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What could be better than a single tiny house? Multiple tiny houses in a row! We went looking for our favorite tiny home communities to showcase the creative ways people are elevating the tiny home experience. And if you haven’t seen them yet, you need to check them out now.
You might be surprised by what we found. It’s not just about trailer-like tiny home parks. There are tiny home hotels, tiny home condos, tiny home B&Bs, and much more. Read on to find out how people are banding together to share this unique lifestyle.
What Are Tiny House Communities?
The conventional wisdom is that people build and live in tiny houses as a rejection of the modern-day 21st-century hustle-and-bustle. Owners are looking to find peace of mind in the solitude of the country, or the mountains, or the lake, and consume and use less.
Don’t get us wrong: That’s certainly part of the attraction. But as tiny house living has evolved, it has brought enthusiasts together. Tiny house communities are popping up all over the country. Trulia, an online web portal devoted to real estate, estimates there are more than 50 projects nationally, but that number changes every day. Turns out not only that tiny home enthusiasts enjoy living with people who think like them, but they’re also opportunistic and thinking of ways to share the tiny passion with the world.
Benefits of Tiny Home Communities
Our favorite tiny home communities are the ones where owners are thinking about ways to conserve even beyond a smaller property. Why do people choose to live in communities? Interaction is important in our lives. Having people who think as we do is important. But more than that, it’s a way to extend the common interest of sustainable living. Instead of everyone having a lawn mower, you can share one or two!
Some areas are experimenting to find out if tiny home communities might help returning veterans or curb homelessness. Those purpose-built communities are popping up in areas such as Syracuse, New York; Austin, Texas; Seattle, Washington, and Los Angeles, California.
Getting into a Community
We already know that building a single tiny house can be tricky from a zoning standpoint. Municipalities aren’t quite sure where these structures fit in the continuum between mobile home and mansion. In the search for our favorite tiny home communities, we found some projects that had failed to come to fruition. The concern for municipalities, of course, is with tiny home communities that are built to host homes on wheels. It encourages a transient lifestyle, which some community leaders may not feel comfortable with.
This article in the Guardian newspaper asks just that question about where tiny home communities fit. On the flip side though, some of the properties on the list of our favorite tiny home communities are built to last. They have thought about everything. If you’re concerned, take note of this: A few years back, Architect Magazine studied the phenomenon and found that California, Oregon, Texas, North Carolina, and Florida were the best states for tiny house acceptance.
How We Researched Our Favorite Tiny Home Communities
Tiny home communities have captured the fascination of the nation’s press. Lifestyle and home writers are looking for new and unusual stories all the time. One of their focal points has been communities, even though some haven’t quite come to fruition.
We explored many sites devoted to tiny house living to come up with our favorite tiny home communities. One of the sites we consulted was The Spruce, a home design portal. We also looked at Microabode, which is devoted to sustainability and tiny home living. Naturally, we checked out TinyhomeExpedition as well, a site which speaks for itself.
In the search for our favorite tiny home communities, we looked for examples in every part of the country that offered creative ideas for living and that little something extra. You’ll see what we mean when you start checking out our list below.
Boiceville Rental Cottages, Ithaca, New York
The Finger Lakes region is one of New York’s best-kept secrets. It is a hotbed for wine-making, craft-brewing, and other innovation in foods and beverages. The creativity and excellent planning of Boiceville Rental Cottages outside Ithaca, New York, make this a natural for the list of our favorite tiny home communities.
Boiceville also happens to be one of the first tiny home communities. It consists of 140 tiny houses and two dog parks. Choices are abundant in this rental-only community. You can go small, with a studio-sized tiny house of about 540 square feet, or go big, relatively speaking, with a gatehouse 2-bedroom and office. Which, at 1,170 feet, probably pushes the definition of tiny.
The point, of course, is that Boiceville offers a little bit of everything in a natural setting southeast of Ithaca. You’ll be 10 minutes or less from two world-class colleges, Cornell University and Ithaca College. Traveling just a little further will get you to Cayuga Lake. Keep going north, and you’re in the heart of the Finger Lakes. Prices start at $1,150 per month. The Boiceville owners just opened their second community, La Bourgade, overlooking Seneca Lake.
Caravan Tiny House Hotel, Portland, Oregon
As the tiny house movement became popular, it was inevitable that entrepreneurs would step forward with different ideas for making money. So the next entry on the list of our favorite tiny home communities isn’t long-term living or rentals. The Caravan Tiny House Hotel is about 3.5 miles north of Portland in one of the city’s art districts, in the midst of restaurants and other storefronts. The Caravan consists of six one-bedroom tiny homes of various designs. They each have very modern names, ranging from the Skyline and Kangablue to the Caboose and Pacifica. Winter rates are between $125 and $150 a night. In the summertime, the price goes up to $150 to $200. Rentals by the week may land you a discount. All of the homes are 170 square feet or smaller and stocked as you would expect in a hotel — and then some.
The kitchens all have modern appliances to allow for home cooking. The six Caravan Tiny Houses are aligned around a courtyard area to encourage a sense of community. Musical acts play during the summer, and each Wednesday, the Caravan offers campfire songs and s’mores. Imagine that — a true sense of camping not 15 minutes from a major U.S. airport and right in the midst of a thriving downtown neighborhood. Beats the Marriott!
Cottages at Cabot Cove, Kennebunkport, Maine
Hotels aren’t the only way to leverage tiny homes into a money-making enterprise. Consider the Cottages at Cabot Cove in Kennebunkport, Maine. The privately owned cottages are maintained by a professional management company. Owners can live or stay in their units as they wish, or they can utilize them as a bed and breakfast operation. The fully furnished cottages consist of one and two-bedroom units ranging in size from a few hundred square feet to nearly 400.
The houses perfectly evoke New England in their design and decor. Most of the units sleep two people, but a few will allow the addition of a third person for a small fee. Generally speaking, you’ll have to stay for at least two nights. In total, there are 15 cottages. Kitchens are fully equipped, and there are daily housekeeping services. To encourage community, the owners provide afternoon refreshments and facilitate outdoor lawn games. A nearby pond is available for canoeing.
What hooks us, and prompts us to put this community on our list, is location, location, location. The cottages are situated within walking distance from downtown Kennebunkport, with its restaurants and shops and other storefronts.
LuxTiny Tiny Home Community
For those who prefer warm breezes to the cool winds of the Atlantic in Maine, we present the LuxTiny Tiny Home Community of Arizona. LuxTiny makes the list of our favorite tiny home communities for its natural views. The community is being developed in Lakeside, Arizona, near the White Mountains, with space for 45 tiny houses. LuxTiny is also a hybrid model. You can either rent one of the homes starting at about $799 a month or buy, with homes starting at $69,900.
The homes range from 165 square feet on up to about 400 square feet, which offers two bedrooms, two baths, and a patio. Most units are one-bedroom, but there are other options for two bedrooms. The owners plan to develop a community garden and are encouraging sustainable behaviors, such as chicken coops, greenhouses, and solar panels. LuxTiny was recently featured on “Tiny House, Big Living” on the DIY Network. Stay tuned for more news from LuxTiny.
Little River Escape, Georgia
Maybe you’re curious about tiny homes but haven’t quite concluded what the best situation is for you. Then Little River Escape in Georgia, the next on the list of our favorite tiny home communities, might be right for you. Little River will build tiny houses you can place on your own land. Or, they will build houses you can place on their land in their community near Lookout Mountain in Georgia. If you already have a house, Little River Escape provides the land. Buyers gain the rights to place one to two tiny houses or one small house on their land in the Litter River community. You, as owner, can decide to live there full-time or seasonally. Your land in the community is also yours to sell, will, or give away.
Located on 50 acres adjacent to the Little River near Cloudland, Georgia, Little River Escape is also a gated community that offers swimming, hiking, fishing, and other amenities. The Little River houses offer options depending on your lifestyle. For example, the “Lil’ Hunter” at 280 square feet is for a hunter or writer to use as a getaway. Most of the homes are single-story, single bedroom properties around 400 square feet. Need a little more space? Little River also offers buyers a 1,100 square foot small home with two king bedrooms and 2.5 baths. Families, rejoice. Sustainability is also a key selling point for this community.
Village Farm Tiny Homes, Austin, Texas
When it comes to community, we’re saving the best for last. The developers of Village Farm Tiny Homes have embraced the opportunities inherent in community living in a big way. Village Farm is one of the more unique tiny home communities, given its total embrace of the concept. Village Farm is far more than just a cluster of homes in close proximity.
The development will include a general store and cafe, a community kitchen, pathways and sidewalks, parks, and even a school. (We think this educational institution will have to be a little more than tiny.) You might even find the occasional “pop-up” restaurant or farmer’s market. The first phase of Village Farm saw the construction of about 40 homes. The follow-up phase called for another 112. No home will be larger than 400 square feet. All the houses will be one-bedroom units that sleep at least two adults. Some of the models include both separate bedrooms as well as loft sleeping space. Sustainability is also a key selling point for this community.
Living and Loving the Life
Tiny homeowners are passionate about their lifestyle choice, as the media’s fascination with the phenomenon shows. It just makes sense that these creative people would want to come together and form larger communities. And as Village Farm shows, who is to say that the tiny concept can only be applied to houses?
Tiny home communities can share resources, built community properties, and live safely and happily while using fewer resources or asking more from municipalities. In pulling together communities, these smart and forward-looking people are putting the seeds of change into place. What will take root? It’s hard to say, but in a changing world, it might lead to what we all need.