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Old 05-25-2016, 06:00 PM
 
7 posts, read 52,181 times
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This may not be an appropriate question, but I don't know where else to ask.

I know it's technically not legal in most places to live in an RV or camper on your own land (which imo makes absolutely no sense whatsoever), but honestly.....how would anybody know you were doing that?

My family is planning on buying a bit of land in northern Oregon and they will be living in a house, and I wanted to pull up an RV or camper to share the land without having to live in the house with them. I don't need much space and can afford a camper, but I can't afford to build an entire additional house, even a small one, unless I could get a loan for it and spend around $35k max, which I'm pretty sure is impossible unless there was an existing foundation sitting there waiting for a second house...which likely won't be the case.

I've had a friend who lived in a camper on her land for many years without anyone messing with her...so I have to ask, how would anybody know I was living in the camper if we lived in a rural area, there was a house on the property that people were obviously living in, and the camper was parked in a spot not visible from the road? And if someone were to be caught doing something like this, what would be the likely repercussions?

Additionally, of course I'd like to know if there is in fact any way to do this legally for an extended period of time, or if there is in fact any way to build/bring in a small home at this price point.


Thanks.
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Old 05-25-2016, 06:39 PM
 
Location: WA
4,712 posts, read 6,417,564 times
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What are you going to do about septic, electricity, and water? Tie into the existing house?

To answer your question, rural Oregon (and rural anywhere America) is full of houses in the country that have RVs parked next to them. In fact, people who own RVs tend to live in the country so they have parking for their big RVs that wouldn't be available on most suburban lots. So they are everywhere. It is unlikely that anyone would notice that yours is actually being lived in as opposed to just being parked unless you started doing things to make it obvious, like weather proofing around the bottom in the winter, building accessory porches, and such.

But in any event, who is going to notice? Any county you chose to live in is going to have county building inspectors and the like who are going to notice because they are out and about and it is their job to notice. When you live some place for decades, especially rural areas that don't change much you tend to notice every little change.

I would think you would be an ideal candidate for building your own tiny house and doing it right and legally.
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Old 05-26-2016, 07:55 AM
 
Location: North Idaho
30,178 posts, read 41,230,033 times
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"Northern Oregon" doesn't give much help. In some areas of Northern Oregon, you will be darn cold in the winter. In some areas of Northern Oregon, your trailer will be green with moss and in danger of blowing over.

If you are anywhere near water, the state of Oregon is fanatical about protecting water and there will be someone checking your sewage arrangements.

In most zones in Oregon, you will not be allowed to have additional residence, including no one living in a trailer. Tiny house is unlikely to be allowed unless there is a permit for handicapped relative. Permit is available for farm labor housing only if a farm has very substantial income.

How will they know? Inspector might be out on a different job and see. Neighbor might turn you in if you make yourself difficult to get along with or you try to slum up the area..
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Old 05-26-2016, 08:49 AM
 
989 posts, read 1,386,251 times
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Originally Posted by oregonwoodsmoke View Post
"Northern Oregon" doesn't give much help. In some areas of Northern Oregon, you will be darn cold in the winter. In some areas of Northern Oregon, your trailer will be green with moss and in danger of blowing over.

If you are anywhere near water, the state of Oregon is fanatical about protecting water and there will be someone checking your sewage arrangements.

In most zones in Oregon, you will not be allowed to have additional residence, including no one living in a trailer. Tiny house is unlikely to be allowed unless there is a permit for handicapped relative. Permit is available for farm labor housing only if a farm has very substantial income.

How will they know? Inspector might be out on a different job and see. Neighbor might turn you in if you make yourself difficult to get along with or you try to slum up the area..


This is spot on information! Second residences are very tough to come by. I had a second residence that a neighbor wanted to rent for his farm help. I didn't want laborers in it, so I rented to a nice young Mormon couple. Guess who turned me in? The a$$hole neighbor. So in turn I turned them in for their laborers living in a RV, they had to remove that situation.
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Old 05-26-2016, 03:34 PM
 
7 posts, read 52,181 times
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Thanks for the input so far. The reason I wasn't specific about the area was because we don't know exactly where we'll be moving yet, we're looking at a somewhat wide area, but somewhere in the general Portland area if that helps any more.

We are mostly looking at land around minimum 5-10+ acres. My understanding is that places in that size range are more likely to allow a second home, but either way it is a requirement for wherever we move because we have plans to build a second home of some sort at some point in the more distant future.

I am looking more into the tiny houses. That may just work out after all. I see there are similar issues if it's built into a trailer, but if you put it on a foundation it would not have those problems. I'm hoping I could then only need to worry about the foundation and hook everything else up to the main house...Unless there is some reason that I wouldn't be allowed to hook up to the main house?
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Old 05-26-2016, 10:46 PM
 
Location: North Idaho
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Originally Posted by Ponycats View Post
.............We are mostly looking at land around minimum 5-10+ acres. My understanding is that places in that size range are more likely to allow a second home, ...............
Parcels of 5-10 acres are most likely to be outside city limits. That means chances are very high for some sort of an agricultural or forestry zoning. Chances of placing 2 houses on agricultural zoned land are very small. Most forestry zone, you will not be able to place any house on 10 acres.

You will have to have an agent try to find you what you are looking for, but then get it in writing from the county planning department that you will be allowed to place two houses on the land, because i think you wI'll have problems finding a place where it is legal..
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Old 05-27-2016, 08:40 AM
 
989 posts, read 1,386,251 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oregonwoodsmoke View Post
Parcels of 5-10 acres are most likely to be outside city limits. That means chances are very high for some sort of an agricultural or forestry zoning. Chances of placing 2 houses on agricultural zoned land are very small. Most forestry zone, you will not be able to place any house on 10 acres.

You will have to have an agent try to find you what you are looking for, but then get it in writing from the county planning department that you will be allowed to place two houses on the land, because i think you wI'll have problems finding a place where it is legal..

OK, here is the scoop. If you are on EFU (Exclusive Farm Use) you can have a second unit if you have shown a yearly income for I believe 3 years of $80K (high value soil) $50K (low value soil). I believe you can have a second unit if it is for a family member that helps to manage "the farm" business. There are hardship units you can get for say an ill relative, and I believe those are year to year and has to be removable (like a double wide). Now the problem is, how do you make $50-80K off of 5-10 acres? Unless you grow weed it's impossible. If you grow weed, it currently isn't considered a farming use warranting a second house.


I tried to get a second unit (on 10+ acres) so I had someone to help run my horse boarding operation as I have severe arthritis...even with a note from my DR. I was denied...so I closed my business and sold the farm. Meanwhile across the street from me on RR-5 a private school was given a permit to build a 20,000+ square foot structure on a HUGE septic for over 100 kids, that included a nearly 200 car parking lot, all on 4 acres. The place covered every inch of land and looked like a car dealership. Yep they paved paradise and put up a parking lot.


What I have learned bout Oregon is that if you have a lawyer or two you can usually get around the system, those with deep pockets work the system. Oregon is not about helping the small farmer, there are farmers out there that are getting old and they are being denied having their kids build houses on say 200 acre farms. There is a huge lack of common sense when it comes to land use in Oregon.


As mentioned above absolutely go to the County and get "in writing" that you can have a second unit that could be rented out prior to purchasing. Don't trust your Realtor, as I had one trying to sell my place telling everyone it came with a second unit that could be a rental...crazy, dumb ****** was going to get us both sued (she got fired).

Last edited by gray horse; 05-27-2016 at 08:49 AM..
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Old 05-27-2016, 12:24 PM
 
Location: Salem, OR
15,197 posts, read 37,959,818 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ponycats View Post
Thanks for the input so far. The reason I wasn't specific about the area was because we don't know exactly where we'll be moving yet, we're looking at a somewhat wide area, but somewhere in the general Portland area if that helps any more.

We are mostly looking at land around minimum 5-10+ acres. My understanding is that places in that size range are more likely to allow a second home, but either way it is a requirement for wherever we move because we have plans to build a second home of some sort at some point in the more distant future.

I am looking more into the tiny houses. That may just work out after all. I see there are similar issues if it's built into a trailer, but if you put it on a foundation it would not have those problems. I'm hoping I could then only need to worry about the foundation and hook everything else up to the main house...Unless there is some reason that I wouldn't be allowed to hook up to the main house?
Your understanding wouldn't be correct with Oregon zoning laws. Even 5-10 acre parcels can be zoned FF (Farm Forest), SA (Special Acreage), and EFU (Exclusive Farm Use). Any of these zonings will be exceptionally difficult to get a second home on the property. Trying to get labor housing for that small acreage?? I don't see it happening. You can get a hardship permit for an ill family member, but it requires yearly doctor notes to state that person still needs nearby family for assistance. Oh, and you also have to do some sort of farming activity (which can include a forest deferral) or you lose the property tax deferral that has been in place. You would owe tens of thousands in back property taxes.

The RA (residential acreage) zones are one home only and are specifically for rural living.

So, the only way I see this working is that one of your family members has to have a hardship (illness, Alzheimers, etc) that requires nearby family assistance so that you can put a mobile home on the property. You won't be able to permanent affix a second home on the property.
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Old 05-27-2016, 12:29 PM
 
Location: Salem, OR
15,197 posts, read 37,959,818 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gray horse View Post

As mentioned above absolutely go to the County and get "in writing" that you can have a second unit that could be rented out prior to purchasing. Don't trust your Realtor, as I had one trying to sell my place telling everyone it came with a second unit that could be a rental...crazy, dumb ****** was going to get us both sued (she got fired).
Yeah, I hear agents say that all the time. I'm like you can rent it, but it isn't legal. So it depends on whether or not you want to follow laws. Just be prepared for when a neighbor complains about the tenants, and you lose that renter.

There was a guy down here that converted a house to a duplex because his agent told him he could. So after the neighbors complained and the city cited him, he went into foreclosure because he bought the property with the expectation of having two rents coming from it. He couldn't afford the loss in income and lost the property.
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Old 05-28-2016, 12:39 PM
 
7 posts, read 52,181 times
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I don't really know all the details about it because it's my dad sorting this all out. I believe he was looking for a situation where the property could be technically split into two separate parcels, or something like that, so that they're not considered to be all the same plot of land? I don't really know in depth about it, but regardless we are going to need a second house down the line so he'll be finding a way to make that happen.
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