Monday, February 19, 2018

Six Easy Ways to Find a Tiny House Parking Spot

There are really, only, two different kinds of tiny house people: Those who BUILD and PRAY, and those who PRAY to BUILD. And, since most people cannot stomach the kind of stress that comes with investing time and money into the unknowns of tiny house homeownership, those who PRAY to BUILD therefore define the un-tapped tiny house buyers (or builders) market.

The framing for my tiny houses is done at my build site in Tacoma Washington.

Many of these folks PRAY to find the money to build their tiny dream. And, although I used to believe that lack of funding was the primary reason for the log-jamb of dreamers, social media paints a significantly different picture. Nowadays, more and more often, the cries of “Where can I park my tiny house?” vastly out-number the “Where do I get the money?” queries.

Once you have a few nice exterior photos of your tiny house, it's time to start networking!

When I built my BUILD and PRAY tiny house in the driveway of the home I was renting at the time, “asking” for permission never crossed my mind. Whether it be my precocious or my optimistic nature, I was pretty sure I wouldn’t have any issues with my landlord or my neighbors. And, until the very end of my build, I didn’t. I imagined I would eventually find to find a place to put it, but never envisioned I would have only 10 days to figure it out.

And since I intended to find a space to park it to professionally photograph it, and then have a house warming party, and then move it to a more permanent place to occupy it; I had to find not one but TWO spots!?

Yes, it's true, I DO most of the work myself.

In a nutshell, I didn’t have any problems at all. It took a bit of work, sure, but using the resources that already exist as well as some good-old-fashioned pavement pounding: I was actually able to finally pick from several parking options.

So if you’re wondering if a tiny house is right for you, and are reluctant to buy or build until you’ve found a Utopian Kind of Parking Reality, I would encourage you to be optimistic and build on!! If you’re already in, mid-build, or moving yours, here are some ideas for how to find a perfect spot for your Tiny Homestead.

This building lot, in my town, costs over $200,000!

Social Media
Many major cities have a tiny house Facebook page or a Meetup group. You can find spots in our near your ideal spot by engaging with these groups via their social media page and/or attending meetings. Even if someone does not have a spot advertised, people in the group often know of someone who does.

Most of us have "circles of influence".  Those are groups of people you work with, your family, your neighbors, close friends, club members, PTA, etc....  (or in my case, While not all of them may share your enthusiasm for tiny houses, they may have never thought of hosting a tiny house in their backyard as a method to earn extra money.  Telling everyone you know that you're looking is a great way of expanding your search beyond the internet. Ask them, what do they need help with? Yard work? Babysitting? Animal care? They may not have a space, or interest, but they quite likely know of someone who does.

Friends have the best ideas!

Unfortunately, not all tiny house people seeking or having spots to park will list under the “Real Estate” section of this popular resource site. So, the easiest way to find ALL of the listings (including tiny houses for sale) is to use the words “tiny house” under “ALL” listing sections And, don’t hesitate to contact people with tiny houses for sale, they’ll likely know of a spot to park or will be vacating their own spot soon!

Cold Calling
If you are lucky enough to be looking for a space that is close to where you live now, you can drive around the area to find an ideal neighborhood or house. They’re normally in the “older” or “rural” section of town where the side yards and back yards are large. Once you find an area that appeals to you, print up flyers with a large full picture of the outside your tiny house and a “blurb” about who you are. Also, include the list of what you’ll need (garden hose, 120V outlet, southern exposure, space for a dog run, etc…) so if you have the leave the flyer on a doorstep, they’ll be more likely to call if they know a bit more about you. Or you can also hang a flyer in the local grocery store or local community board.

In a nutshell, get out there and knock on doors and ASK people. They’ll likely be your neighbors so a little hand-flesh-pressing is good for neighbor relations and shows that you are genuine and personable.

Internet Lists
When I had a tiny house spot for rent, I listed mine on and got lots of calls. And now due to the rising popularity of tiny houses there are actually more websites jumping on the bandwagon including and a Facebook page called “Tiny House Hosting”. They’re a great place to search for, and post for, what you’re looking for. However, they do generate interest from people who are “just looking” so it’s hard for a land owner to judge the seriousness of the renter until they’ve invested some time into correspondence. If you do contact someone offering land via these sites, be sure to give them enough information about yourself and a pic of your tiny house so they know you’re real and not just using them as a local zoning or tiny house expert.

Our first moving day for My Tiny Perch.

Try It Tiny
When a friend of mine and I were chatting about the complexities of finding our spots, and wishing there was a “one stop shop” to find parking, we thought of launching a website strictly devoted to connecting land owners and tiny house owners. While the internet lists are a great resource, we thought that a truly focused approach would provide the support needed to connect and foster good community relationships. So while my friend and I talked about it at length, we never launched it. But I’m happy we didn’t because someone (my new friend Maggie) actually DID and came up with a concept that clearly surpassed even our wildest ideas. On, listings are added every day and the opportunities continue to grow for tiny house enthusiasts to connect.

Our 2nd Moving Day, getting close now!

Honestly, nothing about building or financing or moving and finding a place to park your tiny house is truly EASY. While tiny houses are for-sure “trendy” on the internet , occupying a tiny house will require getting OFF the computer and getting out in the world and meeting people and putting a hammer to nail. It will involve making tough decisions, and saving and spending money, and being very introspective about your own goals.

If your goal, however, is to find a spot to put your tiny house; it may not be as hard as other articles (or nightmare stories) may lead you to believe. It may not really be “easy” but it’s certainly doable and every tiny house occupant out there has a success story to prove it.

So beautiful. So quiet. So proud.

My first spot I found by posting an “In Seek Of…” on the local community Facebook page. My current spot I found by networking with local friends who owned large plots of land. And I couldn’t be happier. 

My expenses for TWO tiny houses on the same lot are currently less than $150 per month; which includes utilities. Not only are my tiny houses tiny, so are my bills!

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