Tiny House in a Landscape

Tiny House in a Landscape

This weeks Tiny House in a Landscape has a twist…a story, here it is.

..and it is ours!

When the foreclosure crisis first began, my husband and I thought we were safe. We’d purchased our dream home in the Santa Monica mountains, nestled in a canyon between Malibu and Santa Monica in late 2005. We put down a healthy down payment, had a steady income, and planned on living here for the rest of our lives. By mid 2010, the recession caught up to our business and cut our income in half. We applied for two modifications, and were turned down each time by our bank; they also rejected a short sale. After months of reflecting, we decided to pursue a deed in lieu of foreclosure, which is still being processed (and probably will also be rejected, as the bank profits less from this than an outright foreclosure).

We made the decision that whatever we did next would not entail working with a bank or getting a mortgage (made next to impossible by how badly our credit as been damaged, anyway) – so we searched for a piece of land that was for sale by owner at a reasonable price, and stumbled onto the property you see in the photo. About two weeks ago, I found a tiny house for sale by a wonderful man named Jeff; he drove it to the Santa Cruz Mountains from Sebastopol, and we became proud “outright” owners of our very own house. The interior is just one big room, and still needs to be outfitted, which is going to be a lot of fun (and work).  I will keep you updated, and wanted to let you know that this web site and the information you provide has given us so much inspiration to make the move from a 2,000 square foot house to a 130 square foot one! Ultimately, we are going to build a “not so tiny house” of about 800 square feet, but that is down the line…

Thanks again for your work, you are helping to change the world by changing minds about the possibility of doing something like this!

Warmly, Juko

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Diane - April 2, 2011 Reply

Congratulations! And best wishes for getting settled in quickly…

Deborah - April 2, 2011 Reply

I too put my entire life’s savings on a house back in 2004 and due to the recession lost everything. Since then my house was foreclosed, my marriage ended, and I’ve had to claim bankruptcy. Though… there is a huge light at the end of this tunnel! These experiences have caused me to have a major, what I like to call, “mind shift”. I have now embraced minimalist living and living in a tiny house. I am still trying to get my head above water financially yet in the very near future see myself living in a house very much like you have posted! I started downsizing a year ago and continue my efforts. I am happier now than I have ever been in my entire 53 years on this beautiful planet! You bring me inspiration and hope. Good luck to you!

    Randy - April 3, 2011 Reply

    Love your post, Deborah! It’s folks like you that inspire the rest of us to keep plugging along …..

    Rhia - October 22, 2011 Reply

    Have you gotten any closer to living in a tiny house, Deborah? I am your age (52) and I am determined to make my tiny house a reality. I’d love to cheer you on. Will you have a web site for your project? Please keep me posted.


      Laurie - October 28, 2011 Reply

      Hi Rhia, I also have had many life changes at 50 yrs or so. It’s just me as I have a major shift in focus about how to live my life from now on. I’m in the process of trying to find someone to build me a tiny house and I’m going to put it on 2 acres I just bought outside my town that I live in. Good luck to all in our adventures after 50! So much potential.

        Cat - February 15, 2014 Reply

        My website is for graphic design, not a tiny house at this time – unfortunately. But I am listening with great interest to you 50+ ladies out there who are shedding the chains of a reality that is no longer real and moving forward into this minimalist movement. I owned a company that went under in a bad sale and got got divorced and declared bankruptcy and my life was turned upside down like many of yours. It was like a giant sucker punch, but you all understand that. Coming out on the other side has given me a fresh perspective that I hear resonating here as well. I am listening to all of your stories, experiencing vicariously with you. Keep it up please. I know I am not the only one out here watching you 🙂

    Soody - February 15, 2014 Reply

    Yay for you Deborah! Sorry you went thru so much crap, but it sounds like epiphany. I am living in my tiny house (travel trailer) while searching for my little spot to build my tiny home base. I am inspired to see you and others living the dream. Have fun making it yours and I look forward to your photos. What a setting you have there! Cheers 🙂

    Eileen - February 15, 2014 Reply

    Your post made me happy. I am in a similar situation: Most of my life savings into a condo in 2006. Long story, only different in its particulars. I have just decided not to try to short sell (as they have not reinstated the tax forgiveness laws) and to hang tight for one more year when, I hope, I can break even. This year will be about shedding stuff, learning about tiny homes, taking a construction workshop or two, and saving every single penny I can so that I can make a move to a simpler, saner, way of life. Thank you for your words–they are affirming my decisions to live tiny!

    Rebecca - February 15, 2014 Reply

    I also lost my career and home in this economic crash. I moved to NM trying to save my career and bottomed out. Good news: I found 5gorgeous wooded acres for a song. Now living in an old mobile while hauling rock downhill for a small stone cabin. After all is said and done, I am fulfilling a life dream. Haven’t started building yet but have started the food forest. I will doc all on my website treeseeddreaming.com. All of you inspire me every day. And I am well along creating a new career more fun than the old one. I am 59 and counting. Bitty houses rock.

liz - April 2, 2011 Reply

Your story can be inspirational to others too! Please keep us up to date with your progress!

Colleen J - April 2, 2011 Reply

I’m 62 and am turning a storage shed built for me back in 08 into a tiny home. I have purchased a small wood stove, on demand hot water heater, fridge and sink. A young man out of work from church is doing the finish work inside and foldout bed. I’m raising a grandson and once he is on his own I will move into this tiny home. If anyone knows where I can find an incinerate toilet I’d be grateful.

    deborah - April 2, 2011 Reply

    http://incinolet.com Incinerating toilet website.

    Sandy - February 15, 2014 Reply

    And once you get the toilet give us an update of how well it works. Looking to go that route myself.

Felicity - April 2, 2011 Reply

When I picture heaven, your house and land are it. Congratulations and best of luck in your new adventure. And do, please, keep us posted.

Delores Wurn - April 2, 2011 Reply

Glad to see you are landing on solid ground.

Paula - April 2, 2011 Reply

That’s not a tiny house. That’s an eensy-weensy house.

deborah - April 2, 2011 Reply

I remember seeing the “trees for the forest” and not the other way around back in the late nineties and told my husband that we were going to downsize NOW! We were ten years from retirement (now retired partially) and I wanted some financial security for our old age since we would not be getting a pension but only SS and mine would be half since I had been a SAHW&M most of my life.

To make a long story short we bought ten acres of land, an affordable mobile home, built a 30′ X 50′ shop so my hubby could still run his auto body shop part time, and we were never sorry. We watched in horror as family and friends who thought the bubble would never burst lost everything, yet we were OK. Being minimalists, gardeners, and simplistic loving people we are able to enjoy our retirement without fear or worries about being homeless.

My best to you and your husband and your goals for the future. You CAN DO IT!!!

linda - April 2, 2011 Reply

i love this story…. i find the most intimidating part of owning a tiny house is the land.. finding a place to live in it legally..
can you elaborate on this please…
best of luck to you and as everyone says.. please keep us posted.

    Tonita - February 15, 2014 Reply

    Just like you I am curious about the legality of parking a tiny home in this county. While you look at the beautiful picture of the darling tiny home and beautiful surroundings, it all can become a ugly picture really quick (I know first hand) when county or city ordinances do not allow you to live in a tiny home on your own land. Once the city or county gets wind of it they make it their mission to follow up and then you have to abandon your dream or get those tiny house wheels on the road again. Tiny homes can give many a sense of joy and freedom UNTIL you find out that you can’t sleep at night wondering if you will have to vacate your land or tiny home. It would be nice to actually know you own land with NO restrictions, before you have to live a tiny life under the radar. That in and of itself is very stressful. Trading stress of a big home and mortgage for another type of stress may not add up to that pretty picture we want to believe. However, if that tiny house sits on land with no restrictions.. YAHOO..and Amen. By the way..I wish the owners the very best in their sweet new home and amazingly beautiful setting. Thanks for sharing your story.

Sylvia - April 2, 2011 Reply

very nice and well done! Show the interior please!

sherri - April 2, 2011 Reply

congratulations, Juko! you are an inspiration. i admire your creativity and strength to make a change and a happy home. keep us updated!

Cathy Johnson (Kate) - April 2, 2011 Reply

Congratulations! It’s beautiful, and what a setting…

Carol - April 2, 2011 Reply

This all very nice, I have a small (858 s.f.) house too, BUT small house people need to realize that there are not that many of us out there as we think. My house has been for sale for 5 years (yes, I know, ever since the economy nosedived) and we have had no bites. We live in a resort area (Martha’s Vineyard) and I guess everyone wants lots and lots of visitors all the time. Nobody wants a nice cozy retreat. We actually do have guest space, it is a detached, unheated, guesthouse/studio that measures 10’X10′.

And just so you know that real estate here is moving, there have been loads of $1 million plus properties change hands!

So be aware, when you have a small house it is for you, likeminded people are hard to find. Resale is difficult. However, my next house will also be small, I guess I just don’t learn.

    Rebecca - February 15, 2014 Reply

    Just a note… I also worried about resale. I designed my cabins as a great room with bathroom at 484 square feet. I also designed a bedroom addition which could be added later. That way it could be sold to a more conventional family or inherited and expanded by my son. Not tiny but small. I do not intend to enlarge it but you never know what the future brings. I already built a 10×12 root cellar and will connect the cabin to it with a 10×14 greenhouse. The rest is a 5acre pinon pine food forest. I will track it on treeseeddreaming.com.

Melyssa - April 2, 2011 Reply

Oh how cool is that? I really want a small home, but the hubby won’t go for it. We were trying to get this 864sq ft home, but the deal fell through. So we’re still here in our 2200 sq ft home. But we’re still looking.

I enjoy both the SoCal area and the NorCal area. I’m currently in the Bay Area, and hoping to find a nice place in the outskirts.

Mark Frost - April 2, 2011 Reply

We wish you all the best, you are an inspiration to all of us.


Mark and Family.

Brook - April 2, 2011 Reply

Best Wishes on your Little Big Adventure.
I am a green builder and small house guy currently living across the Bay in Monterey. We have an amazing market at the dump in Marina for miscellaneous stuff. They have building materials which helps for walkways, outbuildings and such. I have a construction yard with miscellaneous materials as well.
There has been some cool composting toilet sytems designed around 60 gallon plastic tubs. The incinolets cost money and fuel.
I am moving onto my land in Truckee again when the snow melts(there’s 15 feet on my cabin right now). I have a Tiny Shed-teau, a ‘work-in-progress’Gypsy Trailer and a Shipping Container waiting to be converted. I also have a victorian playhouse and a ‘teahouse’ which i will scatter on my property for camping, play and reflection.
I love the lifestyle, I hope you do to.
Best Wishes, Brook

Foy Update - Cook. Garden. Write. Repeat. - April 2, 2011 Reply

You must be in a hummid climate. I love all the moss growing on the (oak?) tree in your yard. Tree like that make a property.

Ian - April 2, 2011 Reply

I too like the moss. Its glowing look is mystic. Exactly the type of forest I’d like to live in.

Knifemouth - April 2, 2011 Reply

You are in my prayers as well as running similar to my dreams. (Second part is a play on words, is all.)

All the best to you folks and if you need hope, there is hope to be found, given away to folks for free.

Take care!

Debra @ How to Live in a 320 Sq Ft Home - April 2, 2011 Reply

You are so brave! This is our story also, but I have not wanted to say it out loud. I wish hindsight did not exist – it makes you look dumb. How could we have foreseen that we would lose jobs and subsequently lose our home? Fast forward two years, we are happier than when we had our ‘grown-up home’. Many have already seen it – but here are a couple of posts on our 320 square foot home:



and my favorite: http://www.320squarefoothome.com/2011/02/update-to-my-ikea-update.html

Ray - April 3, 2011 Reply

Sorry for your troubles. You are inspiration for others that are looking for an idea of how to “bounce back”. Best of luck to you. You are bound to learn a lot from this experience. please let us know.

Randy - April 3, 2011 Reply

Hi Juko, I’m 54 and have a 3-year goal to down-size to ~800SF myself so I hope you’ll post updates and let us know how that’s going for you. You’ve heard that old saying, when life hands you lemons? Well, it sounds like you guys have made lemonade out of a bad situation. If it helps your feelings any, I am in Atlanta and when I purchase the home I’m in back in ’04, I bought it out of foreclosure with $38k in instant equity. Today, the same house IN MUCH BETTER SHAPE than when I bought it, is nearly $80k down and I’m likely upside down on my mortgage, so I think most every region of the country is feeling the same bite you’ve felt in California. Take care!

dreamer - April 3, 2011 Reply

The only huge drawback: permits and neighbors who might turn you in to the county. The county you moved to, Juko, I am sorry to say, has a very strict, expensive, non-transparent, and frustrating permitting system.

You are allowed to live in a trailer after there’s a building permit already, and that means septic, water, erosion studies etc, basically, extremely expensive. I am in favor of protecting the environment, but the voters have allowed Calif. land use laws to be ridiculous. Even if one builds a good non-polluting septic, one is still not allowed to live in a tent/ structure / trailer etc., except after building permits for a “real” big house have been approved.

But It’s beautiful country .. good luck.

    Tonita - February 15, 2014 Reply

    Good comment and exactly my point, see my comment above. The tiny house in the woods, mountains, burbs or city and the idea of it all, seems so perfect to so many. Makes people want to run out and buy a lot in the woods, and build or buy a tiny home to place there in search of no mortgage and living in peace. Yet, the picture becomes VERY mucky and discouraging to live under the radar wondering who might report you. And, it just takes one complaint to the county. Sad but very true and something every tiny home owner should consider. Even when they rent a space to park their tiny home there are still legality issues. What starts as a perfect tiny dream can end up a nightmare.

      kim - February 18, 2014 Reply

      HI i am struggling with the same question. I would love to live in a tiny house but anything on wheels is not allowed as a residence in my county in Az. The building codes seem to reflect a national codebook thing. It’s like ‘dreamer’ mentioned one is allowed to have one temporarily but only with a building permit. So how is everyone getting past this? Are there counties where it’s legal? In my case I’ve settled for an RV in a park which is a nice option for me but as to private land it still seems like an unattainable option. Have I missed some loophole or solution?

Deek Diedricksen - April 4, 2011 Reply

Just how many people/companies in Sebastopol are building tiny houses these days anyway!? Lol- no, its great! CA seems much more open to tiny houses than out here in MA- where there seem to comparatively be damn few of us tiny abode builders…

Also (unless it just is from growth in a humid climate)- be careful of that huge moss-covered tree (or any dead-looking trees nearby)- you don’t want your gorgeous little place crushed!


Cheryl - April 4, 2011 Reply

This is what I’m planning on doing. I found a great buyers agent who helped me negotiate an owner carry. Everyone on this blog is so inspiring and I feel like I’m with my kindreds. Though I have nothing on my land and have some obstacles am glad I am pursuing my heart to go forward.
Some around me don’t get it but the important ones do.
I too am going through an extreme crisis in my life but will keep on toward my goal. May we all achieve
what works for us.
Agreed some counties and even neighbors can cause problems. Hopefully attitudes will change. The ideas presented here are the sptingboard for that change.

Cheryl - April 4, 2011 Reply

This is what I’m planning on doing. I found a great buyers agent who helped me negotiate an owner carry. Everyone on this blog is so inspiring and I feel like I’m with my kindreds. Though I have nothing on my land and have some obstacles am glad I am pursuing my heart to go forward.
Some around me don’t get it but the important ones do.
I too am going through an extreme crisis in my life but will keep on toward my goal. May we all achieve
what works for us.
Agreed some counties and even neighbors can cause problems. Hopefully attitudes will change. The ideas presented here are the springboard for that change.

Christina Nellemann - April 4, 2011 Reply

This is a stunning location. Keep us posted on the process.

Juko - April 4, 2011 Reply

To everyone who commented:

My beloved and I are overwhelmed with your good wishes, thoughts, and advice. Many, many thanks, it really lifted our spirits. To answer a few of the questions:

We are aware of how stringent the county we are moving to is, and we’re fortunate in that many of the reports & required tests were completed by the previous owner. We still have a long way to go with the permitting process, and we know it will be a significant amount of the $$ we will spend – once we get the permit, it could be years before we are actually able to build the “big” (800 sf) house. It took about two months of research & communication with the county just to make sure the lot was “buildable” before we went through with the deal. The zoning for this parcel is “special use,” which has the advantage of including uses for small scale agriculture, which gives us a bit more flexibility with some of the regs (not much, though, and it is all very complicated).

The area gets a lot of rain, and there was rain the day I took these photos – that tree with the lovely green moss is even more interesting & beautiful in person – at some point, we will need the help of an arborist to manage our little corner of the forest, as it was clear cut a century ago and is quite overgrown now.

The interior was done with pine, and right now, it is a big room. Once the interior is complete, I will send along the photos. It will be a process of discovery.

Many, many thanks! XO, Juko

    Tonita - February 15, 2014 Reply

    Will you be able to live in your beautiful tiny home while you wait to build your dream home? In my county you are not allowed to even spend one night in a tiny house or trailer or 5th wheel legally even it is temporary while remolding your big home or building another. Some counties issue a temp permit to live in a tiny mobile unit for 90 days or so during a remodel. I hope you can make use of the tiny house on your land.

Andy Anderson - April 5, 2011 Reply

Very cool place. PLEASE show pictures of the inside….now and as you go IF you can. I would love to see it.

I am building a 12 by 16 cabin which is plenty big for me:

Outside Shower

Compost outhouse

Love your place – Andy

Juko - August 25, 2011 Reply

It has been a while, but I wanted to pass on a link about our progress, and the build of our second tiny house.

After spending some time on the land, we realized that for the two of us, we needed a bit more space. So we are constructing a second tiny house in our driveway! A date has not yet been set for the auction of our house, but we plan on being finished and moved before that happens.

Here is our web site:


With gratitude, Juko

Marlena Montaney - April 10, 2012 Reply

I am a photographer, but also a housing counselor… I primarily work with foreclosure prevention, and hear stories like these… And worse! Every day.
As for me, I will never have a mortgage, but am working my way to owning my own tiny home. In Monterey county, housing is so expensive, and building
Codes are crazy tough. If anyone has advice based on experience either with our codes or a tiny home in this area, I’d love to hear about it. Until then,
I’ll continue to dream and save!

levi stiles - February 1, 2014 Reply

We too have a tiny home and are in search spot to nestle it. Currently it is parked in a driveway in turlock (need not know where this is) with hopes of coming to santa cruz this month! However the hunt land to place it on has been a troublesome one. We have met so many great people while searching but nothing has solidified. Short of 4wheeling the house into what would be it’s final resting place, we just haven’t connected with the right person. If you or someone you know has a spot for our little home, then please have them contact us…. Levidillonstiles@gmail.com or Ourwalkacrossamerica.com….. we are also currently on craigslist under housing-tiny cottage seeking land Your story in inspiring and we thank you for giving us hope. The space you found and the simplicity of your home compliment one another very well.

Dominick Bundy - February 15, 2014 Reply

Gee, I wish they posted some pictures of the inside, or at least a diagram of the floor plan..

    Jann - February 15, 2014 Reply

    Dominick, Juko says it’s currently one big room, so no “floor plan” would exist.

Gracie Rugile - February 15, 2014 Reply

What a lovely setting. And the house is a little sweety. God bess you.

Hope - February 15, 2014 Reply

I, too, am in the process of going small…have unrestricted property, four acres of wooded land…I live in a conservative state…the only requirements in most counties here are a good septic system…if you want the government out of your personal life, if you want to live the way you choose, vote for less government…you can’t expect freedom if you vote for tyrannical socialists…that is just common sense…

Barbara - February 15, 2014 Reply

This has been a great post and thanks for sharing your story! As the economy has taken a downturn, there have been a lot of people whom have been hit hard. Sometimes these decisions are made.
Like many of you that have posted, my husband and I are in the process of downsizing.
Our “Big” home has been for sale since fall of 2013 and we are spending most of our time in our tiny house in the woods.
We feel so at home, and embraced in the forest. It’s a wonderful feeling. I wish you all success in the downsizing process and finding your tiny homes.

Brenda - February 15, 2014 Reply

Good vibes and thoughts your way!! I can “relate,” as they say. I went through, am going through, an almost identical senario. I’ve purchased a little “RunawayCamper,” and am setting out on my next journey, at age 63, in about a week. Happy trails to you. Hope we cross paths. Peace!

Sandra - February 15, 2014 Reply

Where on earth do you find property that gorgeous?

Loughlin Tatem - February 15, 2014 Reply

This site is an inspiration. I am now building my tiny house without debt.

Bob Ratcliff - February 15, 2014 Reply

You two are a couple who’ve warmed my heart to its inner core. Believe it or not, your story isn’t about how much you lost, but instead about how MUCH you’ve gained. Instead of running for the hills in opposite directions, you two have grown even closer as you’re rebuilding your lives in a direction that’s going to make you both more contented financially and emotionally than ever dreamed possible.

As a home designer myself, I plead with you to plan for the unexpected whenever you hit phase II with your new 800 sq dream home. Please keep in mind there’s also calamities of the body not just jobs and income. Try and build a home that will meet the needs of growing old together. After an accident left me in a class III wheelchair, I’ve learned just how vital it is having a home that’s handicap friendly. Avoid the trappings of worrying about a bit more closet space and a bit nicer kitchen. You also need to consider the unthinkable such as creating a home that accommodates walkers or even wheelchairs throughout. Believe it or not, it’s a possibility.

As a norther CA native (Napa valley), I know the insane struggles you’re facing with local codes and even insurance. Our new “better” nation appears to be working more against our dreams than for them if you ask me.

Right now my wife and me are planning on building a 900 sf totally friendly handicap home on our exiting 5 acres that already has our 113 year old 1900 sq farmhouse my wife grew up in. My dearest half has now pass 70 and also severely handicapped while I’m only 53 yet according to the doctors pretty close to meeting my new horizons. The main house can be a rental (income) while the smaller yet better home will provide all my wife’s needs once I’m gone. Plan not just for today but for tomorrow.

We too saw our income crash while we hung on for dear life. Now I’m nearly dug out from the bank owning me and though it took some serious financial reprioritizing (our austerity program), we’re nearly there. SO WILL YOU! May your life together be your best years yet. This wonderful story proves you’ve already got what it takes:)

connie - February 15, 2014 Reply

Best of luck to you!! Please keep us posted…there are many of us taking baby steps toward the same goal!

Alison - February 15, 2014 Reply

Your new small home looks WONDERFUL. Still…..it burns me up that the banks were bailed out (with our tax dollars), yet banks refused to help the majority of their customers with their money bailout. The fact that you applied for two modifications, and were turned down each time by your bank, and bank also rejected a short sale….I wish that we (as a large public) could all reject the greedy banks in favor of just saving the money for our home purchase ourselves, or obtaining a loan from the seller (instead of from a bank). THIS would certainly put the greedy bankers on notice….Best of luck to you!

Wally Daniel - February 15, 2014 Reply

I have down sized from 3600 sq. feet to 1200 sq. feet and now contemplating going to 196 sq. feet. I plan on selling what I have and move somewhere wheelchair friendly, I’m a T9 incomplete paraplegic an injury I received during the attacks on the World Trade Center on 9/11, I am one of a few survivors that try to forget the date and what has happened. I do however take life by the horns and do what I please. Nothing holds me back from doing ANYTHING. I wish to build something as seen here: http://tinyhousetalk.com/woman-builds-diy-196-sq-ft-micro-home-11k/ If anybody has a strong suggestion as to location I should be looking please drop me an eMail or visit http://www.twitter.com/waialakaniella and tell me there.

Besides receiving 9/11 survivor benefits pay I reinvented myself and I sew everything from bow ties to ladies swimsuits. And being in a good market area would help~ Mahalo Nui Loa, Aloha Also you can find me on Facebook as well Wally Daniel http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/2fb1219e6e9489bcc7116521365a2bfe.png

Lorraine - February 15, 2014 Reply

As Santa Cruz is one of my prefered locations should I decide to build a tiny home, it is encouraging to see one accepted there.

sandy - February 15, 2014 Reply

Make it work! So happy for you – you figured it out!

Genie - February 15, 2014 Reply

I congratulate you and hope all turns out well. I did notice that you have a huge tree (possibly a laurel or madrone) hanging right over your tiny house. You would be wise to temporarily move your tiny house and have someone take that tree down, as it will surely fall on your home and destroy it. Hopefully you won’t be inside when that happens. Best wishes.

Monique - February 15, 2014 Reply

I Purchased 10 acres in Oregon recently and plan on putting up a small cabin. I’m 49 and can’t wait to start this next phase of my life. Your little cabin in the woods looks like heaven…

dawn - February 15, 2014 Reply

what a great story, but a common one it seems…… i love where the home is! may i ask were this area is? look at that beautiful petemose tree! what a place to wake up too! look forward to more of your story……i too am 52 yrs old this year!


DeWhit - February 15, 2014 Reply

How did this get pulled back to page one from 2011?

Some need to check the dates before commenting.

Chrissy - February 15, 2014 Reply

Beautiful. I wish you all the best. I find your story really inspiring, your tale of resilience really quite moving. Thank you.


Whitworth Deen - February 15, 2014 Reply

The above comments are inspiring and feet-on-the-ground practical. The lady and gentleman above that wrote about small houses needing to be handicap/senior citizen friendly have, I think, hit a very significant nail on its proverbial head. If we are blessed/lucky/fortunate (pick your word), we live to older/old age, and unwanted events happen to our bodies. At 64, I have quite painful knee trouble, which makes climbing a latter to a sleeping loft and narrow doors damn near impossible, though I can still handle the kneelers at my little Episcopal Church. For those who plan to build small (in my view, 800-ish ft2 is ideal for one who wants to enjoy a few pieces of inherited furniture and books and a tad of art in one’s senior years), I urge U to consider that health problems happen, and build accordingly if U plan to age in place. Finally, I sincerely applaud Wally Daniel, who survived the Sept 11 terror attacks and is getting on with his life with grace and joy and dignity.
Sincere best regards,
Whitworth Deen in the beautiful Ozark Mountains of northwest ARkansas

Julie - February 15, 2014 Reply

Congratuations. Scaling down is quite a project. My husband and I are waiting until our last kiddo graduates from high school, then will downsize our home in a way similiar to you! Good luck and many blessings as you begin this new chapter of your life!

beachmama - February 15, 2014 Reply

Thank you for sharing your story and your vulnerability. In 2003 I filed for divorce and in that process lost most of the assets I had been building with my ex for 26 years. I kept the house and bought him out but the mortgage was 4K a month. I knew it wasn’t sustainable but pulled equity from the house to keep it for a year to let “the dust settle” for my 6 1/2 year-old son. A year later I met (and eventually married) my 2nd husband. We worked hard to keep our house but in 2009 work dropped off for him (he’s an arborist) so severely we were forced to make a tough decision. We put the house (my ex and I designed and built on our own) up for sale. We were lucky it sold rather fast in such a difficult market for high-end homes. We’ve been renting on the coast and loving it but I want to own again. My plan was exactly like yours but my husband was not on board. Reading your story he now sees how it could be workable for him. I wish you and your husband all the best. Please keep us posted as your vision progresses . . .

MisterScratch - February 15, 2014 Reply

So then where are the inside house snap shot’s?

ULTRASPACE - February 16, 2014 Reply

Good idea to find land on an ‘OWC’ contract and cash build from there. Not all can do it, but if you can, the merits of it, are priceless.

Good luck on your new adventure.

erik - February 18, 2014 Reply

great spot you got there!
and really nice pictures… i`d say you just need a huge porch and you`re pretty much settled…


ps: death to banks!

Dana Dutcher - June 8, 2015 Reply

what city are you in and did you get any blowback from the county?

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