Meet Karin: After retiring she wanted to be closer to her son and grandkids. A tiny house ended up being the best option since they couldn’t find a property with a granny pad already built.
She found her home from a builder who had changed his mind about tiny house living. It has a nice living room, a bathroom, and a full kitchen. Her bedroom is in the loft up a storage staircase.
Read the Q&A we did with Karin below to learn more about some of the obstacles she had to overcome (and is overcoming) on her journey to live tiny.
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Living Tiny in her Son’s Backyard
This tiny house has a nice, full kitchen
Here is her loft bedroom.
The living room set up for Karin’s needs.
A purrrfect cat ramp!
Front door lets the light in.
Before the inside was finished. You can see the other upper loft.
Karin & Her Tiny Granny Pad
What are your name(s)?
Where are you from?
Cameron Park, CA
How did you first become seriously interested in tiny homes?
My son & I have always talked about when he bought a house it would have a granny house in the backyard so I could live in it & help with the grandkids. He couldn’t find a house with the granny house in back so I decided to buy a tiny house.
What type of tiny house do you have or are you working on?
My house was built by River Hawk Tiny house Company. The builder was going to live in it and build more to sell. He decided it wasn’t for him so he put it up for sell. He didn’t build any more.
Why did you go tiny? What are you hoping to get out of it for yourself?
I wanted to downsize when I retired last December and be close to my son and grandkids.
How long did it take you to finish your tiny house?
I didn’t build it. The man I bought it from said it took him and his son about 2 years.
Did you do it yourself? Who helped? How much did it end up costing you to build it?
Not sure how much it cost him but it has high end materials.
How did you figure out where to put it? Do you keep it in one place or do you move around?
At this time it is in one place. I would like to travel but I need to buy a bigger truck to be able to tow it.
What’s been the most challenging part about your tiny house so far?
When my son bought the house in August 2020 we were planning to put it in his backyard. When I finally sold my house and bought the tiny house in November of 2020 and retired in December I was ready to get the permits and paperwork turned in for a Hardship case to live in the backyard. When turning in the paperwork we found out that the board of Supervisors in Cameron Park, CA had just changed the lot size to one acre or greater on December 2nd 2020. Before that there was no lot size limit. I am waiting for an Administrative Hearing to request a change in the new policy on the lot size.
What benefits are you experiencing from it so far?
I love being close to my grandkids and helping my son and daughter-in-law since they are both essential workers during this time of COVID pandemic. I also have a disability and living in a multi-generational setting is great as I will eventually need help.
What helpful piece of advice would you give to others who are interested in going tiny? What mistakes could you help them avoid?
Do all your research ahead of time. I also made the mistake of not checking on if the builders had a certificate of title or VIN on the tiny. There was none. I was going to register it in Oregon and thought I had all the paperwork I needed only to find out when I got there that they changed what I needed. So I continued on to California and parked it in my son’s backyard. I called CA DMV at least 3 time and each time they told me different things. I finally went to the CA DMV and finally was told exactly what to do. The DMV calls the Tiny a Coach Trailer because it is liveable unlike the travel trailer which is temporary living. Since I bought it in Oregon, to register it in CA I have to get a brake & lamp inspection before I go to CHP for a VIN. I have also done some research with the CA Housing & Community Development Department. It’s all very confusing!
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Our big thanks to Karin for sharing! 🙏
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