Looking to live differently? Opting to forego a traditional house or apartment for a home the size of a typical American living room would certainly be a change. If that sounds like heaven, consider a tiny house.
Tiny houses have no formal definition, but they are commonly classified as homes between 150 and 600 square feet, built as part of a do-it-yourself project or custom designed by a builder who specializes in them. They’re often built on trailers so they can be towed easily to their permanent spot or even to allow long-distance travel.
If the nomadic, portable life isn’t what intrigues you about the prospect of living in a tiny home, you may want to consider one of the tiny house communities throughout the U.S., which range from newly developed properties to well-established communities with long-term residents.
People choose to live in tiny homes for a variety of reasons, including maintaining a lower overall cost of living, being able to easily travel and opting for a minimalist, greener lifestyle. And where people embrace the tiny home life, communities tend to sprout up. Whether it’s permanent settlements with property lines, RV parks meant for tiny houses or even short-term stays for residents who don’t own one, tiny house communities serve as designated spots for people to live without having to battle zoning restrictions or private and public land use laws.
“A lot of people look at tiny homes as second homes, or in the cases of disaster, a temporary home,” says Dan Dobrowolski, CEO of Escape Traveler, a tiny house building company that also runs two tiny house villages in the U.S.
Many tiny house communities are formed by nonprofit and charity organizations to provide housing and transitional options for homeless individuals. Other communities focus more on green or minimalist living, where people make a conscious choice to live in tiny homes over larger, permanent houses.
The versatility of tiny houses and their ability serve both personal preference and lower-cost need is what’s driving the surge in popularity of tiny homes, Dobrowolski says, who has seen the Escape Traveler building company continue to grow as more people look to purchase a tiny house. A tiny house can cost between $10,000 and $60,000 to build from scratch, compared to the median home price of more than $225,000, according to real estate information company Zillow. “It’s becoming more and more mainstream because people are seeing these … solve a lot of problems,” Dobrowolski says.
Here are six flourishing tiny house communities throughout the U.S.
Little River Escape
Airstream Park (Llamalopolis)
Las Vegas, Nevada
Tiny Homes Detroit
Canoe Bay Escape Village
Near Chetek, Wisconsin
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