This year spring cleaning is going to look a bit different – we are selling everything we own. We are calling it preparation for tiny house living.
It was only a few weeks ago that Dylan and I made the decision to cancel our flight plans to Spain. At the time we believed that there was only one important factor in choosing between our digital nomad lifestyle and staying in British Columbia – whether or not COVID travel restrictions had been lifted. But, as I mentioned in my previous post, we hadn’t foreseen the intense desire we would both have to pursue our ‘staying local backup plan’. In fact, challenging ourselves with a new endeavor – building a tiny house – had never felt more right.
WHY choose a tiny house living?
Imagine driving out into the countryside, rolling grass hills framed by wild snow-capped mountain peaks, and a winding road that leads you literally to the middle of nowhere. You pass through a one-light town and continue through a deep valley that leads you to a bridge. Once you are across this gorgeous river, you turn left to drive alongside sprawling properties that border the river. After a couple of hours of driving in the brilliant Okanagan sunshine, you arrive at your destination, a dirt driveway barely visible from the main road.
After ten minutes of meandering down a dirt road, the property opens up into fenced fields of lush grass. As you continue, you approach a portion of cleared land that extends to the river. The far side of the river immediately turns into a dense forest bordering a mountainside. You’ve arrived at our tiny house building location.
Sounds pretty fantastic, right? Combine that with the fact that my parents own this 80-acre parcel of land and you start to understand why we would choose to build a home over renting a condo. In fact, they have already developed a large section of the land. To our benefit, my parents have already put in the hydro posts and drilled the well. This means we don’t have to take on these two high price tag jobs ourselves.
As I am sure most of you can guess – building a tiny house is ultimately going to save us a massive amount of money. Instead of paying rent, we will be putting all of our money into building costs. We have the added benefit of my stepdad being a master carpenter and working at a lumber yard, further reducing the cost of labor and supplies. We will be building this house together with Shane (my stepdad), contracting out only the hydro and plumbing.
However, while the major ‘why’ of tiny house living is the potential for saving money while owning a home, there are many other factors that drove us to make this decision. For one, we both love a physical challenge. The idea of roughing it in a tent for a few months is actually quite appealing to both of us. We are excited to wake up each morning, perhaps get in a session of yoga before grabbing a coffee and getting to work. It will be incredibly satisfying to see a piece of raw land become a home – all done by our own hands.
Thankfully, Dylan and I both have a love of the outdoors. We are avid hikers and camp whenever we have the chance. While I am a city girl at heart and will always love my high-rise condos and bustling city streets, I’ve also spent years out in the country riding horses, driven a jeep, and attention tailgate parties up a mountainside. Needless to say, having a tiny house in the country while having the ability to travel (long-term) as digital nomads to big cities is literally the perfect situation.
This leads to the main benefit of building a tiny home – a low cost of living. Once the house is built, Dylan and I will save money quicker than we could have if we continued renting condos. What will we put our savings towards? Long-term travel as digital nomads. We will travel the world for months and have the comfort of knowing that, at any time, we can book a flight home and return to our beautiful tiny house in British Columbia.
WHEN will we begin our tiny house living?
As of right now, our condo lease ends in June 2021. Thankfully, our landlord made it clear when we first signed the papers that we could end our lease early without repercussion. Knowing this, we decided to make this a two-phase transition. First, we are going to go visit my parents in mid-March to discuss our tiny house plans and begin clearing the land. Then we will pack up all of the things that we haven’t sold (which isn’t going to be much) and move onto our Okanagan property. Ideally, we will move at the end of April or the beginning of May. Regardless, by June 2021 we will be living up in the country full time.
WHERE are we living big in a tiny house?
As I previously mentioned, our property is in the Okanagan Valley. Located in central British Columbia, the Okanagan is known for its hot summers and snowy winters. The entire area is surrounded by massive mountain ranges, hence why it is called a valley. We happen to be building our tiny house in one of the more remote areas of the Okanagan, right along a major river. The exact location will remain a secret, but rest assured you will get plenty of visuals in our Tiny House Lifestyle VLOG.
HOW are we planning to build our tiny home?
Given the fact that my Stepdad is a master carpenter and the fact that I’ve already built two houses with him, we are fully prepped with all the experience and expertise we need to build this house. We will not hire contractors unless it is absolutely necessary. Likely, this will include the foundation pour, trusses, electricity, and plumbing. Shane can do almost all of this himself, but he has always preferred to have a professional come in and finish off what he has started. So we will be doing the same. In short, Dylan and I are committed to doing everything we can ourselves, under Shanes’s guidance of course.
That’s it! Now that you know the why, when, where, and how, all that is left is for you to join us on this journey! We will be sharing the entire experience on our Youtube Channel – Tiny House Lifestyle VLOG. Go subscribe now so that you never miss an episode.