Could You Live In A Tiny House?

tiny house
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”.

tiny house interior

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?

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P.S. Looking to declutter and minimize? CLICK HERE to learn about the Fearless Minimalist Guide

11 comments

11 thoughts on “Could You Live In A Tiny House?

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  1. Elle

    I have seen many tiny apartments in big cities like Paris, on International House Hunt. The idea of having less is very appealing to me, but not so easy to do. And, I know there would be a limit to how small would be comfortable. But, I know I would like to continue to get rid of clutter.

    Reply
  2. Meg

    I have to throw this out because I am in a similar situation and I am between getting a house with a 30 year mortgage or a condo with a 15. Since this website is all about being savvy, I have to ask, is there anything preventing you and Aaron from getting the 15 year mortgage? I know it’s not the American way, but a 30 year is not much better than interest only. If you use Excel, open up a loan amortization workbook and look at how much more you’d pay in principal from day one. I just about refinanced (and have decided that now is the time to move to the city so I am looking at listing and buying). With one income, a 15 year will be hard to swing for most places downtown, but I’m going to try my hardest!

    To answer your question though, I wouldn’t mind getting one of those for the back of a lot and living in it until I could build a permanent home. It’s one thing not to have a lot of clutter. It’s quite another to not be able to keep extra shampoo and more than a few pairs of shoes because of space limitations.

    Reply
    1. Anna Newell Jones Post author

      There’s no doubt that a 15 year mortgage would be better for paying the principal off but it’s scary to think that if one of us lost our jobs or if our situtation dramatically changed within the next 15 years that we would be bound to that very high 15 year mortgage payment every month. I’d rather play it safe, get the 30-year mortgage and if we were to have extra money throughout the year throw it at the mortgage.

      Reply
  3. Darrow Kirkpatrick

    I could definitely live in a tiny house! We spent 6 weeks traveling in our camper van (Class B RV) this past summer and it was awesome. Recently we toured a prototype solar-powered one-room prefab home with beautiful wood interiors and gourmet kitchen. There is so much less to think and worry about when you are living in a small space.

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  4. Scott Dow

    There is a guy on youtube who ditched the house all together and lives in a camper van. I looked up living on less and ran into bsandvandwelling.
    TLC has a show about tiny homes.

    Reply
  5. Meg

    When do you guys close on your new place? I decided on Stapleton. Couldn’t do a condo because of the dog (must have dog door going outside so she can have frequent breaks). I was too afraid of being house poor buying something older in a place like Park Hill or Baker. I’ve been doing home remodeling for 5 years and it’s the reason I’m broke so something more predictable was needed. Looks like I’ll have to go with the 30 year too. In this price range, a 15 is too scary. At least the rates are fantastic!

    Reply
    1. Anna Newell Jones Post author

      Super exciting that you’re going into Stapleton, have heard great things about that neighborhood!

      We should be closing soon. The banks are so elusive with foreclosures and it seems to be double the standard closing time frame. Hoping within the next week or two… *fingers crossed*

      Reply
      1. Meg

        Yay! Congrats! Good to know on closing times as I need to sell this house before that one is finished and may need to list a little earlier than I thought.

        Reply
  6. Karli

    Love the new website design! My hubs and I are currently going on year three in a 1-BR apartment in Austin and I always want more space but then I remind myself the very same thing you said above: “Hey if people in New York City can do it then why can’t we!?” It’s hard, but we’re knocking out debt right and left!

    Reply
  7. Beth

    The funny thing is i came to your blog because I was looking for ways to save money so I can build my tumbleweed tiny house this year!! Just tried your cut your own hair tutorial, worked great!! Thanks!!

    Reply

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