Friday, April 21, 2017

Are you living in your tiny house?

Technically . . . no.

But I am blogging in my tiny house!!

The real answer to this question depends on your definition of "living."

My tiny house arrived here in the Bay Area on Wednesday afternoon, so about two days ago. The plan was to park it somewhere in Pleasanton temporarily and then move it to Sunol (about 15 mins. away) on Sunday. We were all pretty sure that my house would not fit in my parents' backyard. Well, we knew it would fit back here, but we didn't think we could get it around the side of the house in order to get it in place.

That's why I've been asking all around to see if someone would let me park my house on their land or in front of their house, even just for a couple of days until I could get it to my family friend's property in Sunol.

BUT when the house got here on Wednesday, it turned out that it DID fit around the side of the house. That was the first super awesome thing that happened this week.

The second super awesome thing that happened was when someone from the city came by to see if my house was in violation of city zoning codes. Yeah. Not even 24 hours after my tiny house arrived, the city was on it. Scary! And also a little bit big brother-ish. I mean, whatever. It's not like I'm trying to break the law but it does seem weird that they would come so soon. They said they got an "inquiry" about my tiny house.

I was working at the time, so my mom explained that yes, it was a tiny house. And then the nice man from the city said that since the house is on wheels it's actually considered a trailer and that it's perfectly legal to park a trailer in our yard, as long as it's at least three feet from the side fence and six feet from the back fence (it is) and not hooked up to any utilities (it isn't) and not being lived in.

So that's why I'm technically not "living in" my house. Technically, I am camping. I still shower in my parents' house and eat in there and watch TV in there, but I have started sleeping in my tiny house and working in it during the day and storing my things in it and spending lots of time in it because it makes me happy. I don't know if I'll sleep in it every night. I still have a bedroom in the main house that I can use. But like right now, while my brother and his family is in town for the weekend
, it's nice to have a place of my own to hang out in so the main house isn't so crowded.

The third super awesome thing that happened this week is that I know for sure now that all of my things will fit in my tiny house. I was pretty certain that I could fit everything, but you never really know until you try. Turns out, I will be just fine. Honestly, I have way more storage than I need in here. It's awesome.

You guys, I love my house. And even though I can't technically live in it yet, it's still so great to have it here where I can spend time in it and enjoy so many of the perks of tiny living. I don't know for sure how long I'll keep my house here or where I'll go next with it, but I have absolutely no regrets about choosing to purchase a tiny house and I'm excited to finally be starting my tiny adventure.

Feel free to comment here or on Facebook if you have questions for me. I imagine there will be a few. I'll try to respond or I might decide to address your question in more detail in an upcoming post.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Should I have another tiny open house?

Time for an update on my tiny house situation.

First the really good news: I found a place to park my tiny house! I can't wait to share pictures because it really is an ideal setting. It's up on a hill in Sunol with a million-dollar view and beautiful southern exposure, which means lots and lots of sun all year long! A family friend has offered to let me park on her land, which is so generous of her, and I'm really grateful for her help. The property has horses, an olive vineyard, a pool . . . . It's gorgeous. And it's also only about 10 minutes to downtown Pleasanton. Finding this spot means that I'll be living here in my tiny house for at least the next couple of years, and after three moves in three years, that sounds awesome. I love Pleasanton and the Bay Area and I can't wait to re-establish some roots here. I think it'll be the perfect place to officially start my tiny house adventure.

The bad news is, the property requires some improvements before I'll be able to actually live in my house there. I'll need to set up the utilities to connect to my house, like water, power, and internet. The spot where my house will go is mostly level, but not perfectly so. And there's a path leading to the spot, but in order to get the house there, I'll need to turn the path into something less like a path and more like a real road. All of that is going to take time and money to accomplish before I can move in. Right now I'm tentatively hoping I'll be moving in sometime this summer, but I can't say for sure.

The other bad news is that technically living in my house there won't be legal. It's actually not illegal. It's just not legal, according to the official zoning code. I know there will be people in my life, like my parents, for example, who will disapprove of my choice to live outside the law. But personally, I've made my peace with this issue. I've prayed about it. I've studied the codes and laws involved. I've done a lot of research, and ultimately I've decided that this is what's best for me right now. You can still feel free to comment on my choice, and I'd be happy to chat with you about more of the specifics when it comes to zoning laws, but you won't be changing my mind.

This leads me to my real question of the day. Would anyone (in California) like to see my tiny house before I move into it?

I'm planning on moving the house up to my friend's property on April 23rd. That's a Sunday, but it's the day that works best for her. Right now, as you might remember, my house is still parked in Southern California. I'm making arrangements to get it up here, but I'm trying to decide if I should bring the house up a few days early so that people can see it.

Once I move it into place on the 23rd, I don't think I'll be inviting many people over to see the house. I'll take plenty of pictures for you all, but I won't be hosting big gatherings because I just won't have the space for it.

However, I know that in the past few months, several people have mentioned wanting to see my house in person. Is that still true? Specifically, if I had an open house on April 21st or 22nd, somewhere in Pleasanton, would you come?

There are a lot of logistics involved in moving a tiny house, so I just want to make sure it would be worth my while. I'd need try to figure out a place to have an open house, for one thing, and a place to park my house in between when it would arrive here and when I'd be taking it to my friend's place. I really am trying to gauge interest with this post, so please comment here or on Facebook if you'd come. If there aren't that many people interested, I won't worry about it. I'll probably still invite people over to see it one at a time, but I might wait a few months until I get things a little more settled.

Thanks for all your love and support during my tiny house journey so far! I'm really excited about how close I am to finally living in my house! 

(And I'm excited about having my house closer to home so I can take some new pictures to share. These ones from the construction phase are a little outdated at this point.)