Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Picking Where to Set Down Tiny House Roots

Lots of folks build their tiny houses with the intention of parking in exotic places and traveling here and there. I, however, wanted a large piece of land without others around. I wanted to grow food and have animals and see the seasons change the landscape. I wanted to put down roots and finish out my life living in the home I built myself.

I always pictured myself building first and then moving later, but that just didn't come to pass. Tired of dreaming and wanting to be proactive, I refocused my energy on on building, I decided to concentrate on finding land to park my future tiny house.  I knew I didn't want to stay in the state I lived in at that time, but was uncertain where I did want to move. So, I started by printing out a map of the United States. Here is one for you to print out: 

I printed out my map and got to work with a black marker. I crossed out with a great big X any state I knew right away I would never want to live. I am fortunate enough to have traveled to most all of the United States. I eliminated a good chunk of the states based on climate, crime, quality of education, taxes, and personal preference: 

First round of states eliminated
Second round I crossed out states after I researched land prices, ability to grow food and garden, job market prospects, and population. Also, I ruled out any state I thought would be less Tiny House friendly. 

Second round of states eliminated
Now I had the possibilities narrowed. I ended up with Oregon, Idaho, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Nebraska, Minnesota, and Michigan. I set out to research and get feedback from my readers and listeners on all those states and crossed out a few more. I decided Minnesota and Michigan were too cold. Oregon has water issues due to the severe drought. West Virginia and Virginia had regulations where I would want to purchase land that would prohibit my dream. Idaho was expensive and the land I could afford had not trees. And on I went until I narrowed the selection some more. 

Third round of states eliminated

My final round I dug deeper into where I would want to live in each of the remaining states. I asked for advice. I gathered more information via AAA. I asked everyone I knew where they would live. 

Final selection

After all was said and done, I settled on Oklahoma. Oklahoma is right for me. I love the weather. I love the landscape (rolling hills, beautiful fields, lovely forest -  no it is not flat and bland.) I explored the job market, land prices, crime rates, regulations, etc. Ultimately my selection was right for me. 

Once I picked the state I had to find some land...

Next: Finding a place for your Tiny House