This past month has brought along with it some interesting feelings. A few friends of ours have purchased homes. Not tiny homes, but “normal” homes. We’ve helped some move (by bike) and have witnessed the start of their home-owner journeys. All of it makes me question our choices. Are we doing the right thing by living this way? Should we buy a “traditional” home?
I thought, we can buy a small-ish house with a large yard to park the tiny house. We could then live in the tiny house and rent out the main house. This way we could have renters pay the mortgage and we could continue with our lives. One couple I met last weekend is doing just that. They purchased a reasonably priced home with enough room in the back yard to build/park a tiny home. Their goals are to pay off debt so they can live more comfortably.
I love this idea…but wait? Wasn’t the point of us having a tiny home to skip the mortgage part? And we’ve only lived in the tiny home for 6 months! What is it about having something that makes you want something else? What is that desire for the “next step”? Where is contentment? Crazy human nature…I felt pressured by the low mortgage rates, and even went so far as to seek out real estate agent contacts.
I think it is expected that we would question our decision, because it’s different. It’s not “the norm”. My bank teller remarked, “Oh you live in a tiny home? Like 800 sq.ft.?” Um, no. More like 180 sqft. If that. I’d like to keep in mind why we’re choosing to live tiny, and keep in check that it’s the right decision for us. I don’t want to just do something because that’s what we’re already doing. I want to be intentional. I also don’t want to compare what we have to what others have; some have it worse and some have it better. That’s how it will always be.
So while all these thoughts have been going on, Tomas and I also decided to join friends to climb Mt. St. Helens next month. We’ve been training by going on hikes in the Columbia River Gorge and Washington Park. We’ve also been camping with the 55th Cascadia Scouts and it’s on these trips that we reconnect with the real reasons we decided to try on the tiny home. So we can adventure. We want to make our inside life smaller, so we can make our outside life larger.
The whole point of this was to try something different. That doesn’t mean it’s better or easier. It’s impossible to know how it will feel until you’re in it. There’s vulnerability, fear, and doubt but also excitement, triumphs, understanding, and experience. It’s interesting to me how I have to reiterate to myself my goals for doing this. It’s easy to get sidetracked and stuck in the comfortable ways of doing things.
We’ve been not so lucky to have so many challenges and repairs needed for our house right from the start, but that has also reminded us why we did this. Larger houses come with larger responsibilities, more maintenance, and greater financial drains. This leads to a dependence on certain jobs with a certain amount of income. I’d like to try other options. I’d like to get off the hamster wheel and hike, travel, and explore this great world of ours.
Some challenges we’ve faced this month:
- We’re STILL working on getting registration completed. We’re having to rely on the builder to fullfill their obligations…
- We found mold in the closet. Tomas is still decommissioning the overbuilt closet, and found untreated wood with mold. Either there’s not enough ventilation, or lack of a vapor barrier…either way, we have to find the resources to fix it.
- We had an uninvited guest the other night. Thank goodness Tomas came home in time to save me. We’ve determined it to be a Callobius severus, not harmful to humans or pets, but very intimidating…
- The floors and walls still lack adequate sealant…this is a huge project that has been looming over our heads. It’s also weather and time-dependent. We need drier/warmer weather and more free time to spend on fixing the house. Both have been lacking.
- Here’s a cool thing Tomas “MacGyvered” for our house; he used a bike tube for a greywater hose:
Add that to the 101 uses for bike tubes.
We’ve decided we want to focus on living our lives and fit the house needs in where we can. After all, it’s just a place where we live. Maybe some day we’ll buy another house, large or small…but for now we’re staying put and finding gratitude for all that we have:
an orange fluffy companion who warms our feet at night
an awesome town to live, hike, and adventure in
an amazing landlord and great new land-mates
a spot for our house
(to name a few)