Location: Central Texas zone 8a, 800 chill hours 28 blessed inches of rain
posted 1 month ago
I am looking for feedback and/or experience from anyone with experience with living in a small tiny house community. I am posting here, because I am not really seeking an intentional community or tribe, so much as a building a small place for 4 to 6 people wanting to do the tiny house thing. If you have put together a small property for tiny homes, or have lived in a small community, what worked? What did not? If you are interested in something like this, what would you want in property?
Here is my situation: I am currently trying to talk myself out of buying a little over an acre of ground, zoned R4 multifamily, in a second tier Midwestern city of 500-750K population. It is in a transition zone between dense urban/light industrial/semi suburbian. I could build or host at least 4 trailers with the option of buying a house and lot next door. The house would make a good 'community house', re-modeled with a large kitchen and dining area, entertainment room and institutional bath/showers. The extra lot I think would allow expansion of up to 8 unts and still leave a lot of open space for gardens and animals. If I went down this road, there is also several acres adjacent that may be open to lease for larger crop land/market gardens.
Without too much personal detail, I have other things I am focused on currently; and don't need a place to stay. (Although, I have been drawn to the tiny house lifestyle for the past 15 years.) The issue is this project has been staring me in the face for the past year or two; and I can't seem to completely put it out of my mind. So am seeking input to ground myself on what a community setting would really be like. I am introvert by nature and deal with enough people in my professional day to satisfy any need for socialization. But I know there are others whom welcome small group interaction and would love to be "alone together" on a small acreage. For those whom have had experience, or even those whom desire; what does that look like to you?
Here are the advantages of the project: Close to a major city. Jobs of every pay grade are within a 2 mile radius. Major medical facilities are within a mile or so. Although within a city limits, it is semi rural with permits for animals not hard to obtain (chickens rabbits, maybe a stealth dairy goat.) Electricity and Sewer infrastructure in place. Zone for multi unit housing. Regular neighborhood wildlife include deer, wild turkey, rabbits, etc...
Disadvantages: Urban. no large livestock. Winters are 'Midwestern'. Growing a garden between November to April is a no go. A greenhouse would be required.
So while this is all speculation at this point, I am very seriously considering putting this together. However, I have only loosely followed the tiny house movement in the past few years. I know it went mainstream for a while with media capitalizing on it. Is there really a desire, market, or interest in this sort of thing any longer; or has it run its life for most folks? Is there strong interest out there still for people whom want a place to rent or a TH to rent? Please offer me your thoughts and experiences.
Interesting. Sort of a "hostel for tiny homes" approach. It's a unique business proposition.
I wonder if (given the low density of residents) the cost of development and shared facilities could be recouped through the fee structure. Outside of Silicon Valley.
It certainly mitigates the problem of extra space and resources for surviving winter in a tiny home. The concern is the compatibility of residents using the shared spaces. It would need to be rather selective process for potential leaseholders. I almost wonder if a condo-style covenant-and-responsibility type of agreement is more manageable than lease/rental.
Zoning for tiny homes in particular could be a barrier. Multi-resident zoning usually means fourplexes, townhouses or larger. Some cities are making zoning changes to accommodate tiny houses if they are mounted on a fixed foundation with the axles removed. Also, negative perceptions of "trailer park" or "RV park" or "low income housing" would need to be managed amongst neighbouring areas.
I pulled a few links that are not directly relevant but may offer a few different perspectives: