Initial Reactions to Our Tiny House Plan

“I feel claustrophobic even thinking about it…” – My mother

“That sounds… nice…” – Dave’s mother

“Well, good thing not to burden yourself with debt. Especially with your salary being as it is.” – My father

“We hate you. We have been wanting to do that!” – Close friends

“Want to help us build a trailer and a tiny house?” (out of the blue text sent to friend)

“Heck yeah!” (immediate response)

You may get a little idea of how our family and friends responded to our great idea from these few posts. The idea of tiny houses occurred to us while we were discussing possibilities on our honeymoon on the tiny island of Montserrat. I was on Facebook scouring the newsfeed for something interesting to take my mind off of my mosquito bites when I saw a post about tiny houses from a close friend. After showing Dave, an idea grew over the course of our trip that we are now pursuing. Is it possible to buy a small piece of land and live in a travel trailer while Dave goes back to school, and I continue teaching? Would it furthermore be possible for Dave to build a Tiny House as his job when he isn’t doing schoolwork if our friends help out?

We are hoping so.

The plan:

  • Find a cheap plot of land
  • Find a travel trailer we can live in for the year and a half we plan to build this tiny house, or green casita in our case
  • Enlist help from an engineer friend 2 hours away for building a trailer and doing much of the work in the house
  • Also get help from another friend who has some framing and construction experience
  • Find as many cheap, reusable materials as possible

As you can see, we have accomplished some of these things already during the 3 week road trip we just took because we didn’t want to pay rent (that story in the next post). Luckily we had some money saved up to get started. So far we have spent: $4200 for a .2 acre lot near where I work and somewhat close to town. Why is it so cheap? It doesn’t have city utilities yet so we are looking into passive heating and cooling, a solar system for electricity, reusing gray water, and taking the trailer to dump the black water every other week. We also purchased a ’99 Cougar Travel Trailer, 21′, from a man posted on craigslist. We bought it for $3,800 but expect to put new tires on it, so it will probably cost us $4,000 after all is said and done. Besides the tires, it was completely checked out before we got it from electrical to plumbing and sealing, so we feel pretty good about it as of right now. Total spent as of right now: $8,200

We also expect to spend around-under $3,000 for solar panels, batteries, and a control. Details on how we put everything together is also to come. I hope to narrate our plans but also make the “How To” part very straightforward for those of you who don’t want to listen to my blathering.

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