Nose Dive

If someone had said to me three or five years ago that I would one day complain about a house being too big, I might have reached out and slapped someone. Too big? A house?

Girl, please. That’s like complaining that you have too much money. “Oh, woe is me! What should I do with all this money?” But, alas, I have discovered that there is the possibility of too much of a good thing.

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Location, Location

My husband and I have lived in a variety of cities since we’ve married. We’re currently in a small country-bumpkin suburb of a larger city in the US Southwest. Crime out here is starting to rise– we’re hearing more stories of windows on stores getting smashed and such. Of course, when we moved out here, some tried to warn us– but that’s really the case with the entire metropolitan area we live in.

Basically…crime is high. Higher than the national average. What’s also high? Land prices. It isn’t easy to find affordable land out here (we want land because we would like to build an affordable small/bordering on tiny home of our own). Combine the two and you’ve got a recipe for major frustration.

It is so easy to just jump in head first to any great idea. A small house? We need to buy land? OKAY! Let’s just go grab the land and worry about the rest later. Except…well…what about the cost of building your own house? Many “tiny home” advocates discuss how CHEAP it is! Except…where to put the house? If you have to add $40,000 to the cost of building your small house…all of a sudden “affordable” it isn’t.

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In The Beginning…

Every good story needs a back story. Heck, even not-so-good ones could benefit from a bit of filling in the details here and there.

Here are those said details; I doubt they are much different than anyone others.

Several years ago, my husband and I made the decision to pursue Simple Living as a lifestyle. We had packed our 1,400 square foot house to the rafters. We NEVER had enough money and, while we never went into debt over our spending habits, we definitely weren’t living The Good Life.

And so we started on our venture…and it went decently well. We did the best we could with what we had. Part of our reason for Simple Living was the hope of saving money for someday. Well, someday arrived in January 2009…via a pink slip from work. After having survived multiple rounds of layoffs, my husband was finally called to the chopping block. His last day of work was his 30th birthday.

We were some of the lucky ones…within a few days of his final day of work, he had an offer at a different company. Only problem? It was about 1,200 miles from home. We went happily and gratefully, though our hearts were full of sadness.

With this move came a huge pay increase. We were no longer just getting by. We suddenly had more money than we had since our dual income no kids days…and I think I celebrated a bit by Falling Off The Bandwagon.

A couple moves later (we decided to rent) and I found myself in a 2,250 square foot house, complete with a pool.

While I absolutely LOVE this house (wood blinds! Gorgeous kitchen!), it was all becoming too much. The clutter was there, no matter how much we donated. Why? We just had more space to spread it over.  Three toilets with hard water stains. Two showers plus one bath. An entire downstairs with tile that needed serious grout scrubbing. All carpet up.

That’s when I said to my husband, “Perhaps we could think about getting a small house.”  A seed was planted, an idea blossomed.

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