I have some crazy and exciting news to share with everyone: I am going to be building my own TINY HOME. You are correct in assuming that I am still in the Peace Corps (which I still love) so you might be confused by this announcement. Let me back up several weeks and start from the beginning…
Over Christmas my mom introduced me to the show on HGTV called Tiny House Hunters because she thought I would enjoy it, and she was absolutely correct. I have been interested in the tiny house movement for several years now, reading different articles on living with less and using more sustainable practices. It is right up my alley, but I honestly did not get too involved because I could not imagine myself owning a home – even a tiny one. My living arrangements have been very fluid over the past several years and I have enjoyed the freedom of living in many different places. However, as I am in my last stretch of my Peace Corps service (only 9 out of 27 months left) I have been thinking of employment and housing for once I return. Now that I have lived abroad for a little bit I am in the position where I still want the freedom of travel but mixed with the stability of a home base that does not include storage containers in my parent’s basement.
For a brief moment I thought of finding a small house to buy but then remembered I have no money and quickly diverted to finding a reasonably priced apartment near my family in Kentucky where I would set up a permanent establishment that would be my home and could sublet for when I travel abroad. This was a decent option, except that I couldn’t find much quality within my price range, which is minuscule due to student loans I am determined to pay off quickly. My other thought was to live with family members while I worked and became more established, and honestly this will probably still happen at some point. I wasn’t worried about figuring it out immediately for I still have a good amount of time before returning and I was sure everything would be just fine (God has a pretty awesome way of working it out). However, these thoughts took place before Christmas break – before I had the opportunity to go home and visit my family for two weeks.
Once I was re-introduced to tiny homes through HGTV and my mom, everything seemed to click into place for me. Most tiny homes are built on wheels (due to legality reasons of living size) so I would have the freedom to move it around or various jobs jobs or park it in the yards of friends and family while I travel. It would give me a permanent home that would be mine and finally house my scattered belongings. It would be within my budget if I rely on recycled and salvageable materials and it would be relatively inexpensive to maintain. It would be the perfect solution!
During Christmas I began to brainstorm and get my family involved.
Thus began my new brain child.
I came back to the Philippines and began researching extensively (I strangely have better internet connection here), becoming even more obsessed the further I dove into my new dream. Obsessed is not an exaggeration here due to the fact that I spent approximately 50 hours working on this the first week I was home (not including my working hours). I began texting my dad several times a day because I knew I would need his expertise on pretty much every aspect of this project. I began watching tiny home tours on YouTube, developing floor plans, looking up appliances and creating wishlists and budgets.
Then, last week (first week of January) I was looking on Craigslist to see what used trailers would cost for my budget and I found the perfect trailer for my house. It was the exact length I wanted and came with a few materials exactly for building a tiny house – all for a reasonable price. I got excited for a moment and then realized I was too far out to really consider such a purchase. I emailed the link to my dad and told him of my find. He was on board with thinking it might be jumping the gun to purchase it so early. Then, on Sunday morning I woke up with several texts from my dad, which all took place while I was sleeping:
Text 1: So what do you think of me picking up this trailer, seems like a good deal
(2 hours later)
Text 2: Guess it comes down to how certain you are that you’ll be in the states after PC
(5 hours later)
Text 3: Ok, so your excitement is infectious, this was too good a deal and is PERFECT for what you want to do, got it for $$$. Thought we’d spend more than that for an old rusty one.
I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry from pure excitement. It came out a little of both. I absolutely could not believe it, I had the foundation for my future home! I could never have imaged this. Two weeks ago this was only a crazy idea and now it is in the process of becoming a reality. I am elated beyond belief and incredibly thrilled to be designing my own home to my exact needs and desires. Building will not start until after I return in October, and it will probably be dependent on weather for the first few months. As previously mentioned, my goal is to build the house with at least 75% recycled or salvaged materials. If you would like to donate leftover lumber or building materials please let me know. 🙂
I wanted to start writing about this now, even though it will be a long process, because I want my family, friends, and whoever else, to be involved with this process. I want it to be a community home where everyone has the opportunity to contribute and invest, even if it is just through wonderful words of encouragement. If you are interested in this new project, please just ask me!
Much love everyone!