Arizona is one of the most friendly states to build your tiny home or move your tiny home on wheels. The best counties to settle in are Coconino, Pima, and recently Maricopa, which made tiny homes a reality in 2019. Each county, city, and town has different zoning restrictions and building codes.
This article will enlighten nomadic homeowners who like to live in tiny homes without committing to living in one state. It will be helpful to homeowners who want to shift from a large home to a tiny house in Arizona. It will also benefit aspiring homeowners who want to own a debt-free home but have no idea where to start.
Read on to discover if you can live permanently in a tiny home in Arizona. You will learn the rules for permanent, temporary, and transitional structures and the best places to park or build a tiny home. You’ll also get to know where to find tiny home communities and if tiny homes attract property tax.
Tiny homes are legal in Arizona, but they are subject to zoning regulations. You can build your tiny permanent house in multifamily house zones. You could also construct a tiny home in detached single-family areas or areas meant for accessory dwelling units (ADUs).
Zonal regulations allow tiny homeowners to have shared areas. They could be a shared kitchen, wash area, swimming pools, heated pools, or community gardens. Tiny homeowners also share other utilities like electricity, water, and Wi-Fi.
Arizona zoning regulations define a tiny permanent house as a tiny home built onsite on a regular foundation. An onsite foundation could be solid slabs, concrete, wood, trailers, or skids. The small home's floor area is 400 square feet or below, without including the lofts.
Additionally, the square feet of tiny homes on a foundation must not go below 200 square feet. Structures built on trailers must be more than 160 square feet.
Mobile tiny homes are not classified as permanent structures in Arizona. Owners of tiny homes on wheels must park their RVs or mobile homes in designated areas, which happen to be many in Arizona. They include state parks.
The Grand Canyon State's principal counties that allow tiny living are Cococino and Pima. Pima County allows small homes everywhere. Still, it restricts Tiny Homes on Wheels with zonal regulations and particular building codes.
Maricopa, Arizona’s most populated county, where Phoenix is, is also tiny house friendly. However, Maricopa County has floor area restrictions of no less than 200 square feet and not more than 400 square feet.
Sedona city in Coconino is a good option when choosing cities to live in a tiny home.
Other cities you could build your tiny home in are Lakeside and Tuscon.
Yes, you can permanently live in a tiny house in Arizona, but you must follow the zoning regulations and area-specific building codes. Additionally, you must also have a Certificate of Occupancy.
Building rules state that tiny houses built on a foundation must have ceilings 6’4’’ tall. Second, a county official must inspect the tiny house after completing construction. The inspection is to ensure small homeowners build to code.
After that, the owner gets a Certificate of Occupancy as a green light to live there permanently.
Notably, Tiny Homes on Wheels (THOWs) have different building codes. They are not considered permanent living areas. These rules include but are not limited to building on an approved trailer and getting a building permit before construction.
In Arizona, any dwelling is considered tiny house if it is a minimum of 200 square feet and a maximum of 400 square feet for a permanent structure, and 160 square feet for a tiny home on wheels.
Whether building or relocating from another state, you must check with the local planning and building county office. They will guide you on rules and certification.
You cannot live in any type of tiny home without a Certificate of Occupancy.
Below are structure-specific rules for tiny homes.
Permanent tiny homes are tiny solid structures that are better insulated underneath than small mobile homes. Their ceiling heights must meet the 6’4’’ requirement and a minimum of 60 Amperes electrical circuit panels.
The power load determines the minimum requirement of electrical circuits.
In Arizona, tiny permanent homes must have an emergency exit on the roof, one room as a bedroom, and meet plumbing ventilation regulations. They must also have smoke detectors and get inspected and approved by a county official before use.
Arizona is particular about loft space. Tiny houses with lofts must meet the 35 square feet floor area minimum size. The lofts must measure 5 feet horizontally and have 3-foot high ceilings.
Tiny home developers or do-it-yourself homeowners must obey tiny temporary house rules. For one, they must erect tiny homes on an approved trailer foundation. They must also get a permit before construction and have the tiny temporary house inspected after completion.
Tiny homes on wheels must also be at least 160 feet.
Tiny transitional structures have rules similar to tiny permanent homes. Nonetheless, by law, homeowners must remove anything that would make them mobile-wheels, axles, etc.
Tiny homes built on skids are known as transitional structures. Skids are big rails that run beneath a building's foundation. They are little-known. Homeowners can use a trailer to move a transitional structure, but it's expensive, time-consuming, and not an everyday move.
You can build your tiny home to code in multifamily zones, detached single-family areas, and ADUs (accessory dwelling units). Choose from selected cities like Lakeside that are tiny homes friendly. Additionally, go to Maricopa, Coconino, and Pima counties, where tiny homes are legal.
You can also consider building in tiny home communities.
No. Tiny houses are exempt from the property tax levied on regular homes. Most states regard a tiny house on wheels as a recreational vehicle (RV). Therefore, the same personal property taxes paid on mobile homes may apply to the property.
However, if your tiny transitional home or tiny permanent home sits on a piece of land you possess, you still have to pay real estate tax.
There are specific areas where you can park your tiny homes, and your backyard is one of them. However, you need to visit the local planning office to get comprehensive information on rules and regulations. That is because laws vary according to counties, cities, and towns.
Here are the parking zones.
Recreational Vehicle Parks
Recreational Vehicle Resorts
Mobile Home Parks
Check age restrictions when choosing where to park your tiny home on wheels. Find out if the parking zone is pet friendly and which value adds are there. Things like a swimming pool and fast internet.
Yes, there are tiny home communities in Arizona. Below are the most famous ones.
Village on 13 rents out tiny houses and has the rent-to-own tiny homes option. Build for Hope built the tiny community homes for veterans. They wanted to make small homes affordable and accessible for them. The tiny homes were in appreciation of their service.
Build for Hope is a charitable organization that doubles up as a tiny home developer. There is an outdoor gardening space where homeowners can grow their food.
LuxTiny community is a village of tiny homeowners who sell small homes, 162 square feet to 400 square feet.
LuxTiny goal is to have tiny homes with the same luxurious amenities and finishes as large homes but at a low cost.
The LuxTiny community lives on the Lakeside or the White Arizona mountains on a six-acre piece of land.
You can choose from the models available or have one built to your liking. They also build Tiny Homes on Wheels or park models.
Tiny Camp Sedona showcases sustainable living in the tiny house models.
The camp is renowned as an international tourist site for its views, spiritual awakening, rock climbing, and iconic red rocks. Therefore, the tiny homes here adopt the getaway design.
Although teachers from the Sedan Charter School Project live in some units, several tiny homes are available to rent.
Arizona's tiny home rules and regulations will largely depend on where you plan to live. However, Coconino, Maricopa, and Pima are the best places to start.
In Arizona, a tiny home is any dwelling unit of 400 square feet and below, but not smaller than 200 square feet. Tiny homes on wheels are limited to 160 square feet
You cannot build or park your tiny home anywhere. You must follow zonal regulations and building codes which restrict where to build or park tiny homes. Notably, Arizona is keen on homes with lofts and has strict rules.
Check with the local planning department for area-specific regulations.
The good thing is there are tiny home communities to help you get used to tiny home living.
Are you looking for deeper insight into the costs of constructing a tiny home? Would you want to understand better Arizona rules and regulations by county, city, or town? Would you like to connect with tiny home communities in Arizona? Visit TinyHouse and explore.
Find answers — straight from the author — for the most common questions about this article.