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Interview with Couple Who Built Tiny House as an Investment

This is an interview with a couple who built a tiny house on wheels as an investment.

So they don’t actually live in it, but just in case you’re thinking about doing something similar, I thought you might get some value from this interview with them because they share how they did it, why they did it, and what you can learn from their experience.

If you’ve been wanting to build tiny, but the timing isn’t quite right for you to live tiny yet, maybe you might consider doing something similar to them? What if you could build your tiny house and let other people stay in it to help you pay for it and then eventually move into it if you wanted to down the road? Not a bad idea, right?

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Interview with Couple Who Built Tiny House as an Investment

Couple Who Built Tiny House as an Investment

Images © Patrick & Sarah Romero via Tiffany Blue Eyes

Couple Who Built Tiny House as an Investment Couple Who Built Tiny House as an Investment Couple Who Built Tiny House as an Investment Couple Who Built Tiny House as an Investment Couple Who Built Tiny House as an Investment

Images © Patrick & Sarah Romero via Tiffany Blue Eyes

Interview with this Couple so You Can Learn from their Experience

What are your name(s)?
Sarah and Patrick Romero

What do you do for a living?
Contract videographers

How many people will be/are living in your tiny house?
We actually rent our tiny home out for vacation rentals, so we don’t actually live in it and never have.

Where do you live?
Sandy, Utah

Why did you decide to go tiny?
Again, we don’t live in it. But we decided to build a tiny home as an investment opportunity.

How did you first learn about tiny houses?
We started seeing them on social media and were intrigued by the idea of building one.

When did you officially start your tiny house?
We started building it the summer of 2014.

Is your house completed?
Yes. We completed it in about 3 months.

Do you have a website, blog, or social media page where we can follow along?
The only thing I’ve written about the tiny home is what you’ve already seen from my blog, Tiffany Blue Eyes. I just posted about the process of building it.

What is your tiny house design inspired by?
We wanted something really clean and fresh looking, almost beach-like. We loved the idea of all white with pops of accenting colors in the decor.

How did you build your tiny house? Did you have any help?
My dad is a general contractor who builds custom homes, so he helped us design and build it. We couldn’t have done it without him.

How have you overcome zoning? Where are you keeping your tiny house?
We were shut down by the county, and after months of fighting them, trying to find loopholes, they gave us a cease and desist notice, so we had to move the tiny home to an RV park to continue renting it out legally.

How do you power your tiny house? Any off-grid abilities?
The RV park has an electrical hook-up that we use.

Where do you get your water?
The RV park has a water hook-up that we use.

What kind of toilet do you use?
A flushing RV-style toilet with a foot pump.

How do you heat/cool your tiny home?
We have a propane heater installed and have an electric space heater as a backup.

How much did your tiny house cost you? Are you paying it cash or did you get some kind of loan for it?
The tiny home cost about $25,000 to build, (we used a lot of refurbished/reclaimed materials and appliances, or it would have cost us a lot more). My dad paid for everything up front, so we’re paying him back as we earn an income from the rental fees.

What helpful advice would you give to others interested in going tiny?
RESEARCH before building. I cannot stress this enough. You need to research not only the design and practicality of utilities, but also the zoning and laws regarding where you can and can’t put your tiny home. It was a complete headache for us trying to deal with zoning after we’d built it and put it in our ideal location.

FULL TOUR: Couple’s 192 Sq. Ft. Tiny House on Wheels


Our big thanks to Patrick & Sarah Romero for sharing!

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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!
{ 15 comments… add one }
  • mary
    April 1, 2016, 2:54 pm

    Love the bathroom and the skylites very nice design, Great Job!! I hope to build one someday…..

  • Sondra
    April 1, 2016, 4:18 pm

    It’s an investment, they are renting it out to make money, not selling it. What a brilliant idea ! Would be better on land someone not in an RV park but still a good idea, make it a vacation home for yourself and rent it out when you are not using it to help pay for it, when paid off then maybe live in it full time ? Or keep making money off of it ! Kudos Romero’s !

    • Gabrielle Charest
      April 1, 2016, 7:17 pm

      Theo, no need to be snarky or know-it-all. We are all here to learn. Sometimes errors and oversights are involved in the learning process. Let’s give credit to this couple for their build, and more importantly, let’s all promote local zoning changes to accommodate tiny/small homes.

      • Barnie
        August 31, 2016, 11:58 am

        I don’t think it matters how much noise people make, even if their numbers are exponentially greater than those entities influencing the governing bodies directly. If anything, I expect the increased popularity of TH’s to cause zoning/regulations to become even more stringent and limiting inre tiny living. It’s part of what’s kept me from diving in as yet. No point in going tiny if you can’t legally put it anywhere. It’s a tough call atm.

  • Jeremy
    April 1, 2016, 5:58 pm

    I love how big and bright it looks with those skylights!! I may not love them as much if I was trying sleep in though….

    • Alex
      April 1, 2016, 7:21 pm

      Me too! Those skylights are awesome. Haha. I guess if you wanna sleep in you need some eye covers!

  • Kim
    April 1, 2016, 6:35 pm

    I like those skylights, and it is nice and bright. It is a good recommendation to check the zoning laws. These zoning laws could make room for tiny houses.

  • jake
    April 1, 2016, 8:58 pm

    Awesome skylights. Great story. Nice candor. If you wanted to live in an tiny home…but couldn’t afford to build one…and someone had one you could rent while you were saving up for your own…that would be nice…right?

  • kristina nadreau
    April 2, 2016, 12:53 am

    thank you all for sharing the reality of this tiny house. The zoning issues, renting etc etc. I have wondered about the wisdom of living tiny for many people. I have a sense that many people think this is a great idea for many, many reasons. Then after living in their tiny home for several years, and dealing with the issues unique to tiny houses in addition to the issues that occur with all housing choices…… then they sell and move on. I like hearing about the issues and the successful resolutions to problems. Real life stories are helpful and informative. Less hype and more pragmatic solutions are welcome. Thanks again.

    • Porcsha
      April 2, 2016, 10:01 am

      I agree! I like reading these articles because it’s free advice! Advice is always a good thing. Building and living in tiny homes is a process and it’s not easy. Thanks for sharing.

    • Alex
      April 2, 2016, 2:32 pm

      Thanks, Kristina, glad you found it helpful

  • PaulaV.
    April 2, 2016, 1:00 pm

    I like their design and forethought. However I get frustrated reading the same old story about “having to move the house”. duh. People just really need to do their homework. It’s not hard. I will build tiny/small on my property in the town limits. I have a primary residence here and I know what I can and can’t build with regard to an ADU and PUD. This is the number one thing on the list that needs to be checked into when one is going into the build. I wouldn’t want to fly under the radar, build it and see how long I can get away with it or any manner of a scenario whereby you don’t really know or want to know the zoning laws. For me, it’s just not worth the hassle and time of “fighting” any planning/zoning board. Things need to change up some more in my town. And yeah I’m thinking about getting on the planning board!

    • Theo
      April 3, 2016, 4:57 am


  • Theo
    April 2, 2016, 7:11 pm

    Then stop people making replies that imply that I am stupid.

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