Tiny House, Big Questions

The “Gothic Castle” tiny house that was featured on Tiny House Nation in 2015 is up for sale. It was only a few months ago that we found the house. It wasn’t exactly hiding, it just isn’t in a neighborhood where one might expect to find a tiny house. The asking price is $99,900, which includes the lot, a beautiful privacy fence, and a nice storage shed. I haven’t toured the house but from the video, it looks quite nice…if you’re into the medieval vibe. Take a look…

What you can’t see in the video though is that this gorgeous little house is in an awful neighborhood. I sincerely apologize if I offend anyone who lives in this neighborhood but seriously, this is at the end of the street…

All of the windows look like this and people actually live here.

And this is the house to the left of the Gothic Castle…

The tiny house is right next to the City’s recycling drop-off center. We go there every week and never knew the tiny house was there until a former police officer told us about it. He was just as surprised as we were that it was located in such a run-down part of town.

So I got to thinking…maybe the land was cheap. I looked at the tax records and the lot was purchased in 2014 for $9,000. To me, that’s not all that cheap. Maybe they put it there because it’s close to the bypass to Nashville. Maybe they thought the neighborhood would improve if they built there. Who knows! Whatever the reason, I’m now find myself pondering, what happened to the family who was so excited to build this tiny dream castle? Did they simply decide to upsize again? Or did the neighborhood get the best of them?

And better yet, who will be next to buy this semi-famous piece of real estate?

I’ve always heard that it’s better to buy the worst house in the best neighborhood than the best house in the worst neighborhood. What do you think? Would you build your dream home in the worst neighborhood in town if the price was right?


Food Waste Update

The grocery store next door is still under construction so once again, we have a week with no dumpster finds (though we did check twice). 

  • Wasted Food this week: 0 ounces
  • Total Wasted Food in 2018: 38 ounces
  • Rescued Food this week:   0 US pounds
  • Total Food Rescued this year:  184.39 US pounds

Keep up with our food finds in real time by viewing our Food Find Gallery.

Big Thoughts About Tiny Spaces

Last weekend we went to the Tennessee Tiny House Festival in Chattanooga. We didn’t “fall in love” with one single home, which is how I know this recently resurrected idea of ours might actually have some traction this time.

This time? Yes, in 2015, we met Scotty and immediately fell in love. Scotty was a vintage 22-foot travel trailer in need of a little TLC…or so it said in the ad. At the time, we were so caught up in our grand ideas that we didn’t think much about the practical aspects of RV living or the problems one might encounter when dealing with a 30-year-old trailer and quite quickly we came to realize that TLC more aptly meant “Totally Lost Cause”.

For anyone who followed us back then, you know that adventure was sidetracked and we ended up staying put in Tennessee to help my mom. For anyone who wasn’t with us then and is interested in knowing what happened, here’s a good place to start.

What we learned from our flirtation with tiny living back then was that we had the specs right but our method was wrong. In short, we would have been better off with a tiny house in a permanent location than trying to haul a leaky hunk of aluminum all over creation with a mid-size SUV and a super-size cat.

Which brings us to the present…

We constantly toss around the idea of putting a tiny house in my mom’s backyard. Our city recently revised zoning to allow for tiny houses on permanent foundations. While we’re not yet sure what that means for tiny houses as accessory dwellings in a residential area, we’re still pretty excited by the progress and are finding the topic of tiny living coming up much more often.

A good example of a bad ladder.

As we toured the tiny houses at the festival (all of which were on wheels), we oohed and aahed along with everyone else while also having a serious conversation about the practicality of tiny living. We decided some things were just a non-starter…like a loft bedroom that is only accessible by ladder. We’re not old by any stretch of the imagination but we are over 40 and falling headfirst down a ladder during a midnight potty run is not high on our list of fun things to do at night. Besides proper stairs, our other “must haves” include: a combo washer/dryer, a covered porch, and off-grid plumbing and electricity.

We saw several homes that partially met this criteria but none that ticked all the boxes (as they say on HGTV’s House Hunters). So what does this mean for us? I’m not sure yet. We are in our current lease until next summer so we have plenty of time to flesh out a proper plan to go tiny should we decide to move in that direction. In the meantime, we still need to find out if a tiny house in the backyard is even legal here. I’ve also suggested we find a tiny house rental through Airbnb and try that for a week – not during vacation but during a regular work week. A trial run is something we should have considered two years ago. I can’t help but think of the headaches it would have saved!

Could you live in a tiny house? What are your “must haves” to give tiny living a go?

Here are some of our favorite elements from the Tennessee Tiny House Festival.

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