I had been looking at places to buy or rent near my parents. The Rents recently moved from Almaden, California to Santa Rosa. For the past year I intended to move closer to them. First of all, they are getting older and I’ve spent most of my adult life away from my family. I want to be able to help them in whatever way my health allows as they have been incredibly supportive of me throughout this illness.
Over the past year I checked out rental prices and saw they were comparable to Portland. Currently I own a manufactured home, but I still pay a hefty lot space. At one point it was a trade off to live right on the Columbia River, but now the lot space is too much for me with my depleted income and health issues that effect my functionality. As I searched the area for places to rent or a cheap place to buy, I came across a Tiny House that was made by a group of students. I dismissed it. Who would pay $20k for 150 square feet? Surely I needed a three bedroom, two bath place. I needed an office and a spare room… Or did I?
I dismissed it until I looked again a few months later and tiny apartments jumped since I had begun my search. Then I started thinking and that always gets me in trouble…. I could spend $18,000 a year on associated rental costs, or I could buy a Tiny House where I could minimize my monthly expenses.
I tested the waters after I made my decision. To my brother Tom (I have four brothers so it’s important I name them) I said, “I’m thinking of getting a Tiny House. Do you know anything about them?” “Yes!” And I learned he and his wife had considered moving a Tiny Container House into their backyard.
I told my brother Chris about my plans. “I think that’s wonderful! I’ve been on the Tumbleweed mailing list for a long time. I’ve even toured a few Tiny Houses.”
Thinking I was the only person in the family who didn’t know about Tiny Houses until recently, I excitedly announced to my parents, “I am not going to rent or buy another manufactured home – I’m going to get a Tiny House instead!” There must have been a lot of excitment in my voice so when the phone line went dead quiet it was awkward. “Did you hear me? I made a decision! I am going to get a Tiny House when my place sells!” “Ummmm…. Errrrr…. Hmmmmm….”
To magically imbue my parents with the excitement I felt, I sent them a few photos of Tiny Houses so that they could see them. “But they have ladders. You might not be able to climb a ladder.” “Yes. But they don’t all have ladders and if I sleep downstairs and use the upstairs as an office or storage, it should be okay. Or I can have stairs built…” “Stairs? Where?”
The generally consensus is that my father doesn’t understand Tiny Houses and my mother just thinks I am crazy. Why on earth would I live in such a small space? The concept that the square footage would be around the same in a depressing apartment for more money seems to be lost.
So here I am – Crazy. But in my life I’ve often been thought of as crazy and sometimes – just sometimes – Crazy can garner a miracle or two.