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Hogan Tiny House Family: Interview and Tour

This is the Hogan tiny house family.

Below, you’ll get to tour their tiny home and enjoy our exclusive interview with them so you can learn from their experiences.

From the outside, you’ll notice that this family of four lives in a tiny home on wheels!

Inside, you’ll find they have everything a family needs – kitchen, laundry, living area, bunk beds, master bedroom, and more!

Please enjoy, learn more, and re-share below. Thank you!

Hogan Tiny House Family: Interview and Tour

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Images © Laura Leigh Images

Interview with the Hogans

What are your names? How many people are living in your tiny house?

My husband and I and our two kids live in the tiny house. Finn is 2.5 and Piper is 10 months.

Where do you live?

Central Nevada.

Why did you decide to go tiny? What are you hoping to get out of living tiny?

I wanted to have more time at home with our kids and when Zac and I were both working full-time we had barely any family time. We had recently gone through Dave Ramsey’s “Financial Peace University” and paid off over $30,000 in credit card debt and having less debt was such a stress relief we started to consider downsizing. At the time, it wasn’t going to save us any money to get a smaller house because the market was so high and we had bought our 2500-square-foot house at a great price. We also learned that the more we owned the more we had to maintain. The upkeep of our house and property, paired with 60+ hour work weeks, left little time with family and friends. We knew if we could cut our mortgage I could stay home with the kids and we could slowly save up for a small house while still spending time with the kids before they are in school. We don’t intend to live in our tiny house long-term, but we wanted to take a break from the never-ending cycle of working to pay for things that you have no time to enjoy. Right now we are a few months away from being entirely debt free, we have just under $10,000 in student loans left to go!

How did you first learn about tiny houses?

We first learned about them through the documentary TINY on Netflix. We then attended a Tumbleweed Workshop and that’s when we decided to put a deposit down on a 26’ trailer. We had put our house on the market three days prior and as we drove away from the workshop we prayed that if this was meant to be our house would sell. We got two offers as we were driving home.

When did you officially start your tiny house? Is your house completed? How long did it take to finish it?

We started building the house in June 2015. We completed the house in November 2015, it took almost exactly 6 months to build.

How did you build your tiny house? Did you have any help? Did you do it yourselves?

We bought the trailer from Tumbleweed because we don’t have any experience with welding and since that’s the foundation of the house we wanted to make sure it was done right. We hired JB Home Improvers (http://www.jbhomeimprovers.com) to help with the framing and all the custom features, but when Zac accepted a job offer in Nevada and the start date was only a few weeks out, we hired them to complete the build on an accelerated timeline so it would be ready when we needed to move. I kept track of the hours spent on the build and Zac put in 600 hours and JB Home Improvers put in another 600.

How did you find a place to park and live in your tiny house?

Our first location was found by posting in a Facebook Garage Sale site in the area we were moving to. We’ve since moved a couple times (for various reasons, one of which was zoning) to figure out what area of Nevada we like best. The location we are at now is by far our favorite and we will likely buy or build a home here sometime in the next year or two.

We quickly learned that our kids would far prefer time with us over new toys.

Before going tiny, what was life like?

There are challenges to living in a tiny house but there were also challenges living in 2500 square feet. One of which was time. We both worked 60+ hours a week to pay for a house we were hardly at. We quickly learned that our kids would far prefer time with us over new toys. I also spent a lot of time cleaning and organizing things we didn’t need (ok, more like things I didn’t need…the tubs of extra purses hiding in the basement).

What benefits are you experiencing after going tiny?

I recently told a friend, “We will be leaving soon, I just need to deep clean the house quick.” I had to pause for a moment because it sounded so strange… deep clean the house “quick?” Besides less cleaning there is also less laundry (since we have less clothes), less upkeep of the house and property (since we don’t have property right now) and less time spent picking up. On the flip side, there is more time spent doing dishes since we don’t have a dishwasher. There is no way to hide a mess, you can’t shut the door and deal with it tomorrow. Everything has to be dealt with immediately. I do look forward to the day when I can put laundry in a basket and run it tomorrow. There’s no room for a laundry basket to be left out right now!

What about some challenges?

My challenges are different than Zac’s, but I think these are helpful things to consider if you’re going tiny. There are strong winds in Nevada and the house does sway. I didn’t think this would bother me, but it is especially noticeable in the loft. We are going to get some additional jacks to hopefully remedy this. The washer/dryer unit has the same effect…but a bit more violent. I also REALLY miss having a bedroom door and being able to stand up to put away my laundry and make the bed. There are many challenges having two small kids in a tiny house, one of which is sleep. The kids share a room and it took at least two months for them to adjust and not wake each other up at night. We are FINALLY starting to get decent sleep and we’ve been living in the house for four months.

What helpful advice would you give to others interested in going tiny?

For people with kids, I would highly recommend renting an RV for a month before you make the decision to go tiny. If I could do it over again, I would wait until the kids were a little older and sleeping through the night more consistently. I’ve talked to several families who have gone tiny when their kids were between 3 and 5 and they’ve loved it. By that age they are (mostly) done with naps and want to be outside all the time anyway. Plan to up your entertainment budget a bit. We do weekly visits to the children’s museum, our local community center, and if we are feeling adventurous, the swim center.

For us, our faith plays a huge role in all of this. Our table has part of Psalm 46:10 on it, “Be still and know,” the rest of the verse says “that I am God.” A month into living in the tiny house I was ready to throw in the towel, but it’s been four months and each day gets a little easier. Before the tiny house, we were more consumed with our tv’s, clothes, house and other possessions than the people around us. Living in a tiny house gives me many opportunities to practice grace and patience with my kids and husband and ultimately to give it to God on a daily basis. That table is a daily reminder of why we did this in the first place and that God is good!

Do you have a website, blog, or social media page where we can follow along?

Yes! http://www.hoganshaven.com

Our big thanks to the Hogan family for taking the time to share their experiences with us!

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Alex

Alex is a contributor and editor for TinyHouseTalk.com and the always free Tiny House Newsletter. He has a passion for exploring and sharing tiny homes (from yurts and RVs to tiny cabins and cottages) and inspiring simple living stories. We invite you to send in your story and tiny home photos too so we can re-share and inspire others towards a simple life too. Thank you!

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{ 15 comments… add one }
  • Debbie Johnson May 12, 2016, 12:49 pm

    This is a beautiful Tiny House. I love all of the details. I think that keeping this clean would be much easier. The very reason I cannot wait to get my tiny house built. The only con I see with this tiny house is the W/D. I would have to have a stack unit, lol. The things I have heard about the one units is it takes so long to do a load of clothes. I have no patience for that lol. I want my laundry done and over with. Again I love, love, love your home.

  • Caitie Hogan May 12, 2016, 1:03 pm

    Thank you, Debbie! Yes, laundry does take around 3.5 hours from start to finish, but I never remembered to switch my laundry so it works ok for me. I know a lot of tiny houses with stack units and they love it. Best wishes!

  • Gabriella May 12, 2016, 3:21 pm

    Is a Picture of an Infinite Tenderness, as Infinite is the Love of God who as a Precious Gift, on some Special Creatures, ( but not all).

  • jaykay May 12, 2016, 4:26 pm

    Beautifully done – beautiful family and story as well!

  • Gale May 12, 2016, 5:45 pm

    Lovely home and beautiful sentiments. I did have a vision of the kids pushing in the stair step drawers while Mom and Dad are in the loft and running wild LOL.

  • Marsha Cowan May 12, 2016, 9:17 pm

    What a really clever way to do the bathroom/closet area. Impressive. The kids room is so cool and right next to the bathroom. One suggestion…make that window impossible for a stranger to get into from the outside, but easy for you to get out if you need to. Finish nails through both stiles and a magnet kept close by is one way. Opening the top of the window instead of the bottom for ventilation, and then have holes for finish nails at certain points, always making sure there is a magnet within easy reach for you, but not for the kids, so in an emergency you can get the nails out quickly and easily. Make the holes just a tad larger than the nails, so they live without pinching, and make sure the heads are flush with the surface so they can’t be pulled out by little fingers. Am I sounding paranoid? Comes from raising four children of my own, I guess. So take all this with a grain of salt :D Wonderful tiny house!

  • Rue May 12, 2016, 10:15 pm

    I really like the flip-up table with the stowable benches, and the pull-out drawer stairs. They obviously thought out their design very carefully!

  • Trish Dee May 13, 2016, 11:37 am

    There are several things I like about this THOW: the large kitchen, one bowl sink with offset faucet, the drawer steps, fold up dining table, and narrower counter at the sink that provides more floor space. The interior is light and bright, and the outside is is attractive, great curb appeal. Well done.

  • Randy Harmon May 13, 2016, 6:11 pm

    We are a 60+retired couple interested in tiny home living. Are you settled on your own land and if so was that hard to? We want to have it on our own property with a 2 car garage and a carving shop. I wish you the very best in your journey thru life, with God by your side, it should be quite the adventure.

  • Porcsha May 16, 2016, 7:52 am

    Beautiful home and inspiring story. Please keep us posted on your tiny house living.

  • Susanne July 15, 2016, 7:06 pm

    Wonderful home!!!! I agree with Marsha; with children one doesn’t want strangers the chance to enter….
    Thank you for your honesty!

  • Arvilla Morett August 16, 2016, 9:57 am

    Your story is like mine. I was wondering how much did you invest into this tiny home?

  • ROSEE September 16, 2016, 10:59 am

    Nice work, both inside and outside! Looks like this young couple like everything organized and uncluttered! Good for them!

  • Michelle W September 17, 2016, 7:54 am

    beautiful and creative house — I think the flip table is my favorite aspect of the house — but the interview outshines even your home :) God bless you all, and thank you for sharing with us.

  • David Harriman September 18, 2016, 5:33 am

    Some really clever design features here! I’m not sure about the wooden-boarding in the shower though. The kid’s bedroom looks really cosy, and having a ladder in there is going to keep them happy for hours – I’d have loved something like that when I was a boy! ☺

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