My Price of a Car Home

takewithplantApril 23, 2011

480sq ft and purchased in the last few weeks for $25k total. Nothing's been done to it yet except the old carpet removed.

It's a tiny studio house, no bedrooms, just one large living room-like space, a modest sized complete bathroom and a small kitchen/laundry. Located in the sort of west near a major city, built in the early fifties. The yard is quite large and fenced, even has four young fruit trees, and the neighborhood is decent, so far quiet, middle class of all tiny homes (not as tiny as mine, they have bedrooms) built in the 50's also.

It came with most appliances in very good condition, and I inherited a plethora of very interesting heating units, including an old gas heater with flames in front like a gas 'woodstove', which is awesome. All checked out, they all work except for a fan on one unit. It has a few issues that will cost me, some large dead and dying trees need to be removed pronto, appliance bought and some electric work. Overall, I'm surprised at all the things that are not wrong with it.

This was the only place I could afford without a mortgage, and I couldn't have been approved as my income over the last two years hasn't been enough to qualify. This left me stuck in my former home, and a gov subsidized mortgage but without the means of maintaining the full sized house. It was a great garden with a rapidly decrepifying structure in the middle. I finally sold it, also for very cheap and cash. It went to good buyers (if I must say, like myself) who intend to live there and make it their dream home. I felt I did not want to turn around and buy a foreclosure, although I looked at some, they were larger homes and I didn't want the problems, fix up bills, bad neighborhoods or maintenance. When this came along, and wasn't a short sale I jumped on it within five min of being shown around. It needs the carpet replaced, some junk cleared, and two large trees removed, but hey, I thought a gutted house was in my future so this is great. It's far from perfect but honestly I love the size and look forward to maintenance and improvements being a fraction of what a large house would be.

It took a lot of courage and years of research to find an area to search, part with my old job and house, and finally a year total to sell my old home. As a single person with only paid professional help to rely on, things can get real scary. I realize not everyone could live in a place this small, wish I could post the yard pics, it's really big for such a tiny place, but they show the neighbor's houses too clearly. I feel really lucky right now and just wanted to share this with everyone.

Dig it:

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Darling place.Looks like a fun time fixing this place up.We spent over three years in a house less than twice the size of this. Flowerlady and DH has a smaller house too. Very happy for you. Depending on your climate you might be able to fix up out side spaces as living areas too.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2011 at 5:53PM
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You done good, home buyer!

First off before I forget this thought, that alcove where the two track lights are, looks to me that would make a great spot for a real MURPHY BED. With storage above. When it folds up, it could have a drop leaf dining table, or something like that there, and a great big picture which would be mounted on the bottom of the bed.

Hope you keep coming here, we really enjoy the ideas folks have for their smaller homes. Take a look at some of Sarah Susanka's NOT SO BIG design books for some ideas.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2011 at 9:03PM
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ML beat me to it! Totally cute little house and really, just what one person needs so you don't spend all your time doing maintenance. I also thought that spot looks like it was made for a Murphy bed. Can't wait to see your progress with it.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2011 at 10:39PM
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I was thinking the same thing as ML and marti8a. Very cute house. I would have that gas heater checked out very thoroughly, though, for any kind of leaks. It looks like a great space.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2011 at 9:44AM
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AH the gas heater. Just had a thought for you to save a huge amount of space since writersblock brought up checking the heater.

If it is allowed in your area you might check out the ventless gas heaters. They go on natural gas or propane. You can get them with the tiles like your heater or a flames which is what we bought. I think the heater was about $250.00 and there is good heat from it and it does not need electricity.

You could get rid of the base board heater. We heat our 1375 SQ FT house with this little heater. The furnace has not been on since we installed the gas heater. Our electric bill went from $258 a month to $50 a month and the propane is about 100 a month.

They hang on the wall and the heat goes up so you can put furniture very close to them.

There might also be a vented version. Since you already have the gas hook up instillation is very inexpensive easy to do. Just a few screws and hook up the gas line.

Here is a link that might be useful: Heater right wall

    Bookmark   April 24, 2011 at 11:25AM
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>There might also be a vented version.

Yes, Tumbleweed uses a little boat version that has visible flames and is vented, so I'm sure they're available in larger sizes, too. That's an excellent idea, shades of idaho.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2011 at 11:30AM
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I, too admire your determination to live simply and within your means. You are free of mortgage, so can have so many more choices in your life.

I can imagine so many different ways of using your space. I agree that ML's idea of the murphy bed and a fold-out dining table in the recessed space is a great idea. Making the heater less obtrusive would give you more options, too. I would not consider an unvented burner, however. I researched these when I was considering a gas fireplace insert, and learned that they are illegal to install in a sleeping area in most places. Most of the pros say it should be illegal everywhere. The gas fumes are still gas fumes, which irritate some people's lungs, and carbon monoxide is produced just as it is with any gas appliance. That is why unvented gas heating should not be used in a sleeping area. If CO builds up, morning never comes.

Takewithplant, have you seen the thread on tiny city apartments? There are some great links on this thread (below) that may inspire you. Have fun - this could take you all afternoon to explore!

Here is a link that might be useful: Tiny home thread with lots of ideas

    Bookmark   April 24, 2011 at 2:53PM
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I love it! Looks like a good choice to me.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2011 at 8:54PM
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You guys are all the greatest! It is exciting to have a small home with plans to make it your own, and discover that there are a lot of folks cheering for you.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2011 at 10:14PM
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Cute home! I also decided to buy a house that I could pay cash for. Its great not having a monthly payment! I am able to buy a good used car now also with cash. Check out the apartment therapy website in the tiny division for house tours, theres lots of ideas there for small spaces. I hope you will post your progress.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2011 at 2:43PM
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Moving there tomorrow to stay (my new place is two states away from where I've been living and I can't wait, packing up as I write.
I regards to the big boxy heater with the flames in front, I love it and you'd have to drag it away from me, I just need to not use the fan until it's fixed. I can picture sitting on the floor in front of it in winter with the snow falling, awesome. The only thing I'd replace it with would be a small gas 'wood stove' and they run about 2k with installation I think, but one of those would be very cool -someday. The baseboard heaters do complicate the space a lot but they work very fast and efficiently to heat the place, that said I'd like to lose one or both in time for more options with the walls.
Honestly I'm thinking fouton or daybed on a platform as seating/sleeping. The niche I'd like to keep to display art because of those cool old tracklights and the 'feel' of the space. My furniture atm consists only of a twin mattress/box spring and a camel saddle. You heard me. Everything was let go when I moved out of my last house, I have a lot of 'other stuff' like knick knacks and cookware.
Currently arranging with a handyman to put in a plywood floor which I'll finish with polyurethane -I'll have to move out for a week probably.
Anyway at some point I'll make another post with more pics and maybe get some of the yard in. At the moment all I can think about is the godawful giant ash trees that are looming over the driveway, one completely dead. They are going to cost me dearly to remove.
Thanks for all the kinds thoughts :D

    Bookmark   April 26, 2011 at 6:50PM
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I'd love to see how you fix it up!

    Bookmark   April 26, 2011 at 8:20PM
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About the tree removals, be sure you get estimates, and that you check out their liability insurance, so that any accident is not settled with a lien against your property. That would be a bummer. We had six 100' tall trees, (5 pines and 1 sweet gum) removed from our small city lot, a very touchy operation. They came highly recommended...... and they hauled away the wood too. If you do not know the people, check with the Better Business Bureau and see what tree people are good performers.

On the job after ours, the man who climbed the trees to the top fell 30 feet and broke his back, so accidents can happen. He was a nice guy, did not kill him but did end his tree climbing days. I realized how blessed we were that it did not happen while he was working on our trees, even though the company was it was, I held my breath the whole time. And have a Webshots photo album of what went on.,,,,photos taken from a respectful distance, I might add. :)

    Bookmark   April 26, 2011 at 10:22PM
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