communities.
And Fla is very good for this as land is cheap as are trailer parks already permitted.
Taking it up another level it’s not hard to go offgrid electricity and water cutting those costs by 50%.
Even making excess power for money though Fla is a hard state for that as selling electricity except by and to utilities is illegal.
nobody is going to like this comment but here goes… what is beautiful about a neighborhood is that there is a unity of style that blends together. what is not beautiful about most mobilehome parks is that the homes are so different from each other that the disharmony of such a place if jarring. I love the small home concept but when you place all the possibilites in one area the end result is not really acceptable to the rest of the world that values a pleasant neighborhood. i think that is why granny units are allowed in the backyard. the general area is not disturbed by a jumbled group of non-conforming buildings.
excuse me…too much reality. my bad. pat
It’s a good point. I think someday soon we’ll see a tiny house community that accomplishes something that’s somewhere in between. But this is a start. And I respect both types of communities but you have a solid point. Thanks Pat 🙂
pat wrote: “nobody is going to like this comment but here goes… what is beautiful about a neighborhood is that there is a unity of style that blends together.”
Well, pat, allow me to surprise you…I like your comment!!!! And, it’s the truth! I’m an architect by profession and the homes that sell the fastest and for either the asking price or OVER the asking price are ALWAYS in the “right neighborhoods”. And I’m not talking colour of occupants or ethnicity; I’m talking about a neighborhood where the homes are cohesive and well-tended. You can have a neighborhood where the homes only sell for $100,000.00 and they flip in less than a week and the same goes for neighborhoods where the asking price is over $2 million. My company does work in all of the above.
These are neighborhoods that feature continuity: no abandoned lots, no crazy architecture that’s utterly out of character with the surrounding homes, and roughly sameness of price point and design.
In two instances that I know of, in very historic areas of Chicago, people bought traditional homes, tore them down, and built horrific futuristic homes that even the Jetson’s wouldn’t want! One of the homes is now 20 years old, stick’s out like a sore thumb and has been on the market for 3 years…unsold. Other homes in the neighborhood sell in less than a month. Opinions range from Rage to “What where they thinking and WHY did they build it HERE?” Now, mind you…in Colorado, on a mountainside, these homes of glass and stainless steel and coloured tiles would fit right in. But, in historic districts in Evanston and Old Town in Chicago…ugh!
So, if there were communities of tiny homes created, that they didn’t want the future name of “Potter’s Fields”, there would certainly need to be coding of some sort regarding 2 entrances for evacuation; a height and width limit so that 8′ x 12′ homes aren’t fighting for space against 20′ x 20 foot homes; and coding so the surrounding area of the homes don’t turn into a Fred Sanford and Son junk yard.
Bottom line is this: if you have more than ONE PERSON wanting to live in harmony with ANYONE, you better put out your rules and regulations in advance so that there’s no misinterpretation down the road. Take this as my personal experience renting properties for over 12 years and having employees for 24 years. “Spell it Out or end up Fighting It Out!” It’s that simple.
I don’t think you’re wrong though. I personally tend to not be jarred by neighborhoods that have houses of all types or mobile home parks or I guess maybe, to use a music term, “dissonance.” I actually kind of find beauty in all the uniqueness and individuality. But I think I’m for sure in the minority or I don’t think we would have seen such widespread acceptance of neighborhoods of houses that look almost exactly the same… and HOAs, covenants, etc. It seems to me like there is a certain need for that unity of style… a calming in it… and that I can completely understand. A cleanness to the design. But, I can also fully relate to the minority out there who are bothered by the fact that they feel forced to live “inside the box,” so to speak. It just doesn’t sit well with them. It’s a quandary for sure.
I, for one, do not like ‘cooky cutter’ communities and do like the different personalities reflected in one’s home…within reason, of course. I think that it would be a little difficult, but not impossible, to regulate the type of tiny homes in a park just like RV parks do now. These homes offer housing for many who, now, don’t have a decent home so I’m all for them.
bonnie. i dont like the cookie cutter neighborhoods with 4-5 styles that are repeated. i was envisioning the old neighborhood of mansions or any of the neighborhoods that contain a certain period of time. maybe what i am trying to say is that when tiny home neighborhoods are established they should be just as esthetically appealing to those who live around them. dont ignore this important factor if you want to integrate tiny housing neighborhood into a community. frankly i would not enjoy stepping out of my monstrously oversized house to find a quaint house built on a truck or a converted bus or worse five or six of them in the next lot to me. i am not at all saying tiny house neighborhoods should not be created. i think it is the future for us and not just for people of limited means but im getting off the band wagon if common sense does not prevail when composing these neighborhoods. i am afraid settled neighborhoods are going to defeat this movement to basics if you just shove into a city uncontrolled.
Again, pat, we agree.
Let’s say you’re living in a 2 story home in an average neighborhood in Chicago. Your home is worth $250,000; you pay $18,000/year in taxes; $200 a year in trash removal and are responsible for the conditions of your parkway and front yard, meaning no excessive weeds or trash which translates into “abandoned property.”
Next door to you, a developer tears down a home similar to yours, covers it with asphalt, and rents out spaces for TEN homes on wheels!!! Since NONE of these people own their spot but rent it out, they don’t pay property taxes which pay for the roads that EVERONE uses, whether you bike, walk or drive. Since NONE of the homes are tied to the sewer system, you are dealing with human waste from TEN units and where in the world in a city do you get rid of it? Plus, the transient nature of the Tiny House community (hey, that’s why they have wheels, right!) would mean that there would be a constant turn over and lack of community commitment. I would be willing to bet $100 that NO ONE in a tiny house would have a 17-40 year commitment to a neighborhood!
Speaking only about Chicago, I know of SO many dead or dying neighborhoods with acres and acres of abandoned lots that could be turned into extraordinary Tiny House Towns, thereby revitalizing the neighborhoods and bringing in much needed businesses. Rather than areas for drugs and prostitution, they could become housing for students, seniors, empty nesters or just minimalists. But, until a city can be convinced that there will be stability and finances from said development, it won’t happen.
Control , control, control, I’m glad you live where you do! In your world people can not be trusted to do the right thing! & it’s all about conformity & paying as much as others! & your so worried about what is fair & equal or & an equal out come! You might even fence off your places so to establish your preferred establishment or empire…. rules & regulations that are common sense based are always welcome… and should protect reflect individuals freedom with in it’s guide lines…never to be so controlling that it quenches individuals liberties …. you seem to enjoy the tensions & fears of freedom at large.I did not see what the rules are at that park… I bet they do have rules & they are good for every one …. I do not like your description of your world as much as I’m sure you do not like the freedom of mine…
I have to say I do agree on some points made although I dont think I would like to park my THOW in a neighbor hood with pretentious neighbors either. If you live in a mcmansion then you dont get why people are doing this tiny house thing. There are many folks who do not care for mobilehomes (trailers if you will) but cannot afford a “regular” home either. A tiny home offers those of us that are “between the cracks” financially an option to have a nice place to call home. I for one own a nice 1000 sq/ft home and would like to move closer to my daughter but I cant. Housing prices are skewed if you make 35k+/- per year. The alternative was going to be a THOW, but again I cant, the neighbors said no. Yet, those same people have shanty sheds and dead cars in their yard. Perception is reality.
Bonnie, I do not like the cookie cutter suburban neighborhoods either. Or the show off new McMansions. I think the tiny home community is a newer nicer direction than the mobile home parks. They of course need a few rules to keep the community nice as someone mentioned. I think older or younger either one would enjoy, owning their own place, small or not. Renting or buying a condo seems to be way too expensive an option, and many want to downsize. Also, the tiny homes can be placed to look permanent, and then if the owner must move, they can take their home along like an RV, and not be stuck. Older RV or mobile home parks ought to be recycled to allow or incorporate these homes, or particular lots in some cities. A community of them would seem to be friendly, and comfortable, specially for elders. I don’t like the idea of putting them behind a big house, unless made to look like a guest house. Many people apparently do not understand that this small dwelling is all some people can afford, or want! Or that a specialized neighborhood utilizes space, less utilities, and is more green. I have had the bigger houses, and downsizing is appealing to many and me. I hope this trend moves along. I would rather have a tiny house than a tiny apartment with huge rent.
Last week I visited The Meadows, in Flat Rock NC. This is a beautifully designed TH Comunity. It embraces everything you described. There are many TH of various shapes and sizes and yet all are under 400 sqft. These multicolored dwellings all blend into the landscape beautifully. More importantly the people living and moving there love it as it has a homogenous feeling of freedom from excess, and is set in a loving and caring Village. Living Large while Thinking Small is the rule here. Look at the website (thevillageofwildflowers.com). The Meadows is a special section for the TH on wheels exclusively. It is carefree Lifestyle at its best.
I appreciate your view but not everyone cares for a cookie cutter community where every home looks the same. I agree it would be nicer if there were some guidelines but my view is that unique homes can add character to an area. I do think they people should think about making them look like homes and not circus dwellings. To me that would make for a more pleasant environment. If you want to make a beach community then the surf shack look would be fine. If you want it to look like a more modern neighborhood then you should build accordingly.
However I do think we need to remember the main reasons people are going tiny. Life is less about stuff and more about living life. Extravagance has changed our communities into something very “ugly” to a lot of us. It may look neat and tidy but what has it reduced our live to?
It is obviously not for everyone, but the versatility is endless. Some people appreciate that very much and do it in a very tasteful manner. Have you seen hOHM? It is very tastefully done as are many others. It doesn’t have to look like a beach shack or a rustic cabin. It can be very modern.
I hope more people think more about living like this. We live in houses bigger than we need and drive vehicles bigger than we need and overall live quite extravagantly. I hope we start thinking seriously about our impact on the future as well as what truly important in our lives.
Just my opinion too, Melodie
Oh, how I love to come home to my very own place. And all I have to do is find the right color of door and check it twice since we all share the same look being honestly so much alike. And it sure gives me a feeling of real security knowing everyone else shares in my own so unique sense of style and good taste and correct aesthetics. And knowing how right we all are, we make it stick with our ever so vigilant H.O.A. and our binocular-armed concerned neighbors who faithfully patrol our streets looking for any who mistakenly stray from this one and only true path of cultural perfection and aesthetic correctness. Oh, yes, how good it is to see we all are in perfect uniform agreement in our so individual expressions of visual correctness and form. I can now really rest self assured in knowing I’m ever safe in my own individual share of this same o’ same old life experience. It so warms my most inner Puritan heart that we all abide daily by this very same standard of correct thinking, speaking as well as seeing. And I really wouldn’t want it any other way, just think of what could happen if anyone started being “different” and non-uniform, why it’d soon be pure chaos, maybe even the sixties all over again and this time, why it surely will be the end of American culture and all we hold near and dear, in our own individually enforced maniacal demand for uniformity and correctness.
Seriously folks, are we really that challenged by a wee bit of uniqueness or self expression that doesn’t immediately call to mind Reynold’s ticky tacky little boxes, as in say, Daley City in sunny southern California. Now, to my mind that’s a similar presentation of what you seem to be suggesting here, our ever so wonderful expression of American suburbia from its birth or maybe you prefer that earlier version of the post-war inspired Levittown, NY. Just in case you missed it, that’s not my idea of a good aesthetic to either practice or enforce, whether its designed by correct thinking “architects” or not. I’ve seen this same lack of creative thought in so much of our popular culture over the last sixty years that it saddens me and frankly bores me to to existential tears. Yet here, I’m just as much to blame for it as the next guy or gal, since in one of my life’s careers, I built many of these same beloved customized McMansions in the oh, so “right neighborhoods” and yes, even made plenty of profit doing it. But when I return now to review these same neighborhoods and see what I and others have left behind it only saddens me and makes me truly question some of my life’s choices.
Yes, many of the “tiny houses” are lacking in sound aesthetics, inhabitant safety and structural permanence but with a few tweaks to our over-barring, self-serving shelter codes which are definitely needed we could create a place for these less than bloated new American homes. And then and only then, ask that they comply with a realistic housing code. I personally have lived in a very large variety of houses, both huge and tiny so, I have no real ax to grind with a tiny home as long as its safe, thoughtfully designed and decently maintained.
So what’s the real crux of the matter here? Well, we could take a look at who benefits from this hew and cry to return to our correct cultural shelter standards, as in, return to your proper sense and get back in-line. But then it would get very clear what this is national shelter standards discussion backlash really is all about. But that’s really another diatribe for another day, lol. And this comment is already too much a wall of text. So, I’ll close with this simple thought; to my mind, what makes a real community isn’t the uniformity of house style exhibited but actually the people who inhabit those houses and in my experience many trailer parks have a much better sense of “community” than most of our present typical subdivisions or even our upscale gated communities. Enough said, good day y’all
Well said John, I agree whole heartedly with all you wrote here, how will we ever get out of this mess we have made of our building practices, there has to be someplace to do all of it so everyone has a choice? What is it that puts so much fear and anger in people when someone wants to be different? Isn’t it why we live in the USA? To Choose? Judy
I live in a cookie cutter community,but there is no HOA. I have painted my house the color I wanted,landscaped the yard the way I wanted. I live outside the box. I would love to live in a Tiny house in a Mobile Home Park. Why? If I need help,I have neighbors. Being off the grid and out in the woods some where,if something happened to you ,who would know? I think a neighborhood should be a melting pot. A mixture of peoples creativity.
Thanks for sharing all of your opinions. I appreciate all the insights and thoughts from all of you as I’m sure most others here do too. And I’m sure, in time, there’ll be something for each of us to best meet our needs. That being said, i’m glad we’re all different. Otherwise it’d be so boring!
Although, I don’t like the cookie cutter houses, even though I did live in one until I had a foreclosure like millions of others in the US. I really love historic homes, because they were all individual, but, not boring or IMHO ugly. I have seen someone build a house in a neighborhood that the house stuck out like sore thumb and every time we drive by there I wrinkle my nose and think why did they put that ugly house next to houses that don’t even remotely look like that house. The reason it was put there is it was a lake side lot, but, it was a VERY small lot, so the only choice they really had was to put an ugly three story box with the garage as the ground floor to fit on the space. It looks like it belongs in CA not, FL. None of the other houses on that road are even remotely like that. If they tried to sell it, it might sell just because it is on the lake. If it was somewhere else, I doubt it would sell. Another instance of someone ruining a neighborhood is the house I lost. The idiots that bought my house went from a nice soft yellow with white trim and blue doors and shutters to Mossy Oak dirt. 😛 It looks like it is a primer waiting for them to finally paint it. They also took down the nice shutters, cut down a MAGNOLIA tree and a DRAKE ELM. Both of those trees were in the correct spot, I know because I planted them and I worked in a plant nursery. They are both expensive trees. They replaced the pretty shutters with….wait for it, WAGON WHEELS AND SPLIT RAIL FENCING. Yes, that is right. There were usually at least five to six vehicles parked in the non existent grass now. There is no longer an HOA, but, I think someone might have mentioned the wagon wheel and split rail fence to them because the wagon wheels are gone and most of the split rail fencing, but, it still doesn’t have any grass and it still has the ugly paint color. I don’t think all houses should look the same or be painted the same, but, when something is an eye sore like that, it can bring down the home prices for the entire neighborhood. It isn’t always just about you, but, others, too. I would like to have a TH, but, for me it would be to use to travel to historical events, then when I am ready to downsize permanently, I would have a comfortable sized place I designed. It would be more comfortable than a mobile home or an R/V. I think if a TH is built well, it will last many years. Most mobile homes or R/Vs are not built that well. The is all just my opinion and YMMV
How much do they cost? Has there been 1 built for a person in a wheelchair?
As someone who is looking to buy a tiny house, and looking for suitable, legal parking, most prior comments scare me! Can’t we just all agree to leave more minimal footprints, live within our individual means, and have a place we can call our own, a home, shelter (the American Dream) without breaking the law? It is time for laws, and coding to change. It is time to allow real freedom, within reason. Look at how our Capitol represents itself, D.C. Has so much homelessness, and neglect of humanity. Looks like I won’t be able to be as independent as I would have liked, going to have to find someone’s backyard who could use a little cash to allow me there, with wheels! Or isolated in the sticks somewhere (hope the bears, or other dont have ME for dinner!) Seems more like “Survival of the Gypsies and Vagabonds” rather then a “Tiny House Movement”. As usual, too much politics.
Im currently in the market to purchase a tiny house for my wife and I to live in. We live in Orlando, and I was wondering if there are other communities like this College Park Village. Please contact me with any information you can provide
I liked this idea so much that I drove up to see these houses. When I got there although nice and all together around the lake, the location was not what I expected. The park is very small and you literally have to drive over the train tracks to enter the property. The other residents have RV’s and some are very old and not very well kept at all.
I was there about a month ago, and it is as Carlos described it. There are 10 tiny homes and dozens +++ of camping trailers and some RVs, and that train track is right on the property, shockingly close! Hubs and I will not consider it.
Great discussion. The point that is most important is to find a comunity to live that legaly accepts what you want to live in. What ever the nature of the community just be sure this is where you want to live. After you make that decesion think about what you want to inhabit, be it a TH, RV, or McMansion. THE COMUNITY THAT YOU CHOOSE TO LIVE IN IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN WHAT YOU INHABIT. Your own wisdom will select the place to find freedom and happiness. The shelter you choose is just that. BE WISE AND BE LEGAL OR YOU WILL NEVER BE HAPPY.
Reading these I feel I have not been as conscious as I thought I was. It hasn’t occurred to me to be concerned that the design of my home not be offensive to others who might drive by. Sorry, folks. I foolishly thought my style only needed to please my own family. Perhaps I need to be more discerning about the unique places I pass and decide whether they really belong in those neighborhoods or if the style unappealing to me needs to be changed…
We want to buy a tiny house already built in Florida. We live in Fort Myers but are willing to love anywhere in the state. We would like 2 bathrooms, don’t need much kitchen don’t cook don’t want to clean.
As a CNA (years ago) I’ve been in a few trailer parks. Some were very unkempt and junky but some were almost quaint, with well-kept flower and vegetable gardens and beautiful street lamps on their common road, and a place I wouldn’t mind living. The boring look-alike depressing suburbs hold nothing for me, nor do condominiums (essentially an apartment you own) or town homes in which you share a wall with a neighbor who may think blasting Eminem at 3 a.m. is his or her right, or even smoking so much that it comes through the common vents (I’ve had both kinds of neighbors). I think with a few agree-upon regulations (quiet hours, for instance), a trailer park could eventually transform quite nicely into a tiny home park, and people could even share a gym/common area/storage and/or or a lake or beachfront so nothing ever gets too junked up on the outside. Virginia Woolf wrote “A Room of One’s Own” saying that all people need a room/space of their own, and especially for single people like me, the tiny home revolution could be a great thing!
I am concerned that these tiny home communities may have been destroyed by the recent bought of hurricanes in that area….
Does anyone know if , at least the homes on wheels managed to get out in one piece? & What about the other tiny homes?