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5 Easy Steps to a Tiny House ADU in San Jose

If you live in San Jose, how could you not buy a tiny house and put it in your backyard?!

Since tiny houses on wheels have become legal accessory dwelling units, it seems everyone and their mother is putting in one of these cute (and useful!) homes.

But is a tiny house worth it for you? And how would you buy a tiny house or install a tiny home ADU on your property anyway?

If you’ve been asking these tiny house questions, just keep reading because today, we will break down the five easy steps to buy a tiny house ADU in San Jose!

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#1 Decide. Is a Tiny House a Good Investment?

Tiny houses are great for many reasons. They provide much-needed affordable housing, bring traditional homeowners passive income, keep generations of family together (while maintaining privacy), and can be physically moved if your plans change.

But before you go out and buy a tiny house, the first step is deciding if a tiny house is the right decision for you. So is a tiny house a good investment? And would it be a good idea to park a tiny home in your backyard in San Jose?

Well, if you love passive income and want to create affordable housing, or spend more time with your family, then yes! A tiny house ADU could be the perfect thing.

But now for the real question: how do you make a tiny house ADU happen?

#2 Abide. Is It Legal to Put a Tiny House in Your Backyard?

Good news! If you love tiny houses and live in San Jose, tiny houses on wheels or moveable tiny homes can be legal ADUs.

ADU stands for Accessory Dwelling Unit. An ADU is a secondary living space on a residential property with a bedroom, bathroom, living area, and kitchen.

But just because it’s legal to park a tiny house in San Jose doesn’t mean you can just go buy any tiny house and plop it down. It’s important to buy a tiny house from a certified builder (like us!) who builds to the proper tiny home building standards.

It’s also important to have the proper permits so the government will approve your tiny home plans to make parking your movable tiny house legal.

So how can you park a tiny house legally in San Jose? Here is a Tiny Home on Wheels Permit and Inspection Checklist to get you started.

*We include the Tiny Home on Wheels Permit and Inspection Checklist for informational purposes only. Please check with the city directly to see if they have updated this information.*

#3 Consult. What is the Best Tiny House Floor Plan?

Once you have confirmed your plans with the City of San Jose to put a tiny house ADU in your backyard, it’s time to set up a consultation with a member of our tiny home design team.

Then we can help you choose the best tiny house floor plan!

Here at Newark, we have three tiny house designs for you to choose from, and we’ve done our best to create a tiny home floor plan for everyone!

Of course, the tiny house design you choose will depend on your unique needs, but whichever tiny house ADU you choose, you can rest assured that it will be certified and built with the highest quality materials. After all, the tiny house lifestyle is all about quality over quantity, right?

#4 Apply. Can You Get Financing to Buy a Tiny House?

Once you know how much your tiny house will cost, it will be time to figure out tiny home financing.

And the good news is, yes, you can get financing to buy a tiny house on wheels, but it may not be possible with a traditional home mortgage.

When it comes to tiny houses, most people purchase them in cash, with a personal loan, an RV loan, a line of credit, or a HELOC (a Home Equity Line of Credit).

As tiny home builders in San Jose, we know how tricky it can be to get financing for a tiny house. That’s why we’ve decided to make it easy. Here are a few companies that offer personal loans you could use as tiny house financing to buy a tiny home:

It’s important to shop around, and remember that we aren’t lenders! (Or lawyers, and this is not advice..), but those resources will get you started.

#5 Prepare. How Do You Prepare for Tiny House Installation?

While you wait for us to build your tiny home ADU, you’ll want to prepare your tiny house parking space.

Be sure to find and consult the most current version of the Tiny Home on Wheels Permit and Inspection Checklist as you create your tiny house parking pad and connect your tiny house to utilities.

When it comes to your tiny house parking pad, a cement slab is best, but you can use gravel as well.

Water connects to a tiny house via a garden hose connection, but be sure to buy a potable water hose to make drinking water safe.

To get electricity to your tiny house, you may have to install an RV-grade electrical outlet, but be sure to follow the San Jose tiny house laws when doing so. Once you have your electrical source, though, connecting a tiny house to electricity is easy! Just buy a 50 amp RV-grade electrical extension cord and plug your house in like a lamp!

Now, you are almost done setting up your tiny house. You’ll just need to connect your tiny home to sewer, and you’ll be good to go!

Check with the City of San Jose before connecting your tiny house to sewer, but many people use RV sewer hoses to make this happen.


And that’s it! Those are the 5 Easy Steps to a Tiny House ADU in San Jose!

Now that tiny houses are legal in San Jose, it’s the perfect time to put a tiny house ADU in your backyard!

We hope you enjoyed reading this tiny home blog post, and we hope you will reach out with any questions.

Thanks, and see you next time!

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