Tiny Houses & Your Lover: Convincing, Waiting or Meeting in Between?

Pinned on September 12, 2013 at 12:43 pm by Alex

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Tiny Houses & Your Lover: Convincing, Waiting or Meeting in Between?

I want you to meet Chris & Kristen. They’re a young couple who are building a tiny house on blocks. They’re still in the construction phase so be sure to add them to your watch list. Instead of building on wheels they decided to build on blocks. And they can always move it later or maybe even attach it to a trailer if they really wanted to.

chris-kristen

Photo Credits Tiny House on Blocks

Making a Deal with your Spouse/Significant Other on Building a Tiny House

But what I really wanted you to read was how they got to the point to where they decided to start building a tiny home. I always find it fascinating the way that we have to sometimes convince our significant others to go for the lifestyle. And this is one of the best blog posts I’ve read on that topic (if you have more, please share the links in the comments).

Convincing your Partner and Meeting Somewhere In Between

Chris could have gone even smaller than what they’re building right now considering he’s lived out of a van before. Kristen wasn’t willing to go that far. So they had to meet in between.

And meeting in between looks different for everybody. So please don’t compare your situation to others because they’re all unique..

Anyways do yourself a favor and read this entire post on how Chris & Kristen made a decision on starting their tiny house project.

Your Thoughts on Couples Living in Tiny Houses

Then if you want share your thoughts and ideas on how you’ve had to convince, be patient, or simply meet in-between with your significant other and your tiny house dreams. We’d all love for you to share in the comments.

You’re Pretty Lucky, If..

One thing I think is fair to say is this, if you love tiny houses and are in a relationship with someone who’s also down to live tiny (shout out to Chris & Malissa!), you can consider yourself pretty lucky! So go give your partner a big hug when you see him/her next! (Actually I think you should probably do that whether or not they wanna live tiny with you.) :D

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BOB HENRY says:

convincing ~ meeting in the middle ~ or waiting

Well I waited ~~~~

until she thought I was crazy and when she left me I started real seriously building my tiny caboose home!

cahow says:

Well, Bob Henry, don’t know how you feel about “her” leaving but at least you ended up doing what you wanted! Hope it all works out well for you.

Tom Zollinger says:

I can see now that I will need to build several tiny houses. So many possessions are accumulated in “threescore and ten.” One spends the first half of his life accumulating stuff, er, treasures. The second half is spent getting rid of it. My grandma’s curved glass china cabinet (a wedding present in 1908) competes against the beautiful hutch owned by my late in-laws. Beautiful oak BR furniture? Where? Zero attachment for LR furniture is a plus. But, still. . . I thought about a separate structure housing bath etc. Then I began counting my Joe Theisman midnight excursions — and cold walks in bare feet. Finally, a brain cramp struck. A storage — decorative, of course — Mongolian Yurt.

I wonder if I can convince “SHE — who must be obeyed.”

di says:

After I enjoyed years of my heirlooms, I gave them to responsible family members.

Jane says:

I would absolutely love to sell my home and be off the grid & restrictions of the government. After buying and selling twice & working full time from the age of 17 I then built my little house three years ago but have started living with my partner for a mere few months (HE brought his $20K debt from a previous relationship and was renting). In response to your last sentence Tom, I wonder if I can convince “HE – who must be obeyed”. HE won’t let me – yet it’s MY home??? It works both ways!!!

Jess says:

My husband and I are currently in the process of building our tiny house! Although he’s an architect and the one who first showed me tiny houses, he wasn’t sold on living in one. The first compromise was that this will only be a 2 year experiment. I struggle with that as one of my main desires with living tiny was to build everything with the finest quality – built to last. But if it’s a short term stint, does it make sense to put so much money in? I’ve taken some short cuts but even now, it sometimes doesn’t seem to be a very financially smart move. Hopefully it’ll become a great rental property in the future but for now, if the compromise means I have this chance try building/living small, I’m happy.

The 2nd compromise was with a flushing toilet. My husband refuses to live with a compost one despite all my promises and assurances that the new technology makes it clean and odourless. This has significantly complicated the project and we had to delay building by a year as the only way to do the tiny house was to buy our own property, build in the back and rent out the main house. That way we can tap into the house sewage lines. I still wake up in sweat with the fear of being caught by the bylaw office but I guess that’s the price of tiny living.

cahow says:

Jess: You wrote, “But if it’s a short term stint, does it make sense to put so much money in?” Being that your husband, like myself, is an architect, he’ll know for sure if you’ll recover the money/labor he puts into constructing it. There’s been casual discussion on Alex’s site about the increasingly HIGH LISTING PRICE that custom tiny homes are attempting to be sold for on Tiny House Listings and other sites. Some of these homes that are under 150 sq.ft. are going for over $35K, which makes each square foot up to $300/sq.ft.! And….these tiny homes come with NO.LAND., which makes them a very, very expensive investment for someone that is trying to keep costs under $20K.

If your experiement tanks, you can always go back to living in your primary home you’re renting and then rent out the tiny home, I guess. Best of luck to the two of you. :D

Jess says:

I think some of the price might be based on where it’s built. Mine is 10’x20′ and I’m guessing it’ll cost us about $35k excluding our labour. This is what I’ve priced out so far:

Trailer $5,000 (couldn’t find any 2nd hand)
Framing (Wood, scews, tyvek, flashing, glue, plywood etc) $7,000
Spray Foam Insulation $5,000 (have to get the expensive stuff due to extreme temps)
metal roof $1,000
siding/trim $700
Interior panels $700
7 Windows & 1 Skylight $2,400 (found 4 at a clearance store)
Propane Heater $1,000
Tankless Water (w/install) – $1000 (again, only 1 model really suitable for our climate)
High efficiency fridge & dishwasher $1,000
Other appliances/utilities (ex. stove, toilet, lights, ceiling fan, vents etc) $1,000
hiring of Electrician $1,000
Furniture/Kitchen Cabinetry/bedroom $1,000

Total: $27,800

If I did cedar siding like my first plan, that would’ve been $2400 instead and knotted pine interior would’ve been $1300. But then again, it seems as if everything is so much more expensive in Canada than the States. A basic starter home here is about $250k.

cahow says:

Hi, Jess. GREAT break down of materials cost. Thanks for putting in all the time to type out the figures. Regarding what you said about “…abasic starter home here is about $250k”, are you referring to NEW construction? I ask because I receive Listings emails daily for homes under 1,000 sq.ft. in my area of rural Michigan. Some of these sweet homes, built in the 1950’s and younger, have complete upgrades of appliances/furnaces, sit on acres of land and they are listed for under $40,000 for TurnKey sale! Based on some of the tiny home prices that I’m reading about, including your projected cost, if I were in the market for a home, I’d go with the established land-locked older home with LAND and outbuildings than a NEW mobile tiny home with NO LAND. But, that’s just me…I like to get the most for my very hard earned bucks!

Hope you update us on how the build out is going and the 2 year “experiment”, too. BEST of luck to the two of you!!!!

Jess says:

For us, an older 1960’s home about 1000sq ft ranges from $240k – $260k. We just bought our 1947, 800 sqft house for $209k and that was considered a really good price. (we’re building the tiny house in the back) But ours is right in an older city neighbourhood about 15min drive to downtown. If I went to the rural area, it would probably drop the price by $50k but then I’d need a car and a lot of gas/time.

cahow says:

Right you are, Jess, about Location Vs. Costs. The $209K for a nice home very close to the city is a great price so close to convenience. The prices I quoted are for rural areas of Michigan/Indiana where you’d die of starvation without a car. Factor in gas/insurance/maintenance for a vehicle out here and it adds up to thousands per year, all money that can be placed into a tiny dwelling.

Lisa says:

If you put the best of everything in it for your two year stint, your stint may end up a life time.
If not, at least you will have a very salable product.

[…] just wait until he or she is ready? Or meet somewhere in between to work it out? Read that post here and meet another couple that’s working on living […]

illy says:

Hi,

I love the idea of a tiny home, alas my husband is not liking it. We don’t live in a huge house, it’s only 2 beds and about 570 sqf but… I’d love it if we had little to no debt. We are in the UK and our house is £140k ($225k US)! I can’t even begin to imagine the freedom of not having a mortgage! We still got so much of it to pay off.

Granted I wouldn’t want my tiny house to be 100-something sqf, I’d prefer something a bit bigger since we have a cat and we’re both into tech and gaming (don’t underestimate the space that takes)! You got to take in consideration your lifestyle.

But yeah, he’s feeling a bit the pressure of paying things and unexpected expenses made him stressed. To me the solution is obvious. At the moment we have fun only once in a while and (hopefully) everything is paid off in many many years… I’d prefer to start living now than to wait until I’m old.

I’m wondering if he just doesn’t realise it or if it’s a conflict of life priorities between us.

Justin says:

My wife and I are building a tiny house. 20 feet long with a bunk bed for our two boys and us in the loft. We’ll have a tiny living room and a larger kitchen since we cook so much. We plan to live there for 5-6 years until we’ve paid off all debt and have enough saved to build our slightly larger straw bale home. It’ll be cramped but she was on board from the beginning because of:

1. We both know that the best way to pay down our debt (student loans and cars) is to free up our monthly rent/utilities payments.
2. We’ve both lived in tiny places before (not this small I’ll grant you).
3. We’ve both sold all of our stuff several times in our life to move to places we wanted to go to (her – Seattle, me – travelled around Europe). Personal possessions have relatively little meaning to us. Experiences and future plans are far more important.
4. We’re a team.


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