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Old 10-17-2018, 08:10 PM   #11
C.LeeNick
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Part of the attraction, even if they are not going to be moved like a true travel trailer, is that they are still on wheels. Being on wheels, in many states, means you don’t need a building permit to construct the tiny home, unlike a true house with a foundation. City specific zoning may be different, but most “out in the country” zoning doesn’t require a building permit if it isn’t permanently attached to the ground (at least in most states west of the Mississippi that I’ve been in).

I think they are cute. I wouldn’t mind having one as a weekend home parked permanently somewhere just because they are usually built more sturdy than a camper. Plus, for me, I would have the fun of building it myself. But there is no way I would tow one anywhere. The weight on those trailers is crazy with the finishes and construction methods used.
The building permit issue is a very good point! Thanks for that.
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Old 10-17-2018, 08:35 PM   #12
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At some point I believe they will be zoned out of business, and owners will be stuck between a rock and a hard spot.
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Old 10-17-2018, 10:36 PM   #13
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Or they will just have to live in their fancy little house in a trailer park - which I am guessing is not what they had in mind.
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Old 10-18-2018, 05:13 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by vampress_me View Post
Part of the attraction, even if they are not going to be moved like a true travel trailer, is that they are still on wheels. Being on wheels, in many states, means you don’t need a building permit to construct the tiny home, unlike a true house with a foundation. City specific zoning may be different, but most “out in the country” zoning doesn’t require a building permit if it isn’t permanently attached to the ground (at least in most states west of the Mississippi that I’ve been in).

I think they are cute. I wouldn’t mind having one as a weekend home parked permanently somewhere just because they are usually built more sturdy than a camper. Plus, for me, I would have the fun of building it myself. But there is no way I would tow one anywhere. The weight on those trailers is crazy with the finishes and construction methods used.
In most states on the sunrise side of the Mississippi not so much. Would be the same as a manufactured home,or what people used to call mobile home. Most counties require x amount of acreage to live in one on private property. Essentially if you can afford that much acreage you can afford to build a real house. With that said, you still need permits and inspections before you can legally occupy. Of course there are some exceptions in some very sparsely populated areas. When dealing with mobile homes and campers the onus is on the landlord (i.e. cg or mobile home park) to comply with building codes. The "Tiny house"craze reminds me of the BS show that was on years ago where the host would find some deserving family and rehab or completely rebuild their house in a week. Coming from the retail and restaurant industry (construction project management) I would laugh when my wife would watch that show. Forget about permitting, mobilization, and construction times, the inspections would take longer than a week. Long response but here's my point, it's a television show and the ENTIRE point of television is to sell advertising time which they will go to nearly any length to do. JMHO.
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Old 10-18-2018, 05:42 AM   #15
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... rehab or completely rebuild their house in a week. ... Forget about permitting, mobilization, and construction times, the inspections would take longer than a week. ...
My brother is a home builder and has similar frustrations. Customers wonder why their house can't be ready to move into within a few weeks to few months of signing the contract. These cable TV shows have totally distorted the timeline. Not only are there the issues mentioned above, but the trades are overloaded as the market has exploded; he mentioned a plumber hasn't shown on site in over a month (in spite of assurances he would). My brother finally had to find another subcontractor to complete the work. He said he was fortunate to find someone that was not too busy to work on it.

Excellent point on building permits mentioned earlier; that is something that never crossed my mind.
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Old 10-18-2018, 06:03 AM   #16
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My sister lived in California wine country with her husband who recently passed away last year. She didn't want to stay in her home and bought a tiny house in North Carolina in a tiny home park/community. One of the attactions was that is is considered an RV and not real estate so taxes are a break. I think under 400 sq ft and on wheels, it is a travel trailer but I am not a lawyer or tax person. In any case, my sister paid WAY too much for this little abode and when she went to sell it, found the park was the only selling agent allowed under her park contract. They wanted to sell for tens of thousands less than my sister paid. Don't think the place has sold yet. She wanted to move into a bigger place.



The tiny house attraction was to get into a "simpler" life and all the tiny house reality tv shows that hooked my sister. Here is a video of a similar story:
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Old 10-18-2018, 06:14 AM   #17
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Wiredgeorge I could never understand the misnomer "Reality Television". In my opinion it should be "Anything But Reality Television".
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Old 10-18-2018, 06:29 AM   #18
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I think all of us have come to understand what "reality tv" means! Watch shows like Mountain Man where a guy and his gal friend live in the Alaskan wilderness hundreds of miles from civilization without anyway to generate cash and are buying an airplane and have a full crew filming through all their mishaps. There must be a small village for the camera and production crews just outside camera shots. Plus the Alaskan couple is now using a lot of DC powered tools... where do they charge them? There are no solar panels to be seen so they must have a generator? Perhaps they have an oil well and refine gas for the genny? My wife tells me not to take facts too seriously with these shows.
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Old 10-18-2018, 06:37 AM   #19
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Out here in the west, things are a little less regulated. In New Mexico, "Tiny Homes", mobile homes, park models, classic trailers used as residences, etc. are registered by the state as vehicles, even if they never move again. As long as it's not on a permanent foundation, it's not considered a structure. Thus, no inspections, property tax, etc. Inspectors will check water, electrical, sewer and septic on the property, but nothing inside beyond the hook ups.

Our backcountry getaway is a 1955 Sparton Imperial Mansion that we moved down to a 6 acre property around 2006. It will likely never move again. But because it's on wheels and jackstands, and not on a permanent foundation, it's still a vehicle that's "taxed" at $11 a year, and not through the county, but through the state Motor Vehicle Dept. We also have a 10x25 storage shed out there, stick built, that's set on treated railroad ties. Since it's not attached to a permanent foundation, it's not considered anything, thus it's not taxed at all.

I was surprised to learn over the years that in some counties out here in the west, no building permits or building inspections of any kind are needed. Nye County, Nevada, for instance, doesn't require ANY building permits outside of the "Pahrump Regional Planning District", a fairly small portion of the county that's more or less a "bedroom community" to Las Vegas. Beyond that, it's a free country. Ironically, Tonopah, the county seat, is well north of Pahrump..thus...no permits or inspections needed to build there!
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Old 10-18-2018, 06:50 AM   #20
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I understand the mindset of no one to complain so why bother. Here in "The People's Republic of Maryland" there are areas where you have to pull a permit to change a light switch. It's the cover charge for civilization. Like everything, it's a tradeoff and a few people will ruin it for the majority so laws are written to protect mankind from itself. JMHO
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