The Path to Mortgage-Freedom – Tiny House Family’s ecourse - Tiny House Blog

The Path to Mortgage-Freedom – Tiny House Family’s ecourse

dried in house

by Hari Berzins

During the big snow storm last week, Karl and I walked up the hill from our tiny house to our newly dried-in (Woohoo!) big house to watch the falling snow. The snow in the woods was magical and the view in all directions was spectacular. I looked up at the rafters and there was no snow falling in the house! We were dry. After more than a year of watching rain and snow fall on our house, this was big. I smiled at Karl. “How does it feel to go into this snow storm with a finished roof on the house?” He took a deep breath. “You have no idea.”

That was a nice moment.

We’ve come so far, and it’s so important to take time to celebrate all of the milestones along the way.

Hi, I’m Hari Berzins from tinyhousefamily.com. My husband Karl and I built a mortgage-free micro-homestead and have worked our plan for the last five years. We’ve created an online course to help others realize their dream of mortgage-freedom.

homestead

In 2008, we had to totally redesign our life after losing our restaurant and home in the financial crisis. With a firm resolve to never use credit again, we started over. We dreamed of building a homestead for cash. With $300 to our name, owning a mortgage-free homestead seemed like an impossible dream.

I searched and searched for others who had lost everything and built a new life that included debt-free home ownership. How happy I would have been to find a course like ours, but I guess it was our work to write The Plan: Creating Your Pathway to Mortgage Freedom.

Our plan was a simple one and simply radical. We would work hard, stop buying, sell, donate, downsize, make a budget, and save every penny. We would find a little piece of land,

land

buy it for cash, and grow a homestead. We saved, worked, bought land, drilled a well, dug a septic system, built a tiny house, and are now completing the exterior of our main house. We did all of this with cash and time. We now live our impossible dream!

In our rebuilding process, we’ve relied on several practices of deep self-care to affirm that our worthiness is not attached to the balance of our bank account, nor our foreclosure, nor our belly-up business. We’ve relied on these practices to cultivate the contentedness and patience we need to thrive in our 8’ x 21’ ft. tiny house while we build our right-sized house. And we’ve relied on these practices to keep the faith when we have no idea how we are going to get through the next phase. We will share these practices with you because this change is for the long haul and we want you to be successful getting there.

tiny house

You might wonder why we are building a bigger house. The tiny house has been our ticket to mortgage-freedom. This phase of the plan has taught us so much about what we really need, about compromise, communication and delayed gratification, but we need room for our art, space to dance, and entertain, space for our children (now 9 & 11) to grow into adults. Space is so very personal, and we will explore your needs for space in the course. You will design a plan and a homestead to fit your unique lifestyle and budget.

Our little journey has attracted the attention of many media outlets which has brought with it a ton of emails with questions about our plan. We felt the need to compile a comprehensive course to guide others down the path to mortgage-freedom.

Now when I look up the hill at the main house, I’m so thankful we chose this route. It’s not an easy path. It’s hard in the beginning. It’s hard to talk yourself out of those moments when you just want to give in and blow your budget on a dinner out, or buy those cool new hiking boots or whatever it is the merchants pry your self-esteem with. With practice, this has become the norm for us, and the urges are rare. We’ll help you with this, too.

“. . . I will act, says Don Quixote,
as if the world were what I would have it to be,
as if the ideal were real. . .
— Don Quixote de la Mancha, Cervantes

There were lots of naysayers in the beginning, even family and friends who thought we were crazy. How in the world are the four of you going to live in that little house without killing each other?

the family

We are still alive almost three years after moving in, and look what it’s enabled us to do. We live mortgage-free on our own land; we’re raising animals and growing food. We get to be choosy about the work we do, and we spend tons of family time together. And once we move into our main house, we’ll have a micro bed and breakfast ready to go!

What would your life look like if you didn’t have a mortgage payment? If your dream is to simplify your life by building a tiny house, we can help you get there.

Having a supportive community is all important when making a “tiny” lifestyle change such as this. As part of our course, you’ll have access to a private Facebook group where you will connect with other like-minded individuals to discuss course materials, share ideas and support each other in creating your very own micro-homestead.

This e-course is 10 weeks long and begins on January 24, 2015. If you want to join us, see all the details here: http://tinyhousefamily.com.

kids loft

kitchen

living room

bathroom

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Amanda Eberly - March 2, 2014 Reply

Beautiful life you are building! I am curious as to what part of the country you are in? The landscape around you is gorgeous, and I am always looking for areas to possibly build in.
Thank you for the inspirational message, and the great pics-your family is beautiful.

    Hari Berzins - March 2, 2014 Reply

    Hi Amanda!
    Thank you 🙂 We live in Southwest Virginia, just off the Blue Ridge Parkway south of Roanoke.
    Best wishes!
    Hari

      Penny - March 2, 2014 Reply

      That’s awesome, I live in Roanoke but grew up in Bedford. I didn’t know anybody in this area had a Tiny House. You are very inspiring and the house is very nice! Love it! 🙂

        Kristi - September 14, 2014 Reply

        We live a tiny bit south of Bedford, VA and I have recently become obsessed with the notion of tiny homes, with the advent of the tv show, Tiny House Nation. I’m excited to learn there’s a tiny house so close by and someone is living the lifestyle! Kristi

Allison - March 2, 2014 Reply

I bet you could rent your tiny house out for weekend get-aways for couples once you move into the Big House. I am dying to see the plans and inside pictures of your big house! Congrats to you and your family. I am very inspired by what you have accomplished! Your children will be so much better off as well because you have shown them the things in life that truly are important and make them happy while many American teens (and adults as well) think happiness is accumulation of material possessions.

    Hari Berzins - March 2, 2014 Reply

    Thanks, Allison!
    We are grateful for all the lessons this adventure has given us. And you guessed our plan for the tiny house. Maybe you’ll come stay someday 🙂

      donna - March 2, 2014 Reply

      In response to your article that i read this a.m. and the accompanying responses..might i have the pleasure to be one of the first people to sign up for a weekend getaway (or longer, ideally) in your 8×21 once it is emptied? BTW..i am looking forward to March 15 as i signed up for your online course! So excited to see how this develops/evolves…i am currently working F/T for Navy on Whidbey Island, off of the coast of Washington. I am no longer in debt, and i am raising my now 8 year old grandson. Excited, as well, i am, to possibly connect with others on this journey ~ Be Blessed ~

      Natalie Coe - September 22, 2014 Reply

      Hello again Hari 🙂 Do you have a time frame for when you might start opening your tiny house up to guests? I am interested in tiny living, but would not make that jump before actually seeing and staying in one first. Was also curious about the cost and where/when I can sign up!!!:) Thanks so much, Natalie

Zinta Aistars - March 2, 2014 Reply

The Latvian name of Karlis Berzins caught my attention. Some time ago, Tiny House Blog featured my little Cottage on the Hill, that I use as my writer’s retreat: http://tinyhouseblog.com/stick-built/cottage-on-the-hill/ and so it is especially warming to my heart to see another Latvian take a similar journey. Debt is what binds and imprisons us, and mortgages are, for most, our greatest debt. How wonderful to read the story of the Berzins family and how they beat the system to gain freedom.

    Aldis - March 2, 2014 Reply

    Yeah, I also noticed the Latvian connection 🙂 Glad to see that Latvians are tough and creative no matter where in the world they might live. Good luck and compliments on a very nice new home! Aldis from Riga, Latvia.

      Hari Berzins - March 2, 2014 Reply

      Latvians are amazing! I married one. Here’s a little more about him–scroll down to About Papa.
      http://www.tinyhousefamily.com/mama/

      Thank you for the comment about our Latvian connection. It means a lot to us to feel the ties to our ancestors.

        Cyn Coleman - September 14, 2014 Reply

        Lithuanians are kinda nice, too! 😉

        We currently live near Harrisonburg, VA, but have 10 acres in Rockbridge County with a small cottage, 288 square feet, that we had moved from Rocky Mount. We are in the process of designing [I’m designing] various sizes of small houses using the cottage as the base.

        We have no utilities at the site, but have stayed in the cottage using a gas fireplace and hauling water down in 5 gallon jugs.

        Our main question is regarding codes: is there a general Virginia housing code or does it go by county?

        We have one thought of putting the cottage on a 14’X48′ trailer bed to cut down on taxes. Does anyone know if that is possible in Virginia?

        We also want to be totally off the grid. Fourteen years ago, we thought about building a larger house and the health dept perk guys wanted us first to cut down all our trees for a septic field. When I said I knew there were other ways to handle waste, they backtracked and mentioned a few, but I just don’t know how tough it’s going to be in Rockbridge County to do what we wish to do.

        Lovely home and article. It’s hard to start over. Did it as a young teen mom and again 20 years later when husband went to seminary. We have very little for retirement, but the land IS paid for, and we only paid 5K for the cottage, which was stick build and wired.

        Glad there is this online community to encourage and edify those who wish to live a simpler life!

Freddie - March 2, 2014 Reply

Same way my wife and I did it over 30 years ago – a little at a time using cash as we saved it. Maybe one day, if I get real energetic, I will post photos of our “Little House on The High Desert” – all accomplished by trading my skills with other construction trades and salvaged materials. When we left there we moved to a 600 sq. ft. log cabin in the giant redwoods of Northern California. For our last move we have our sights set on Oregon. Don’t have any idea what we’ll find, but it’s always a new adventure, so who cares? Though I’m far too old and broken down now to do something like the first place, don’t think we don’t talk about it! What an adventure! We didn’t realize at the time that so many would be doing the same thing many years later. I couldn’t help but notice how happy the family looked and that how much the little girl looked like her beautiful mom. Brought back so many happy memories. Good for you folks! Thanks!

    Hari Berzins - March 2, 2014 Reply

    I love your story, Freddie. The adventure continues! It’s funny when you are in the midst of one adventure it’s easy to get so caught up in it and forget there are more and more and more. Life’s a ride! Thank you for the sweet comment about our dear daughter. I am grateful to be her mother.

    mary - March 2, 2014 Reply

    Consider the north eastern corner of Oregon. Off the beaten path. La Grande is a wonderful home base. Moved here over 35 years ago and it only gets better. mary

      Freddie - March 7, 2014 Reply

      Hi Mary,

      Most of Oregon is beautiful. My road atlas shows La Grand near a national forest. We have friends in Madras near Indian reservations in the Eastern part of Oregon, and I worked in Bend for about 3 months years back. There is a different kind of beauty in the Eastern part of Oregon, which is considered high desert. Actually I was raised on the high desert in Apple Valley, CA. But I want to spend the last few years of my life closer to the ocean. I lived in San Diego County for a number of years when much younger and wished I never had left now. I spent hours surf fishing at several spots and just being near the sound of the waves hitting the shore calms me like no pill ever did!

        GailB - September 15, 2014 Reply

        Ah, Central Oregon! Arguably one of the wonderful places in the US. Lived in the Bend/Madras/Redmond area late 80’s early 90’s and have never forgotten how much I loved it. Would do it again, but the family ties to the East Coast are tight, but Tiny House living is right up my alley. I can’t wait for the day I’ll get my own chunk of land and that tiny house homestead! I can see it now ……….

Susan Thompson - March 2, 2014 Reply

Wow!…I want to do the same thing in a sense, but currently rent and starting a new job. The dream is to buy a large number of acres in Southern Colorado and build a homestead for myself and my son. He is my growing enthusiast and wants to do this for his living. We imagine large greenhouses and animals. Growing our own and being self reliant. We imagine taking extra produce to farmers market. We dream of being totally off the grid with power supplied by windmill and solar, having a hand pump well…

Marcia @Frugal Healthy Simple - March 2, 2014 Reply

I am very impressed with your tiny house and with the big house progress.

Scott - March 2, 2014 Reply

Yes. I too am on a similar road and will be building soon in Maine or Ca. Currently looking at land , zoning , and pricing. What an amazing journey.

Janice - March 2, 2014 Reply

I love what you have done.. I am curious as to water and sewer. ow do you handle all of that. I am looking to do the same here in Northern California.
I am also very impressed with your gratitude 🙂
Janice

    Hari Berzins - March 2, 2014 Reply

    Hi Janice,
    We have a well and septic for water and sewer.

    And as for gratitude, it is the bedrock upon which we build everything else. So grateful you noticed. 🙂

      Janice - March 2, 2014 Reply

      Did you have the well and septic professionally installed? I am grateful that I can start over 🙂

        Hari Berzins - March 2, 2014 Reply

        Yes, we had both of them professionally installed. The well and septic cost a total of $12,000–this cost is variable depending on how deep the well is, and the type of soil you have (for septic).

Wendy - March 2, 2014 Reply

It looks wonderful. What have you done for cash over the process? How did you afford that first piece of property? Do you have regular jobs, or did you take temporary jobs when you needed to raise a certain amount of cash? Your new house will seem like a palace after living in the little one- but I bet the kids will sneak down to their old house to play.

    Hari Berzins - March 2, 2014 Reply

    Hi Wendy,
    Thank you! To raise the needed cash, we created a budget and savings plan we call mindful money and also work hard (two jobs at times). I used to teach public school and Karl was a chef, so our incomes from these jobs went straight to our land and building fund. We also used several strategies to scrape pennies and nickles off of our living expenses. We will share all of our strategies for saving in the course. With a clear plan, patience, and determination, you can totally do this!

Robin - March 2, 2014 Reply

We’ve lived mortgage free our entire lives. If you can’t pay cash, don’t buy it, was our motto. We didn’t build tiny, but small beginning with a log cabin kit in Nevada and now our ‘retirement’ home in NEWA (newaexperience.blogspot.com). The happiness comes from not owing any money and building with your own two hands, learning along the way. Family bonds are also helpful as we have always been multi-generational. My 89 year old mother lives in a tiny house on our property.

Cindy Fitzpatrick - March 2, 2014 Reply

I love reading about the Tiny House movements and success stories, like yours. You inspire me. You are right, life is one long adventure of learning. doing, and spending quality time with our loved ones. Amazing family!

I’m hoping to move back to the Pacific Islands, where I grew up, to build my tiny-house and live off the land and the sea. The land is waiting, purchased with cash few years ago. in the mean time I’ve been volunteering with Habitat for Humanity to learn the art of house construction. Also volunteering at a local organic sustainable farm to learn about growing vegetables and keeping livestock. I rent in Southern California, and saving all the extra cash for the next phase of my life adventure. I have lived in 5 different countries and the experiences and interactions with various cultures has been priceless. Travel is my passion.

Luckily, I have always lived my life debt free. I absolutely believe in saving first then purchase.

Here’s wishing you and your family great health to continue the beautiful adventure. Blessings.

Bob Ratcliff - March 2, 2014 Reply

Now if only MORE people would learn your lesson. It’s SO much nicer owning the bank instead of the bank owning us. All of us having life changing occurrences yet how many people actually grow like you have as a family from the experience? Your new larger home of course makes sense yet the beauty in your story is how you grew. We too had to learn money doesn’t grow on trees and though I can’t say we’re debt free, we are finally in a place where I can write a check out for everything dime we’ve borrowed that’s all on 0% interest loans. Please keep us posted as your new home progresses. An artist myself, I understand the need for having our own space in a home be it a man cave, study or a music/art room. Now you’ve earned the right for some goodies yet better yet you found the most lovely things in life didn’t really cost you a cent.

Beverly - March 2, 2014 Reply

Great job. I’d probably miss the tiny house when you move to the big one. The more space you have, the more apt you are to fill the space with stuff. Stuff is a problem for many people. While I cannot physically build a new house, I’d definitely like to downsize from my current home. I’ve also been mortgage free for about 15 years. Started as a renter, bought and had an old house remodeled and finally built what was sort of my “dream house” in the country. I have loved living in this house and may never leave.

Jackie Bugge - March 2, 2014 Reply

I was wondering about Cindy Fitzpatrick story. Having lived in 5 different countries! I’ve always wondered how a person goes about doing that? If I would of realized along time ago what the peace corp was I would of signed up for that in a second! I’am 43 and not married and have no children and no brothers or sisters and both of my parents passed away in there early 50’s. I also own my land, house,car, and etc. straight out.And have always lived in the top part of Minnesota and always felt like I could be doing something much more rewarding and fulfilling especially in the last 9 yrs. since I have been all alone and have no ties or responsibility to anyone or anything. But just never knew how to go about it. Which probably sounds funny now days to hear someone say “they can’t find out about info.” About anything” with the internet and all! But this is also pretty Greek to me to. This is the first time I have ever responded to anything and I’am not sure this is even going to work?!? Thanks, Jackie.

    Cindy Fitzpatrick - March 2, 2014 Reply

    Hello Jackie,

    If you told me when I was growing up in a village with no electricity and running water, but lit kerosene lamp, cooked with firewood, used fire-torch, and went to shower and wash in the river that I would move to a far-away lands I wouldn’t have believed you.

    Life brought me to England, Ireland, Mexico, and now California. I just went with the flow and opportunities came along.

    Go online and search opportunities of working/volunteering abroad. See what’s available and then research further. Anything is possible, and you have a great start with no obligations and the means to truly spread your wings and open your horizons to the vast open world.

    I am planning on moving back to my home island of Palau, but open to other possibilities if the opportunity comes along. I feel like a nomad.

    Good luck!

    Kate - May 2, 2014 Reply

    Hi Jackie,

    The Peace Corps is still available to you. I looked into it myself when I was 58 and they were interested in having me sign up. Didn’t for various reasons. Another way you can live abroad is to teach English abroad. There are lots of programs on offer online. Myself, I lived in the UK for 13 years. Learned lots. Best, Kate

SonjeB - March 2, 2014 Reply

Congratulations on your new roof. Both of your homes look amazing. I’m curious, what do you plan to do with the tiny house when you move into the big one? It is adorable, but those tiny lofts just seem like fire traps to me. (I’m a fire-fighter’s daughter.)

Cindy - March 2, 2014 Reply

Congratulations and Thank You for sharing your inspiring story

anindita maulik - March 3, 2014 Reply

Sometimes one needs the motivation to say that one is on the right track.Your inspirational story provided me with that!

Kenny Wistuk - March 9, 2014 Reply

Everyone has an opinion : I would neaver want to deny some one of there happiness or tell them how to spend there money and time . I am well aware that a family and growing children need space , however … how much space ? we all know that families of lesser economic means in the US and around the globe today and years past have and do live with much less then your new larger house boasts . In the spirit of humility , minimal – isum , and conservation the was missed with the new house . Everything else that you have and done with the property is wonderful yet i feel a 750 sq. ft. new house ‘ would have been more then ample for your needs . the new speaks to a differant drum ”

    Noelia - March 9, 2014 Reply

    Well said Kenny!

    Hari: Kind of sad that you have given up on living permanently in a tiny home (up to 500 sq. ft.). The tiny house movement is not a transition to a conventional big house but a virtue in itself. A family of 4 should NOT need a 1400 sq. ft. home (size of Berzins’new home). When the children grow up and most likely leave home, the parents will be left with the “big” house.

    Of course, an 8 x 21 home is too small for a family with two growing children, but definitely don’t give up on the small house concept. “Small is beautiful,” said Schumacker: wonderful for the soul, your pocket and the planet. Perhaps an adjacent tiny house for the growing children would have been sufficient.

    My husband and I raised two sons in our 925 sq. ft. home and the house was too big all along. We wanted smaller 20 years ago, but the county code required a minimum of what we built. We plan to build a 416 sq. ft., 1 bedroom home in Vermont and sell our present home when we retire in a year.

    Thank you for sharing your story, Hari Berzins!

      DeWhit - March 10, 2014 Reply

      The “movement” does not have any requirements on those participate. A smaller home or tiny house can be any size if it helps the owners realize a financial goal or acts as a step in that goal.

      That is what clearly is being demonstrated here and being offered in a course.

      Why do they NOT need 1400 square foot with children. I had children that no amount of space could lower the fracas and roar of their life.
      They need 1400 square foot and that is what they acheived.

      Tonita should make rules for her own family.

      There is no right or wrong plan.

        DeWhit - March 10, 2014 Reply

        Apologies to Tonita. My mistake.

        Bad Noelia ! see what you did ?

        Rosemary - September 15, 2014 Reply

        Kenny, Noelia–It’s ALL good, isn’t it? Have you ever noticed that problems seem to arise when I decide what’s right for you? DeWhit, thanks for your sensible response and kudos to the Berzins for taking the time to discover what works for them! Very exciting!

    DeWhit - March 10, 2014 Reply

    A lot of the problem of poverty is exacberated by being forced to live in spaces too small and closed in.

    Who decides what others need for their family if it is paid for by those same individuals.

    That’s a very socialistic statement by the poster telling people what size home they need.

    Why do you think the poor are forced into small housing when it is subsidized?
    They didn’t choose the floorplan because it isn’t their money building it.

Tonita - March 9, 2014 Reply

This is a really nice story. Like some here I believe if you can’t afford it don’t buy it. I got rid of my cell phone and put the $100.00 a month that it cost me, in a separate savings account for 7 years and saved $8,4000 dollars while paying a large home mortgage. I used that money to purchase a modified Ann Marie model tiny house by Slabtown Customs and paid for it in cash.I saw the original post for that amazing tiny home for sale here on this blog. Thanks Kent. Deferred gratification leads to life styles that others call “lucky”. So for me, giving up my cell phone allowed me a reward of a house paid for in cash. Even though is is a tiny home at that, it was not a bad trade off. HOME, dept free vs. cell phone. Who knew?

I also like this story because it shows you using your tiny home as part of a plan to up size your life style. Nothing wrong with that, nor is there anything wrong with having “STUFF”. So many people on these tiny house blogs demonize stuff and I believe you should surround yourself with anything that makes your heart sing, even if it has no other function or purpose than to bring a smile to your life. Not everyone likes a sterile minimalist tiny house and if you see mine you will certainly freak out if that is your goal.

Your homes are so adorable. Looking forward to more posts of family life at your new home. I wish you all the best life offers.

Tonita @ http://www.ShabbyChicTinyRetreat.blogspot.com

    Empress Lockness - March 10, 2014 Reply

    I love your home Tonita! And I really love cupcakes!!!!. 🙂

Fee Fee - March 10, 2014 Reply

Wow, your story is such as inspiration and I can’t wait until the next class. I would love to live debt free. Currently just laid off work but managing and thinking about selling off stuff I don’t really need anymore. Reading your story just gave me clarification to consider selling the things I don’t need instead of paying a storage fee every month along with paying rent as well. Thank you for sharing your story. Lovely home and beautiful family.

Harry Oh - March 13, 2014 Reply

Hi,
I am from Malaysia, the peninsular streak of land between Thailand and Singapore.
I am 60+ yo doing my own little business and living in a single storey terrace house (built up 1,700 sq ft)in a Suburban city, Petaling Jaya, about 7 km from Kuala Lumpur.
I’ve been following Tiny House blog for some time now and I am amazed that people in the USA talking, building and actually living in tiny houses. I love the designs and the interiors from all your postings. I want to move away from the city when I retire and buy a piece of land to start a homestead to live off the land. But I don’t have my wife support on my plans. She is a city, shopping malls, cafe type.
I shall slowly show her some of the postings, including this page and hopefully she will change her mind.

Tiny House Blog , Archive The Path to Mortgage-freedom - May 2, 2014 Reply

[…] Creating Your Pathway to Mortgage-freedom before we held the first session. That post is here: http://tinyhouseblog.com/yourstory/path-mortgage-freedom-tiny-house-familys-ecourse/. We were absolutely thrilled with the response. Thank […]

Michael Thomas - September 14, 2014 Reply

I’m an amputee and live in public housing and I’m saving my money as quickly as I can to do this very thing. When I do finally get the chance my Tiny Home will be on a single floor being stairs and ladders are not my friend..As for downsizing for me that will be easy. I already have the attitude if I do need it I don’t want it..my downfall will be my 3000 Hot Wheels..been collecting since my teens..some 40 years now!

    David B - September 14, 2014 Reply

    Anything is possible if it’s important to you. What about a 12′ tall set of shallow shelves to house their cases? I’ve seen a music studio, snowboards, quilting table, art work, and many other such space takers in tiny homes.

    You don’t want too many of those things – mostly necessities. But we all have things that express our personality. Wouldn’t be home without it. 😉

    Kevin - September 15, 2014 Reply

    Michael, I know what it’s like to cherish a collection (I have a lot of comics, art, and also my share of Hot Wheels!). Another way to look at your collection is that it’s a stockpile of potential stored wealth that can get you to your goal much faster. Imagine if you picked your favorite 100 collectible Hot Wheels, plus maybe 100 more that aren’t so collectible but that you just like to play with. Keep those, and sell the rest. The toughest part will be selling the first few, but you could potentially raise enough to afford most of what you need to get your dream tiny house.

Rebecca - September 14, 2014 Reply

Congratulations! Lovely property. I am working toward my dream and I decided to start a poster showing my progress

Bought property
Utilities in
Temporary housing
Asparagus in
Apple tree in
Water collection in
Laying hens in
Cabin designed
And so on

It is on the wall in big letters. Also on my blog treeseeddreaming.com. Reading tinyhouseblog makes a huge difference. I am focused on what I am creating and am astonished at what I have done in two years after I lost my career.

Creating a new food forest and a zen cabin and a new career too. At 60 I am finally creating my own dream.

    alice h - September 14, 2014 Reply

    I’m also 60 and I like your poster concept. My progress tracking is via assorted scribbled lists but a poster on the wall is a lot easier to dream on and visualize so I’m going to do that too.

    So much inspiration on this blog!

Cheryl Preston - September 14, 2014 Reply

Thanks for sharing! I’m doing something similar; I just moved to my 400 sq foot guest cottage and rent my main house as a vacation home. I’ve scaled down to living in this tiny house so I can put several more cabins on my 10-acre property and get closer to mortgage-free since my vacation guests make my mortgage payment. In my tiny house, I need a smaller stove and saw yours–is it a 20″ stove? I’m looking at several and like yours–what brand is it?
Thanks again for sharing your experience!

Sue - September 14, 2014 Reply

One of the BEST things I did was sign up for this course about 6 months ago & it’s changed my life. I now have definite goals & am actively moving toward achieving them on a daily basis, thanks to Kari & Karl, who put together all this fabulous information in a wonderful e-course. Those of us from that class are STILL communicating about our journeys & it’s great to have this supportive community.

Becca - September 14, 2014 Reply

I love all the pictures. Your story is very inspiring!

V Salmon - September 15, 2014 Reply

I didn’t realise back in 2009 when we started that this way of living was going to explode but I am so happy to see so many embracing this way of living. We built a tiny home to stay out of the rain while building a larger log home in Alaska. We know have the roof, floor windows installed in the log house and putting the woodstove and front door in this week. All done out of pocket…slowly at times but almost completely debt free. Two beautiful homes, a big garden, land.
I told my grandsons that if a person takes their TV watching or gaming time and instead starts building a simple small house they can have mortgage free life. Maybe not overnight and not without sacrifice but even if it takes a couple years it is so worth it. Our philosophy is to use what we would have spent each month on a 2 bedroom apt as our building money. We started out in a borrowed tent with a small down payment on the land and wrote in the contract our first payment was not due for 3 months so we had our “rent” money to build a small structure. We also build in such a way that it can easily be added on to. Freedom!!!

Steve Pitchford - September 17, 2014 Reply

This blog never ceases to amaze or tug at my heart. The stories are as endless as humanity its self. We all want a piece of land and a home to live in, something that becomes harder with each generation even though the wealth of our society grows greater. A tiny house can and does satisfy that desire for many whether it’s out of necessity or a desire to live a simpler life style. My own desire has been to live in a home that makes the most of natural placement and the use of solar and wind power and is built of straw bales and adobe bricks which can trap those energies. Since I’ll be making the bricks and stacking the bales I want to use the smallest scale and the best space design. Every story on this blog takes me one idea closer. Last week I read a quote on this blog that said, “obligate yourself to your dreams”. I wrote it down and have pondered it often since.
Happy trails,
SteveP

Rebeccq - June 5, 2016 Reply

I am on a similar journey after the economy knocked me down. I picked up 5 acres in the mountains and take a step forward every day. Even if it is small. 3.5 years later I am amazed. May never get done but the journey is sweet.

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