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Hi, I’m Tri and my dream is to live in a tiny house! Why? I want to better practice minimalism, which means less material and mental clutter. So? A simpler life frees up more time and financial resources for the fun stuff like travel.

Mapping out my tiny house floor plan in my studio apartment

I’ve been interested in tiny house and simple living for about a year.  My two main reasons for going tiny are to live more simply and to lower my monthly expenses. With more money in the bank, I can do more things that bring me joy like yoga, camping and traveling! I currently pay $1140 for my teeny tiny studio in DC. After building and paying off my tiny house, I estimate that a parking space in the DC/Maryland/Virginia area will be about $300-$400!  If all goes as planned, I could be saving a whopping $740-$840 per month! My current budget for my tiny house is $45,000.

Let’s break it down:

Stay in my DC studio for the next 5 years: $1140 x 60 months = $68,400.00 (probably a little more with rent increasing each year – but let’s just keep it simple for now)

Cost of tiny house living for 5 years: $45,000 + $300 x 60 months = $63,000.00

In only 5 years, I’ll be saving a total of $5400.

In 10 years, I’ll be saving a whopping $55,000!

Touring a tiny house at Build Tiny in Berryville, Virginia

I loved searching for #tinyhouses on Instagram and watching tiny house tours on YouTube, but I didn’t have much knowledge about the ins and outs of tiny living and building. Therefore, I wanted to learn as much as I could before deciding if going tiny was right for me. I stumbled on Jewel and the Tiny House Trailblazers Workshop on the DC Tiny House Facebook group. What better way to learn about tiny houses and tiny living than from someone who has done it all? I signed up for the workshop immediately!

The workshop was very informative covering all the basic information as well as getting into the nitty gritty of toilets, electricity, parking, insurance, safety, security, etc. Before the workshop, I was happy with purchasing a premade off the shelf tiny house, but Jewel inspired me to customize my house and really make it my own!  Come on, when are you ever going to get to build or customize a home JUST FOR YOU?!?! I was super pumped after Day 1 of the workshop and spent all night working my floor plan and design. After the workshop, I felt like I had the foundation and knowledge of what it takes go to tiny. One very important thing I took away from this workshop was that we have to live this life for us and not for someone else.  There will be haters out there, but you just have to stick with your gut and know that this journey is for you and not someone else (unless they are willing to finance your life – haha).

Chilling at an AirBnB in New Jersey by Liberation Tiny Homes

After the workshop, I met with a few builders in the area. Jewel educated us with a good laundry list of what we should be asking when meeting with potential builders.  I was also able to stay at an AirBnB for three nights in New Jersey as a mini tiny house test run and attended the New Jersey Tiny House Festival where I got to tour over ten tiny houses.  I’m starting to meet tiny house folks from all over the area.  I just got back from a paint party where I got to help paint the interior of a tiny house.

I am currently in the process of building my 8’x24′ tiny house on wheels.  I am building with Robin Hayes of Build Tiny in Berryville, VA.  With my flexible schedule, I plan to be onsite for most of the build and lend a helping hand where I can. I want to put some blood and sweat into the house and really make it my own! Construction will begin in early August and will be completed by December of 2017. Right now, I’m on the hunt for a parking spot in the Washington, DC area.

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