Choosing to live in a tiny house wasn’t an easy decision. We looked at so many options to get us out on our property without creating a bunch of debt. Well, truthfully, we did get really excited about moving out here and went to a mobile home place and looked at getting a $180,000 loan on a double wide. I’m so grateful we decided against that!
When we left Colorado we had some ideas about what we wanted out of life. Cowboy wanted out of the city, I wasn’t so sure about that, but we both wanted to lower our bills as much as possible with the hopes of bringing him home full time. We were able to find a great 10 acre lot of raw land about an hour out of Oklahoma City that had a drvieway and house site already made. The most important part was that it was within our budget. Of course I couldn’t imagine living so far away from….everything.
Cowboy started researching all the ways we could build a house so we could move onto our land as soon as possible. The problem was everything was out of our price range. Just to do a well, electric and septic we were looking at $10,000-$20,000 and that was more than we were expecting. Once we realized this we had some big decisions to make. We were learning that a concrete pad for a house, even a small house, was going to be about $10,000, then we’d be spending much, much more to finish the house to move in.
We found the tiny house documentary on Netflix and watched it and started thinking about it. We started drawing up plans and figuring out how small we could actually go. Cowboy did most of the research so I’m not sure how he found most of the information he did but he started searching Craigslist for free RV trailers or mobile homes. The plan was if we could find one for free we could build on top of it however we wanted. Our goal was to spend around $5,000 for the whole thing and that was a tight budget. If you’ve watched any tiny house shows on TV lately you know you can spend much more with smaller square footage.
We were lucky to find a 40 foot RV that was completely trashed. We went to look at it and one of the neighbors came over and started talking with us. It turned out they offered to tear it down for us because they wanted to recycle the metal. We got the better end of that deal because when we went to pick it up there was a huge mess and I couldn’t imagine if we had to do all that work.
At this point the trailer sat for several more months. We were waiting to save up a good chunk of money to get started. It also happened to be the busy time for Cowboy at work, at this point he was still in construction. During this time we just kept reading and designing how we wanted to house to look. I was a pinterest nut during this time and I had big dreams that didn’t fit our $5,000 budget but it was fun.
If we were able to build this house the way we dreamed it would have at least tripled our budget, been gorgeous and solved many of the struggles we’ve had living here. But it would have also been impossible to be done when we needed it. Paying for everything in cash made us rein in our expectations for our tiny house and make us find practical ways to make our move in deadline and budget work together. The sacrifices we made to live here aren’t ones that everyone would be able to do but we have made it work and slowly we are working on finishing up because almost two years later we are finally in a place to be making progress.
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