28
Apr

Downsizing...Read, Set, Go!

51p+iVuIC6L._SX326_BO1,204,203,200_

I started my downsizing saga today. Well I really started it last week when I began reading this great book - Unstuffed: Decluttering your Home, Mind & Soul by Ruth Soukup. I recommend reading it if you're interested in getting some downsizing motivation. I started with my closet as I needed to get out my spring/summer clothes anyway. After an hour I had sorted through every piece of clothing I own and ended up with 2 garbage bags full of clothes I no longer wear or that no longer fit to be donated to Good Will in the morning. That felt so refreshing! Now everything in my closet is hand  picked (twice!) and I know for a fact I actually wear the things that are left. It was probably the most eye opening to sort through my socks/underwear drawer and realize I wear the same clothes every week, so why do I own 20 pairs of socks??? Mystery!

Now that we know exactly what our new house is going to look like, and how much space it does NOT have for storage, I think made this downsizing project actual feel real and important for me. Before I liked the idea of owning less, but now that I have a clear picture of just how much less, it feels like an even more important task to tackle. I'm still feeling kind of sickly from the strep throat so after doing the closet I started on the kitchen table (yes, we ended up using it for document storage instead of a meal place, bad! I promissed myself I wouldn't let that happen but it happened anyway). I got half-way through the documents but had to lay down for a while. I have tomorrow off so I will be doing even more "unstuffing" tomorrow. My goal for tomorrow is to finish the kitchen table, get all the donations taken to Good Will, post an ad to sell our dining room table on craigslist and tackle the kitchen. I know for a fact that I own entirely too many cooking utensils, pans, bowls, and 'whatnots'. I'm going to sift through and try to pick and choose what to take with me and what needs to go in a yard sale soon.  My new kitchen doesn't have an oven, we will be getting a counter top convection oven, but it still means most of my pans will no longer fit in the storage or the actual oven. I am least looking forward to downsizing my kitchen as I love to cook and bake, I may end up keeping more kitchen supplies and letting the living room decorations be 'kitchen chique' LOL, just a thought...

Stock photos of our new home can be found on the Tiny House Direct website here if you're curious to check out our future digs! We are purchasing the 399sq foot Tiny Hacienda. We decided to get a blue home with white trim. I'm VERY excited about our decision. Now we just need to save as much as we can and wait for my credit to hit the right number. I tend to be a very impatient person. I'm going to work on focusing on the progress I make daily with downsizing, hopefully this will make me feel more productive during our wait.

1244-11-FLA-1

 

 

 

26
Apr

Dallas Trip & Strep Throat

We made it home safe and sound Sunday evening after the Fair. Unfortunately I don't have all the awesome pictures I promised you. There were just WAY too many people around to get photos of the tiny homes. Our strep throat kept us from enjoying the fair, we were just too sick to be walking around in the heat 🙁

What we did enjoy was the talk on the tiny house movement, that was interesting to hear some of the high's and low's of tiny house living. My husband still doesn't see eye to eye with me on all of the benefits of tiny living but he's agreed to live in a home between 400-350 sq ft, no smaller. I'm okay with this compromise as that's still saving us a lot of unneeded space. He's agreed to purchase a house through The Tiny House Outlet in Greenville, TX. We need to raise our credit score to 710 in order to get the very best APR offered so that meant spending our savings to pay off the rest of our credit card debt. With that debt gone we should have the credit score we need to get the best possible financing we just need to save for the down payment. The total cost of the house is $27,000 and I want to put 20% down so we'll need to save up $5,400. I hope we can save as close to this amount as possible and still get our home ordered sometime in August.

I've already lost 2 shifts worth of work due to strep throat! I am very tired of being sick, my husband is out of sick days so he's working through his illness, it's just so draining.

Anyway, that's all for now, we've found our house and we have a game plan of how to get it. Next step Downsizing! I've spent all day in bed watching food network and Tiny House Nation, feeling too sick to get up and organize but I'm hoping that by tomorrow I'll have some of my energy back and I can get started on downsizing our stuff.

 

IMG_0485.JPG

23
Apr

Happy Earth Day 2016!

We made it to Dallas, TX after a pretty smooth 3 hour drive. On the down side my husband and I both have strep throat...on the plus side we've been medicated and will no longer be contagious by tomorrow! #BrightSide, right?

We got all checked-in at the hotel and now we are going to be sick people and get some sleep. We visit our first crop of tiny houses tomorrow morning! So excited to see what's available.

I'll take LOTS of photos, night all.

 

22
Apr

More Research

Between coughing and sniffing I've been busy googling tiny houses available all over the place. Specifically I've been googling tiny house builders who a) finance and b) have homes under 400sq ft and c) are under $40K and d) are within a reasonable driving distance of either Dallas/Fort Worth or Oklahoma City. I've found 5 companies that fit this bill. The 2 Oklahoma Companies I've mentioned earlier and 3 in the Dallas/FW area. My husband has agreed to spend all day Saturday driving to all 3 Texas locations (Greenville, Rockwall and Tyler, TX) looking at tiny houses all day. SWEET! And since I no longer work Tuesdays my mom is going to go with me to visit the 2 Oklahoma based companies (Tulsa and Muskogee) next Tuesday. I can not wait til we leave for Dallas tomorrow! I'm excited to see our first tiny house in person. I'm also excited to just go on a road trip. Neither me nor my husband has had any time off work in the past 9 months and man is it starting to wear us down. We're really looking forward to a nice hotel, going out to eat, we even decided we may see a movie! We haven't been to the movies at all this year, we don't ever have alone time it seems.

I met with a financial ad visor on Wednesday who is a follower of Dave Ramsey's Financial University/Peace/Goals or whatever he calls it. He was very helpful and gave me a lot of good advise. He did recommend waiting to buy the house until my student loan and car are both paid off. I completely understand why that makes sense mentally, but it just doesn't make sense financially to be throwing out $890/mo in rent when we could put that towards a home we would own outright within a couple years. So, thank you very much for the advice Chris, I will definitely come back and do my retirement investing with your company once my debts are paid, however we're going to go ahead and buy the house now. He really was very nice and did help me roll over my 403b from 3 jobs ago into a traditional IRA! Thank you! He suggested as soon as I pay off the rest of my consumer debt (hopefully within the next couple years) we start investing 15% of our income into Roth IRA's. That will be easy to do in a couple years since our bills will be VERY reduced.

Here's a picture of the MOST RECENT tiny homes I'm thinking of purchasing.

 

20
Apr

Financing Tiny Dreams

Due to the fact that the bank gave us a solid NO my husband and I have had to re-imagine how we are going to be financing our tiny dreams. What it boils down to is internet and private loans are out - I've gotten per-approved for a few loans but the most they'll loan is $24,000 which doesn't cover the cost of a completed tiny home. We are going to have to go with a company that is willing to finance the home they build. This makes the small pool of venders even smaller. The good news on that front is I have acutally found 2 tiny home builders in Oklahoma and one of them offers financing!

The style home they offer is not at all what I had pictured asthetics wise - I wants sleek and modern, they only offer the cabin style home, I wanted something mobile, the smallest they offer is 380 sq ft. We'd have to have it professionally moved and parked in an actual mobile home park - no RV parks or camping for us. On the plus side my husband LOVES the idea of that much more room. And he loves that the bedroom is on the main floor. I am willing to compromise on the style because it still has the room for a full kitchen and at just $22,500 it's almost half the cost of the sleek modern mobile home I was originally wanting. And in the end, one of the main reasons for doing this is for financial freedom so we'll gain that just that much sooner. My husband wants to purchase land in Oklahoma so we have a 'home base' even if we do decide to move to Florida (which we WILL do I just don't know when yet). 253_52045_dscn4257

I can't wait for Dallas to get even more insight  into this tiny living adventure!

19
Apr

Going Bust with the Bank

So my bank told me they "don't do" loans for Tiny Houses on Wheels. I knew it was going to be difficult finding the right kind of loan for a tiny house but to reject the concept entirely was not what I was expecting at all. They wouldn't consider me for a RV loan, they don't do Mobile Home loans and it's not a Home loan due to the tiny wheels. There fore my appointment lasted less than 5 minutes and all I got was a big fat NO.

What are we going to do now??? My husband thinks the tiny house people we are going to see talk in Dallas this weekend will have some guidance for us in the financing area but I'm not as convinced. I found an article on Pinterest by Lauren Jade Lately about how to finance your tiny house. I went ahead and submitted an application for a loan through MeetEarnest, although even if I'm approved I'm not 100% sure we'll accept the loan as it only has a 3 year time frame and that makes the monthly payments quite expensive, especially when you factor in that we will still need to rent at an RV park or rent land somewhere.

Oh well, I'm going to stop worrying about the financing of the home for a little while and go back to just thinking about how cool it'll be when we do get our tiny home. This afternoon I'm meeting with a fellow co-worker who I recently found out has been on the journey to go tiny for a while now. Last year they downsized and sold their home and are temporarily living with family until they can make their tiny house dreams come true! I can't wait to talk tiny all afternoon! And I checked out some books on tiny houses from the library - TIny House Style, ,Micro Shelters, Tiny House Living, and Tiny Homes Simple Shelters. And I've almost finished Ruth Soukup's newest book Unstuffed: Decluttering Your Home, Mind & Body. I know she doesn't specifically say people should get rid of their belongings and go tiny but that's exactly what I plan to do! I like her website LivingWellSpendingLess.com, it has some great articles about living with less. I intend to read all her work about starting your own blog as well so that my Tiny House Wife blog can spread the joys of Tiny House living.

 

19
Apr

Getting A Loan

I have today off, so I moved my meeting with the bank up from Friday to today, in one hour! I just need to know what they're going to tell me I have to do before I can qualify for a loan, and also, what type of loan I need to apply for. I need to know if a co-signer is going to be required or if I can do this with just me and my husband. I need to know how large of a down payment they're going to require. SO many questions, and I'm getting really nervous. If they laugh at my tiny home dream and tell me it's just not possible I don't know what I'll do! Days like today I wish I knew where all my makeup went. Time to get ready for the bank.

18
Apr

Paying for the Tiny House

My new biggest fear is that we will not be able to get a loan to buy a tiny house. On top of the fact that the tiny house is not a mortgage and not a vehicle loan so what the heck kind of loan do we get? problem. There is also the problem of not having any collateral. The only thing my husband and I own out right is his 2003 SUV, and I doubt very much that will take us very far. Also, I was planning on applying in my name only because I have better credit than my husband. However, I don't have a traditional job, I work at a hospital PRN and only work days they need extra help. Lately that has been every day so my pay checks look like I have a traditional salary, but I know the bank is not going to see it that way. My husband does have a traditional job, but he's only been at his job for 9 months and if you factor in his credit our average credit drops by  ALOT. But I'm not sure how they factor credit, time at employment yaddah, yaddah. I'm scared that our tiny house dreams may be on hold until our financial situation becomes more 'traditional' aka, I fold and get a real job (which I don't want to do) or we improve my husbands credit (which will take both a lot of time and a lot of money) or we save up enough to buy the house outright (which will take YEARS and a LOT of money). How do people take this kind of stress???? If buying a tiny house is this stressful, I can't imagine how stressful buying a full size house would be, with ten's of thousands more dollars to fund! Yikes!

Save-Money[1]

 

 

17
Apr

Tiny House Obsessed

Hello Tiny House/Tiny Living loving folks!

I am officially obsessed with one particular Tiny House that's for sale by Mini Mansions Home Builders. It's their Relax Shack (Red) and I just LOVE it. They even assured me they could put in an oven so that I can still do my favorite hobby (I love to cook and bake). If Dallas goes well and my husband and I still want a tiny house after touring some and hearing the talk about tiny houses at the Earth Day Fair then we are going to plan a trip up to St. Peters, MO and look at this house - should it still be available at that time, which I hope that it is. My husband has even changed his mind and thinks that composting toilets are the better option for tiny houses! I'm ok with the composting toilet if I don't have to be the one who changes the liner out.

Here's a picture of the house that I want that's for sale right now:

Relax Shack Red

If it sells before we get a chance to look at it, I will be looking for something very similar.

Wish List: Modern Exterior, White Interior, Full Kitchen, Stairs, Full size Shower, loft for at least a queen size bed, Space enough for a couch/built-in couch in the livingroom, heating and A/C, washer/dryer unit, LOTS of windows, and hook-ups for electric and water

This one is just under $40K, plus we would need to get it moved to Oklahoma so we would need money for that too. I will see if we can get a loan for $45,000 and use some of our savings for down payment. I've never gotten a loan on my own except student loans. My car loan was co-signed by my father. I really hope they don't require a co-signer for this loan, I doubt I could ask my family to co-sign such a large amount. Our tiny dreams might come to a stand still if we can't get financed for our new home. I have that appointment with the bank Friday, fingers crossed it goes well!

 

16
Apr

Figuring out HOW to go Tiny

In our quest to live in a Tiny Home all I've done so far is look at really cute tiny houses online and watched episodes of Tiny House Hunters on T.V. (when I have any spare time which is NEVER because I work 6-7 days a week). And while I've found some really cute tiny houses it I havn't actually worked out any of the detail about buying, moving, and using the Tiny Home.

Details:

  1. Fiancing a tiny home -where? how much? is my credit good enough?
  2. Where to park our tiny home - trailer park? RV park? Laws? Codes? Land? Where? How much?
  3. How to move our tiny home - buy a new/used truck? wait until house is paid off, then buy new/used truck? what kind of truck will pull a tiny home?
  4. Where to buy our tiny home - how much do they cost? how long do they take to build? Can they ship the house or do we have to go get it? What style house do we want? What's on our 'must include' and what's on our 'wish list'
  5. Budgeting for the tiny home - how are we going to pay back the loan for the tiny house, land, truck etc., creating a budget
  6. Where to begin the downsizing for our tiny home - donate? yard sale? when? what if there are things we don't want to part with?

These are just a few of the detail I have thought of that still need to be worked out.

Next weekend my husband and I are going to the Earth Day Fair in Dallas, TX. They're suppose to have a talk on the tiny house movement and have some tiny houses we can tour. This sounds very exciting as I'v never been in a tiny house! I know, we just see them on t.v. and online and think they look big enough to live in. I really hope I still feel that way after I step into a real tiny house. I am also hoping some tiny house builders will be there so we can talk about the logistics of building a tiny home and moving it to Oklahoma City.

Financing:

My credit is fair, but it has been climbing since I've been paying off my credit cards. I should have all my credit cards paid off in just a couple months then my credit should be good. We still need to work on fixing my husbands credit so we would most likely be purchasing the Tiny Home in my name only. I've looked at a few diffferent websites that say it can be easier to purchase if you get a loan for a RV and get an RV certified tiny home. This sounds like a good route for us, as we want to be traditionally finaced from a bank, not borrow money from friends or family. And we don't want to wait until we have the money saved as we think that it's a waste of money to pay rent any longer when we could be using that to pay for our own home. I've made an appointment with my bank for next week to go in and talk about my odds of qualifying for an RV loan are, and what my APR would be etc. My biggest fear is they're going to tell me I don't qualify for a loan the size we will be needing to purchase the house (roughly $40K+).

So I'll start with Finacing our dream and then move on to figuring out where we are going to park it. Until then it's back to working and looking at cute tiny houses online.

My favorite tiny house so far is by Mini Mansions Tiny Home Builders. Their Relax Shack (Red) looks like the perfect size for my little family. And has some of the must haves, but not all. I'll keep my eyes open but this one is definatly a contender!

Some of my other favorite designes are by Tennessee Tiny Homes, and Tiny Life Construction. I like the modern look I suppose.

 

Find Us on Social Media!

Back to Top