Furry Friends and Tiny Houses

Are they a good idea?

by m.j. boyle

According to the Humane Society, 62% of all US households have at least one pet and in 2012 more than $50 billion dollars (yes, with a “B”) was spent on their care.

Do you have a dog? Then you have a lot in common with the 47% of the population who own one.

Prefer a more mild-mannered companion? The number of cat owners reflects, rather amusingly, that we are as likely to own a cat as a dog; since 46% of us do.

If you’re thinking of downsizing, and moving into a tiny house you probably have a pet. And given that 82% of you also have children, this makes the decision just that much more complicated. Where will they all sleep? Eat? “Go”? We worry about all the little details of their lives. It’s no wonder why so many of us refer to our pets as “our children”.

I am an animal person. I love them all. I have owned and raised horses, cats, dogs, gerbils, hamsters, parakeets, goats, chickens, geese, ducks, rabbits, and even raised pigeons for a time. Given, however, my currently hectic raise-kids-work-build-tiny lifestyle I only have two cats now. One is mine, and one is my daughter’s.

gerbal

A cute little gerbil in a tiny little sweater…

I guess you could say that having animals in my tiny house is a given. I cannot remember a time in my life when I didn’t have at least one, and I sincerely appreciate the “life” they add to a household.

So, where will they all sleep? Eat? “Go”?

Litter Box or Yard? – From the start of my tiny house design, I thought my litter box would hang on the outside of my tiny house (envision a “removable” shed) and accessed via a cat door. But, as the design has morphed, I recently discovered that I have enough space under one section of the stairs to add a litter box there. Easier to clean and access. Yay! And even though my cat loves the outdoors, he won’t “go” out there. So, an indoor litter box it is. Sometimes I think about getting another dog. (my 13 year old Golden Retriever died last year) And while the where-to-go decision is obvious (aka outside) I have to admit that having marmoleum flooring in my tiny house makes the idea of having another dog closer to a reality. Carpets and dogs (and especially puppies) don’t mix. Accidents happen. And, dare I say, wood floors don’t always fare well either. Continue reading

Making A Living With A Tiny House Based Business

One of the top asked questions about living a nomadic lifestyle be it in a THOW, an RV, a travel trailer, or a luxury cruise ship, is how to earn any sort of living in order to explore the world around you and focus less on the corporate stronghold and more on your passions. It seems to be a riddle for which we are all seeking the answer. It is important though to remember that our priority should not be on making money but finding passion in what we are doing. A tiny house based business should expand with us and not limit our freedom to travel, exploration, adventure, connection, etc. But what can be done as a nomad? What kind of business can be operated on wheels, on the open sea, or from a remote outpost with little interaction other than that with nature around us?

THOW based 1There seem to be two categories of businesses when it comes to the THOW based industry. There are those that cater to the THOW and there are those that are based OUT OF the THOW. Examples of the first category might be:

  • Tiny House Sales and Marketing
  • Solar Panel Distribution
  • Solar Power Maintenance
  • Wind Turbine Maintenance
  • Housecleaning
  • Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning
  • Meal Prep and Delivery
  • Computer Tech Services
  • Trailer Tech
  • Brake Specialist
  • Spot Welder
  • Windshied/Window Repair
  • General Handyman
  • Wooden Display Signs
  • Locksmithing
  • Exterior Painting
  • THOW/RV Detailing

Continue reading

Daniel’s Lithuanian House Update

by Daniel Combellick

For those unfamiliar with the project, It was started the summer of 2012. I have 12 acres just 30 minutes north of Vilnius, Lithuania. 2012 saw the completed exterior shell, which I originally planned without the full bath. 2013 I insulated, drywalled, plastered, wired, and installed the woodstove and chimney. Spring of 2014 I decided to make this my permanent residence. therefore, early in 2014 I began the bath/laundry/ rear entry. The bath would have a lavatory, toilet, shower, and clothes washer. This I accomplished in a space of 75 sq. ft. I also added on an oversized airlock for additional storage space.

Another reason behind the change of heart on the bath is I would like to have a place for people to come and stay, and not everyone would be excited by the prospect of too few amenities. During summer months I can move back into the old log house, and this house can be rented out to people who would like to experience this kind of living, this remote location, learn about building if it interests them, or who just wish to get away from – wherever they are- and just about everything else for that matter.

_DAN2368

You can see the beginnings of the formwork on the left for the rear airlock/entry. Continue reading

Are These Tiny House Loans for Real?

Tiny House Lending

An interview with Kai Rostcheck from Tiny House Lending

Kai Rostcheck is convinced that the Tiny House Movement is more than a cottage industry. Last year he launched Tiny House Dating, which exploded and had to be rebuilt after mainstream media caught wind of it. Now he has launched Tiny House Lending, which aims to be “The easiest, fastest way to find funding for your Tiny House purchase!” We got a hold of him to find out whether it’s true: Can Tiny House Enthusiasts now get loans to buy or build a Tiny House?

Tiny House Blog: We have two main questions.

Kai: Go for it.

Tiny House Blog: First: Is Tiny House Lending for real? Are people actually finding Tiny House loans through your website?

Kai: Wait, that’s a two-part question. Are you cheating?

Tiny House Blog: (laughs)

Kai: Yes, Tiny House Lending is real. We are connected to a nationwide lender that can offer bank-backed personal loans.

Tiny House Blog: Ok let’s stay with this part for a minute. Tell me more about the kinds of loans, terms, the application process, etc.

Kai: Potential borrowers must have good to excellent credit to apply. Loans are available up to $100k, for terms as long as 84 months. RVIA certified park model RVs loans begin as low as 2.99% APR. Other Tiny House loans (for non-RVIA certified pre-built models, or for people who want to buy materials and build themselves) can be as low as 5.99%. Our lenders serve residents of all 50 U.S. states.

Tiny House Blog: So ideally, someone could listen to our interview or read the transcript then go to Tiny House Lending and apply. How long does the application take, and how long would they have to wait to find out if they are approved?

Kai: One important clarification: Tiny House Lending gathers just enough information to help match borrowers to a qualified lender. Right now we have one main partner but the site is built to scale quickly as we add more. We find a match, then the borrower clicks over to the lender’s website to apply. Applications take about 10 minutes to complete and decisions can be processed in as little as a few hours!

Tiny House Blog: So really, someone who has been waiting on financing could now be only a few minutes away from the next step of their Tiny House dream? That’s exciting!

Kai: It’s thrilling. We’re taking a small but important step toward further legitimizing this movement.

Tiny House Blog: Ok, but here’s the second question: Should people take out a Tiny House loan? I sense that many of our readers are going to have a hard time swallowing that idea.

Kai: Yeah, it’s the “debt-slavery” conversation. Here’s the deal: personally, I think that cash is the way to go if you can afford to self-finance. But I’ve been conducting market research for a year and I can say with 100% certainty that there are thousands of Tiny House Enthusiasts out there (maybe tens or hundreds of thousands) who are stuck in the rent cycle. They give cash to their landlord every month and can’t save enough to break free. In those situations especially, and even accounting for the interest they could pay on loans, there are many scenarios in which they can get further ahead by financing a Tiny House. Here’s a loose example: $900/month in rent for 3 years equals $32,400. That’s enough for a nice Tiny House but it’s entirely wasted on rent. Take out a loan and yes, you’d pay interest (the percentage rate matters, for sure). But don’t lose sight of the fact that you’d pay back the loan, own an asset and live rent-free forever!

Tiny House Blog: Ok this is sounding great. How should borrowers get started?

Kai: It’s simple – just visit www.tinyhouselending.com and click “Get Started.”

To see if you qualify for a Tiny House loan visit www.tinyhouselending.com.

Tiny House Lending Logo

Tiny House in a Landscape

tiny house in a landscape
I’ve been meaning to send you my tiny house story with pictures for a while now, but until I get around to that, here is a picture you can use for a “Tiny House in a Landscape” if you want.
Photo Credit: Mary Murphy (Owner/Builder)
Location: This house currently lives at Good Heart Farm in Worcester, Vermont.  Most nights I enjoy amazing sunsets over the Worcester Mountain Range.

Blessings of Sun, Wind, Rain, and Stone,

Murphy
Lead Guide at Mountainsong Expeditions