Monday, November 10, 2014

Why A Tiny House?

My move to a tiny house was instigated by a phone call informing me and my long time room mate Beth that the house we'd rented for the previous three years was for sale. We had hoped to live there for many more years, but about a week after that first phone call, the house was sold to a couple who planned to move in, not as we had hoped, someone who would continue to rent the place, so we were about to be homeless. 

Housing is always tight in a place like Jackson, WY just because so many people want to live here and there is so little space to build, due to the vast amounts of protected open space such as national parks, national forest, and BLM lands. Of course, these protected spaces are precisely why we all want to live here. This past year it has become worse than ever with many people living in hotels, camping, or living out of their car full time. Literally, one day the paper had over 6 pages of help wanted adds, and only 7 places for rent.

When I suddenly joined the crowd of those trying to find a place to live, it hit home just how hard this was going to be if I wanted to stay in the area and stay within my income. I looked at multiple houses for rent as soon as they were listed, and none of them were ideal, and most of them would have required a commitment of close to 100% of my income in the winter months. (I wait tables and earn more in the summer when there are many more tourists in the area.) None of this seemed like a good idea, and I still did not want to leave the area.

So I started to seriously think about moving into my car or a small RV full time. Then I remembered a post I'd seen a long time ago about a tiny house, and thought maybe I should check that idea out. Within about 6 weeks from then, I decided to go for it, found a builder, designed my house, obtained financing, sold most of my belongings and moved into a hotel where I am now waiting for my finished house to arrive.

I really like the idea of mobility. I think I like the tiny house concept better then buying a nice normal house attached to the ground here, even if I could afford one, which I can't. This might be silly, but I've found that my home is closely tied to security and stress for me. I realized this when I found I'd have to move (very different than the other times in my life when I moved by my choice) and had no idea if I could really find anything. I really like my space, tidiness, having things/colors arranged in a way that is peaceful to me, etc. All of that being up in the air is hugely stressful, so I'm really liking the ability to settle in and only have to move the house if something changes, not move out of the house. And being able to take it with me if I should choose to move elsewhere is huge. This is probably the main reason I'm excited about joining the tiny house movement. There are others too, but I'll probably have a post about them some other time.


  1. Did you obtain traditional bank financing or did you use one of the lenders that I've seen that finance specifically tiny houses? I'd love a tiny house for the reasons you mention above, I'd never be homeless, smaller footprint, etc. But, as I haven't been planning this for the past 10-15 yrs or so, and haven't had the type of income conducive to saving mass quantities of money, money has been my main barrier to this.

  2. I was able to finance it as an RV through our local credit union. Though they did have lots of questions and had never seen something like it before, after a lot of conversations with me and the builders at Tumbleweed, they agreed to go for it.

  3. I think feeling stress about not having a stable, predictable home situation is perfectly rationale. Me, too. I've been attracted to tiny homes for that reason... small, affordable, and portable if the job situation or site situation needs to be changed. I'm so glad you are able to make this work for you!

  4. The tiny house concept is fantastic for all the reasons you mentioned. Especially mobility, you can just decide to up and move with your home, so easy and so much less stress. I hope things work out and you find a place to move. Thank you for sharing this concept!

    Jefferson @ T.J. Lamb Real Estate

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