Tiny homes have been becoming increasingly popular over the last several years. The desire to own a tiny home stems from people wanting to live a minimalist lifestyle, to be able to travel around and always have a home, as well as having environmental concerns and wishing to consume less energy. However, tiny homes in New Hampshire are hard to come by, despite increasing interest.
Because of little guidance from state laws, many New Hampshire towns struggle to regulate the tiny home market. Many zoning regulations don’t allow for tiny homes except when kept on personal property as a second dwelling. Tiny homes also sometimes do not meet regulations by building inspectors due to their small square footage, and don’t meet fire codes when ladders to lofted rooms (a popular feature of tiny homes) are involved. Even simply classifying tiny homes is a topic for debate. While some say they can be considered manufactured homes, others say they are more like recreational vehicles, as they can be placed on wheels and towed.
However, the increase in desire to own a tiny home in New Hampshire has made lawmaker Dave Testerman sponsor a bill to clarify these regulations, which would allow tiny homes in residential areas. Because tiny homes are inexpensive to build and maintain and come with the flexibility of being able to move around between rented lots, he believes it will attract a younger demographic to New Hampshire. In an aging state, the idea of millennials sticking around is appealing to New Hampshire’s economy and workforce.
The introduction of tiny homes in New Hampshire may also change the game for real estate. Across the country, tiny home real estate is on the rise. If the proposed bill were to be passed, New Hampshire would be the first state to allow tiny homes on wheels as a permitted use, possibly opening up a new market for real estate agents to tap in to.