United Dwelling-Turn Your Garage Into An ADU

United Dwelling-Turn Your Garage Into An ADU

At No Up Front Cost To You In Los Angeles County

Written By Janet Thome

United Dwelling- Housing Innovation Challenge Winner- partners with homeowners to transform their  garage into an affordable, high-quality home at no cost to you. You’ll receive additional income from monthly rent and an overall increase in your property value. With 236,000 detached two-car garages in LA County, the vision is to convert 3,000 garages to ADUs by 2022.

Winner Of The Los Angeles County Housing Challenge

From among 53 proposals evaluated by a panel of experts, United Dwelling was awarded $1,000,000 for our innovative idea to address the affordable housing crisis.

United Dwelling will use 100% of the award money to offer housing for tenants with lower paying service-oriented careers in fields like public education, healthcare, and social work. They will  achieve this by increasing payments to homeowners up to $500 per month if they accept a tenant with a housing voucher in select neighborhoods.

The New Face A Homelessness

The new face of homelessness are fully employed families and individuals that cannot afford to put a roof over their head. United Dwelling is looking to help the working poor.

How United Dwelling Works

  • Homeowners sign an agreement to lease their garage and receive a portion of the rent United
  • United Dwelling obtains all permits
  • Manages the remodeling process
  • They pay for the conversion
  • They find a vetted tenant
  • Handle all property management


  • No upfront cost, No Hassle
  • Licensed contractor, Modative Build Inc.
  • Reliable source of income
  • Increase your property value from $140,000 to $ 200,000
  • Strengthen your community and be a part of the solution

What Is An ADU?

New California state laws allow homeowners to convert their garage or build a new rental home known as an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU). By transforming your backyard into additional housing, you’re helping making a profound and positive change to your community with the benefits of increasing your property value and building long term equity through rental income.

Governor Gavin Newsom Signs 18 Bills to Boost Housing Production October 9th, 2019

The construction of accessory dwelling units (ADUs) can also help cities meet their housing goals and increase the state’s affordable housing supply. The Governor signed the following bills to eliminate barriers to building ADUs:

  • AB 68 by Assembly member Philip Ting (D-San Francisco) makes major changes to facilitate the development of more ADUs and address barriers to building. The bill reduces barriers to ADU approval and construction, which will increase production of these low-cost, energy-efficient units and add to California’s affordable housing supply
  • AB 881 by Assembly member Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica) removes impediments to ADU construction by restricting local jurisdictions’ permitting criteria, clarifying that ADUs must receive streamlined approval if constructed in existing garages, and eliminating local agencies’ ability to require owner-occupancy for five years.

From the office of Governor Gavin Newsom

United Dwelling FAQ

Founder And CEO

Steven Dietz, previously co-founded Upfront Ventures and spent 30 years as a leading VC investor in Southern California financing and counseling some of the best entrepreneurial talent in the country. Mr. Dietz and his team team funded over 220 start-ups that now employ more than 530,000 people in the US, including 30,000 in LA County alone.  Of those 220 companies multiple have become household names including Costco, Starbucks, Petsmart, Ulta Beauty, Bird, Mitu and Office Depot. Many of these companies rank among the most socially conscious and best places to work in the US.

Call For A Free Consultation 310 853 5936

United Dwelling Website

Wildwood Forest Franklin, Texas Grand Opening

Wildwood Forest Franklin, Texas Grand Opening

Sale: Ten Acres And Tiny Home October 19th, 2019

Written By Janet Thome

Wildwood Forest-an affiliate of National Land Partners LLC., the largest and most successful buyer and seller of recreational and residential land in America has their grand opening on October 19th, 2019. This is a development of 26 home sites for sale.

Located In The Heart Of Texas

Located in the heart of Texas between the Houston, Dallas, San Antonio  and Austin Metroplexes. The central location of Franklin allows the best of both worlds – the shopping and arts offered in large cities and the luxury of quiet country living. With a population of less than 1,600, the City of Franklin is proud of its exemplary school system, churches, and tight knit community. 

Wildwood Forest

  • Heavily wooded 10 to 15 acre recreational & residential properties
  • Great outdoor recreation & abundant wildlife
  • County & private road frontage
  • County water
  • Electric
  • Prime location – 6 minutes to Franklin, 27 miles to downtown Bryan and 33 miles to Kyle Field in College Station
  • Low taxes – wildlife exemption
  • Excellent bank financing
  • Build now or build later & choose your own builder

Tiny Homes On Wheels Welcome!

You are allowed to to have one site built home with a minimum of 1000 square feet, one out building and one guest home. You can also have a tiny home on wheels as your primary residence!

Grand Opening Special

The Grand Opening price includes a brand new 399 square foot tiny home and 10 acres for $114,900. Bank financing available. Utility hook ups required. Furnishings not included. Price subject to change.

Wildwood Forest boasts some of the most pristine land in Texas! Picture your dream home set amongst beautiful shade trees and country peacefulness.

About National Land Partners LLC

With well over 100 years of collective experience in helping customers realize their dream of land ownership, National Land Partners, LLC (NLP) has finely tuned its model of transforming rural land into premium recreational and residential real estate, coupled with a high level of customer service. Thousands of acres are owned and managed by the company. The company has also completed nearly 1,000 projects encompassing hundreds of thousands of land parcels. The NLP land acquisition team researches and inspects hundreds of potential land deals every year, paying close attention to geographic regions, visual and historic interests, environmental studies, zoning reviews, permitting and most importantly, how the company can pass along savings and value to you, our customer. NLP sees itself primarily as a service company, with a strong conviction to the belief that one should not have to be rich to own land. It’s this simple core belief that has resulted in thousands of happy land owners who have also gone on to refer their own friends and family to do business with us.

THIA Member Texas Builders: Choose Your Own Builder

American Tiny House

Wildwood Forest

Rafter B Tiny Homes


For More Details: Call 866 999 6697


Symbium Build: Plan Your ADU in Seconds

Symbium Build: Plan Your ADU in Seconds

ADU San Francisco Symbium Build Meetup October 9th, 2019

Written By Janet Thome

Symbium Build- a  Computational Law company, has created a portal that makes it easy for anyone to quickly assess if it is feasible to develop an ADU on any parcel and displays the applicable development standards. The service is available in California.

The Symbium Build portal is a service for homeowners, designers, architects, developers,  planners and city staff  that will streamline the ADU process so that relevant laws and regulations are presented in an easy to understand visual format.

Symbium Build Portal

What are ADUs?

Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) are known by many names: granny flats, in-law units, backyard cottages, secondary units and more. No matter what you call them, ADUs are an innovative, affordable, effective option for adding much-needed housing in California.

Meetup Details

If you love tiny homes and are interested in the accessory dwelling unit ( ADU) movement, join Symbium Build at their inaugural Meetup. Network with tiny home and ADU enthusiasts, homeowners, design professionals. Non alcoholic drinks and snacks will be served.

Address And Time Of Meetup: 5pm to 7pm: October 9th, 2013

149 New Montgomery St.
San Francisco, Ca,

Check in with the lobby attendant. Go to the 4th floor. Check in closes at 6pm.

Join The ADU Enthusiasts Group

 Symbium Build Allows

  • Anyone to determine whether a ADU is allowed on a particular property
  • Understand the development standards that apply
  • Understand the ensuing processes to build an ADU
  •  Streamline process for planning an ADU in seconds

Symbium Build Works In Cooperation With Municipalities

San Francisco improves permitting process with online portal to help combat housing crisis,  Symbium’s BUILD portal enables city planners, design professionals, developers, and homeowners in San Francisco to understand whether an accessory dwelling unit (“ADU”) (also known as second units and in-law units) is allowed on a particular parcel, what development standards apply, and the ensuing processes.

Symbium’s BUILD portal also supports commercial business zoning so anyone can instantly visualize where in a jurisdiction a specific business type is allowed.

Symbium In Collaboration With The City Of San Fransisco

California State ADU Legislation

State legislation that took effect January 1, 2017 gave California cities more flexibility and latitude for allowing homeowners to build ADUs. Three separate bills were introduced and signed by Governor Brown; SB 1069 Opens a New Window. (Wieckowski), AB 2299 Opens a New Window. (Bloom), and AB 2406 Opens a New Window. (Thurmond). Each of these land use bills make it easier than ever for homeowners to take advantage of this attractive opportunity.

Opportunity To Bring An ADU Into Compliance

As of January 1, 2019, homeowners who created accessory dwelling units (ADUs) without the required building permits may have the opportunity to bring their ADUs into compliance. For ADUs that were constructed without building permits, local building officials now have the option to inspect an ADU and apply the building standards that were in effect at the time the unit was constructed. This bill: SB 1226 (Bates), adds Section 17958.12 to the California Health and Safety Code Opens a New Window. , and with application of appropriate building codes, may allow issuance of a building permit for the residential unit.

Governor Gavin Newsom Signs 18 Bills to Boost Housing Production October 9th, 2019

The construction of accessory dwelling units (ADUs) can also help cities meet their housing goals and increase the state’s affordable housing supply. The Governor signed the following bills to eliminate barriers to building ADUs:

  • AB 68 by Assembly member Philip Ting (D-San Francisco) makes major changes to facilitate the development of more ADUs and address barriers to building. The bill reduces barriers to ADU approval and construction, which will increase production of these low-cost, energy-efficient units and add to California’s affordable housing supply
  • AB 881 by Assembly member Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica) removes impediments to ADU construction by restricting local jurisdictions’ permitting criteria, clarifying that ADUs must receive streamlined approval if constructed in existing garages, and eliminating local agencies’ ability to require owner-occupancy for five years

From the office of Governor Gavin News

How Does An ADU Fit With My Home?

ADUs can be behind, attached to, inside of, above, or below an existing home.

Find a California Architect

Related: Rent The Backyard

Rent the Backyard will put an ADU in your backyard at no up front cost to you. More details.

Oregon Reach Code No Longer Applies

Oregon Reach Code No Longer Applies

Small House Specialty Code Superseded And Replaced The Reach Code

Written By Janet Thome

HB 2423, created the Small Home Specialty Code (consisting of the 2018 International Residential Code, including but not limited to Appendix Q of that code), superseded and replaced all previous related statutes and approaches in the ORSC, including the R329 ORSC amendments (temporary rule) and the REACH code.

The State Building Codes Division (BCD) adopted the 2018 International Residential Code, including Appendix Q, as part of the Oregon Reach Code to provide minimum standards for the construction of tiny houses (400 square feet or less, not including loft areas). Appendix Q became effective on Sept. 20th, 2018.

Builders Are Encouraged To Work With Local Jurisdiction

The new Small Home Specialty Code is the recognized construction standard for all permanent dwellings 400 sq. ft. or less in Oregon. As part of that recent legislation, the legislature made it clear that these issues are local jurisdiction issues. I would encourage your builders to work with their local planning and development departments to make sure any issues or potential confusion can be worked out with the jurisdiction. The local jurisdiction is the best resource for any and all local requirements and policies.


Todd R. Smith | Sr. Policy Advisor Stakeholder Outreach

Oregon Building Codes Division

Oregon Reach Code

I received the above email after I inquired why all the links to the Oregon Reach Code was showing a 404 error. This happened at the exact time, that the Small House Specialty Code went into effect on October 1st, 2019, so I wanted to verify with the Oregon Building Department if the Small House Specialty Code replaced The Oregon Reach Code and it has. All references to tiny homes on wheels are also showing error codes. I sent more email to Todd Smith regarding tiny homes on wheels  and his answer was:


BCD does not regulate vehicles. Local jurisdictions are the best resource for information regarding local regulations.


Todd R. Smith | Sr. Policy Advisor Stakeholder Outreach

Oregon Building Codes Division

Todd.R.Smith@oregon.gov | 503-378-8034

Small House Specialty Code

”Small House Specialty Code” – Means the specialty code adopted under section 2 of this 2019 act. It means a code of regulations adopted under ORS 446.062, 446.185, 447.020 (2), 455.020 (2),455.496, 455.610, 455.680, 460.085, 460.360, 479.730 (1) or 480.545 or section 2 of this 2019 Act.

Small House Specialty Code

Oregon Revised Statute (ORS) 197.493: Placement And Occupancy Of Recreational Vehicle

1) A state agency or local government may not prohibit the placement or occupancy of a recreational vehicle, or impose any limit on the length of occupancy of a recreational vehicle, solely on the grounds that the occupancy is in a recreational vehicle, if the recreational vehicle is:

(a) Located in a manufactured dwelling park, mobile home park or recreational vehicle park;

(b) Occupied as a residential dwelling; and

(c) Lawfully connected to water and electrical supply systems and a sewage disposal system.

(2) Subsection (1) of this section does not limit the authority of a state agency or local government to impose other special conditions on the placement or occupancy of a recreational vehicle. [2005 c.619 §12]

Note: See note under 197.492 (Definitions for ORS 197.492 and 197.493).

Article Source Oregon Laws.Org

Our Tiny Home On Wheels Is A Legal Dwelling!

Our Tiny Home On Wheels Is A Legal Dwelling!

Zone Approval With Buckingham County, Virginia

Guest Post: Melanie Copeland
So we are officially legal! We are homeowners and legal land owners in the great state of Virginia. Did you ever think that you are just one person and too small to make a difference? Well, I used to think that… until I went tiny! So, want to know how? Here’s our tiny story …

We Built Our Home In Seven Days!

We built our home in seven days at a workshop with Incredible Tiny Homes!  It is a complete and functional home. And while I always imagined living tiny as a lifestyle that would allow me freedom, and less to do…Once we got our home it clearly became something different. See, we  live in the state of Virginia and after exhausting all parking options that were within the immediate vicinity of us, we ended up parking in a backyard with nowhere “legal” to go.
Our  first few weeks were spent painting and staining…and calling all campgrounds and RV parks in case zoning or someone showed up and demanded that we leave. Exhausted, hearing no after no, we spoke often of what we would say if they did show up. It was stressful and sad, and not necessarily the way I envisioned tiny life being. But, this is not a sad story – this is the story of how we made it work!
After watching friend after friend get kicked off of land and chased around the state, we decided that we would not register our home with the DMV. We held the title to the trailer, but after talking to the DMV, we would in essence have to lie to register it.
Having to call it a trailer or a trailer with a weighted secured load was unacceptable, and for my friends that did this, the DMV chased them around because every time they changed their address, they were traceable, and again fined. So, we slipped under the radar and brought it back and parked it. Three different counties refused to register our tiny home as anything even close to what it was.  Instead of being called a liar later, I figured when they show up, they can let me know what they want and we can work from there.
Because we use a professional mover, the tiny home is licensed on the road under them, so there was never a reason to have to lie to get it moved.  We moved legally. We were  also able to secure insurance, without any certifications on our  home, and without having to lie about anything related to owning  a tiny.
But, time went on, months and no one ever bothered us. We worked and lived and loved living on this property. It was beautiful and we loved our host. But, the looming fear kept winning out. So, we kept looking for a legal place to park.

Lived Under The Radar

After a year of flying under the radar, with lists of campgrounds and RV parks, we made calls again, and found two places that were now willing to let us come and park for a longer time frame. These were places that we had already called, but since time had passed, and things were starting to change, they too were changing what they accepted. The other thing we figured out was when talking to RV parks and campgrounds, the best way to figure out what they  needed was to speak directly to the owners. Most of them did not even really know what we or home was. Once we could chat, I could explain what we owned,  the conversation would change, and we would start talking about the rules, how they work, what they need etc.. and it was no longer a person calling to find out about living tiny, but a conversation that was passing on knowledge and looking for solutions.
We choose a park that was about a 45 minute commute to the city, and called our professional to have us moved again. Saddened to leave our little location, and our 20 minute commute, we left on a beautiful sunny day and rolled right into a campground.
This campground had only a few requirements to park. You must be able to roll out in a few hours, you must have insurance, hook to all the systems, and your dogs must have a rabies shot.  See, all this certification talk and zoning talk had me so scared that I was not asking the right questions. I was an non certified tiny, mostly do it yourself, with no desire to be registered. Who would ever take us ? The people I approached for advice, told me get certified and carry registration, or to register as a trailer and  tell them I owned an RV. In Facebook groups and many conversations ..it happened over and over again. All things that I really, just morally, felt were not the right things to do. We were in  a tiny house on wheels…that is obvious and manipulating the truth was not working for us.

We  Did Not Want Our Tiny Home Classified As An RV

But, park after park and zoning office after zoning office did not care about any of this. I spent hours calling and finding out what the road blocks were and why they did not want us there? I made friends that I still chat with today. Basically, they did want us. But, they have ordinances and codes that they have to abide by. Most of the counties here have certain requirements for square footage and no way to classify anything that is on wheels. They would say it was an RV and I cannot live in that full time, but then at the same time recognize that it  was not an RV because of how it  was built and understand that it did not have certification. RV certifications are placed for RV’s (in our state) and once those are attached to the home, it cannot be considered a full time home you can live in. Most places only allow you to live in an RV six months out of the year, and that was certainly not something that we wanted to do in our tiny house, so this was not even an option for us. So, again the answer was no.

Legally Parked In A Campground

Now legally parked in a campground, I headed up a group of people across the whole state of Virginia and we started looking for parking. Where can we really go, because if I can get in this RV park, then I know there must be more! Little by little we all made calls and the list got a bit longer and a bit longer. Most of the counties seemed to have a few places that people could call home. With very similar options to what I had found too. In our search for accurate information we vetted each of these places. We asked do they accept tiny houses on wheels, what are the rates, what certifications do you need to park, do you need insurance, how long can you stay, and what about pets, and what are the on grid off grid options? I have yet to find one place in my state that even knew what the certifications for tiny homes were, and most did not even care if you had insurance on your own home, although we do have that as well. Many were open to off grid options as well, which I found surprising.

Hope Is On It’s Way

While my goal was to find legal parking in RV parks, there were many counties that did not have any, so it led to us looking a bit further into the zoning in the areas. I spent one afternoon calling four counties that I had never tried before. I had long discussions with the building inspectors about minimum square footage and Virginia construction codes,

Back The Truck Up – I Can Do What?

I got a hold of a zoning official in Buckingham county. I spoke with her about what I had and what I was looking to do. Which was essentially to buy land and have a legal place to park, but also stay on my wheels so that I can travel when I want to. And her answer came back…Yes, we can do that.
”Yes, I believe that we can do this”, she said. ”If you want to park in someone’s backyard, it will be considered a civil agreement and you have to be hooked up safe and proper and have a permit to be connected to the sewer.”
Ok, what if we wanted our own land?
”Yes, I think we can work with that too.” ” We can classify you as dwelling, ”( don’t you love the sound of the word- dwelling? )  and allow you to stay on the wheels, but you have to be hooked to the septic and be safe and proper with the permits.”
So, I pushed a bit farther, what about being off grid? What about  a compost toilet? To which I was referred to the health department. But, again not told no!

Compost Toilet Allowed!

So, that was the next call I made, I got a hold of a fantastic gentleman at the health department who decided it would be good if we could meet in person and talk. I agreed and set up a day to drive out there and show him what I was doing in my little hybrid tiny house.
He checked out my water system and my compost toilet, and said he had no issue with us using a composting toilet, but the state required that we be hooked to septic for the gray water to be safe and proper. I thanked him for his time, and we chatted about the land we were looking at and I told him I would be in contact.

We Found Land!

LAND – We found land! We found one acre on a main road that had a well, septic, electric and great cell service and called and took a drive, and then decided to make an offer!
We set up a time to meet with the seller’s realtor the next day to sign an offer.
I could not sleep the whole night, bad dreams, fears of being kicked off the land, being told no after everything we had done. So, the next morning I got in the car and drive down to the zoning office. I asked to speak to the lady I had been talking to but she was out. Instead I was directed to speak to the building inspector. And, I can tell ya, I was sure he was going to walk out and say…”minimum square foot requirements.” But, he actually helped me gather all the permits that I would need, told me that there was not anything that said tiny house on wheels, so we need to check this box, and write in the section these words, and offered to help us however we could, and I left. But, even upon leaving, my heart was still racing. They were really OK with me doing this.

Our Tiny Home Is A Legal Dwelling-Meant As A Permanent Residence!

See, as much as I understand the need for certifications, building codes, and even square foot minimum requirements, we met all safety and fire requirements, including egress windows in our own tiny house per our  builder (Incredible Tiny Homes) who guided us with the requirements.  I also understand current rules and laws that are in place. These are the things I was working around. While there is nothing in their code or ordinances for this specific type of dwelling, there was also nothing that was stopping them from accepting this type of dwelling. We spent the next few months chatting about how to make this happen with what is already in place, different codes and ordinances that could be used to work for what I needed it to do.

Yes I Get To Keep The Wheels On!

We  just closed on my land today…….the  letter that is attached references that our tiny home will be considered a dwelling  and taxed as a home/dwelling while still being able to reside on wheels, and not even forced to skirt the home unless we  want to. They have only requested that we tie our dwelling down. We have the freedom to roll away when we  want and come back when we  want because of some wonderful people who were really willing to look at what we owned and make it happen. They do exist. You just have to find them.

I Recommend:

Get with a local meetup group in your area and divvy up the counties in your state. Have everyone call as many people as they can about it. Give them a list of questions and have them send it back so it can be compiled in one place. Then ask them to work in areas that you don’t have information for. The more people calling, the more they take notice. The more accurate information that we present, the more they start listening to us when we call again with an update, or want to discuss a new bit of information that happened somewhere.
Get on the phone and start calling campgrounds/RV parks/ zoning officials (building inspectors, health departments, zoning offices) and talk to them about what you have. Talk to them about their codes, how to change them, when their meetings are being held, who will be presenting. Get to know that county and those people!
I basically behaved like a two year old during this process, and whenever I got a no or an answer that didn’t fit with what I was trying to do, I said …but why… Then it would open up for them to explain things further and have a dialogue. This helped me build relationships. I would ask for recommendations on what could be done to make changes, add variances to the rules that were on the books, or how could an ordinance be adopted so that rules in place could then be modified to accept tiny houses. This gave me the most information.
Then I took the information that was collected and shared it with everyone in the state that worked on it.
We continued to compile and share. We figured out which counties we could make headway in and then started working with them in more direct ways. Calling and discussing changes. Attending meetings as a group to voice opinions is the next step, and work on adding working to existing rules to allow for tiny houses on wheels. This is the step we are in now! So, you call follow me as we continue to make legal parking work for us right now in Virginia! And if you want to help, or want to do this in your state! You definitely can!
Please contact Melanie on #Serenitastinyliving Facebook if you have questions.
Melanie Copeland

Always Keep Dreaming! Fulfillment Could Be Right Around The Corner

This was one of the first of our What’s Your Tiny Story? series, sharing the personal path of how an amazing Advocate like Melanie Copeland is forging a path to the benefit of others. Melanie has way more to the story that she would like to share, so be on the look out for more posts from Melanie.

Please contact Melanie on Facebook if you have questions.

Note: Please do your own personal due diligence in your own county or city to find a legal route to Make Tiny Possible!

What’s Your Tiny Story?