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Tiny House Summit Begs Question: Where Do You Put It?

This is KGW news coverage of Portland’s recent Tiny House Summit where hundreds of people were in attendance celebrating and learning about tiny housing.

They listened to panels discuss financing options and ways to work with changing municipal codes. They also saw the latest in small homes, transformer-style furniture and, finally, toured the sprawling outdoor display.

And, of course, the event begs the question, “where can I park and live in my tiny house?”

Please enjoy the video recap below, learn more, and re-share below. Thank you!

Tiny House Summit Begs Question: Where Do You Put It?

Read the full original article: http://www.kgw.com/story/news/local/2015/11/06/tiny-house-summit-begs-question-where-do-you-put/75337064/

SEE ALSO: How to Find Land for Your Tiny House

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Alex is a contributor and editor for TinyHouseTalk.com and the always free Tiny House Newsletter. He has a passion for exploring and sharing tiny homes (from yurts and RVs to tiny cabins and cottages) and inspiring simple living stories. We invite you to send in your story and tiny home photos too so we can re-share and inspire others towards a simple life too. Thank you!
{ 11 comments… add one }
  • November 11, 2015, 2:02 pm

    EXACTLY… Where can you park them and live in PEACE? While you may be mortgage free you can easily have a whole new set of problems as a tiny home owner if you actually plan to live in one. So many people get caught up in the dream that they do not do the homework on the reality side. Most people living in a tiny home are just one neighbors call to the authorities away from not having such a blissful tiny place to dwell. As a normal sized home and property owner as well as a tiny home owner with acreage on a very private road in rural WA state and paying $4,700 per year in property taxes I still was not allowed to even legally spend not ONE night in my tiny house. This was the tipping point and motivated me to say forever goodbye to that nanny state. I guess paying that much In property tax was the biggest irritation but then to not be able to use my tiny home .. that was the icing on the cake. I have found that in MANY other states you can buy a nice stick built home with more living space on land with far less headaches than tiny homes present. Seeing just tons of tiny homes for sale tells me that others are having similar issues. I have 4 friends that have built tiny homes, lived in them and have since up sized their life. Two of them were just unhappy with living a cramped lifestyle over time but all four of them had problems finding a place to keep their tiny home undercover from the local powers that be. Tiny homes are cute but are not all they are cracked up to be. Maybe once zoning changes happen over time, it may be a good way for people to live tiny yet in peace.

    • robyn
      November 12, 2015, 4:22 pm

      Hi Tonita,
      As one who has been a fan of your adorable “shabby chic” THOW, I feel sad reading about your disappointing experience on your own land! I also appreciate you sharing the real-life experience of you and your friends. When I think about living in a tiny house, it appears that an RV park or campground for parking may be the most realistic option.

      • November 17, 2015, 12:22 am

        Hi Robyn,
        Thanks for your sweet compliment. I don’t mean to be a bearer of bad news to potential tiny home owners but I feel compelled to share my real life experience so that others can weigh the pros and cons of real tiny home life. Had I known how much trouble it was going to be to park my tiny home and actually be able to legally use it for more than just day use on my own land I would of never bought it. Owning a large home and land and paying sky high land taxes on a dead end quiet and private road in an unincorporated rural area outside city limits at the base of Mt Rainer, in WA still did not present an opportunity for life in a tiny home. County officials came out to my property, with a warning not to occupy my tiny home and then followed up twice in person to make sure I was not living in it. Keep in mind I cared for my land as if it were a manicured golf course even though it was just across the country road from the woods. Yet my not so sweet neighbor had to have his nose stretched over the fence and through my woods to observe a tiny house he didn’t like I guess? The last time the officials came by I greeted them at the end of my driveway and directed them to read and honor my constitutional NO trespassing signs that I had posted along my land. They indicate my rights to bear arms and protect my land and let them know that they would need a warrant to further enter my property. They did not come back after that. You can purchase those signs at gun shows should any reader run into a like issue with the county. However – the signs just state the constitution they in no way give you the right to live in your tiny home. One neighbors phone call is all it took to set things in motion to make tiny house life on my land a big headache. So, yes-an RV park may be a good legal option for you Robyn.

    • Alex
      November 13, 2015, 11:28 am

      Hi Tonita,
      Thanks for sharing the truth about your experience. I think it’s a reality that we have to start warning people more about. For the most part, going tiny is usually not easy at all! Unless you go the conventional route, which is looking for legally built small cottages, cabins, or small apartments which are also not very common. I’ll plan a future blog post on this topic because it’s an important reminder/warning.

      • November 17, 2015, 12:38 am

        Hi Alex,
        You are right in that going tiny is not easy. I think it is easier for younger people who don’t have many possessions. Not everyone wants to learn how to be a minimalist. I sure don’t. I like my stuff and I like to shop. I do not conform to the tiny house “movement” of owning 13-22 possessions. That being said the parking issue is beyond frustrating. If one has a place to HIDE their tiny home or piggy back off of a family member or friend with land where they totally trust their neighbors to not snitch on them, then maybe tiny home life would be more peaceful. I am so surprised that so many tiny homes are for rent on vacation sites. Every time I have written the owners to ask if their tiny home was parked legally I have never got a response. Maybe they think I am the tiny house police, NOT but just curious as to where one can live in peace and legally as a THOW owner.
        I think a future post on the topic would be great. It may not be popular to present the other side but it is important and hopefully will motivate people to have a back up plan of action if they want to actually spend the night in their tiny home.

  • Nancy L
    November 11, 2015, 5:36 pm

    I do feel for those who found they couldn’t live in their tiny house before building it and feel blessed to live here in Canada in the province of Saskatchewan where the only thing that determines the size of the house you can build and live in is the bank if you need a mortgage.
    Since I live in a rural location, there are only two things I cannot do on my own land here and that is start a pig barn or drill for oil. Those are very strictly regulated.
    Many of my neighbors have very tiny homes even in some of the small towns you can build a small 4 or 500 sq ft home. Definitely something needs to be done for people who are not allowed to build and live in the size of the home they want to on their own land whether it is ‘on wheels’ or not.

    • Nancy L
      November 11, 2015, 5:41 pm

      Oops that first line should say ‘I do feel for those who found they couldn’t live in their tiny house “after” building it’

  • Deadrock
    November 14, 2015, 12:26 pm

    There was a post on this site recently that had a map of the few places around the U.S. that allowed tiny homes to be parked and lived in – I responded at the time about having just recently visited the Wildflower Village tiny home park in Flat Rock, NC. For all it’s advantages, it does boil down to being a mobile home park for tiny homes, complete with hefty monthly leases to have a small lot to park your tiny home on. But at least you are free to have the tiny home you want, up to 800 sf, or far less if that’s what suits you.

    It seems to me to be a temporary solution, however, since not everyone can afford the monthly fees, or feels the need for an “in-your-face” communal living experience with (in my opinion) too-near neighbors. I can understand people feeling pretty grumpulated that they can’t just do whatever they want with their own, paid-for land, especially if it is not in a swanky neighborhood where it might be a DIY eyesore or impact the value of other people’s homes – valid concerns, those, and I’m not sure what the fair and right answer is in those cases. I hate the thought of cities and towns regulating special areas that would be set aside as legal for tiny homes, as I can imagine those neighborhoods becoming “city services afterthoughts,” and perhaps even virtual slums, eventually, if the population turns out to be predominantly poor or very transient.

    Perhaps when the mindset that “size doesn’t matter” becomes more mainstream, and it’s generally believed (and put into practice) that tiny home dwellers have just as much pride of ownership and civic spirit as any other homeowner, the fear that tiny homes will turn into tiny dumpsites will go away, and a 300sf home will be just as welcome in any neighborhood as a 3000sf home. It’s a process of evolution, like everything else.

  • Jackie Beidler
    November 14, 2015, 5:48 pm

    Has it occurred to anyone what the REAL problem is with allowing Tiny Homes on private land ? I don’t fully believe it’s because of the fear of them becoming dumping grounds or eye sores. It boils down to people building them as they can afford to (wanting to stay out of debt, not having a mortgage over their head), planning them to be ‘off the grid’, and getting back to a simpler life style. THUS, cutting out our utilities companies, the agencies involved in governing how we build our home, or the loaning institutions. Tiny homes bypass all the bureaucracies that have their hands out to get rich off the struggling people. Why else has this movement had such a huge interest. People are finally understanding that the greed this country is infected with, will insure that they will not be able to survive on retirement. Our senior citizens have been forced into mobile home parks as it was once believed to be a cheaper way of living. Now the lot rent is climbing so high, they are facing having to move them for thousands of dollars, or sale them ‘cheaply’ to the parks, and no where to go. We have enough homeless out there that are under 40, are we going to accept it growing even higher with the seniors as well? As long as people ‘give in’ to the governing parties and accept all the no’s, ask yourself WHY are they so against it? It’s simply because they will not continue to get and/or keep rich! People – we have rights, if you want to down size, build your own home – follow the guidelines, but don’t continue to let them tell you no you can’t on your own land. You’ve paid for it, you pay your property taxes, isn’t that enough? They don’t deserve to keep their hands in your pockets and govern how you are to live your life. Isn’t that what our forefathers fought for – Our Freedom to chose how we live and worship? Something to think about….I for one won’t give up my dream, I’ll keep searching for a place to live, and fight for my rights. It’ll be interesting to see what states become more ‘understanding’ and ‘supportive’ of this movement. They’ll make the land sales, reap the property taxes, and become the desired state to live in. Benefits for those states would not only increase population, giving them a stronger hand in our political races, it would also increase the states federal funding for improvements (such as our schools, roads, etc.). We are stronger in numbers.

  • Rita
    November 18, 2015, 7:06 pm

    Thank you all for the information and views. It is eye opening for sure. I will keep watching and learning the movement and hope to join it too. I am one of those retired seniors that has a husband and a home, but WANT to go tiny for all sorts of reasons. Again thank you!

  • Darcel D
    November 30, 2015, 11:51 am

    We are in our 50’s. have been fans of tiny house movement for the past 10 years. thought about building one but like what has been shared parking it was an issue. so presently we are in a 5th wheel (2 years now) love it. but we have found most RV parks will not accept a tiny house either. some of the older parks will – they have fewer rules etc. but then you have a very different crowd living there as well.

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