Those of you who have been around my blog for a while know that we’ve been working on getting out of debt for a while now. Unfortunately moving to the city we now live has been a hit. I lost my job after we moved (I’m working again but not making as much) and while my hubby’s job pays better than his old job did, the cost of living here is higher… A LOT higher- and my medical expenses have contributed to a lot more debt.
We struggle with spending such a significant amount of money on housing, especially on a rental space which we suspect is contributing to my health issues (whenever we travel I feel much better, I’m sick again within 48 hours of getting home- likely due to the 20+ WiFi networks we get at home). Writing the rent check every month is frustrating and we feel like it is bad stewardship to shell out so much on our housing. We tried to move into a smaller place when we moved up here, but no one would put 3 people in a one bedroom (and they’re only a bit cheaper anyway).
For several years now we’ve talked about getting a place of our own. However, in this market, it’s totally unattainable for us. We met with a realtor who said anything under $250,000 is going to be hard to get and will need a lot of work (usually a total flip)- we’re just not interested in investing that kind of money into a place when all we’ve ever wanted is something 400-600 square feet. These properties simply don’t exist.
About a year ago we discovered the Tiny House movement. This year we’ve become more involved in the tiny house community and feel like we’ve finally found our answer. So- we’re going tiny!!
For those of you reading who don’t know what a tiny house is, here’s some information. A tiny house is classified either as a house under 400 square feet or a house where each person has less than 100 square feet (some larger families living in a 600 square foot house live in a “tiny house” because they’re more people). Most tiny houses are built on a trailer making them more like a mobile home. Some are built on a lot as well. Tiny houses have all the features of a “regular” house but on a smaller scale.
We are in the planning phase, you can’t take out a home loan on a tiny house so we’re trying to figure out how to finance it and deciding on a builder. Most homes with a builder take 4-6 months to be built, if you build it yourself it usually takes about a year. We will most likely have a builder do the frame, plumbing, wiring, etc and we’ll do the finishes. We’ve been working on our ideal floor plan (it will be around 300 square feet) and building ideas for materials.
We also need to figure out where to keep it. That’s the big battle in the Tiny House community. There’s not really zoning laws for tiny houses so local governments aren’t really sure what to do with them. People in tinys are living in friend’s yards, on farms, on larger properties and in RV communities. There are about 15 within 10 miles of us and we’ve been starting to connect with them. If you have any suggestions for where we can go, please let us know!
This is a really attractive option for us. Ultimately we still hope to start our non-profit. We value travel and hardly spend any time at home anyway. We’re always out and about enjoying all that Colorado has to offer. We strive for minimalism and have been downsizing for about 6 years, we pretty much never buy “stuff.” A tiny house helps us to drastically reduce our footprint and impact on the Earth. It also helps cut down on expenses and helps us get out of debt and stay out of debt.
A tiny house also allows us to go wherever God calls us easily without feeling bound to a lease or mortgage and without worrying about our stuff. Our lease is up March 10th, we likely won’t have a Tiny by then so we’re going to have a bit of a transitional time to figure out.
We’re really excited about this chapter of our journey, we’ve been downsizing even more (I have 18 boxes in my living room right now of items we’re trying to sell) and are loving looking through ideas and dreaming. This will allow us to build the safest, greenest, and healthiest home possible for us. Our Grandparents built their own homes and it really feels like a dream come true to design a space just right for us!
We look forward to sharing our BIG tiny journey with you!
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