Shame on me; it’s been around 6 weeks without a blog post. I could blame the 2 week trip to South Africa for Amanda and Nick’s Wedding or the celebration of Jared and I’s five year wedding anniversary in May. It could have been memorial day weekend in New Orleans, Jared and Jordan’s Birthday, or the fact that it’s orientation season and easily the craziest time of year for me at work. But the real reason for no posts was that I didn’t really have much good news to share on our tiny house journey.
Finding land was so much more frustrating than Jared or I expected. We both thought “This is Texas; there is so much open land.” We thought we would find something we liked quickly and inexpensively. We were so wrong. The biggest hurdles were:
- Much of that open land is only sold in a huge chunk for ranches or livestock. And huge chunks of land cost huge chunks of money. Not really what we wanted.
- A lot of that land is really far away from both of our jobs. We knew that we had the back up option of putting the tiny house near the Knight’s lake house in Granbury, but that would mean an hour commute each way, no thank you.
- Tiny Houses are usually and wrongly grouped with mobile homes when it comes to zoning. A lot of areas have laws for the minimum square footage of a permanent structure, especially in areas zoned residential and strictly prohibit mobile homes.
The first “dream plot” we found was in an area off 377- which means it’s on the way to the Knight’s lake house and not too far from our family in Benbrooke. The area includes some zoned and some unzoned land. Apparently the land was bought and intended to be used for military personnel retiring from nearby bases. Something with that didn’t work out and now there is a lot of really pretty land that is not very regulated and for sale- perfect for us!
We soon realized it wasn’t completely perfect, because less regulations meant that companies had come in and bought some land including a water treatment company who owned the land across from our “dream plot.” That would be lots of noise at odd hours and most likely a destroyed view of nature. Not to mention the sellers would not drop below $30,000 when the land was only .33 acres and had no well or electricity hook up.
We found two more plots of land, another in pyramid acres and another in Cresson that led to similar disappointment. Our goal of securing land before I left for South Africa was dead in the water. It wasn’t until mid May when Jared was doing a search, much like the one we have been doing a lot lately, that some new property turned up!
After exploring the area and calling a survey company we made an offer on this land:
We aren’t out of the woods yet- the surveying company is pretty non-responsive and our option period is quickly waning. And Jared got horrible chigger bites the last time he went out to the property. So clearly there is work to be done! But it’s off 377, only 20 minutes from Fort Worth and 40 from the lake house!
The second piece of good news we received around the same time was from our builder in Colorado- Greg. The first draft of our tiny house plans were finally done!! We are in the midst of revising them but it’s getting easier to imagine our cozy abode:
The final and exciting prospect is that we have been speaking with a building company in Austin, Texas about potentially doing the build. We realized pretty quickly Greg was not going to be able to make the end of July deadline we gave him with the pace at which he was moving. And if we had to drive to Colorado to pick up our house, drive back, and set it up, there is no way Jared or I could take that kind of time once August hits. Working with the Austin Company- Nomadic Cabins– would allow us to pop down on any long weekend to help with the build and/or pick up the house. Nothing has been finalized but we are discussing finishing up the design process with Greg and then having Nomadic do the actual build.
I have to give so much of the credit in moving things forward to Jared! With my crazy work schedule he has been so on top of things and has the chigger scars to prove it. Hopefully more good news and progress is on the horizon.