Have you ever thought about living in a Tiny House? Do you think you could do it? Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about it. Here’s why…
We’re in the last few stages of buying our house (condo). It’s a 2 bedroom, 1 bath, foreclosure in a great neighborhood, with tons, I mean TONS of potential (there’s even a separate office, crown molding, high-ceilings, and a butler’s pantry!??!!!? fancy say what?!). I CANNOT even wait to show you pictures and start seeing how many home renovations we can get away with doing on the cheap. I foresee a lot of Before and After’s;)
Even though the property is a foreclosure and even though it was already the cheapest place we looked at, when we made the offer I couldn’t help but just TRY to get it for a little bit less because, well, why not try right? We took the recommendation of our real-estate broker and didn’t put in too much of a low-ball offer for fear of not being taken seriously. And then the bank came back with a counter offer which was the full listing price. As if to say, “Like, no, really that’s what we want to sell it for”. Then we were like, “D’oh, okay.” We tried though! Hey, we totally tried!
When we started looking for a house back in May we were approved for an interest rate of 3.9% through my credit union (highly recommend getting into a credit union if you can. Once I switched to the credit union from one of the big name banks my bank fees dropped drastically and it was shockingly apparent how much money I had been inadvertently losing). Since I got all of my debt paid-off and since Aaron is naturally good with his money we both have extremely high credit scores so we (thankfully) qualify for the best interest rates. And since it took us so long to find the place we wanted to buy (it’s the Wild West out here with housing, see this too.) We ended up having to get re-approved for the mortgage loan. We re-did all the paperwork which was a pain but turned out to be awesome because this time we got approved for an interest rate of 3.3%!!??!! Completely insane. Our mortgage underwriter said that is the lowest rate they have offered on a 30-year fixed loan in 30 years! So, we locked that bad-boy in place! Huzzah.
Throughout the house-buying process so far, we’ve paid $175 for the inspection (the cost for inspectors vary and we were quoted as high as $250, so look around for a better deal, if the inspector doesn’t use the latest technology to generate their reports on-site it can significantly decrease the cost), $1,000 in earnest money (the earnest money tells the bank/seller that we’re serious buyers, and we’re able to get that money back up to a certain time period if we have to back out for any number of reasons, and we could lose that money if we back out after a certain point). Also, if the sale were to not go through we will be responsible for the $435 in appraisal costs (if the sale goes through as planned that cost will be added to the closing costs).
We really like our real-estate broker and he always tells us that buying a property is kind of like applying for colleges. He says, “Even if you don’t get in you have to pay the application fees”.
At one point while looking for a house Aaron and I become pretty discouraged and I ran across this “Tiny House” movement online (Tumbleweed Houses, Wee Houses, Tiny Home Builders, Tiny Texas Houses, Ikea Aktiv, and there’s even a man in Boulder, Colorado named Christopher Smith who’s making a documentary about his Tiny House experience. And Pinterest is packed with tons of boards showing SO MANY tiny house possibilities). I became instantly fascinated (clearly) and started thinking about how great it would be to NOT have a mortgage, to NOT have so much stuff, and to not have the ability to acquire even MORE stuff.
The simplicity that comes with having less is very appealing. It means all that stuff doesn’t have to be picked up and sorted and organized and fixed and mended and cleaned and maintained.
Less stuff means more time.
Our whole house hunt started because we felt we needed more space; every cabinet is packed, every shelf stuffed. I started asking myself do we REALLY need more space or do we just think we do? Hey if people in New York City can do it then why can’t we!? We might just need to get rid of a ton of crap! And while we’re on the cusp of buying our new place (which is modest compared to most American home sizes) I wonder if we did kind of get sucked into the idea of more is better and bigger is better. It’s completely possible…
I like to think that the small house idea isn’t completely abandoned. Maybe when we’re retired we’ll get ourselves a Tiny House and either hitch it to the back of a truck and take it around the US with us or just put it on a little patch of grass and be happy with managing less and making the most of the days we have left with each other.
(love these reads over at the tumbleweed blog: how to downsize your home and what’s really stopping you from getting rid of your clutter?)
What do you think, could you live in a Tiny House? Why would you want to or not want to?