Friday, August 16, 2013

Results from our search for a quick tiny house move

We want to pass along the results from our search for a quick tiny house move.

I was all ready to post on Craigslist but with the great results we received in such a short period of time I decided not to.

Within 24 hours of announcing that we were looking for a new space to move to we had 4 offers to host us by people we know directly. This was through general word of mouth and email to specific people. Both Jeff and I also posted flyers at our desks (work and school) that were copies of the 2nd blog post we did saying what we were looking for.

Within another 2 days of the announcement we had another 2 offers that were from friends of friends. One was through Facebook and the other was through word of mouth.

We first posted about our move on our blog on the 6th and had 6 solid offers by the morning of the 9th. When we moved to Seattle we had more offers but we also had surprise media coverage by the neighbor paper where we wanted to live and had months to prepare while we were building.

You’ll see on the map that the 6 possible spots to move to vary in location from the same neighborhood that we’re in now to up to an hours' drive away from work and school.

Although we’ve enjoyed living in Ballard these past four years, it’s now changing. Huge apartment buildings with hundreds of units are being built. Older houses are being torn down and three or four units are being built in their place. Some older houses are being saved but two units are being built in their backyard. The roads to the freeway and to downtown were congested before, now they’re worse. So we’re ready for a change in atmosphere… we considered all offers seriously. All six offers had what we needed and we felt very welcome at each location.

Bainbridge Island was very tempting. To have the experience of commuting by ferry from an island! How many can say they have lived on an island?

On Capitol Hill we’d be a shorter distance from our work and school locations. Being closer to downtown is very appealing too because we enjoy going to live performances. The location would be very close to my brother and his family.  We'd see them more often which would be great.

I haven’t yet been to Index but I’ve been told that there are some very eccentric people living there. It sounds fun to be surrounded by such interesting people.

The location in Kent seems to be not quite rural, not quite suburbs and is a great location. Very nice hosts and an open vista between our house and the next one over.

All 5 of those locations had their pros and cons. Population density and congested roads. Commute time short or longer. Being closer to entertainment and family.

Then…. we went to the Snohomish location. We really enjoy spending time with the hosts. One of them said, “We have lots in common but we’re different enough that it makes it interesting.” They have 2.5 acres and it’s fairly rural. We’d be a only 3 mile drive to restaurants and the library. We’ll miss walking to the grocery store and restaurants but we’re actually interested in how rural ‘feels’. We’ve built our own house, I garden for most of our food and we have many other self-sufficiency skills. We enjoy quiet, and ‘slower’ will be good for us.

When Jeff graduates this coming June we’ll be moving again. We’ve both experienced the city and the suburbs but neither of us have experienced rural yet. Living with this couple will be a great way for us to experience it, learn from them, and know if we want rural when we’re ready to buy a place to live and settle down the next time we move. Snohomish it is. Our move date is August 31st.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

We're planning a tiny house move


Yes,... we've been told that our homeowner friend accepted a job in New Mexico and that the house we live next to will be sold. We need to find a place to move our tiny house by the end of September. The sooner, the better though.

We're putting out the word that we're looking for a space to move,
but we would appreciate it if you'd try to think of places and would pass along the word as well.

What we need:
- the spot should fit our tiny house (about 24' long, 8' wide and 13'-6" tall)
- the space should be available soon through June 2014
- utility connections within 15 feet of our house for an outdoor extension cord (preferably 20amps),   
   an RV water hose and internet (wi-fi or wire)
- within an hour drive or ferry ride of Seattle
- either urban or rural would be fine

What would also be nice:
- a space equal in size to a one car garage or bedroom where I could do my art projects
   (either at your location or a place nearby that I could rent)
- an area for a small vegetable garden or space for a few containers
- washer and dryer privileges once a week

What you'd get:
- two very nice neighbors who are quiet, are willing to house-sit and look after your pets when
  you're on vacation, and have a great reference from their current landlord
- monthly income while we live on your property
- the possibility of you owning our tiny house once Jeff graduates in June

Do you own a residential or light commercial space with enough room for our tiny house?

Do you have a vacation property that you'd like watched or that you'd like to earn some income on? (Maybe on Bainbridge Island or east of Seattle?)

Maybe you want to own a well-built, nice looking, tiny house at a fraction of what it would cost to build your own? We've thought about trading it.

Maybe you always pass a spot that you think would be a great place for a tiny house or you know someone that has a space for us?

We're great at thinking 'outside the box'. (We live in a tiny house, right?)
We're open to all ideas. What can you think of?    :)

Thanks for your help,
Jeff and Arlene 

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Sure, our house has wheels... but how mobile are we really?

Recently we starting wondering how easy it would be to move our tiny house to live somewhere else.

What do we have to do so the move goes smoothly?
How do we find a new space to rent?
In what areas would we want to live?
Urban or rural this time?

We started thinking about this because the owner of the house where we've been renting tiny house space for almost 4 years is looking for a new job. Not all of the jobs he's applying for are local though. Some jobs are far enough that he'd sell the house we currently live next to, in fact.
We didn't expect to have to move until June 2014 when Jeff graduates and starts working. Until he's done with school, we need to stay in the Seattle area.

Getting our place ready to move should be easy compared to the many moves we did when living in larger conventional spaces simply because we own a whole lot less 'stuff'.

Because our trailer is rated to carry 7000 lbs maximum we'll have to box everything up (dishes, clothes, etc) and move our 'stuff' separately. We have trailer skirts that also cover the wheel wells that we can easily remove. We have a wooden fence that surrounds the trailer tongue where we store gardening equipment, our propane tank and bikes that also removes easily.

I rent a room in an office building for use as an art studio. I planned that workspace so that both tables and metal bookshelves are on wheels so I can configure my space depending on my project needs. Those wheels will make it easy to simply wheel everything to the elevator and out.

So far, so good, huh?
Where to move though?

When we were building our house and planning our move, I posted on our blog that we were looking for a space to rent in Seattle. I also asked two members of my family who already lived here to pass along the word and we were also lucky that a writer for our neighborhood paper wrote an article about alternative housing and linked to our blog.

We happily received 12 offers for a place to live! Rental costs ranged from free farther from Seattle to an unbelievable $800 a month (she said she wanted to pay off her student loans and didn't care that we brought our own house with us).

Six offers didn't work out because they had enough space, but we couldn't maneuver the house into the space. The two free spaces were great locations but farther than we wanted to commute. Another one was an empty lot surrounded by tall pines but no water or electric service we could figure out. The offer with the high price tag we didn't even consider. That left two offers. We could fit into either space, both are nice couples that we'd like to live near, they live in the same neighborhood... but we connected with one couple more than the other because of many common interests. Jeeps, rock climbing, yoga, organic gardening.

We feel extremely lucky that we found such great neighbors, new friends, and live in a walkable area where we can grow fresh food in the backyard. 

We met some very nice people while doing our search the last time. If we have to move soon, then I'm sure we'll meet more very nice people. Hopefully, finding a place to move the tiny house will be as easy this time as it was the first time.

If you have suggestions on how you'd approach a move like this, or have suggestions on where we should / could move, please post a comment. Lots of people are interested in living in a tiny house but how easy will it be for them to find a place to live in it?

We'll keep you posted on whether we have to move or not...