Tiny House Living – When the property market is out of your reach – Go Tiny!
Tiny house living is taking the world by storm. With their modern innovations and multi-functional designs, tiny house living is becoming increasingly popular worldwide and a way to get out of debt, reduce living costs and increase life’s adventures.
As the housing market in Auckland reaches an all-time high and now makes it impossible for the average person to buy a home, many are looking at alternative options for home ownership, including tiny house living!
Introducing Kasia from Tiny House Living in NZ
Kasia and Jake made the move into their very own tiny house in 2016. As house rents were on the rise in Auckland, they quickly realised just how much money they were wasting paying someone elses mortgage!
Tell us a bit about yourself and your current situation?
It’s just my husband and I plus our big ginger cat, and we’ve been living in our Tiny House for around 10 months now.
Why have you chosen tiny house living?
We wanted to make some changes, and get ahead. We were renting a home which was eating up the majority of our income. I’ve got health issues which prevent me from working a “normal” job with a steady income, and I didn’t want to go on a sickness benefit. Instead I built my own small business, which to be honest didn’t contribute too much, as what I earned went back into building it, and we were struggling with the concept of being stuck in a financial rut.
We wanted to own our own home again, but couldn’t see a way to save the 20% deposit required to get into the housing market in Auckland. With average house prices being sky-high, you would need at the very least a $100,000 deposit! That’s totally nuts!!
We had admired Tiny Houses for quite some time but it took us a while to click that it would be the ideal situation for us, and then started to binge watch episodes from ‘Living Big in a Tiny House’ and saw many kiwis going in to Tiny Houses.
I did some maths, and found that if we could get a loan, even if it had a huge interest rate, it would still be way better compared to what we were losing each week to rent. We realised we could be paying off our own investment, instead of helping pay off someone elses. Plus we realised that servicing a loan would be less than what we were paying to rent, and that we could own our home outright in just a few years time!
I rang around many banks, and most of them said they wouldn’t fund a Tiny House, until I came across one peer to peer lending finance company who would fund us!
Tell us all your favourite things about living tiny and what you enjoy most about it?
There are a few things! We love owning our own home again, and being able to do what we want with the place. The freedom to DIY projects for it, and to make the place our own.
I think it’s cool being able to generate our own power via solar and wind turbines as we are off-grid. Living in a Tiny House has also made us more eco-conscious. By default we were instantly being greener, by creating our own power, by composting more, composting toilet etc, using all eco products which is safe for the earth etc. Now we are further looking at reducing waste in other areas.
I also love inspiring others into this way of living!
Tell us about the cost of living in comparison to living in a larger home and how it is helping you?
The big house had the big bills such as large power bills, sometimes around $200 or more per month. We don’t have one any more! We had more room for more “stuff” in the large house, so decluttering our life and getting rid of unnecessary “stuff” meant we could use the profits of the items we sold into our Tiny House Build. Items like our leather lounge suite.
The biggest difference of course, as mentioned earlier is rent. With inflating house costs, rent is also huge in Auckland. We don’t have to worry about our landlord putting up cost of rent in our Tiny House, which was what was going to happen before we moved out. We are paying off an asset that we own, and can on sell instead of paying off someone elses.
What is the worst thing (or troublesome thing) about tiny house living?
I think the off-grid aspect has been the most challenging. Getting the power balance right in the beginning was a bit challenging. Learning how much solar equipment we needed for the two of us, and which type of appliances are best suited for it. Also, if you don’t stay on top of washing, it get’s in the way and is a bit of an eye sore.
Things that people would expect to be the most challenging, such as living in such a small space with another person, hasn’t bothered us at all. We are perfectly happy in this size space. We have a HUGE backyard, so I guess that helps, as well as big bifold doors which help let the space feel open.
What things/activities do you do now that you couldn’t if you were living in a larger more conventional type home? (ie do you have more adventures, more travel, etc)
We aren’t really there yet, as most money that we have got has gone back into completing our home, and DIY projects. We got our home built until watertight, and then have been finishing the interior ourselves. However, when we finish it off, and better still, when we have completed our loan, we will be able to do all sorts that we wouldn’t have been able to do otherwise, such as travel, fishing trips, dining out more with friends, investing (who knows?!), the world will be our oyster!
If you have kids – tell us about your tiny house set-up and how you and the kids are finding tiny house living?
Just fur babies at this stage, but I know plenty of people who have gone into their Tiny House with kids, and they are doing well. The kids I have seen living in Tiny Houses, usually get treated more to experiences, instead of swimming in toys (due to space), and tend to get outdoors and play a bit more.
What advice have you got for anyone thinking about going Tiny?
DO IT! If you are thinking of saving up for a Tiny House, work out how long it would take you to save the amount you are after, and the cost you will lose in the meantime to your rent. You may find, just like us, it is worthwhile getting a loan.
Secondly, and most importantly, be careful where you get your Tiny House from. We have been burned and ripped off badly, and there are unfortunately a few dodgy people within this industry. For us it’s a lesson well learnt so you don’t have to make the same mistakes.
Make sure to research who you want to buy off, and ask people in community pages on Facebook such as Tiny House Buy/Sell NZ or NZ Tiny House Community if anyone has purchased from them before, and get some feedback from people who have bought!
Alternatively if you have some skills, build your own! I have written a full article on what to look for when buying. You can find it on my blog www.tinyhouselivinginnz.com
Check out Tiny House Living in NZ for tips and advice
I live and breathe Tiny Houses, and have been creating a YouTube channel, blog and Facebook page to give people interested in Tiny Houses more information, inspiration, tips and DIY projects. I have also recently been teaming up with companies with Tiny House Products such as specialty trailers, and have been negotiating great discounts and freebies for Tiny Housers, including with the finance company we used. If you want more info, feel free to stop by my website, or drop me a PM on facebook.
Thank you Kasia for sharing your Tiny House Living story! Visit www.tinyhouselivinginnz.com for some great tips and advice on designing and living in your own tiny home.
If you have a Tiny House Living story and would like to do a guest post, we would love to hear from you. Contact us.