Found a potential Tiny House Community to live in?
11 STEP GUIDE FOR YOUR FIRST VISIT

Do you dream of living in a tiny house community? Researching options in our online database is a great place to start. But to truly find out if a particular village is a good fit for you, then you need to experience it firsthand. Time to schedule a visit!

If you’re like me, sometimes excitement can get in the way of clear judgment. So it’s important to thoroughly plan your trip to ensure you maximize your time there. After all, this is a huge decision, your potential future home that will likely involve a big relocation.

Use this helpful guide make the most of your tiny home community visit:

BEFORE YOUR VISIT:

Call Ahead

Never just show up. It's presumptuous to assume dropping by unannounced is ok with residents. Also remember, first impressions and determining fit goes both ways. You want to gain the respect of your possible future neighbors/community mates.

Important note, some communities could turn you away if you're not a good fit.

With that said scheduling a visit is a great way to get some initial questions answered. What's more, it will give you clues to the communication style of the community manager or another primary point of contact.

Coordinate your visit around community happenings

Ask about how you can get involved during your stay, with regular events like potlucks. Or get dirty helping out in the community garden. Both fun ways to get to know residents, witness the relationship dynamics within the community, and how you fit in.

Book a place to stay

The best way to get a feel for community life is to stay on-site. Good news! Tiny house communities often have short-term rentals or guest room(s).

Schedule one-on-one meetups

Do you want to get the low-down for what community life is like from those who know it best? Connect with a community member on social media, or ask the main point of contact for email addresses. Invite one or more residents to a casual coffee date. It's is solid, low time commitment way to connect in-person to get a firsthand perspective.

Look for troubling reviews

Check Google and social media for any community feedback. This information can help you ask better questions during your visit. In addition, it might raise red flags.

The vast world of the internet, while an excellent research tool, can often be misleading. So, definitely take any negativity you find with a big grain of salt. Though, don't be afraid to address any concerns that arise, politely, during your visit. You might be pleasantly surprised with a straightforward answer on how an issue was ultimately resolved.

Prepare a list of questions

During your initial research and scheduling call, you likely gained a general understanding of community fees and policies, like if your tiny house needs any certification. It's essential to get a crystal-clear breakdown of all crucial details, from new member criteria to lot rental agreements, etc.

Make a list of any questions you have. Start it right after scheduling your visit, and add it to over the coming days or weeks. Don't forget to consider potential deal-breakers. Is there anything you can't live without, like pets? Or perhaps you work from home job—a lacking WiFi signal or even (gasp!) no access to the internet, could be a major disqualifier for a potential full-time living arrangement.Also, on a deeper level, what ethical standards are a must for you? Maybe a fully-vegan or vegan-inclusive setting is essential for your long-term satisfaction. Remember, shared values is a necessary ingredient, in many intentional community models, for creating a fulfilling environment for all members.

DURING YOUR VISIT:

Be respectful of other's boundaries

Remember, community living involves relationship building and cooperation. So please do not invite yourself over to a community member's tiny home. And don't expect to be given impromptu tours. Helpful tip: inquire about arranging tours when you schedule your visit. You'll likely connect with multiple residents during your stay—an invite just might come up organically.

Take pictures & notes

Your scheduled visit has finally arrived—how exciting! Time to break out your smartphone camera and notepad (or app). As you tour the community, don't be afraid to over-document what you see. It can be challenging to remember all the details. A review of your pics later might uncover a new question.

Further, don't be self-conscious about frequent note taking. Jotting down shorthand first impressions can be invaluable in your decision-making process, afterward. But also don't forget to take moments to soak in the environment around, free of device distractions. So slowdown on the play-by-play Instagram Story posting.

Imagine yourself living in the community

As you take in village life, picture your daily routine here. What would you most enjoy? Are there any concerns? Maybe living here would push you out of your comfort zone. That could be a good thing.

Your downsizing journey is a significant transition on its own. Living in a semi or fully cooperative setting is not like most American neighborhoods. As a result, it can be a substantial change from how you've used to living. And you could find what's been missing from your life, more supportive in-person connections.

POST VISIT:

Reflect on your first impressions

Review your notes. Any questions you forgot to ask? Don't hesitate to follow-up.

Ready to move in?

Time to confirm next steps with the community manager!

What tips would you add? Comment or ask questions below!

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Alexis Stephens

My partner, Christian and I are nomadic tiny house dwellers. Together we've been traveling for four years for our documentary and community education project, Tiny House Expedition. We live, breathe, dream the tiny home community every day—our true passion. During our travels, we visited 30+ different kinds of tiny home communities. It's been wonderful experiencing this inspiring movement in such an intimate way, and we are happy to be able to share our exploration with all of you.

See all posts by alexis

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