tiny house/RV

hope, tiny homes, finances, disappointment, deterred dreams, options, helplessness, and fallen tears.

It is with a heavy heart that I type out this post.
No one has died or been injured. Everyone in my life is healthy and well. I am thankful.

I thought I would be writing something completely different — a post about one of my dreams finally coming to fruition. After all, isn’t that the best kind of post to write/read?

However, this post is quite the opposite. Its about deterred dreams.

My husband and I really want a tiny house. The past couple months, we’ve focused on connecting more with others, preparing for tiny house, and speaking with tiny house companies. We were excited to find a fantastic company to design and build our tiny house shell. As we were going over a contract during the past weekend and getting ready to write our first check for them, our loan co-signer backed out.

Without a co-signer/backer, we cannot get a loan. No loan means no tiny house right now.

Although we can afford to live in a tiny house and pay as we go, our savings are so small that we can’t pay for the costs up front. This is the reason for seeking a loan. We would rather pay off a small loan towards ownership than rent towards nothing. We do not want to wait a couple more years to save as we are feeling pulled towards more changes in the near future. Due to my lack of credit (I have no credit cards, paid for everything I’ve ever owned with cash, I have no debt, I don’t have much in my name — I’m actually quite proud of myself for living this way) and my husband’s not-so-good-credit (he also doesn’t have a credit card or debt), we can’t get a loan on our own. Businesses would rather give financial support to people who buy more than they can spend. Funny how that works.

We cannot do tiny house right now. Probably not for a couple more years.

It breaks my heart to write that.

We have rented for the last three years (that’s it!? after living in five different apartments together, it feels like much longer) — three years’ worth of rent is more than enough to complete a tiny house. I do not want to throw my money away anymore. I want our money to go towards something. A home. Something we own. And I don’t want to be paying it off for the next thirty years.

The ironic thing is that we can do is buy a regular house — which costs more. Banks and lenders recognize those. Our families have been pushing for us to get a “regular’ house for years and will back us on that. Part of me is OK with this idea (considering we could flip a foreclosed home and use the sale profits), but it isn’t what we want. Deep in my heart, I know I will not be happy in a “regular” house.

We could buy an RV — at least we can get financing that way and build up credit. But that’s just money gone. While I really do want to live in an RV, I don’t want to live in one that will be parked. It seems it might be more of a hassle to attempt RV living with our current jobs, finances, etc. It’s an avenue we need to keep researching.

Or we could wait and watch our money disappear with every rent check we write.

I’m scared that if we don’t do the tiny house now, it will never happen. I’m scared that we’ll have kids, they’ll grow too much, years will pass, and tiny house will need to be postponed. I’m worried life will get in the way. I’m terrified at the thought of being stuck in something I have been trying to avoid. I’m so tired of being pushed to live other people’s lives. Sigh.

I am well aware that not everyone gets what they want. I am aware that people live on the streets because they can’t afford a place to sleep. I know some people rent their whole lives. I know we have a good place to live. But we don’t want to stay. We want to move on towards the life we want. I don’t want to wait until its too late.

I am heartbroken. I feel so defeated. I feel like I’m letting other people down too. We have talked about this for years. We have said “it’s happening” so many times. And it isnt’? I’m tired of all these barriers. Why are so many people trying to stop us? Why can’t we just have the little home we want? It’s not much.

Is it wrong of me to feel this way? Am I being too selfish?

We are facing these options right now:

  • Magically acquire a personal loan on our own for tiny house.
  • Purchase an RV, live in it (parked), save up money, then do the tiny house.
  • Buy a foreclosed home, flip it, sell it for more, using the money to build tiny house.
  • Continue to rent. I do not want to do this anymore.

Does anyone have any suggestions? Any glimmer of hope?

We are not giving up yet. Something good will come from this barrier. Something. Right?

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13 thoughts on “hope, tiny homes, finances, disappointment, deterred dreams, options, helplessness, and fallen tears.

  1. I suggest writing out a list of pros and cons regarding a tiny house. What is it that compels you so much to have a tiny house trailer? Is it the mobility? Is it the owning part? Is it the coziness? Or is it something else that is less picturesque (perhaps a jealousy of others in a tiny house?) Yes, they are hard questions to ask but they may be necessary. Crystal and I have faced these same things in the past 3 years. We still face them. As we walk through this legal process I personally have wanted to just say “forget it” and find a normal house somewhere where we could raise a family and be happy.What about a small house? A cottage? A cabin? Something that is feasible in terms of a mortgage? Let’s say you do get a 30-year mortgage but because of your frugality (and assuming you have a loan with no penalties regarding such) you are able to pay it off in 15 years? Or maybe 10? What if you focus your aggressiveness on a tiny house that is put in place somewhere? Will the coziness be any less? Will it be less yours? You can still have mobility. Buy a small pop-up camper or something and go on long weekends when you can.I guess what I am saying is don’t allow the circumstances keep you from fulfilling what is in your heart. Remember, it is not just about a house. It is about making a home!

    1. I actually wrote out a similar list a couple years ago! I’ll have to find it and go over it again. As for what compels me to have a tiny house trailer — it is all those reasons you mentioned, and more (finances, environmental impact, fun). I love that you are so honest about your experience. Thank you for that.Our thinking right now is buying a small home (but we do not want to stay in Illinois anymore) and an RV/camper (to give us that mobility). You are so right, though — it is about making a home! Wise words as always, my friend.

    2. Where there is a will there is a way. As a saying goes there is more than one way to skin a cat! Poor cat!! First Question – What do you want? Second Question – What are you prepared to sacrifice or put up with to achieve your goal? Third Question – Who can assist you to achieve your dream? (even non-direct ways) Fourth Question – How can I think outside the square? Fifth Question – How high is this priority? Sixth Question – How much emphasis do I put on this priority every month, every week, every day? Seventh Question – What is my savings plan goal? Eighth Question – Have I put a timeframe on this saving plan? Ninth Question – What are my actual plans to make this happen? Tenth Question – Do I just dream about my goal or do I have practical and tangible goalposts?Hope these questions help you to get closer to your goals. Take Care Laura – you will achieve whatever you commit your mind, heart, body and soul to.

      1. LOVE all of these questions. Great questions for anything, really (house, car, kids, trips, dreams, etc). Has given me a lot to think about. Thank you so much for sharing. 🙂

  2. Laura, I feel for your disappointment. It really sucks for you. I hope a way can be opened for you to continute toward the tiny house goal even if it is at a slower pace than expected.Have any tiny home enthusiasts (singles or couples) ever combined their resources to live in one normal house together in order to save expenses and save faster toward a tiny house “mortgage” for each?

    1. I’ve not heard of people living together to combine expenses and save more, but it is definitely an interesting idea. I know there has also been some talk on the Tiny House Talk Facebook page about pooling together funds for a ‘loan.’ All ideas worth exploring! We are going to try to be patient. 🙂

  3. There are many options still left open to you. If you found a small home to fix up or ready to move into that is cheaper than rent, you could then rent that house out for added income when you do have your tiny house. You could live in the RV which you could hold onto for trips or sell once your tiny house is built. Around here it’s very hard to heat an RV to live in year round, but if that’s not an issue for you, living in the RV would give you the experience of what it will feel like in your tiny home when built. Also many people build their own tiny homes. They do it as they can afford it. Start with acquiring the trailer, then search for scrap materials for as much of it as you can. This in the end can give you the home you want for much less than having someone else built it for you.

    1. Love all your ideas. Thank you for sharing! We have also definitely considered living in an RV until the tiny house is built; but, as you mentioned, heating it would be hard. We live near Chicago and cold weather is definitely something to consider. But we’re looking into it! As for building — we were originally going to do it ourselves but realized we’d rather trust professionals because we don’t have too much extra time (we both work full-time and are involved with many things) to focus on learning how to build and actually doing it. I don’t want to mess up on something important! 😉

  4. I love the tiny house movement. As a budgeting instructor, it makes a lot of sense and as a person who doesn’t need a ton of stuff, it’s perfect. As a mother, the homes are just too small for my family of four. The noise, the need for downtime, it would be pretty hard to secure in a tiny house. As painful as this is the write, if you’re thinking of having kids, I’d wait to purchase a tiny house. Get out your monthly budget and refine it so that each month you’re setting aside as much as you can for the purchase of whatever living arrangement you think best in the coming years. In the meanwhile, renting has lots of merits – the landlord pays for repairs, you’re not tied down if you decide to move or you don’t like, say, a tiny home. Good luck to you and your husband. From what I can tell of reading your blog, you sound like you have a good head on your shoulders and will make a great decision. Very warm regards.

    1. I don’t want kids for a few years, so we figure this is the best time to have a tiny house — before kids are born and take over the whole home (toddlerhood, I assume). We’ve also been thinking about waiting until our potential kids are old enough to travel with us and doing the tiny house/RV dream at that point. Thank you for your kind words. 🙂

  5. HI Laura, I too am a tiny house “dreamer” and hope to have one some day. I read your posts on Tiny House Talk.Have you talked to anyone at Churchill Mortgage? That is the company that Dave Ramsey recommends.

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