Future Plans – Should We Build a Tiny House?

Here’s something that used to stress us out but miraculously doesn’t anymore: we have no set plans for our future. We do have a vague idea of where we want to end up and how financially stable we want to be (very stable, obv) but specifically where or how we’re going to get there remains undecided. 

In terms of where we’ll end up, the slate isn’t blank. We’ve been seriously considering one traditional and four unconventional (for some) dwelling options and I thought it would be fun to freak out our families and outline what we’ve been talking about for a future home and where it could be.


A Yurt in the Woods

This one frightens me but financially is the most realistic for us if we’re going to go for it in the next few years or so. Buying a bit of property and setting up a yurt home while we save moolah to build a more permanent place is an idea we’ve been drawn to for years. We’ll have more dough to put towards a dreamier location instead of having to divide it with a house right off the bat.

We’re picturing charming outdoorsiness – stargazing through the clear dome roof, clean air, and waking up to deer on our lawn. Yurt life conjures visions of affordable tranquility, a wood burning fireplace, and living in a spot where it doesn’t snow for six months of the year. To acknowledge a big con among the dreamy pros – this option will definitely have the most spiders. Coming from a virtually insect/arachnid-free 17th floor urban apartment, we weren’t prepared to deal with the spiders here in Tennessee and it’s going to take some big time adjusting. Ron and I try our best to live harmoniously with all living things but two traumatic interactions with brown recluse spiders in our new place have shaken us a bit. Alas, we’re treating it like prep in case we decide to live in the woods after all.

Despite our arachnophobic tendencies, there are so many pros to living in a yurt:

  • They’re cheap
  • They’re portable
  • More $$ = better land/location options
  • Yurts are cool!
  • We can Airbnb it or use it as a separate studio when we eventually move into our more permanent home
  • Aforementioned romantic stargazing
  • We’ll be able to live more sustainably, and go as off-grid as we want
  • Big garden! Fruit trees! Chickens! Lil goats?


An Urban Condo

As much as we love the outdoors, just living in the suburbs for the past month is enough for us to start missing Toronto pretty hard. We’re definitely torn between the pull to live in nature and wanting to be walking distance from our friends, family, and cheap sushi. Choosing to live in the Memphis burbs was a strategic decision for us, it would have been so easy to get a cool apartment downtown. The separation is a test and we’re giving ourselves time to see which direction we’re drawn to more – the woods or downtown. The jury’s still out.

There are plenty of good reasons to invest in a downtown condo or small house:

  • If we’re smart about it, we’ll be investing in a neighbourhood that’ll always be in demand
  • We LOVE urban life!
  • We won’t have to own a car
  • Close to our buds, loved ones, city amenities
  • There’s always something fun to do
  • We’ll never not love summer in the city


A Geodesic Dome Home

These beautiful structures were in vogue during the late 60’s, early 70’s and have more recently become popular again because of their customizable designs and affordable floor plans. Both Ron and I have always wanted to build a home with our bare hands and of all the options, we’re drawn to this one the most.

At first into them because of their beauty, we didn’t realize how financially accessible and absolutely amazing they are until we started looking further into dome home life. The more research we do on them, the more benefits we see to building one.

  • Green construction, completely customizable
  • More energy efficient than a standard boxier home
  • The strength in the triangular construction of the dome makes it highly resistant to natural disasters!
  • We could buy the dome home kit and build it ourselves or with a small team in a really short period of time
  • The largest space option for our budget – they are surprisingly cheap compared to building a traditional house from scratch
  • Less spiders than a yurt!
  • Can easily deck it out with solar panels, plumbing, the works – as one would with any normal home


A Mobile Home

Option #4 is probably the wildest for us and in some ways the most appealing. This isn’t to say we couldn’t have a camper van in addition to any of these other homes or that we’d live in one for an extended period of time, but it would definitely be very cheap and fun to only have a camper or trailer for a while. We’ve been thoroughly enjoying mulling over buying a charming vintage something-or-other, renovating it in the most adorable of ways, and hitting the road for a while. We’d further be motivated to set ourselves up to work from anywhere and it’s potentially not an option that will always be ideal for us.

We love the idea of a home on wheels because:

  • We can fully customize a vehicle to fit our needs
  • Giving an old trailer a second life would be easier on the wallet, the environment, and the soul
  • Being able to work while on the road automatically extends the amount of time we’ll have to travel because we won’t have to get back to a job
  • Setting up an adorable mobile store that we can drive all over North America is something we’ve wanted to do for years and I’m not sure if we’ll be able to let that go until it happens
  • Like the yurt, it’s another dwelling option that we can upcycle and either sell when we’re done or hold on to it to use as an Airbnb or for our own trips down the road


A Tiny House on Wheels

The tiny home movement has been growing exponentially over the past few years. Several tv shows are now featuring tiny house hunters and builders, plus a bunch of great documentaries have come out on the subject. I’ll admit that pretty much every day for the past two years or so I’ve been watching tiny home Youtube channels while I eat my lunch. I can’t get enough of them.

A happy medium between living in a mobile home and a small house, tiny homes are built on wheels so they are portable, but most aren’t meant to be on the road all the time. It’s a great option for folks like us who want to try life in a bunch of different places before we settle down somewhere for a longer period of time.

Why a tiny house would be a super cool pad for us:

  • There are enough resources out there that we could build one ourselves in a reasonable amount of time
  • Because they’re classified as a recreational vehicle, standard building codes don’t apply
  • No matter where we go we’ll have our home with us
  • It’s small enough that we can temporarily park it in a driveway, a backyard, or a small property
  • We can personalize the design to accommodate our lives and the cats
  • They’re hella cute

Ron and I are keeping an open mind and will continue to explore the pros and cons of living small and being mobile. We’re definitely going to stay in as many unconventional spaces as we can before we decide and we’ll be sharing our experiences as we figure it out. 

xo Amarina

*All illustrations by Ron ❤


2 thoughts on “Future Plans – Should We Build a Tiny House?

  1. So many amazing housing options, it’s hard to choose just one! I like your plan to test out how you and Ron like living farther from a city before committing to the country. Also, there’s so much time in your future that you can enjoy more than one option 🙂 I try to remind myself of that when I put pressure on myself to make a decision.

    Thanks for the great post, and illustrations!


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