In May of 2016 I convinced my husband to move from a 3 story, 2 bed, 1.5 bath townhouse to a 560 square foot studio apartment. I lived in an even smaller studio apartment in San Diego when I first moved out on my own and I loved it! He was apprehensive at first, but after the move was complete he and I realized how much “stuff” we had. In our 5 years together we have lived in 5 different homes, 3 different cities, and have added two amazing dogs to our life. I feel like the longer you are with someone the more and more “things” you tend to gather along the way. Now that we are in the small apartment we are not wanting for more living space. We love how fast it is to clean, and as much as I thought the small kitchen would be hard to get used to it is actually so convenient having everything within arms length when cooking. We also had to get rid of a lot of things before moving in because we only have 1 closet for storage. Our clothing, office items, linens, the vacuum, tools, and everything else is in the one closet. We do have a small storage unit for things like decorations, my snowboard, our Traeger smoker, etc. but for the most part everything is in our apartment. Now that we have easily adjusted to living in a small space with only the things we need, there are only 2 things we want. 1) A home our money actually benefits in the long run and belongs to us, and 2) a yard for our dogs.
We live in the Bay Area and as much as we love it here we just don’t want to feel like our lives are restricted to our house, because we can’t afford to do anything except pay our mortgage. Most of the places available in our area are 50-100 years old, require a lot of work and upkeep, and don’t have the outdoor space we would like for our dogs. In all reality we will not be in the Bay Area forever either. My husband will have to transfer eventually and we will be forced to move again. As a natural born planner with a love for change I am constantly thinking about ways to improve the quality of our lives and the best way to financially improve our future.
With all of this in mind I thought let’s buy a tiny house! I apprehensively mentioned it to my husband one day and he actually liked the idea. He was totally on board and I was shocked, so off I ran with the idea. The reason a tiny house is so practical for us is because we are guaranteed to move every 3 to 4 years due to my husband’s job. All we will have to do is hook it up to our truck and move on to the next place. Plus, it will be ours, and in our ever changing life having something that we own is a huge deal. I have been researching the cost of purchasing land, viewing lots, and contacting local water, sewer, and electricity companies in the area. What I have found is that purchasing land and running utilities to the land is just not possible without spending $150,000 to $200,000. I would love to take on the task of managing a project like that, but it will take quite a bit longer than we would like and would not financially benefit us in the long run, so here I am.
In my search for alternative options I found a blog of other people who were looking to do the same in the Bay Area. They were successfully able to find a landowner willing to let them park their house and live. This will be the best option for us, so I have begun the process of searching for a site for our tiny house. The major issue we are having is finding financing. Traditional financing is not an option with tiny homes, because lenders don’t know how to categorize them as the tiny house movement has only recently begun to gain popularity. I have persistently been searching for alternative financing options, and as of now have not found any one willing or able to help us. Hopefully soon enough we will be able to move forward and have a tiny house built.
I will keep you posted with any and all updates to this venture, and I hope I will be able to report back with good news sometime soon. If anyone has some suggestions, questions, or would generally like to chat about tiny houses please comment below. I’d love to hear from you!