What's It Like to Live in a Tiny House Community?

Merriam-Webster defines a community as a unified body of individuals such as people with common interests living in a particular area. In this sense, tiny house communities, also called villages, truly embody a real sense of community.

Tiny living is beginning to gain traction as a realistic option for more and more potential homeowners. Once considered a choice for rugged, minimal living in remote parts of the world, tiny houses are popping up in suburbs and even urban settings like the Airstream Park in Las Vegas highlighted further below.

Owners of tiny homes still meet challenges when it comes to finding somewhere to park or construct their diminutive abodes. This is where the tiny house community steps in to provide a place for tiny homeowners and their houses to gather.

Building codes and logistics are not the only reasons you might find tiny homes nestled together by a lake, in downtown Las Vegas, or settled in the Rocky Mountain foothills. A sense of true community and commonality, increasingly hard to find as hustle and bustle speed things up, may be the driving force behind many decisions to settle into a tiny home and tiny living community.

Unique Communities with Common Interests

A 2018 study highlighted that 53% of those surveyed would at least consider purchasing a tiny home. The NAHB Economics & Housing Policy Group research also showed that Millennials are far more likely to live small than Baby Boomers or seniors.

Why are these people suddenly willing to dive into tiny living? After all, purchasing a tiny house is more than a simple design choice – it really is a lifestyle.

The overwhelming statement from those wishing to live in a tiny home community is the desire to share a neighborhood with people who have common interests. Not everyone that lives in a tiny house is the same but most have a passion for simple living, enjoying the outdoors, and reducing their impact on the environment.

Tiny home villages often offer amenities like gardens, communal open space, and lake or pool access. In addition to physical offerings, these clusters of small houses tend to drive interactions between neighbors beyond a cursory morning wave.

Here are some samples of established tiny home neighborhoods offering community in some unlikely places.

Airstream Park, Las Vegas, Nevada

While Las Vegas has seen a resurgence in visitors and residents since its recent troubles due to economic recession in 2008, initiatives are still being put in place to bring the city and its residents back to prosperity. Part of the revitalization of the downtown Las Vegas area has been aided by the popularity of Airstream Park, owned by Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos.

This community houses Airstream trailers and tiny houses dedicated to providing living space in downtown Vegas. While this tiny neighborhood is somewhat exclusive, it represents much of what tiny communities are about.

The entrance is pedestrian only, eliminating cars parked throughout the space and creating a serene environment. Neighbors contact each other via a dedicated Slack account to mention events, invite others over for an impromptu game night, or offer up dinner to anyone who would like to join.

There are short-term rentals available here but many of the tiny homes house full-time residents. Purchasing a tiny house here is unlikely as it is an invitation only property. However, visitors frequently stop by for open houses and to say, “Hi,” to the alpacas who live amongst the tiny homes.

Tiny Homes Detroit, Detroit, Michigan

A concern for the environment drives many to move into tiny homes, lessening their overall negative impact on the environment. This progressive mindset carries a step further in the Tiny Homes Detroit community in Detroit, Michigan.

This neighborhood was designed with a purpose in mind – to mitigate the lack of low-income housing available to those living in and around Detroit. The operating organization, Cass Community Social Services, understands that community is not simply a place to live.

The program provides housing and charges residents one dollar per square foot of space. Additionally, residents receive training centered on financial health and stability. After seven years in the program, the deed is turned over to the resident who becomes a bona fide homeowner of a tiny house in their community.

Tiny Tranquility, Waldport, Oregon

The goal of this tiny community is to provide quick access to the beautiful terrain nearby. The resort offers amenities like nearby hiking, a dog park, fire pits and picnic areas.

Like many tiny house communities, Tiny Tranquility offers many different arrangements to stay including short and long-term leases of a house owned by the property and spaces to place tiny homes with utility hookups available.

Try Before You Buy

Purchasing a tiny home is a unique commitment. You need to think about tiny house designs, plans and blueprints, decide whether you want to build yourself or hire someone for the construction, but before that, you need to figure out if a tiny house is actually somewhere you’d like to live!

Few people have ever stayed in one before, no less owned a house this size. You can ask a million questions and read the many blogs and sites geared toward tiny living but trying a night or a week in a tiny house might be worth the proverbial thousand words.

There are communities that specialize in short-term rentals with updated tiny homes. Orlando Lakefront is one such community that has transformed an aging trailer park into a beautiful, waterfront tiny home village. The homes have conveniences like full kitchens and flushable toilets.

Tiny house communities offer the convenience of pre-planned tiny home infrastructure, neighbors with similar interests, and the opportunity to live small while staying connected.

If you’re considering tiny house living, and are interested in living in a community of like-minded others, a tiny house community might be just right for you.