Lovely Tiny House, Big Problems: Buyer Beware Advice - Tiny House Blog

Lovely Tiny House, Big Problems: Buyer Beware Advice

Young couple, Maddy and Alec love living in their 26-foot-long tiny house on wheels despite the massive build quality issues they had to overcome. Their small space decor is beautiful with quirky flair. Unfortunately, two years into living in it, they discovered a massive water leak due to incorrectly installed flashing plus no caulking. Instead of diverting rain, it was directed into the home.

After a winding unexpected back & forth with their builder, all the issues are now fixed. Alec completed all the repairs himself. Luckily, they did ultimately receive compensation for the materials needed for their home repairs despite their warranty being up.

They share their tiny house buyer beware advice from learning the hard way:

“Despite all the difficulties we’ve been having with our house, we are so happy to be living tiny, and we would 100% do it again, maybe just a little bit differently. For people who are looking at getting a tiny house, there are a couple of things that we wish we knew at the time, and one of the big ones is asking who you’re buying the house from and if they’re the ones who are actually building the house.

Because there are some people who subcontract out, and in our case, if we would have done more research and looked into who was subcontracting out the house, we would have purchased our house from somebody else. So that’s a big one to look into.

Another thing I would 100% recommend, and I would recommend doing this upfront at the start, is to ask them if they’re OK with a third-party inspection before the final payment is made.

We’ve never thought of that. That would have saved us from the start if we had thought of that. If they’re not OK with a third-party inspector coming in, it’s probably a red flag. At least, we would consider that a red flag.

And if you’re looking at a builder who is out of state, a thing to look into on warranty, if you have a warranty issue, is, are they going to send somebody out to work on it? In our case, where if we have a warranty issue, we still would have to pay to get our house to their factory or warehouse. So it’s something to think about if you’re buying out of state, cross-country. You don’t want to end up having to pay to get your house all the way across the country. So that’s something to think about.”

-Alec & Maddy, @the_tiny_fellows

Watch the tour for the full story!

Their Lovely Tiny House

Maddy and Alec’s tiny house is on a 26-foot trailer and is roughly 350 square feet. A top design choice was to prioritize windows. With all this beautiful nature around them in their backyard parking spot, they wanted to feel closer to it. Fortunately, their large and plentiful windows let them do that very well.

Throughout their tiny home, they reused decorations from their wedding. This proved to be a budget-friendly, creative challenge during the planning for the big day. “Let’s buy stuff that we love and want to keep!”

Interestingly, their kitchen is in the middle of the house. On one side is their living room. In this space, they sought to balance beauty and function. Their decor is well-curated, and storage opportunities are maximized. For example, there’s a cubby behind their couch and a stowaway space underneath it. Ottomans hold their beloved board and video games.

Several tiny homeowners work in crafting space in their homes, but few include fish tank hobby space. In their smaller loft, Alec has a saltwater fish tank. This became one of my hobbies during COVID. Additionally, there’s a cabinet for all of Maddy’s craft supplies. Believe it or not, Alec has a second fish tank in their large cozy bedroom loft!

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