Tiny House Living Spotlight: California

by Carson BuckJune 21, 2017

Living Small in California’s Tiny Homes

Over the past decade, tiny homes have risen in popularity all across in the country. In liberal urban pockets like Portland or Austin, the surge in Tiny Home popularity is unsurprising. Yet neither Oregon nor Texas takes the title of the best state for tiny homes. To many people’s astonishment, California has established a reputation for the best place to build a tiny home. Let’s take a look at why that’s the case…

California Is One of the Best Places to Build a Tiny Home

According to Ecobuilding Pulse, California ranks as the number one state in the country to build a tiny house. Why? The state’s supply of resources, the number of builders, and the types of ordinances are highly conducive to building tiny homes. A true niche in the market, many municipalities have multiple builder/architect companies that specialize in tiny home building. According to Ecobuilding Pulse, “a large amount of [California] builders advertise that they build fully livable, stationary small homes.”

By the numbers, California boasts the highest amount of tiny house builders – over twice the number of tiny home builders when compared to any other state. And while zoning restrictions vary by city and county, overall, California offers some of the country’s best permitting and zoning opportunities for tiny homes.

With flexible permitting rules and a job industry to support building small, it’s safe to say tiny will keep trending in California.

Developers and Leaders Support Tiny Home Construction

Valley Development, an established commercial and residential developer in California, embraces that state’s commitment to welcoming tiny homes. Valley Development shares, “As a builder who specializes in design/build of ADU’s I can tell you that some cities embrace this and others still fight it every step of the way.”

While some California cities are more conducive to tiny home building (Fresno has written authorization for tiny homes into its development code!), Valley Development claims it’s not for lack of demand or appetite. Rather, California’s commitment to tiny homes is a journey with many milestones still to be accomplished.

Get a Taste of Tiny Home Living in Fresno

So which California cities are best for tiny home living? Fresno has made a name for itself in the tiny home community by setting a precedent for building tiny homes in California. According to the City, “Fresno, California, allows property owners to subsidize mortgages by utilizing tiny houses as rental properties.” Tiny homes are incentivized in Fresno, and in fact, “the city counsel and mayor of Fresno have rewritten the zoning laws specifically to allow Tiny Houses on wheels.”

Beyond offering ideal zoning conditions and mitigating building roadblocks, Fresno stands out as a great place to build a tiny home due to its wealth of builders. In Fresno, companies including California Tiny House and KJE Tiny Homes compete with each other to drive up the standards for craftsmanship, quality, and affordability in the tiny home market.

The competition produces better homes, while encouraging the community of tiny homes in Fresno, and throughout California, to continue growing strong.


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About The Author
Carson Buck
Carson is a real estate agent based out of Phoenix, Arizona. Carson loves data and market research, and how readily available it is in today's world. He is passionate about interpreting these insights to help his clients find and buy their perfect home. Carson got into the real estate industry because he loves the feeling of handing over the keys to a new home to happy clients. In his free time, he works on his backyard bonsai garden and spends time with his wife, Julia.