Buyer Beware Advice from Tiny Homeowners who Learned the Hard Way...
Meet Maddy and Alec, a young couple living in a 26-foot-long tiny house on wheels near Seattle. Their small space decor is beautiful with quirky flair. Unfortunately, two years into living in it, they discovered a major water leak problem due to incorrectly installed flashing plus no caulking.
It's now fixed after a winding unexpected back & forth with their builder. Fortunately, they did ultimately receive compensation for the materials needed for their home repairs. Watch the tour above for the full story!
Their tiny house buyer beware advice:
"Despite all the difficulties we've been having with our house, we are so happy to be living tiny, and we would 100% do it again, maybe just a little bit differently. For people who are looking at getting a tiny house, there are a couple of things that we wish we knew at the time, and one of the big ones is asking who you're buying the house from and if they're the ones who are actually building the house.
Because there are some people who subcontract out, and in our case, if we would have done more research and looked into who was subcontracting out the house, we would have purchased our house from somebody else. So that's a big one to look into.
Another thing I would 100% recommend, and I would recommend doing this upfront at the start, is to ask them if they're OK with a third-party inspection before the final payment is made.
We've never thought of that. That would have saved us from the start if we had thought of that. If they're not OK with a third-party inspector coming in, it's probably a red flag. At least, we would consider that a red flag.
And if you're looking at a builder who is out of state, a thing to look into on warranty, if you have a warranty issue, is, are they going to send somebody out to work on it? In our case, where if we have a warranty issue, we still would have to pay to get our house to their factory or warehouse. So it's something to think about if you're buying out of state, cross-country. You don't want to end up having to pay to get your house all the way across the country. So that's something to think about."
-Alec & Maddy, @the_tiny_fellows
Inside their Quirky Tiny House
Maddy and Alec's tiny house is on a 26-foot trailer. It is 8.5 feet wide, 13 feet tall, 26 feet long, and roughly 350 square feet. Their most crucial design choice was windows. With all this beautiful nature around them, they wanted to feel closer to it and observe it. Their large and plentiful windows let them do that very well.
Interestingly, their kitchen is in the middle of the house. On one side is their living room. In this space, they sought to balance beauty and function. Their decor is well-curated, and they maximized storage opportunities in every nook & cranny. For example, there's a cubby behind their couch and stowaway space underneath it. Ottomans hold their beloved board and video games.
Throughout their tiny house, they reused decorations from their wedding. This proved to be a budget-friendly, creative challenge during the planning for the big day. "Let's buy stuff that we love and want to keep!"
Several tiny homeowners work in crafting space in their homes, but few include fish tank hobby space. In their smaller loft, Alec has a saltwater fish tank. This became one of my hobbies during COVID. Additionally, there's a cabinet for all of Maddy's craft supplies. They love to have nature inside our house, so they keep numerous plants up here, too. And believe it or not, Alec has a second fish tank in their large cozy bedroom loft!