I’ll never be wealthy, and I don’t need to be. I’ve never really wanted to be. Sprawling mansions never appealed to me the way a small rustic cabin in the woods did. Sure, castles are awesome and I’d love to visit one someday, but I wouldn’t want to live in one.
A few months ago I was browsing Pinterest in search of cute little houses, when I came across something special. The picture above. I’m not sure whose it is, or where it is, or if anyone actually lives there. But I couldn’t get this modern day gypsy wagon out of my mind.
I’m 32 years old, soon to be 33, and I live with my parents. I have a good amount of student debt—not as much as some friends of mine, but enough that my debt-to-income ratio has always been a problem whenever I’ve tried getting loans. I actually count that as a blessing now. If banks had given me loans back then, I’d be in an even worse scenario now.
I live with my parents, but I’m in a good spot. I make a fair amount more than my bills. I paid off my 2007 Toyota Yaris a couple years ago, and The Blueberry as I call him still runs pretty well. I’ve had to get the alternator replaced (twice, first one was a dud), replaced the front axle, rotors, and other things, and I think it has an exhaust leak that will need to be fixed very soon. I’ve got car insurance, my cell phone bill, my student loan ($400 a month) and a credit card payment (4k in the hole), and I pay my parents $350 in rent a month. Lately I’ve been doing Nutrisystem, but after this next month I plan to end that and try and do the portion control and healthy eating on my own.
In my situation I make more than my current bills, but not enough to really afford an apartment. So I started looking into mortgages, and if I could get a mortgage with a payment not much higher than my student loan. That led me down the path to small houses, to trying to get something so small that the loan would be under 60k and the payments would be around $400.
But the more I researched the more I started to feel that even a small house with a small mortgage wasn’t what I wanted. I want to write, and to sculpt, and to travel, and to have more free time to do more active things to help me lose weight. I want to kayak and fish and swim, go horseback riding and camping and maybe even hunting (bow hunting of course!).
My current student loan is around 65k, and by the time I pay it off in 30 or so years I’ll have paid over 150k. The same goes for a house. Sure I could find one for around 60k but I’d be making payments on it for the rest of my life. The idea of being buried under mortgages and student loans and utility bills and calling the plumber and calling the septic company because the toilet backed up and is overflowing the bathroom, of mowing the lawn, of re-shingling the roof, of redoing the walls, just thinking about it exhausts me.
So when I discovered that tiny little gypsy wagon house on wheels I thought a few things. I wondered what it looked like inside. I wondered if it had running water. I wondered if it could be towed by a regular pickup truck. I wondered how much it cost. So I shifted to research mode, and the puzzle fell into place. I discovered Tiny Homes, and the more I researched this fascinating movement the more I knew it was for me.
I’ve been transplanted from Maine, the state where I was raised, where I lived almost my entire life, the state I still consider my home, to Georgia. I love being close to a large family who is very welcoming, loving, and full of compassionate and giving people. It’s pretty, the mountains are beautiful, I especially love the few times I’ve driven through Tennessee. Winters are nice because there is very little, if any, snow. But the summers are hot, sticky, and full of bugs. I miss Maine in the summers, and I imagine if I were back in Maine I would miss Georgia when I’m out at 5am shoveling my driveway to go to work. What if I could have the best of both worlds? What if I had a house that I could take with me to Maine in the summer, and take with me to Georgia in the winter?
I’d want to spend Fall in Maine, it’s so beautiful. I’d hit the road in early November, in time to be back down to Georgia for Thanksgiving with my family. I’d stay through the winter, and the spring, heading back to Maine around the end of May, beginning of June. Six months in Maine, six in Georgia. Perfect.
I’ll get more into my research in later posts. I’ve started this blog because I’ve decided that a tiny house on wheels is the way I want to live. I’ve decided to build it myself. It’s going to be about a year or more before I can actually start building, I need to save up to buy the trailer (around 4k) and I want to pay off my credit card completely before I begin. But I’ll be doing a lot more research, drawing up potential plans, and even start looking for reclaimed and salvaged stuff and I would love to share this journey with others. So I decided to start this blog now, a bit before the exciting stuff begins, to document everything, even the not so exciting stuff.
I may also post about my weight loss progress, my writing, my sculpting, and anything else, but the primary focus will be me, building this tiny house, in the first big adventure of my so far rather boring life. I’m excited!