Our Tiny House – 500 Square Feet

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Ten months ago we met with a realtor and started seriously discussing the possibility of buying a foreclosed property. Together, Michael and I narrowed down our search: we wanted to buy in the same neighborhood we were renting, or thereabouts. It was the most eclectic, historic, and pedestrian-friendly area in central San Diego that we had encountered in our combined years of living there, and close enough to Michael’s workplace that he could cycle to work instead of driving.

Being tiny house enthusiasts, of course, we were not adverse to looking at the small properties in the predominantly Mexican areas that others simply passed by. We poked in and around about a dozen houses in our price range, all owned by the bank. We were outbid twice, and we revoked an offer on a house with a foundation in very bad shape, and then this tiny house came along.

To make a long story short, here we are today, owners of a real house.

This is just the very first step. Soon it will be time to roll up our sleeves and do some serious renovation. Thanks for joining me on this journey.

***UPDATE*** Photos now on Flickr.

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Brian 03/17/2010 at 4:08 am

Congrats! Our first house, 11 years ago, was a bank owned 900+ sqft house in Hayward, CA. Haven fun.

Stephanie Reiley 03/17/2010 at 5:57 am

Congrats, guys! Can’t wait to see more pics.

Alex 03/17/2010 at 6:18 am

Congratulations guys, that’s so awesome that you were able to find a small house in the area you guys liked. I love it. Now you guys get to customize it as much as you want and feel good about it because it’s YOURS. Talk to you guys later. ~Alex

Mo 03/17/2010 at 6:31 am

Congratulations on your new home. I hope the iron bars on the windows are just for decoration. With so many neighbors within rock throwing distance it seems a bit odd that they are needed. Of course, I never really understood California even when I lived there.

Best of luck to you both!

Kent 03/17/2010 at 7:05 am

Looks like a neat little house, I would enjoy seeing more pictures of it and maybe you would like to share it on the THB once you have settled in.

Tammy Strobel 03/17/2010 at 7:50 am

So cool! I’m happy for you. 🙂 I can’t wait to see more photos.

thistinyhouse 03/17/2010 at 7:53 am

Thanks Kent, certainly yes! I’ve got a million pictures to sort through and post, so don’t worry J, you’ll get more pics! Mo, I don’t understand the iron bars aesthetic either — feels like a prison! Needless to say they will be coming off.

Thanks again everyone for warming our house with your lovely comments and well wishes.

Olivia 03/17/2010 at 4:09 pm

Sweet little place. As others noted, I am excited to see more pics. Have fun as you work on it.

Little House 03/18/2010 at 7:00 am

Congratulations on your new tiny house. I’m sure you’ll have fun renovating it. It looks like it could become an adorable cottage. Also, I like the look of your new site design!

All About Me 03/18/2010 at 4:42 pm

Wow, see? There is SO much interest! No pressure or anything, heeee, but let us have the good stuff…what needs to be done, how are you planning to do it, what’s it like to live in a 500 sq ft house? We WANT to know!!

thistinyhouse 03/19/2010 at 5:26 pm

Thanks for the encouragement. I hope to post at least once per week on house projects. 🙂

David 03/21/2010 at 7:05 am

I would not be so quick to remove the iron bars, at least until you get a handle on the crime statistics in that area. Unfortunately, Tucson is like other cities with burglary and home invasion issues…or it was when I was more familiar with it some time back. We have a similar situation where I live, and have decorative iron security screens over all our windows–and a double-locked steel security door, in fact–both of which are common here for a very good reason. Not so many problems, actually–because the high security environment creates challenges for the thieves. (I’m living in Donetsk, Ukraine, by the way…)

thistinyhouse 04/13/2010 at 12:58 pm
Alice 04/25/2010 at 6:45 am

ok, so I’m now playing catch up (real internet for a few days – it’s soooooo sloooowwww on the boat!) and I love it! what a fantastic place and may you be very happy 🙂

Hillary @ ThisTinyHouse 04/25/2010 at 7:08 pm

Thanks Alice!

Raybob 06/10/2010 at 9:09 am

Congratulations 🙂 I bought a 375 square foot home that had been an outbuilding of an old farm, moved to its current site. Am renovating; building a bed loft with closet so that two of us can live there 🙂 Tiny Houses rock!

Hillary @ ThisTinyHouse 06/10/2010 at 10:54 am

Ooooh that sounds like fun and a lot of work! Do you have photos?

Kristin 07/23/2010 at 10:52 am

I am so glad to see this movement toward smaller living spaces.
10 years ago, I lived in a 4000 sq ft, 5 bed, 3 bath, 2 car garage house.
6 years ago, I lived in a 3000 sq ft, 4 bed, 3 bath, 2 car garage townhouse.
4 years ago, I lived in a 1600 sq ft, 4 bed, 1 bath, no garage, storage shed house.
Now I live with my fiance in a 572 sq ft cottage, with a detached garage, a garden, and 90% less “stuff.” With each move I gave up what I thought was important stuff, but was really just massive amounts of things that I didn’t need and didn’t have the time to use, and they were an enormous burden. I was literally paying a mortgage to store it all. Now that I don’t have the room to put more stuff into, I don’t buy it, and I’m much happier without it.

Hillary @ ThisTinyHouse 08/05/2010 at 12:10 am

I like your “paying a mortgage to store it all” line — that basically sums it up. Yes, when we have less room, we acquire less stuff. Congratulations Kristin!

Randy 12/05/2010 at 11:39 am

What an awesome little house! Congratulations!

Hillary 12/05/2010 at 8:19 pm

Thank you!

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