How To Creatively Finance Your Tiny House

How to Creatively Finance Your Tiny House

a.k.a. How to Find Sponsors 101

Guest post by Michelle Boyle

If you’re like me, you started out with a dream to build a tiny house. And then, as you did your research, you quickly discovered that since a conventional bank loan is not a tiny house financing option; paying with cash or an “alternate” funding option would be needed. Banks, as it turns out, don’t like to lend money on tiny houses that move around easily on flatbed trailers.  I guess it makes sense.  How would they get their money back, if worse came to worse?

 At this point (as is often the case with obsessive pursuits) reality has smacked you around a bit, and you are left…….a bit shaken……but still determined to find a way.

 Sound familiar?

I am a single mom, I am 47 years old, I work 45+ hours per week at my full time job, I have two children in college, and I live paycheck to paycheck.  For years I have been the sole source of income for our household and have struggled to keep a roof over our heads and food on the table.  While I am looking forward to the Empty Nest phase of my life, I am also faced with how best to navigate it from now into retirement. In a nutshell, my life has been a “series of unfortunate events” leaving me with no sizeable assets (I do not own a home) savings (not even sure what that term means) or retirement accounts.

I do, however, have a crap-ton of tenacity and a failure-is-not-an-option ability to find a solution to any problem that is put before me.

Question:  How am I financing my tiny house build?

Answer: Creatively (and with sponsor’s help!)

Vintage Campers (aka My First “Building Tiny” Experience)

A few years ago I was bit by the Glamper bug and refurbished a 1964 Scotsman trailer that had been sitting under a tarp since 1967.  When a new neighbor moved in a few doors down with a 1950’s era trailer, I introduced myself and offered my assistance with renovating hers.  She never got around to it and moved a year later.  Overwhelmed with the time, efforts, and expense of moving she offered to give me her vintage trailer in exchange for my help.  A few months and $600 worth of materials later, I sold the better-than-before vintage trailer.  The tidy profit from my little vintage project was then immediately used to buy my custom build tiny house trailer. It’s amazing, that feeling you get when the trailer is delivered.  It’s like…ohhhh…..this is REAL NOW!?

Odds, Ends, and Craiglist Stuff

One of my best friends is an addicted “recycler”.  As the maintenance and rehabilitation manager for a large low income housing provider, he has spent the majority of his 30 years collecting building materials and things that other people find useless. (His garage sales are EPIC!) He recently contacted me to determine my level of interest in finding a home for a circa 1950’s all-in-one-kitchenette.  I bought it from him, had it repaired and certified as “working” then sold it for a 3x profit.  I also take furniture and various items from around the house I no longer need, as well as re-furbished garage sale finds; and sell them on craigslist.  These efforts have netted me over $1200 in the past year.

401K, Overtime, and Job Changes

Did you know that you can take a “hardship” withdrawal from your 401K, without being required to pay it back, for the construction or down payment on a primary residence? (Disclaimer: Please consult with a tax professional to determine if this is the right financial path for you.) I had only worked at my job for a little over a year, and was looking to change jobs soon so I did just that; I took a $2000 withdrawal on my 401K (almost the entire balance).  At that time, we were told that we could work all the overtime we wanted to, so I did.  I started working 11 – 12 hour days.  After a few months of that, I decided to change jobs and since my employer had held my first paycheck for a month (normally, employers hold them for 2 weeks so it was a tough first month!) when I left; my last paycheck was pretty sizeable! Cha Ching! With all that hard work, and creative “financing”, I added another $4000 to the project plan and used that money to pay for the framing, welding, and electrical labor. (and I now had a new job which paid more than my previous one, while also being required to work less hours.)

Sponsors Galore!

Michelle has raised over $16,000 for her tiny house build through help of corporate sponsor

Michelle has raised over $16,000 for her tiny house build through help of corporate sponsor

Far and away, however, the biggest contributors to my project’s progress were my sponsors.  As I write this, my sponsors have contributed almost $16,000 dollars’ worth of materials and labor.  (and more is still pending) The question I get asked, more than any other, is “How did you find sponsors!?”

I started my tiny house project, just like you, and couldn’t imagine how I would build a tiny house without cash in the bank.  While I was snowed in last Spring, I found an e-book online by Andrew Odom called “Your Message Here!” (http://tinyrevolution.us/store/tiny-rev-products/) I didn’t read it, I devoured it.  It was, above all, an “AH HA!” moment.  I immediately got started with reserving a domain name, and asked my son to design my logo.  I created a blog, and ordered business cards, and created a sponsorship outline. I was off and running at a break-neck pace.  (and, with four days of nothing else to do because we had a foot of snow on the ground, the timing was perfect!)

The details of your project will probably be very different from mine.  I took the concept and really ran with it.  You might, however, decide to scale it differently and only pursue a sponsor or two.  I can tell you now, it’s a lot of work!  It’s not just a “you give me stuff and I’ll talk nice about you on facebook” scenario.  Sponsorships are like any other relationships and require communication and documentation of the specific expectations so the relationship doesn’t go sour.

But, if you’re interested in the concept of pursuing sponsors (one of them, or fifty!?) here are the six initial steps I took to make it happen:

Step 1 – First, I had my 17 year old computer whiz kid son create my project logo in Photoshop.  Then, I immediately ordered business cards with said logo on them.  Sponsors want to know you’re serious and want to align themselves with a “brand” they can relate to.  (or so I read…lol…)  These steps are necessary in order to present yourself to them in the most professional light, as is possible.

Step 2 – I brainstormed a list of potential sponsors that would align with the materials I needed. I then researched said sponsors to determine their marketing strategy and if their corporate goals and values aligned with My Empty Nest’s goals and values.  (Sustainability, minimalism, social responsibility, use of reclaimed materials, and a creative approach to solving problems)

Step 3 – Using Andrew’s outline, I wrote up a template for a sponsorship request email. Also, I developed a Tiny House Sponsorship Overview sheet which included web links to other tiny house projects and success stories, to make it easier for them to research; and to build excitement for the Tiny House movement in general.  (Steps 1 thru 3 took just a few hours!)

Step 4 – Next, I started making phone calls to sponsors, asking who their marketing manager was and their email address.  Then I started sending emails and logging the information I had gathered into an Excel spreadsheet so I knew who was who, and when and how I had contacted them.  Staying organized, is a key step here.  Knowing who you called or emailed, and when, will help you know you’re not “bugging” someone and also when to follow up with them.  It’s a fine line to walk.

Step 5 – After each cold call email, I followed up via phone if I did not hear back from them within 7 days.  Some sponsors will appreciate your follow up, some won’t.  Some sponsors will think your idea is awesome.  Some will hang up on you.

Step 6 – After I had talked to them I noted their response on my spreadsheet and immediately sent out thank you cards to anyone I had talked to, thanking them for their time, regardless of their response.  Some asked for additional details, or a conference call, or a sponsorship agreement, or a list of materials I needed.

I have to admit.  I am amazed at the generosity, enthusiasm, and overall support I have received from almost everyone I have talked to.  Even if they could not sponsor me, for whatever reason, most of them were encouraging and gave me great advice.  I did reach out to a few people with whom I already had a relationship with but most of them were just cold calls / emails.

 

Cheap, Fast, or Good?

Building a tiny house is a huge undertaking but it can be done

Building a tiny house is a huge undertaking but it can be done

Building a tiny house is a HUGE undertaking.  Can you build a tiny house for $5,000?  Sure.  But there’s a famous saying in the construction industry that goes like this:  Cheap, Fast, Good; Pick Two.  And, it’s very true.  You can build a house for cheap if you proceed VERY slowly, do all the labor yourself, and find free or discounted materials on craigslist and from friends.  Or, you can maybe even find a contractor who will build your tiny house cheaply and quickly, but the quality of your build and materials will very likely suffer.

Having, or finding, the money to build a tiny house is every bit as big of a challenge as the build itself.  Keeping track of where you spend your money, how much you have left, and what’s next is part of what helps your contractors and sponsors, stay involved and engaged with your project.  So, I guess what I’m trying to say (but not quickly, apparently) is that if you’re thinking of building a tiny house you’ll need to understand that even with, or without sponsors, it is a pretty complicated process that requires a sense of commitment and organization you may have not yet experienced in your life.

But, if this old single mom from rural Oregon can do it, I’m thinkin’ that anyone can…..

If you’d like to read more about my process of finding and managing sponsors, you can find those details here:

http://www.mytinyemptynest.blogspot.com/2014/05/you-never-know-what-answer-will-be-part.html)

If you’d like to hear more about my sponsor story, I’ll be speaking at the upcoming FREE Tiny House Jamboree – August 7 -9 in Colorado Springs: http://www.tinyhousejamboree.com/speakers/

Michelle Boyle

Michelle Boyle

Michelle is an outgoing single mom, published author, speaker, patented inventor, blogger, craigslist stalker, enthusiastic Glamper, and Northwest native; as well as a tiny house enthusiast, designer, and builder. Her Tiny House, aptly named “My Empty Nest”, is the culmination of a life spent dreaming of a tiny reclaimed space, all her own. Her build-in-progress has already been featured in Tiny House Magazine and she is a frequent contributor to TinyHouseBlog.com.  If you’d like to follow Michelle’s tiny house build, you can find her at: http://mytinyemptynest.blogspot.com//.

Want to learn more about tiny house living and how to build a tiny house? Want to do so for FREE? Sign up for our totally free 7 Day Tiny House eCourse! Find out more HERE.

51 Responses to How To Creatively Finance Your Tiny House

  1. Vicky White March 10, 2015 at 2:13 pm #

    Michelle, this is so awesome! Congratulations on going for it and finding a way around what many would think was not possible. There are so many solutions for each of us in any of our situations and you’re right – we often have skills and abilities that come for free. Tying yourself to a 30-year (or less) relationship with a bank is likely the last choice for anyone wanting freedom and empowerment. You go girl!

  2. Priscilla March 10, 2015 at 2:18 pm #

    This is so awesome and inspiring. My main takeaway from this is: How would you know if people were willing to help you for free if you don’t ask them?
    Excellent Post!

    • Michelle March 10, 2015 at 2:49 pm #

      Yep. You won’t know until you ask….

  3. Terry March 10, 2015 at 2:47 pm #

    Amazing! Awesome! Heartwarming!

    Above all, inspiring . . . thank you for sharing your story, Michelle.

    Peace & blessings, Terry

  4. Michelle March 10, 2015 at 2:50 pm #

    You are very welcome. I enjoy telling others and hope they might do the same….

  5. B.j. Miller March 10, 2015 at 3:05 pm #

    Michelle,

    I Love Your Never Say Die, And NO QUIT Attitude!! You Are Truly An AMAZING Person And You Have Managed To Inspire Me To Keep On With My Dream Of Building My Own Tiny House For My Son And I.
    I Love The Idea That There Are Really Good People Out There Who Are Willing To Help…But You’ll Never Find Them If You Don’t Ask!.
    Thanks For The Inspiration!
    B.J. Miller

    • Michelle March 11, 2015 at 10:00 am #

      Awww, such a sweet compliment. You’re welcome.

  6. Elle March 10, 2015 at 3:23 pm #

    Just beautiful. LOVE THIS. It’s so good to see resourceful stick-to-itiveness from people like you. No whinning! Just do it!

    • Michelle March 11, 2015 at 10:01 am #

      I couldn’t agree more! :o)~

  7. Allen Berrebbi March 10, 2015 at 3:57 pm #

    The link to download the sponsor info is broken. Do you have a new one?

  8. Allen Berrebbi March 10, 2015 at 3:58 pm #

    Never mind, found it

  9. Theresa March 10, 2015 at 5:24 pm #

    Ummmm…..banks finance cars….n trucks too…..last I heard they move around. They just like to put obstacles in our paths.

    • Ryan March 10, 2015 at 6:10 pm #

      True, also you can also get a loan on a traditional camp trailer too, but because its “homemade” and because your not a business with a way to prove the value of it and because there isn’t a precedent for a loan of this type banks say no. Its also tough to get a personal loan for the full amount with a interest rate that won’t make your jaw hit the ground,

    • Michelle March 11, 2015 at 10:02 am #

      You have a very good point. I’m sure an entire blog could be written on the subject of bank’s perceptions of tiny houses….

  10. dony steinbach March 10, 2015 at 7:30 pm #

    hello, Icanrelate to your story but the one thing tiny home owners information I fail to hear in the stories is: well my problem would be I can save money building a tiny house BUT how do they afford the Truck , which is a big expense even a used one, to pull it?

    • Michelle March 11, 2015 at 10:03 am #

      I don’t have a truck or even know how I will move mine when it’s done. I’ll probably borrow one, or pay a tow truck or moving company. There really is no reason to own a huge truck to haul it. Most of the tiny house occupants I know certainly do not.

  11. Barbara March 10, 2015 at 8:35 pm #

    Thank you for sharing your story and experience. I’m new to the thought of obtaining a tiny house for myself. The description of your life situation is so close to mirroring mine. I’ve had to recently move from Oregon to Idaho to live in my mom’s spare house, but all I want to do is move back to Oregon and into my own space. You are very inspirational to me. Thanks.

  12. Lara Black March 11, 2015 at 5:54 am #

    Finally…someone I can relate to!! Thank you Michelle for re igniting my dream! I have been so discouraged by my lack of resources that I had almost given up. Thank you for reminding me that “where there’s a will, there’s a way!”

  13. Michelle March 11, 2015 at 10:05 am #

    Building a tiny house without money requires tenacity. I’m just lucky that I have enough! LOL

  14. Irene March 11, 2015 at 11:25 am #

    H Michelle,

    You GO girl!!!! I am turning 49 next week and in an almost identical situation.

    I live in Petaluma and work in San Francisco. I am ready to start, but not sure how to find the land to build on.

    Where did you find the space to place your home?

    Thanks!
    Irene

    • Michelle March 11, 2015 at 12:27 pm #

      Mine is on wheels and so far, I have no answer. I am building it in the driveway of my rental house but I don’t yet know where I’ll put it when I’m done.

  15. Jerry McIntire March 11, 2015 at 6:29 pm #

    Thanks for sharing your story Michelle. I had just finished Andrew Odom’s e-book on finding sponsors. You’ve done an admirable job of putting it into practice!
    A year ago when I started looking at tiny houses I corresponded with Peter Sing of Sing Core Panels (building panels) and he offered to sponsor a tiny house build with some panels. He is in Washington state and I’m in Wisconsin, so I didn’t take him up on it, but I am looking at SIPs panels now for the walls and roof of hOMe. They should make the build go much faster, and yield a higher R-value in the walls– which we need in Wisconsin!
    I am guessing that you will find a good spot to park your tiny house once you’re finished and ready to move. I just heard a young family of three talk at the local library tonight about their tiny house– they have found two very low cost parking spots for it over the past 18 months.

    • CynRaper August 22, 2015 at 4:02 pm #

      HI Michellen and Jerry. My husband and I purchased a stripped-down 1966 Trailblazer shell, sandblasted it, primed and painted it. Now we’re ready to build our 2-story THOW. We are going to contact Peter Sing next week with our proposal to partner. After building ours, we’d like to start a blag similar to Tiny House Nation. We’d travel to a city, help a prospective homeowner build their shell, do a segment on the homeowner (why go tiny, etc.), do a segment on unique local fare, a segment on unique things to do in the area, and show the homeowner in the final stage of a build-out. Peter’s THOW can be built for FAR LESS that stick built, and stronger than steel! Michelle, you’re one spicy lady at your young age, I can tell. I will be selling the jewelry I make with Swarovski crystal beads while traveling. Please contact me via email (CyndiRaper with yahoo) with your bracelet size and your favorite color(s).

      • Michelle August 24, 2015 at 8:11 am #

        Thanks! I love hearing stories about other tiny house enthusiasts and their journey, and creative approach to problem solving! I’ll email you in a bit. Good luck and I hope to see you on TV soon! Hugs from Oregon!

        • CynRaper October 1, 2015 at 7:28 am #

          okay, need your wrist size and favorite color(s0. Didn’t receive an email so thought I’d check in here to fiind you again, Michelle. Hugs from the hot, nasty, humid state that I just can’t seem to move out of fast enough!

    • Michelle October 1, 2015 at 9:57 am #

      Thank you for your compliments and encouragement!

  16. Michelle March 12, 2015 at 9:15 am #

    That’s awesome and thank you for your kind note. Good luck and stay warm!

  17. Pam Shelburne March 12, 2015 at 12:13 pm #

    Read your article with interest. After losing my husband of nearly 30 years to a motorcycle accident last year, I have decided to retire myself next year and build a tiny house in the Blue Ridge mountains for my 3 dogs and me. I plan to buy my land and hire a grader to do the road and foundation work. I don’t need my home to be able to travel via trailer, so this leaves me more design options. My issue will be financing part of the build. I don’t think sponsorship would be a good fit for me. I am moving to a part of the country where I know no one, and while I will have the majority of the cash for the project, I won’t have all. This is the scary part for me. I am bound and determined to make it happen, one way or another. Thanks to all the Tiny Home Pioneers who have gone before me, you put hope in my heart!

  18. Ina March 20, 2015 at 1:51 am #

    Wow, that is me to a “T”, down to the age and everything. As my younger daughter is getting ready to head off to college, and my older one is a Junior in College, I find myself at a crossroads in life. All I know is that with my Gurlz gone I don’t need a big apartment, anymore. I have always said, I could be happy in one room with a bath and a small kitchen….and then I discovered the Tiny House movement. I’ve really only seriously (obsessively) looked into it for about a month or so…I have been sick for the past 2 weeks and have done nothing but research, design, read, read, read and watch videos…over and over again ( I start at 8 am and don’t stop until 1-2 am). I know exactly what my Tiny House will look like and I wish, I could have built it myself, but lack of financing and people to help, as well as wanting to do this, now and start saving that extra money that I would spend on rent, convinced me to go with a builder, instead. In turn, I will look to help someone else in the future and learn and give back, that way.
    As in the scenario above, having raised my Gurlz (ages 17 and 22) by myself for the last 10 years,after fleeing an abusive marriage, and with no family in this country for support ( I escaped East Germany in 1989, just one month before the Wall came down), I have absolutely no savings and banks look at me like “what do you want? Who are you? And why would we lend to you?” I have over these last 10 years always paid a rent of $1,500 or more, working as many hours as it took to make that happen, and never, ever failed on that obligation, I also have an impeccable car payment record….but my credit speaks a much different story and banks won’t even look at me. But I don’t want that to stop me. Like I said to my daughter, just the other day “I escaped a communist country as a 22 year old, surely I can find a loan to build me a house”. 😉
    The reason I want to do this is because this will be my ONLY opportunity to ever own a home and will solve my fear of what’s going to happen in retirement? I can take these next few years to pay back the loan at much less then what I was paying for rent, I will be able to save a little, or pay the loan back faster and I’ll be set for retirement…and the best part is, I will never have to move again. Having moved 8 times in the last 10 years, I’m so tired of packing and re-packing boxes and moving stuff. But I also want to have the opportunity to be close to my Gurlz, wherever they go. With my Tiny House, that would never again be a problem. The freedom that promises is just priceless.
    Now, on to finding someone who is willing to take a chance on me, help me make my dream come true…and then to finding a place to park my home until I know where my Gurlz will end up. Thank you so much for all the info you shared. I pray it will help me get closer to my dream of owning my Tiny Home. My goal is to be in my Tiny Home by the end of summer.

    • Gabriella March 31, 2015 at 5:34 pm #

      Hi there Ina,

      Wow what a crazy story! So glad to hear that you’ve found so much passion for the tiny house movement. Let us know if you have any specific questions.

      Cheers

    • DEE May 13, 2017 at 5:29 am #

      Ina…same situation here. I see retired people struggling. I just want to know that when I can’t work. I have a paid for place to rest my head. I don’t want 30 years of payments as time is not on my side

  19. Lorraine March 20, 2015 at 3:20 pm #

    I found your story to be both fascinating and inspiring. Your reference to “old single mom” made me chuckle since compared to me, you’re a “spring chicken” and yet I’m still considering building a tiny home as an option for more stable housing in my golden years. I’m just sick and tired of endlessly pouring my slim financial resources into paying increasingly outrageous rent to a faceless corporation. The biggest challenge for me would be to find a place to build it, since I rent an apartment, not a house AND where to live while building it as I’d prefer to use money currently spent on rent to help finance it. The idea of sponsorship never occurred to me and so I’m curious to know — what are your sponsors asking for in return?

    • Michelle August 24, 2015 at 8:12 am #

      Sorry for my late response! Every sponsor is different. For some, I do a lot of social media “work” on their behalf. Some of them just want credit, some pictures, and an invite to the open house. It depends on the size of the company and their social media and advertising goals. Good luck!

  20. Dion Eagan April 25, 2015 at 2:28 pm #

    Completely inspiring! Thank you for showing me your tenacity and courage!

  21. Linda and Britt Paquette May 7, 2015 at 6:50 am #

    Dear Michelle,
    My daughter Britt, is graduating from UMASS this weekend and has been accepted to Vet school in Illinois, She has to obtain loans for 80,000, for each year X 4 years. So…she is planning on buildinf a tiny house from a 5th wheel camper, that was gifted to her. She has just started to demo the camper. We have a small farm( 4 acres) and little money , but lots of random building materials. (all repurposed, recycled, found, given, etc) But she realizes she will still need est, $10,000, to get her Tiny houise done in 2 months and have it roadworthy and ready for freezing temperatures in Illinois. She hopes to save money from having to commit to 12 month leases near the campus for 4 years. We will be reviewing and learning from your sharing of this information. Thank You so much!

    Also, Do you or anyone reading this blog have any idea how to locate a place to live in your tiny house in another state far far away.sit unseen, in advance, and how to go about it. She is a 21 yr old young woman and needs to be in a safe place with safe, good hearted people. She hopes to find a local person with a small farm, where she could park it, have access to electricity, water and privacy, in a safe environment. We have a massive undertaking in the next month.
    Any advice will be greatly appreciated. PS we have lots of tools, space, storage and random “stuff” here at our mini farm. we both can handle power tools and basic carpentry, but will need lots of donated help(labor) and money and or supplies.
    Thank You for your inspiration.

    If anyone wants to contact us directly, we can submit contact information privately.??
    Thank You, Linda (MOM) and daughter Brittany P. Hampden, MA.

    • Gabriella May 11, 2015 at 2:36 pm #

      Hi Linda! Awesome your daughter is wanting to go tiny. I’ll just chime in here to say that two great resources may help you guys: tinyhousemap.com and also the Tiny House People group on Facebook. Good luck with it all! 🙂

  22. Debra May 16, 2015 at 8:08 am #

    Thank you for sharing…what a wonderful story and you totally inspire me! I too have had a lifetime of unfortunate and literally unbelievable set of circumstances. I am now 54, have never owned my own home, don’t have any parents, retirement, a high-paying job but I do have close to $10k in my bank. I am not married, wasn’t able to have children so I’m kid-free. I have been researching tiny homes for about a year and am fascinated! I will take all the valuable information you’ve shared and try to find a way to also be a successful tiny homeowner!
    God Bless you!
    Debra

  23. lemon June 8, 2015 at 5:07 pm #

    How much do you sleep, Michelle?

  24. Erin June 21, 2015 at 4:22 am #

    I’m interested in building a tiny house for my daughter and I. I want to personally build it without a loan if necessary. The problem is where to keep your tiny house building project during the building process. Did you build it yourself? Where did you keep your tiny house project during construction?

    I too am about the same age as you (50) and have a young child. I also am in the same financial situation and have been the sole provider for myself and child. We have a goal to move to Portland, Or in 2 years. I wanted to take the time to save and possibly start building and have it completed by the time we move. Any suggestions?

    • Michelle August 11, 2015 at 11:30 am #

      I build my house, myself, with help from a few contractors and friends. I am building it in the driveway of my rental house and no, I didn’t ask permission. I just did it. My suggestion would be to plan, plan, plan. A lot of mistakes can be avoided the more clear you are with what you need, and want, in your tiny house. The more research you do, the more ah-ha moments you will have along the way. You are stronger than you imagine. Keep your chin up and know it will be hard work but well worth it!

  25. Kellie Pawlaczyk July 1, 2015 at 10:32 am #

    So a new friend 🙂 Angie was telling me about you and that you gained sponsorship toward your tiny house build. I’m super excited about Colorado to hear you speak! When googling I came about this page and at the end I saw it was you and I laughed and smiled because I thought “hey, this is who Angie was talking about!” I’m still drawing up my tiny house, but I don’t think it’ll be long before I’m finished. Thank you for describing your steps 😀

    • Michelle August 11, 2015 at 11:24 am #

      Sorry for my late response! You’re so welcome! Good luck with your build!

  26. Paul August 7, 2015 at 10:56 pm #

    Michelle your story is an absolute inspiration. Reading this has played a huge role in convincing me to build a tiny house and to pursue sponsorship relationships.

    I just spent today designing my email template and factsheet, and creating a massive spreadsheet. Here goes nothing!

    Thank you!

    • Michelle August 11, 2015 at 11:28 am #

      Thank you so much! Your story is why I share my steps and progress and your enthusiasm makes me smile. I contacted a lot of companies but ended up with almost $18,000 towards my build. It was a lot of work but was well worth it and I know it will be, for you too! Good luck and by the way…..spreadsheets ROCK! LOL

  27. Melissa Merry February 20, 2016 at 9:02 pm #

    Hi Michelle,

    Thank you for sharing your story. My husband and I are also looking forward to eventually build our own Tiny dream home. We are avid watchers of “Tiny House Living” and “Tony House Nation” to get clear ideas of what we want from our home. In each episode, we have noticed that once complete the houses are moved onto someone else’s property. This is concerning to us as ultimately we’d like to own a plot of land to put our home while not in motion. Are you familiar with this issue? If so, do you know which states are Tiny House friendly when it comes to these issues?

    • /bob February 21, 2016 at 10:06 am #

      Search this web blog for posts about Walsenburg and Spur. They are two Tiny House friendly cities that changed their ordinances to allow a Tiny House as primary dwelling on a city lot that you would own. Also if you search the web, you will find other locations that allow variances for the same in rural areas as well as in urban settings for accessory dwellings to a main house on a lot. There was also a comment in another blog post on this site that some areas of Canada allow Tiny Houses. Read the recent blog post on getting a variance to legalize your Tiny House. There are other places around the world as well. You do have to search for them, but they are out there. This is also my preference for any Tiny House that I would build… to own the lot and legally have my Tiny House placed on it as my primary dwelling.

  28. Marci Boecking May 28, 2016 at 4:01 pm #

    Michelle, thank you very much for sharing this with people!
    I was wondering if you did, or considered, any fundraising campaigns like KickStarter or GoFundMe, and if so, what your decisions and experiences were. My partner and I are looking for land out west and want to build a tiny home there, as well as start a small-scale organic farm (with future plans to be able to offer land to other people in similar situations, ideally). We both live at or below the poverty line though working full-time, and find it very difficult to save anything substantial for a down payment, etc.
    Thanks again for such an inspirational story! Much love. 🙂

  29. Samantha October 9, 2016 at 7:34 pm #

    I loved your blog. I am a college student who doesn’t want to live at home anymore but my finances are practically zero. I’ve been debating renting vs tiny house for many months now and owning my own tiny house is definitely the winner. I also have been debating the tiny house on a trailer route or convert an old school bus. I don’t own a truck so the school bus seems more logical. I’m in southeast Louisiana. Do you think I could find sponsors here? Was that process difficult with your job? (Full time student with part time job here. Free time is spare)

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