Often times, when people find out about our decision to buy a tiny home and move away, they’re confused. And they have lots of questions. And skepticism. I’m going to go into detail to answer some of these frequently asked questions (friends, relatives and strangers- you all sure can be nosy- but we truly love how much you care!).
Why we decided on a tiny house:
1) It’s cost effective. I’m fairly conservative with my money, and I wanted something that I could pay for up front, and with cash. In this scenario, a tiny house just makes sense. I have zero debt because of this decision! If you look online, you’ll find countless websites that will calculate ‘how much house’ you can get for your income. Many of these websites advise you to spend between 28-30% of your monthly income on your housing! Why would you pay that when you don’t have to? Having a small home also means that upkeep costs are at a minimum, as well as heating and conditioning costs.
2) I own a home. A home doesn’t own me. Deep cleaning my house should not be an all day chore. I want a home I can vacuum without changing power outlets, and paint or stain the exterior within a day.
4) It encourages those living in it to be more connected with one another. Growing up, I’d say I lived in what could be called a ‘large’ log house. I loved my childhood home! It had a basement, a dining room, a big beautiful kitchen, a living room, three large bedrooms, four bathrooms, two wood stoves, a fireplace, and two televisions. One in the living room, and one in my parents’ master bedroom.
But- when my family of five (and then family of four after my dad died) went camping in our 1994 thirty five foot Dutchmen, we spent more time together. And we usually enjoyed this closeness. We piled around a television that a fraction the size of ours at home, watching a some movie we’d seen a hundred times before, in a living room just barely big enough to fit us all, while the rain poured at night. I never forgot this, how a small space held us together, literally, for the good.
5) It also encourages good house keeping, and minimalistic living. We can’t be hoarders, or total slobs in a space this small.
6) It’s easy to resell, and when you resell, you can easily make a considerable profit since it holds its value relatively well. I’m all in for a good investment.
Its easy to power. And for someone who is looking to go off the grid, thats a major plus.
7) Living in a tiny house keeps me humble. I’m not trying to compete with anyone now, and I don’t want the temptation to compete with anyone later. This is me, this is what I love, and this is what I do. I don’t want to change any of this or try living beyond my means to keep up with the Joneses.
8) Setting up surround sound should be easier now. Haha.
How we intend to power & operate our tiny house when we go off the grid:
-possible baseboard heating? For when we aren’t around to man the woodstove- we’re looking into this still
-a small windmill
-a water tank, until we’re ready to get a 200-300ft well dug
-batteries & a generator
-on demand hot water heater (experimentally, if that doesn’t work out we’ll use an electric heater)
How will you cook in something that small?
Actually, the kitchen isn’t much smaller than the average, it just so happens to be blended with our living room. Plus, we don’t use nearly as many appliances as the average kitchen. Check out how we do that in my “Minimalistic Kitchen” post.
Won’t you have to use an outhouse?
Nope! The house will have all the amenities of any on the grid home. We have to install a septic tank, and we’ll be ready to go. There is a possibility that we’ll install an outhouse anyways (depending on if zoning codes allow it) just because it is nice to not have to track mud and snow into a clean house each time a restroom break is needed.
What happens when you have kids? How are you going to live in a tiny house with kids?
We’re not even married yet, and, even though my baby fever is strong right now, we’d like to wait a few years before we think about starting a family! Since we just sold our last tiny house, and we’re looking to buy another, we’re getting one with a loft. Two kids could easily sleep there. We even know of couples with tinier houses and three kids, and pets! And if we want, we can always build a pole barn house for pretty cheap thats also off the grid. We’ll just see what God wants us to do when we get there.
Will you have television and wifi?
We will definitely have wifi (look for future posts about this!), and we might have TV but I doubt it. We don’t trust the media, and don’t watch the news. We seldom watch television now, it would be silly to pay for it later when there’d be so many other things to do every day.
Will you have cell phones?
Yes! But I will probably be trading in my iPhone 6 and him his Samsung Note 4 in for flip phones. This encourages us to spend less time on our phones- and more time paying attention to one another and what we need to do. We will keep our Samsung tablet & iPad, as well as my Macbook and his Xbox360 for when we’re in for the night. Not to mention that we’ll probably do most of our reading from our tablets instead of books to save space in our house.
Are you going to have air conditioning?Initially, probably not. And before you ask question two, yes, there will probably days its gonna be uncomfortable. But I’m very cold natured, and we’re moving to Montana. It won’t be unbearable. We will have several forms of heating though for that cold Montana weather.
Are you moving away because you hate Indiana or your hometown?
Absolutely not! I love my family, my family’s farming roots in Indiana, my community and the majority of the people I grew up with. I especially love my church family. But I don’t love the (lack of) land, or the government, or the population density. I want a new slate and a chance to completely reinvent not only myself, but my lifestyle. If at all possible, we’d like to have enough savings to pay for our family to visit us annually, or us to visit them over the holidays.
Are you going to homeschool your kids?
Again, we haven’t had kids yet. We aren’t even married yet. But, I do believe in kids experiencing public school. I don’t want my kids (if I ever have any) to be sheltered or raised one sided on the political spectrum. In our case, that would be strong conservative. Children have the right to decide who they are and what they believe in.
What about wild animals?
Devin has arsenal of weaponry to say the least. If we don’t need it to stock our freezer, and it doesn’t bother us or our livestock, we won’t be bothering it. What livestock we do have, we’ll keep near the house so we can watch them closely.
What if you get out there and it’s not what you want to do?
We always have a savings account for emergencies, and its built up enough that we can transport ourselves back home if we need to. Hopefully this won’t be the case, but we’re always trying to prepare ourselves for the worst?
(Bonus) What if the zombie apocalypse happens? Or the power grid goes down? Or there’s a nation wide influenza epidemic?
Well, we probably won’t notice. I guess in that case you can come take refuge with us. 🙂
Thats all for now! What do you love about your tiny house, living off the grid, and living minimalistic? And what are some of your struggles with getting started or dealing with criticism from well meaning people? As always, thank you for reading!