Has anyone here found a more mainstream way to work around the Anti-Tumbleweed laws?
We have tried everything and we just can't find a loop hole. We are wanting a permanent placement for one. I am so frustrated that the laws are written against this. We keep hitting road blocks with each low cost home option we want. Looks like as a last resort we may have to buy land and build a larger home than we want. It almost make sense to just stay in our current home when comparing the money. Paying off our mortgage early may be as close to a Tumbleweed as we can get. I sure wish we could change the laws against "small homes".
Anyone worked around anti-tumbleweed laws?(16 posts)
Has anyone here found a more mainstream way to work around the Anti-Tumbleweed laws?
The ones on wheels or the bigger ones with a foundation?
What city are you in? To some degree, the best defense seems to be having the flexibility to live somewhere else.
Have you tried requesting a variance? I don't know what this entails, but it may be simply a matter of convincing the right people (as long as nobody objects).
I'm curious - what are anti-tumbleweed laws ? Could find a ref on google.
Tumbleweeds are a kind of a tiny house and many places have laws restricting where tiny houses can be set up. These laws are local not state or national, so it would take some digging on Google to find them. Plus, the laws probably aren't titled "anti-tumbleweed" as that is just one name for the tiny house.
@ Chad thanks! I've learnt something.
In my experience, buying something ugly is a much, much better value than building anything new.
Also, everything's already in place... Do your repairs quietly and keep the damn revenuers in the dark, if possible.
Many homes are going for 50% or less of what it would cost to build them... Just add some drywall, paint and fixtures (the easy stuff).
I think the best strategy is to not look for "permanent" placement, but rather move it in as if it were an RV.
When you start talking about permanent, the building codes kick in and the reviewer wants to know if the structure is built to HUD codes (mobile home) or BOCA codes (or other stick built building code). Mobile home codes mean you have to be in a mobile home community in many cities, and stick built codes require a full foundation.
Why not take advantage of a tumbleweed's mobility and just move it in and park it somewhere? Preferably on a lot with a normal house, somewhere protected by trees in the back. You can say you are just storing it. If code enforcement goes after you, find another location.
The other option is to build a small house with a foundation rather than haul in a tumbleweed. Or just buy a small existing home.
Thanks everyone. I should have listed more specifics, sorry about that. Ok here are my road blocks from the last year or so.
Ok we want to stay in our area as we are very family oriented. There are no rv parks around. The ones that are an hour or so away costs so much per month that it's cheaper to stay in my current home.
We do not have friends that will allow us to park a Tumbleweed/RV on their properties. I think the concept is just too foreign and many have small yards as is.
My husband is not comfy with a Chinook because we would have to constantly move around our tiny town. He also feels we are too old for nightly moving. (I agree)
There are a few mobile home parks around but .....well they are just not safe and are always in the newspaper for crime. (plus I like some space and trees). There are several other things I could mention about the ones here but I don't want to be harsh.
Our age is something I have not seen covered on any site that covers RV living. We seem to be older than a lot of you and moving into a RV leaves us with no plan B (financially) should we begin to have aging health problems. We are in our 40s and 50s and sadly are starting to see many of our friend develop all sorts of cancers and other issues. These are from healthy people who live a very healthy lifestyles too :/ Campers are not really handicap friendly. I know that sounds pessimistic to think that far ahead but we are planners like that. Prepare for the worst while hoping for the best.
Our current home is small-ish by our cities standards. We did make a good choice to live in a really nice neighborhood but have the smallest house. We have the best lot and look at hundreds of acres of someone elses property. Some of the land is landlocked and it would be hard, if not impossible to place a neighborhood there. I mention this as an option should the small house movement plan fail.
For months I have driven around and looked at neighboring cities to only find one tiny house. Actually it was a cluster of them. They were built LONG ago but have been greatly maintained. However the owner uses them as rental property and wants to charge me more for them than my current home ????
We looked at foreclosures that we could pay cash for but they were all condemned mobile homes that were scary and mold covered. We have a child with severe environmental health issues. Those homes were so far gone that there was no saving them. Some literally only had half a roof left :O I don't think a raccoon could have even lived in them!
We can buy land, but sadly the price is sky high despite the economy? Also the city wont allow camping on the site even if your temporarily in a RV building a home.
For the cost of the land + building the smallest house legally, we are cheaper staying in our current home?
I think I am just so frustrated that I found the small house movement but am finding it's not as easy at it seems to join it.
We are looking at paying off our home early as an option but that wont be cheap. If we pay extra $600 per month it will be paid in 10 years. I think we can make that even sooner.
The biggest issue with that is that we have 2 kids entering college soon. They are great and work any jobs they can find but not a lot of hours is going to teen workers out here. So we sort of learned about ERE late in the game if this makes sense. Then we have a younger child left.
I'm still determined though!
In the end our current home is a retirees dream. Very few stairs and a dream backyard and woods. It's just when I look at what my mortgage is truly going to costs it's sickening.
The one and only bad side to staying is that the economy brought in one bad neighbor that's staying for life. We have a lot of retirees here. However even with this one bad apple it's a great place. My ultimate dream would be acreage with NO neighbors near us though.
Ideally I would want to build this home because I like a "pretty" but tiny homes:
But I like how this guy seems to have a more private lot. Though we can't go off grid like he did:
For the record we have downsized the inside of this home. We already live as if we have moved into a tiny home. I am that determined LOL.
Sorry this was so long!!!!
You seem to have answered your own question. You are not willing to change location and where you live any other option would be more expensive than your current home. You seem to really like your house and it sounds like it's inexpensive for your area. You are not young enough to consider van living and even a mobile home would cause difficulties.
It's great to consider all options, but it sounds like your current home is the best deal for your location. I would consider it the cost of living close to family. You might have more options if you were willing to move farther away.
Would it be possible to build a "Mother In Law Apartment" as a free standing addition or add on to the current house...move into that and then rent the main house out????
Stay where you are...downsize... and get income and the tax deductions to boot.
If you want permanent placement, your best bet is to build the <400 sq. foot home on a lot with a house that complies with the local code. @FrugalZen has the right idea. I know of at least three different people, in three different California cities, who persuaded the local planning board to grant a variance under such circumstances.
But, I'm guessing that the permanent placement of a Tumbleweed home will require sewer, water and electrical tie-ins that will increase the cost substantially. This may be wonderful from an aesthetic standpoint (small is beautiful); but it not necessarily the most frugal option. And, sadly, resale -- should it become necessary -- will be tough because so few appreciate the virtue of tiny houses.
40-50 not young enough to consider van living?
Heck I don't know anybody younger that that living in a van. And I know plenty in their 60-70-80s traveling around in motorhomes.
If planning permissions allow the granny flat in the back yard seems the we to go. Small house, same woods, and and income.
hi, I'm really confused by your post ... you say you are family oriented, but are talking about a Tumbleweed? I looked at the site a few weeks back, the houses are cute, but the guy that designs them calls them a one person house (say 120 sq ft). It would seem like the two of you (or three with youngest child?) would want at least 400 sq ft? What is the minimum sq ft where you are at? Really, I don't think you kick up the expense all that much by adding a few hundred sq feet.
What's going to happen when one of your college age kids boomerangs back home after graduation? Seems like for family friendly, having some extra space would be very useful on occasion.
Then you mention handicapper issues. I was just helping my 85 year old Dad, his bathroom is impossible. Comparing that to the handicapper bathroom here in my office building, it is a huge difference. The bathroom here is 6x8', just for toilet & sink. I would guess if you include a shower, you would want 64 sq ft just for a bath.
The first Youtube (Bloomington small house) you give as an example looks like a nightmare to me. Look at the doorway going into the kitchen, it doesn't even look like 20". Very difficult for a person with a walker to get thru.
The Tumbleweed houses use the loft space as a bedroom. Even at 55, I could see doing that. But then I remember having the swine flu a while back. That lasted three weeks for me, then three weeks for my wife. We wouldn't have been able to use the loft all that time.
I'm really curious how you have downsized in your current home. You have the 5 of you living in how much space?
I live in a tiny house [aka: Tumbleweed] of my own design. This city's planning/zoning/building department has an as-long-as-no-one complains position. Neighbors are fine with my house.
As for interior design, I currently sleep in the loft. However, the downstairs is such that I can provide a pull-out, built-in, single bed in the future. It's easy to have electric and propane. I have a grey water tank for the sink and shower, and a chemical toilet. These last two utilities are the ones that raise resistance with city departments. I built to conventional housing code and have photos of every wall/ceiling before closing them in; I did hire a plumber for propane/water lines.
I am quite content and happy in my house. I have thoroughly customized the kitchen to my height and my kitchen equipment. My observation is that many tiny houses cheat this area. I will say that I would find this house too small if I was married. I would suggest double the size [about 300 sq ft], especially if you are in an area with months of winter weather when you might not want to be out and about as much.
As a side note: Don't vision yourselves "old" before your time! Do your diligence regarding real health. Your friends with the "big 5" diseases belie an unhealthy lifestyle. Start with alternative options for cancer ["Cancer: Step Outside the Box" by Ty Bollinger, for example]. The health arena is as bad as the financial arena for bad/wrong information.
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