How to Start a Tiny House Community

9 min read

The methodology of a tiny house has changed the landscape of the housing community to incorporate different housing concept structures for the average human. The tiny houses’ concept aims in placing participation into the miniature concepts that enable individuals to start the progress into structured home living.

The business of tiny home living is done by discovering concepts for affordable living in communities. The tiny housing concept ensures that the tiny houses are sold or leased to potential buyers. The concepts of tiny house living are in enabling individuals to own and participate in land development.

The high costs of homeownership have made individuals delve into tiny houses as a way to survive and make ends meet while putting a roof over their heads.

 

How do you start a tiny house community?

The first step towards starting a tiny house community is finding the right location. The right location for setting up the tiny house community is important in setting the structure and mood for the houses.

A community forms from the union of like-minded people. However, communities have a point of origin and in most cases, this point of origin is one person. An individual could harbor a desire to establish a tiny home community but may lack the initial numbers to set up such a community.

The first step would probably involve finding the right space to establish such a community since space would determine the eventual size of the community and the amenities that would be available to it, and to find out the type of homes that would comprise the community.

Tiny homes come in various types, but the two main ones are homes on wheels or homes on foundations. Modular homes can be in the form of homes on wheels (RVs) or homes on foundations. In most cases, the founding members define the type and size of homes that would eventually join to form the community.

Once a collective of people with similar intentions starts to form, then the community will require some rules and regulations. However, the composition and formulation of these rules and regulations depend on how the community was established. If the community starts from one person and then others add onto their property or lease on the property, then the rules and regulations initially emanate from this founding member.

However, if the founding members all choose to build or establish their homes at the same time, the rules and regulations are determined by the collective understanding of all members to the exclusion of non-members.

After identifying the right location for the community, the following steps are further employed:

 

1) Planning

The success of every good project begins with a good plan. Planning the tiny house community project will help you identify the needs and requirements that the business needs to starts operations.

The right plan will seek to help you identify the right procedure required. It is best to start with few tiny houses and expand slowly as the finances come in to check. This will help you find the right target market and organizing the community well. Planning this project will entail taking care of the following:

 

2) Understanding the costs

The underlying costs of constructing a tiny house are vital before planning to start a community. The tiny houses require adequate planning which factor in the required costs and overheads required. The cost of building materials is one of the tedious aspects of tiny house construction.

You need to plan the whole setup of the tiny house especially of starting from scratch. For instance, starting with all aspects of building materials from the appliances, flooring, bricks, and lighting is vital in setting the mood for the required house. In a community setting, the houses can be similar or different depending on the preference of the inhabitants.

The same design can be used for all the houses making it easier and simpler to plan. Identifying the right builders is also fundamental in ensuring that the tiny house community consists of properly structured houses.

When starting a community, the builders can seek to purchase the property in which the tiny houses will be on, a consideration that should be considered when planning. The budget for land acquisition should be factored in during the planning process.

 

3) Expenses

Every plan has to have expenses that come as a result of the business. In starting a tiny house community, some expenses come with it, especially when constructing from scratch. For instance, the building contractors may require on average $14 per hour depending on their location and the structure of the houses.

After the construction of the houses, they will need to be advertised and marketed to get interested parties to purchase or lease. The marketing concept may require an additional $45,000 per year on average.

An office to set out the operations and offer consultancy to interested parties will also set back $1200 on average per month. The building expenses of each tiny house will depend on the amenities and interior components of the house. This should set you back a couple of thousands of dollars depending on the structure and overall design.

If the land is being purchased from the start, the expenses are bound to go higher.

 

4) Target market

Finding the target market for tiny houses is done by identifying like-minded individuals with the passion of owning an affordable upscale tiny home. Several individuals would marvel at the opportunity to win a tiny home. Therefore, the marketing concept should focus on such individuals.

Some investors purchase these houses and flip them over as rentals or mini-hotel rooms. This still creates a community structure but for commercial purposes only. It is possible to get funding for your tiny home community from investors looking to fund the project and construct houses for the homeless communities.

With the right approach, the right investors may spearhead the tiny home project and construct homes for the less privileged members of society.

A growing fad amongst many millennials is the idea that homes should be as liberal and detached from our personal experiences as much as possible. This emerging trend has seen a lot of young people dedicate their entire lives to being backpackers and not having any defined area of residence.

Another emerging trend is that of establishing tiny homes, such as RVs, container homes or simply log cabins.

The appeal of tiny homes for millennials lies in immaterial detachments. Such a lifestyle allows young people to have a defined area of residence but retain the flexibility of moving around the country or even the world without worrying too much about their household items back home.

 

5) Responsibilities

When starting a tiny house community, be ready to do the groundwork for the first few days before getting staff. This will also save on overhead costs and create a sense of community. This will entail being able to do casual work on the land and taking care of the shared places.

Following the required building code requirements in the area is also observed to meet the standards of the location.

Making sure the right utilities are installed is also vital. For instance, making sure the water supply is near, and a functioning septic tank is crucial during development. Tiny house communities require the adequate infrastructure needed for them to function well and deliver the best services.

Basic utilities such as electricity, phone access, and internet are a must to create a community able to sustain itself well.

Ensuring that the staff in the tiny home community is content and happy maintains the success of the community. A disgruntled staff will make people move from one community to the next in search of peace and tranquility.

Therefore, maintain peace and happiness is vital to improve the community’s rating and experience.

 

6) Zoning regulations

One other factor that must be considered is the issue of zoning and building code regulations. These determine the nature of the tiny home community and how complex such a community will become based on the overall objective of people intent on joining the community.

Since tiny homes require land for them to be established, the issue of land ownership also becomes a major problem when trying to start a tiny home community. The most preferred land is one that is owned by the state or municipality and who is holding will not jeopardize the future standing of the community.

Tiny houses also require the specific square footage necessary for construction. This footage may vary depending on the state confusing the recommended zoning and building laws and codes. Individuals also feel intimidated by approaching the city government for clarification out of fear of being permanently barred from constructing these houses.

As changes in building and zoning codes may vary, it is important to do proper research before establishing a location to start a tiny home community.

 

How do you profit from a tiny home community setup?

Tiny houses if used and managed well can create profitable revenue enough for a business. It is possible to make money by renting out the homes, or by teaching people how to construct these homes.

Generating profit can start from finding a business name and registering the business. The business name can be found through a name generator and later searched through federal and state records. Forming a legal entity is the next step in ensuring that the houses are protected.

Next, register for taxes to ensure that the state taxes are applied depending on the area. There are several business tax guides available online which offer a guide on the right one for the business. Opening a bank or credit account is the next step.

This enables the protection of assets, and the credit card account can help build up the business credit ideal for getting credit if need be.

Maintaining proper accounting will help gauge the financial aspects of the business. This will also ease the filing of taxes and keep an annual record of the business. It is also vital to acquire the required licenses and certification to protect the business from closure.

Finding business insurance is vital in protecting contractors, customers, and the owner in case of anything. Liability insurance is best to protect against accidents.

 

What is the importance of community in tiny home setups?

Tiny homes appeal to people with a larger sense of community than others. People with larger homes and estates, tend to seek exclusion and therefore will prefer to be far removed from any sense of community. With tiny homes, the concept of communal living becomes necessary.

This is because the tinier the home the more shared amenities will be required.

As a result, a tiny home setup will share amenities such as laundry areas, recreational areas, and even swimming pools. It does not make sense to seek a tiny home lifestyle without possessing the right social skills to integrate with the larger community of people in tiny homes.

One other reason for seeking a communal setup is because of the strength in numbers. Communal setups for tiny homes provide a sense of security and the owners can also lobby for state or municipal support as one single entity. Some states have provided preferential codes and regulations to support tiny home living.

Tiny homes also foster a sense of community through the presence of shared spaces such as entertainment areas, fire pits, indoor centers among others. This makes individuals feel included and comforted with the presence of other people n the same space.

Tiny houses also seek to reduce living costs. With the community coming together for activities, functions such as meal preparation are shared making one save on money they would otherwise spend every day on utilities. Individuals in these houses also cost share on food and utilities making it easier for everyone.

 

How do tiny home communities function as compared to stand-alone homes?

Tiny home communities rely on the sense of community between homeowners. Though stand-alone homes also have this sense of community, it is largely diluted because of the solitary process the homeowner undertook to own the home.

In most cases, the only thing uniting neighbors in such solitary home environments is a neighborhood watch committee and this too is voluntary. In tiny home communal setups, integration is an important aspect and each homeowner recognizes their position in the community as an organ rather than a unitary organism.

With tiny homes, most amenities tend to be shared. There will be a shared playground, laundry area, recreational area, and in some cases, a shared utility control area. This, therefore, means that any plumbing or electrical needs of one house becomes a communal effort since the resources are limited and cannot be restrained to one unit in the event of a breakdown.

This arrangement drastically reduces the cost of utilities and amenities thereby ensuring the home remain a location for relaxation and bonding between family members.

Stand-alone homes tend to be entirely self-contained, meaning that the home will have a recreational area, a lawn, a swimming pool, and all other amenities the family will require in the course of their occupying the property. This reduces the need for community involvement and further deepens solitary lifestyles.

 

How do you ease decision-making in a tiny home community?

Decision-making is a very difficult endeavor in any group of people. People’s needs tend to clash and therefore it becomes difficult to balance all the needs of a group of people based entirely on their individual preferences.

Consensus decision-making is the best system for arriving at collective decisions since it reduces conflicts and gives all members a sense of participation and influence in the decision-making process. The idea that nobody is left out and unhappy is a central aspect of communal homes’ decision-making.

Understanding individual personalities and characteristics are vital in a tiny home setup. This is vital in ensuring that decision-making is done appropriately after consulting with everyone involved. Understanding different people also makes living easier and comfortable as communication is done effectively.

Tiny house communities require individuals to have a common set of values. This is important especially in the community setting where everyone should take care of the community and regard it as one’s own. This goes a long way in fostering peace and understanding during decision-making processes.

 

What does the future hold for the tiny house community?

There are possibilities of changes in building and zoning laws to accommodate more flexible measures in construction. Movements are pushing for a model code for all tiny homes in the country which will be used as a primary residence.

This will enable the formation of more tiny houses around the country while considering them as options for full-time use.

The International Residential Code is pushing to have standardized regulations on the structure of the homes such as the height of the ceiling and the presence of emergency exits. This will change the game and seek to pave the way for more tiny house projects as opposed to before.

Victoria Miller

I'm the founder of NTT. I live in Miami, Florida, and enjoy learning everything there is to know about tiny spaces.