A tiny house with 15 windows and a big amount of storage

Our tiny house has 15 windows! The walls are white, and on a sunny day, it feels like the interior glows with light. It’s so important to have light in a small space. If you work from home, it is a lifesaver.


We are an IT Project Manager and a retired Banker. We’ve been married for over 20 years, and in that time we have bought and sold homes in New York and Texas. We’ve also lived in apartments there too. With each move, we knew we wanted to simplify, and worked to get rid of some of our things along the way.


While living in our ‘big Texas house,’ we talked a lot about downsizing after I retired. We spent about three years evaluating our personal and spiritual goals. By 2015 we were ready to take on the next chapter of our lives. We had researched alternative homes and compared all of these with apartment living, RV living, park models, etc. This was no small feat. We literally spent hours every night scouring the internet for information on how to build a THOW and all of the things to plan for and to avoid. We are extreme planners, and this was imperative to us feeling comfortable with a move of this magnitude. Tiny homes were quietly talked about on certain websites that we’d discovered. Also, the accessibility of the internet allowed us to find others who were exploring these options too. Living close to Austin, Texas, gave us plenty of opportunities to see what others were trying to accomplish in an urban area. Austin is one of those cities that has an open-minded community, challenges around affordable housing, and difficult local ordinances that one must navigate. Just outside of Austin, there was a small community attempting to get off-the-ground. This sounded promising, so we drove over to check them out. It was early days, and they hadn’t figured a lot of stuff out yet. They were eager and excited to get their plans going. We admired their energy and their goals, but we saw many of the things we knew wouldn’t work for us. We passed on that opportunity in favor of working the problem on our own and getting what we needed and really wanted in the way of parking. (This was the right decision as their community was shut down by the local government a year later.)


We decided to buy a tiny house. No question. We researched the costs of home builds. We saw that many people made mistakes while building, and these mistakes began to go into the margins of savings. We also saw that there was a common timeframe of about two years that couples needed to complete their project. (There was also an alarming rate of separations after those two years!) We knew that for us, time is money and that we would be wasting more money if we rented an apartment while we spent two years building our home.
Additionally, because we didn’t have the skillset that some have, we knew that the two-year assessment could go sideways, and we could be renting for a lot longer than we predicted. So, we purchased plans and how-to-videos from the Morrisons (the original owners of the Tiny House Build and Tiny House Plans websites). We liked how they methodically worked out their home plans and how careful they were about livability and safety (they raised children in their home). The plans we purchase needed to be modified for us. And the plans we were working with were basic enough that the modifications would be easy to accomplish without having to have someone re-engineer the home.


The design is the popular hOMe that the Morrisons created and lived in.
The main idea was having a home that was bright and airy feeling. Neither of us are ‘small people,’ and we needed to know that we would be comfortable moving about and working from home.
Our home has an incredible amount of storage! We have stayed in many tiny homes (rentals), and they often look really cute, but they lack storage. If a person is alone and minimalist, these homes are perfect. But for us, we have very active lives, and we require a variety of wardrobe items and the equipment we use for our work. The unique part of our home is his and her 4’ closets!


We definitely appreciate the value of thinking vertical. We hate having clutter and unnecessary items on the floor. We utilize the space under our staircase (very common). We opted for an abundance of custom-built cabinetry throughout the home. We don’t want to see our stuff, but we know it’s within reach in a cabinet that runs along with the wall space. Without making it look cluttered, we also look for ‘dead space’ to put something that isn’t used frequently but needs to be handy. (Like floating bookshelves above the front door.)


Our tiny house has 15 windows! The walls are white, and on a sunny day, it feels like the interior glows with light. It’s so important to have light in a small space. If you work from home, it is a lifesaver.
We value our privacy, and one of the first things we invested in was cellular shades. The downstairs has light-diffusing shades, and the upstairs has darkening/ thermo shades. Downstairs it still feels bright, even with the shades drawn. Upstairs, the shades keep a comfortable temperature and make the lofts nice and dark for sleeping.


Our media loft is huge, and it had an additional queen-sized mattress that we use as a sofa. Our friends have stayed up there for a week. A couple is the best number for guests, but we have accommodated three.
The cost was approximately $70k. This isn’t just for a basic home. Keep in mind we extended our trailer size by 4’. We have a lot of hardwood custom cabinetry, an excellent built-in sound system, two split units, etc. These upgrades cost extra, but for us, it’s what we wanted to be comfortable and happy in our home. Without them, we feel we might’ve not been able to look at this as a long-term residence.


Currently, we are located in the Western North Carolina mountains. Last year it was on the Texas prairie.
Our current location is a tiny home village. We had been exploring moving to the area, and we were scouting land locations, and we came across this village on our drive. We hadn’t seen it on the internet, so it was quite a coincidence that we found it when we did.
The lots are rented by a management company, much like an RV park or mobile home park would. They vary in size and shape. The range is from $500-650/mo. Like most parks, you pay your own electric and internet/cable. These are a bit higher in cost compared to Texas. Here those run us another $150-200/mo. It really depends on what you want and need. For some, they can go without the internet; we work from home, so we prefer a more robust internet package. The only other cost is gas. We are about 10 miles from major stores. We love our location, and we don’t mind the drive at all.


Downsizing takes time. Give yourself time. It shouldn’t be an emotional upheaval. If it is, you are probably not ready to go ‘all in.’ If we are completely honest, our downsizing took years and several moves before we got super serious. In 2016, when we fully committed to selling our house, we really made the push because the buyer wanted to move in within the next 30 days. With a lot of focus and prayer, we made it through the next 28 days (we were moved out two days early). We had about eight garage sale days, donated bunches of stuff to Goodwill, called on everyone we know who likes to help others, and put the word out that if someone was in need, they could have stuff for free. We definitely gave more away than we sold. There were refugees, foster parents, animal rescues, and women starting their lives over. We had so many people that we were privileged to help. When you get past the emotional attachment to something, the joy you receive from giving quality items to someone who can’t give you anything in return is immense. Our hearts were full, and we saw every day that these events weren’t just our own doing. We not only kept heaps of stuff from going into a landfill, but we made so many others feel a little bit better, even if just for a day. My advice to people downsizing: It’s ok to sell stuff but make it a realistic price. You have enjoyed the item for years, and if you really want to send it out into the world for its next life, price it to sell! We had so many people ask if our stuff was broken or non-functional somehow, because of how we priced our stuff. We really made it a bargain. They couldn’t believe our stuff was clean, in great working condition, with the receipts and manuals too! We took care of our things, and we loved seeing others get excited about taking the items home. We weren’t trying to make money. We think that mindset served us well. We could’ve sold everything, but that would’ve taken months. We did our best and gifted the rest. Even still, we were able to recoup several thousand dollars just in garage sales.


The best thing about living in a tiny house is knowing we are debt-free; and being able to clean the floors in 5 minutes! The worst thing is dealing with the effects of getting older; making movement difficult.
During times of illness or injury, it’s not fun crawling in a loft when your arthritic knee is swollen and angry.


We have often thought about what our home would look like if it was on a goose-neck trailer. We didn’t realize at the time of our design phase that a bumper-pull of this size isn’t easy to move. We figure if we are still living in our tiny home in another ten years, we might upgrade ourselves to the goose-neck for a comfy, standup bedroom.
Mindfulness about consumerism. We live in a culture that has systematically trained people to go shopping when they are bored, feeling down, alone, hungry, happy, etc.; shopping is a form of entertainment. We worked really hard to downsize and simplify. So now, we have a few questions we always ask ourselves before we make any purchase. We are thankful for each month that we can remain debt-free.


If you are considering going tiny, do your research. Don’t expect others to hand you what you need to know because everyone’s situation is a little different. Take the time to learn everything you can about the types of structures, the costs, the limitations, and, most importantly, the capability and honesty of a builder. Now that tiny homes are becoming more popular. Folks have many more choices of reputable builders. You can even see their inventory of previous builds! Make sure you look for yourself. Go to the building site if it’s allowed. Don’t just take someone’s word for it. Do your homework. Remember that everyone’s opinions are bias to what works for them (or their profits).


House exterior dimensions: 8.5’ x 32’ bumper-pull triple-axle deck over trailer. Weight: approximately 22,000 lbs. Square footage: Downstairs 236 sq ft. Media loft 75 sq ft. Bedroom loft 72 sq ft. Total, we have a living space of 383 sq ft.

We started our blog when we were first looking for land; before our house was even finished. It was to introduce ourselves to the people who were thinking of letting us lease a piece of their land. Eventually, it became a place for us to share our experiences with others who were navigating these uncharted waters as well.



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