RIP Tiny June
Oh, Tiny June.... Gone long before your potential had been reached.
It is with a heavy heart that we officially close the door on our tiny house project. Our original plan was so easy, so straightforward; But alas, the fates had a different idea.
As many of you already know, our ORIGINAL plan was to build a tiny house (Tiny June as she has lovingly been named) and live on our land while we built our home. The time line for the main house build was estimated to be just over a year, and I imagined many mornings sipping coffee on the deck of the tiny house watching and critiquing as Denny built our home (insert long winded sigh here).
Pretty much everyone thought I was nuts for actually WANTING to live in a 240 square foot tiny house (with a 2 year old) but I was actually quite looking forward to the experience of living simply. I wanted to see if we could manage with less, and still not feel like we were missing out. I wanted to put a skylight on Tiny June’s roof and look up at the stars as I fell asleep. I wanted to force myself to spend more time outdoors. And most of all, I wanted to be able to clean the entire house from top to bottom in under 20 minutes. But as many of you know, plans rarely go as you expect them to. Not even for better or worse, just different.
Immediately after submitting plans to the county to build our 2000 square foot main house and 1000 square foot garage/workshop we purchased this lovely tiny home trailer from the nice folks over at Tiny House Basics. We were all ready to get to work when we ran into a major hangup with the bank (You can read about that nonsense here)
After the houseing market crash, banks (at least California banks) stopped issuing conventional construction loans to OWNER-BUILDERS (ie... us)
What I didn’t say in my last post on this topic was we actually knew this information up front, but tried to find a loophole.
We know other general contractors, and found a family member who offered to put his name down on our bank form. That way, in the eyes of the bank, we were no longer “owner builder” but Denny could still freely work and oversee our project. Seems like a great plan right!? WRONG.
We were DAYS away from getting our bank loan approved when we got a call from our “on-paper-general-contractor”… He asked us to kindly remove his name from the forms; and for darn good reason! He didn’t realize that by standing in as our “on-paper” general contractor, he’d be absorbing a WHOLE LOT of liability that his insurance DIDN’T cover. Say, God forbid, something happened on site and one of our subs got hurt... Depending on the exact scenairo, that liability would fall on him.
Needless to say, we TOTALLY understood & supported his decision to remove his name. So for all you folks out there looking for “loopholes” ... DON’T PICK THAT ONE.
We quickly yanked our plans from the county, and proceeded to design a habitable loft above the garage. At this point we had to think quickly because if we didn’t get the plans back to the county soon, they would bump us alllllllllll the way back to the beginning of the line... AND (if you didn’t already read the post I linked to above) WE DIDN’T HAVE A BANK LOAN so we were constrained to the money that we had leftover from the sale of our previous house.
So this magical “plan” the home build that was only supposed to take a year, just got extended by a lot. Like waaaaay to long to live in a tiny house, not even for sanity sake, but like Placer County won’t allow you to live in a tiny house as a primary residence for that long. (Which is a pretty dumb rule if you ask me, and one that I hope gets revised as these become more popular.) It’s totally kosher to park one as like a granny flat, or AirBnb type setup, but the rule is that it cannot be the “primary residence” on a lot. Placer County : 1 ... Wilsons : 0
I sound like I’m ranting... but it’s really not all that bad. In fact, it’s not bad at all. Sure, Tiny June has come to pass, but we’re designing a sweet little loft we’ll call home for the time being. And you know what the best part about NOT getting a bank loan is... YOU DON’T HAVE TO PAY THE BANK! What we do have is OURS. And at the end of the day, that’s so worth it.
So without further adieu, Tiny June, our tiny house trailer, and my tiny house dream, is officially, for sale.