My husband and I are obsessed with tiny houses –
if you’ve met us chances are we’ve rambled on about them to you.
We’ve spent countless hours dreaming of the simplicity it could offer us.
We’ve researched hundreds of plans others have used, and sketched out the exact plan we like
using our favorite parts of each. I’ve emailed our top 3 builders our rough sketches,
so they could look at them for feasibility and give us an idea of build time and cost.
We fixed up all those little things we’d let slide on our home of 14 years, listed it, and sold it in 6 days.
(We of course hoped to sell quickly, but never expected to sell in less than a week! )
Suddenly the pressure was on – we had to make some serious decisions.
We sat down together, and took a long, realistic look at the numbers of going Tiny.
What we were saddened to discover, was that our move to be financially free, would
actually put us in about the same spot we currently are.
In our home state of Idaho, land is very hard to finance if you don’t plan on building on it within a year.
It is also very expensive, because Northern Idaho is incredibly beautiful. Which left us a difficult choice:
buy the land and pay on a tiny house, OR buy the tiny house and pay for an RV space. In order to pay off debt
from the sale of the house, we would be stuck renting an R.V. space.
We have learned the hard way that we are not skilled enough to take on building our own tiny house.
To get an unfinished version of the tiny house we would need for our family of 6,
would cost approximately $60,000. Ouch . Since part of the money from our home sale would be used to pay off
school loans, we would have to finance at least $20,000. We would also have to compensate for my businesses‘ space, which
has been run from our home and would require renting a space somewhere in town – another financial hurdle.
Then there is the reality of living in a tiny house with 4 kids. You don’t live in a tiny house the same way
you live in a regular house – you get out more, you do more activities. Since we live somewhere with heavy
snowfall, and would be living in an RV park, we decided the best thing we could do is get a membership
for our family at the local community center. It would help save our sanity in the long, snowy winters,
so we had to add the cost of that into our finances as well.
We dreamed of a tiny house for more freedom, more adventures –
but with tiny houses still a growing trend, there ended up being more obstacles than we felt
ready to tackle with 4 kids 10 and under. Financially, when we sat down and added it all up,
we would be stuck again on a tight financial budget. The sacrifices that would be part of
living in the tiny house just weren’t going to be outweighed by new found financial bliss like we’d imagined.
So we made a new plan – we found a house that leaves us in the same place financially, but with
a whole lot more room. Selling the old house allows us to pay off school loans (woot!), and put a large
chunk of cash down on the new house, which is 2 blocks from the kids’ school and a great park.
I can expand my businesses in our new, larger home, as well as host events that I couldn’t in
either the old house or the dreamt of Tiny House. In the end we had to choose what made sense
for us for right now.
Living minimally is not about how many square feet you live in;
it’s about recognizing what brings you true happiness, and letting the rest go.
Choosing to simplify allows you to be surrounded by only
the people and things you truly love and enjoy,
and that is a wonderful way to live.
What do you need to let go of , to find your best life today?