Big Things Come in Small Packages

You know when you’re starving and you’ve opened the refrigerator for the 12th time, just praying that there will be some delicious surprise that you must’ve missed the other 11 times before? I mean, surely there’ll be some prime-grade ribeyes hiding behind the 6-year-old jar of pickles and a box of Arm & Hammer, the only 2 items that have been in the damn fridge for months. 

We’ve all been there.

Now whatever that level of insanity is, I brought that same energy to the party when I was searching for my first house. 

In fact, I remember I was in my old apartment sitting on my Purple mattress that was folded in half to fit on a futon frame that was clearly too small. It was 1 am, and I was scrolling feverishly on Zillow. Constantly refreshing the app like an absolute addict, I sat there praying I’d come across a newly listed house that would just blow me away. 

9 times out of 10, boy did disappointment hit me square in the mouth. Some houses were 1 more meth lab away from being condemned. For the rest, well I’d probably have to sell a kidney just to afford the mortgage. 

But sometimes life offers you a delicious can of ravioli and all ya gotta do is eat it. 

So I ate. 

Chef Boyardee smiled upon my appetite and graced my eyes with my absolute dream house. All 700 square feet of it. A beautiful recently remodeled tan stucco house, a single car garage, 1 bedroom, 1 bath, and a lawn for me to have my proud dad moment after every time I mowed. Queue the Home Depot theme song.

This perfect little homestead butted up right next to the bluffs, a hiking trail, and one tiny hill away from the city. 

And all this for the low price of $105,000. 

Oh my god, I was drooling. 

This was the perfect house. And it was going to be mine.

I messaged my realtor immediately. 

Thinking about this, I probably could’ve waited. Realtors have lives, too, but not at that moment. 

He messaged me back, crazily enough, and we booked a showing the next day. My heart was racing. I started daydreaming of finally going to sleep in silence. No more paper-thin walls to share with my neighbors, and no more paying for laundry. 

Needless to say, the showing was exactly what I wanted to see. I made my offer immediately.

In a flash, the seller accepted my offer. I now held the golden keys to my quiet and quaint mini-mansion. This was a life goal achievement. I was 22 years old and buying my first house. 

Holy shit. 

But there was more at play here than unlocking life achievements. In particular, the size of the house sold me right from the start.

A Tiny House Obsession

You see, before I became a Zillow addict, I was absolutely obsessed with tiny homes. These efficient, affordable, humble abodes that were built on trailer frames blew me away. Most clocked in at about 350 square feet, but had everything you needed.

Being that the footprint of these homes was so small, every piece of furniture, appliance, and item had to have a purpose. Storage spaces had to be creatively engineered to give things like clothes and dishes a home. Pull-out drawers built into stairs, beds on a pulley, and storage racks in the ceiling were some of the crazy ingenuity that I saw.

Without a doubt, the Tiny House Movement gave me such a different and fresh perspective on how I wanted to live. And with the affordability of tiny homes, buying one wouldn’t cause my wallet to hate me for the rest of my life. I can’t live with that kind of grudge bearing over me.

Witnessing this movement completely changed everything for me. It transformed my values, my beliefs, and how I thought a traditional life should look. 

Through my deep dive into the tiny home black hole, I noticed a striking pattern. The types of people that lived in these humble abodes all had similar lives. They normally worked remotely in some sort of fashion. Whether that was blogging, freelancing, software development, or consulting, it doesn’t really matter. 

What matters is that there was one value that almost everyone had in common: Freedom.

The freedom to live your life with less creates an abundance of more. To live under your own purpose.

Now that may sound like some woo-woo kind of shit, but when you let yourself digest that, you’ll understand what I’m saying. 

Let me break it down. 

This community didn’t want to be bogged down by mortgages that crippled them financially for the next thirty years.  Being that their homes were on literal wheels, they could go wherever they pleased, whenever they please. They wanted to be able to build or buy a home that wasn’t controlled by HOAs or a council of assholes that told them what colors to paint their home with. Fuck that. 

This entire movement was this trail-blazing attitude of entrepreneurial spirit and a middle figure to the traditional. They grabbed the knife of life for themselves and trimmed all the fat and excess that didn’t bring any value or wasn’t in tune with their purpose.

Sure, the result left them with less, but that enabled them to focus on the things that actually mattered. This curated lifestyle created more time for family, more time for hobbies, and doing things with the people they love.    

I wanted that freedom. And I wanted every bit of it. 

I poured a ton of my time into researching where I could build or place a tiny home to kickstart this new life. So, with plenty of optimism, I called around to check the building codes for the 4 towns closest to me. They all said pretty much the same thing. “Uh, no. But good luck!”

Those slimy bastards.

If I couldn’t live in a tiny house, I’ll do the next best thing. I’ll find the smallest house on the market and claim it as my own. 

I of course did just that. 

Finding my beloved 700-square-foot sanctuary took 2 years of searching and patiently waiting. But that patience paid off. 

Buying that house was the very first stepping stone into building a new lifestyle that I wanted to create. Even if I couldn’t have a tiny house to call my own, that wasn’t going to stop me from joining this movement. It was now my chance at the freedom to live my life with less and create an abundance of more.

This was my fresh start. 

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