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Micro Management: Tiny Homes in Indy

A miniature home on wheels might seem especially tempting as the weather improves. But do the city’s zoning codes restrict parking options? (Yes.) Who determines the minimum square footage of a legal residence (that would be Homeland Security), and do so-called tiny homes qualify as RVs here? (No.)

A Facebook group called the Indianapolis Tiny House Community tracks these answers for its 400 members, including Bloomington grad student Laura Yates, who resides in a 208-square-foot mini cabin (pictured). The site and organized meetups serve primarily as a clearinghouse of inspiration and ideas for joining the micro living movement.

For instance, Jennifer Bridges and Pam Schiefelbein developed a smart financing plan while building their tiny house: They charge expenses on a new credit card that offered no interest for a year and travel benefits. Because they keep the balance low, the home will be mostly paid off when it’s finished, and the couple will have earned enough miles for several airfares. Not that they’ll need them. “We plan on traveling in our tiny home and possibly waking up on a new golf course every weekend,” Bridges says.

Fernandez began writing for Indianapolis Monthly in 1995 while studying journalism at Indiana University. One of her freelance assignments required her to join a women's full-tackle football team for a season. She joined the staff in 2005 to edit IM's ancillary publications, including Indianapolis Monthly Home. In 2011, she became a senior editor responsible for the Circle City section as well as coverage of shopping, homes, and design-related topics. Now an executive editor, she lives downtown.