I’m excited to share how this man is now legally living in his 84 sq. ft. tiny home
on wheels on a foundation in Spur, Texas.
And he’s doing it in his 7′ x 12′ tiny house on wheels that was built by Tennessee Tiny Homes back in the day.
Well, this is how Conor Mccann is legally living in his micro cabin on his own land in Spur, Texas and learn from his experience too.
Below you can learn how Conor did it all. He shows how anyone else can do it too. And he did it ALL for $47,270.26 including the land, hookups, fees, etc. He even shares how he insured his tiny home and how much this whole adventure cost him in detail.
Related: Spur, Texas Becomes Nation’s First Tiny House Town?
He built a legal tiny house in Spur, Texas!
Images © Conor Mccann
Isn’t this story awesome? By the way, in case you missed it, I announced how Spur, Texas is welcoming tiny house homeowners with open arms in this post.
Conor has even placed the home on a permanent foundation on his lot and it’s now connected to city, water, sewer, power, internet, and it even has a landline phone connection, too! The wheels and axles of the trailer have been removed and stored while the entire structure has been securely attached to the concrete pad foundation below.
He calls this tiny home the Workhouse because it’s for living simply and working.
Conor’s design, as you’ll later learn, is inspired by Dee Williams’ tiny house on wheels.
And of course, there’s even a shower to complete the essential functions of the home.
And you can take the ladder upstairs to the cozy sleeping loft.
If you’re curious his workspace you can see it below. Nice iMac. 🙂
There’s even just enough space for a hanging closet (just enough space for your essentialist wardrobe).
I love tiny house sleeping lofts as long as there’s a skylight so you can stargaze at night… And this one has it! 🙂
Images © Conor Mccann
“I wanted to continue my debt-free lifestyle while at the same time own a home with some land that would give me the financial freedom to pursue my creative endeavors.”
With a budget of about $40,000, his entire life savings, he searched for alternative housing options and ran into the tiny house movement only to be disappointed because of the lack of options to legally live in your own tiny house. But here’s what happened next, in his own words…
“Several days into the hunt, I checked out some tiny house blogs. A few were posting about the first tiny house friendly town in Texas. I’d never really even thought about Texas, but the fact that this little city was willing to legally embrace alternative dwellings gave me hope that maybe this could work. After looking into the town online, cruising google street view and calling a few people in the area, I knew that it would be a good fit. So sight unseen I decided to go for it.”
Cost for Land + Tiny House
He ended up spending exactly $47,270.26 for his mortgage-free tiny house with land in Spur, Texas.
And his monthly utilities are $230.81 per month including electricity, water, trash, sewer, high-speed internet, landline phone, propane, and property taxes. Did I mention he can walk to the grocery store too?
Getting the Land in Spur, TX
Conor called Sherry Hill, who is the Dickens county tax assessor to figure out how to bid for county-owned lots in Spur, Texas. The next thing you know, he was able to virtually drive around using Google Maps, and a few weeks later, they had accepted his bid for the lot he wanted and he immediately sent the check for it. Conor shares the breakdown of his costs in his post of here. If you’re curious, he paid about $3,500 for three vacant lots.
Would You Move to Spur to Legally Live Tiny?
So what do you think? Would you ever consider moving to Spur, Texas so you can legally live tiny too?
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This is an inspiration…i once lived in a chicken coop and made it like the home of my dreams…for a while…when the town found out they kicked me out…
Welcome to Texas.
I have to say that I am not so impressed with what he is paying for utilities, internet, phone, etc. I live in 1280 sf in a small town in a rural area on a regular size lot and I don’t pay anymore than that for a home this size. I don’t have a land line but my water, sewer and garbage pick up runs around $50 a month and my gas and electric averages $120 month and my cell phone is $50 month. So I can live a 1280 sf home for what he spends in a 84 sf space. I also drive a hybrid car so that cost is low as well. My property taxes are $420 this year.
I love the tiny houses and I would like to have one for an area where it costs more to live but for where I am I think my living is pretty darn good. I do have my home for sale for $56k right now because I want to relocate where I can grow my food and catch my water. If it wasn’t for that I would be fine with staying here. You can grow about 6 months in this area and there are local organic growers and some great amenities but I grew up here and I have lived around the country and want to move more. I think this tiny home is very cool to be so small but I wouldn’t be able to live that small. I do have a yurt cabin that I will be turning into my tiny home because I like the round shape and it is 217 sf. I will contact Alex when I get it set up.
Not bad, but $47K+ sounds a bit pricey, unless he got a lot of land. The pictures give the impression of roominess, but I’ve got a small shop 8’X12′, and roomy it ain’t. And I did not see any toilet, or any mention of one, I would put that as a major priority. For the price, I could get a decent travel trailer, and a vehicle to pull it, with change left over, and wind up with more room to boot. But, to each his own.
This shows much promise. Land is more important than house! Congratulations.
In a heartbeat!!!!! I read his blog with the actual breakdown of the monthly fees and it also includes insurance, property taxes, and that one bill (I think it was water and or sewer and trash pick-up) is the minimum charge meaning you could use more for a larger house and it wouldn’t go up. It had some good info. Also, even though there was no picture of the toilet I believe it was mentioned in his blog. The cost of the read your-built house was more than half the total cost so if you did most of the work you would save there too. He also had some great info and “hindsight” info too. If I didn’t have family responsibilities here I would buy land in Spur, TX and have a small house (400-500 sq. ft) built as I can’t do ladders and I want to be able to set-up my craft/wilting table and machine and leave it up.
More articles like this are needed! The nuts-and-bolts of real tiny house living. Most of your articles are about rich people playing with architecture instead of people wanting or needing to live tiny. The legal realities and code restrictions of tiny homes needs looking into, and maybe some challenges to the restrictions.
Thanks for the feedback Bruce I’ll work on getting more stories like this out to you, I know this one’s filled with value
I certainly second Bruce Robinson’s comments I don’t care how upscale your tiny houses spending 50 to $85,000 for a tiny house to me seems absolutely ridiculous you can get a foreclosure house for less than that in Orlando right now I’m fighting my local city code enforcement we’ve had raw sewage pouring out the front of the house where I live since last September and code enforcement do nothing Google Castleberry raw sewage and you’ll see the numerous news reports on it now they’re coming after me for having my tiny house parked in the driveway is in an eyesore heaven sakes now they’re mad because I sent the news cameras right down the street for houses away to the mayor’s house of course her rich friends who used to sit on the city council and are retired police officers they can build chicken coops and outdoor buildings without building permits and have 20-plus chickens running around pooping in people’s yards which is illegal but they get a pass but as soon as I raised the problems of Code Enforcement not doing its job they come after me well now they can be found out in the news because I filed suit against them and now they can explain how come former City commissioners and retired cops don’t have to follow the laws like the rest of us do they’re coming after me for a tiny house well I can go after them for being a corrupt government official our tiny houses 8 by 16 and when all is said and done will be far less than $10,000 and that’s with everything being brand-new of course I have waited for Home Depot and Lowe’s to have great sales which is why I’ve gotten substantially reduced kitchen cabinets backsplash tile and a beautiful stainless steel countertop but these prices are fifty to a hundred thousand to seem ridiculous I want average people who make average wages those the types of stories I like
What an inspiring story. However waaaay to small for this gal. It’s beautiful.
That’s a ton of money for what it is and to come up with without a mortgage. For that, you can buy a decent home here in Southern Indiana. I like the tiny houses, but if they are going to cost what a full sized one costs, well….I don’t see the point…..
He can put wheels on his house and move it and not everywhere is southern Indiana. I looked at real estate in southern Indiana. There are a lot of postage stamp properties with run down homes, in not great neighborhoods at the less then $50k cost. Weighing the options together, I’d take the tiny home in Texas too.
I live in southern AZ. Water and sewer is $98 a month, phone, Internet and T.V. is $143. Taxes about $85 per month. A comparable home of 1400 sq. ft. is at least $110,000. Electricity averages about $150. Insurance is a little under $300 per year. Are there cheaper places to live, yes, have I tried some, yes, am I happy where I am , Yes.
Would I like a smaller house, probably as I get older, Yes.
I live here for health reasons. I want to live, not simply warehouse myself in the cheapest area. I hope everyone gets to live where they choose. So if this person is happy in Spur, Texas, I am happy for them.
I think this is so awesome. He should feel very proud.
At 1st glance the price sounds huge but after reading his blog the following he writes the following.
“I want to be as transparent as possible about what this whole experience actually cost me, so below is as close as I can get to how much I shelled out and for what. You may be able to do it way smarter/cheaper, and I hope you can if you’re going for it.
$3,500 – Three vacant lots
$24,702.46 – Tiny house
$2,092.50 – Delivery of house
$953 – House insurance for a year
$746 – Electrical pole parts & labor
$600.40 – Concrete for slab
$2,600 – Foundation/plumbing parts & labor
$110 – Water/sewer/trash start service fee
$225 – Water & sewer connection fee
$150 – Internet & phone connection fee
$225 – Power connection fee
$4,775.25 – Used cargo van to tow house & camping
$777 – Tow hitch parts & labor
$1,050 – RV Park for three months
$4,763.65 – Misc expenses
For A Grand Total Of $47,270.26
Not many people are willing to lay it out there with full disclosure. Good on him – enjoy your new life I say well done.
Almost $50k for 3 lots and a 84 sf tiny house??? I built my 8ft x 16ft tiny house about a year and a half ago for $2,500.00 and the two acres that it sets on was bartered for (my labor to help build my son’s new home) — so even if you considered the land’s current market value of between $8,000 to $10,000 then I’d still only have $12,500.00 in it. Since I’m way out in the woods and not connected to any utilities my monthly kerosene lighting bill is only about $6.00. Ah the simply Thoreauean life, I just love it!
Currently I’m helping my son-in-law build his 16ft x 20ft house, it’s small but not tiny. It’s a full 2 story gambrel roof design, 640 sf, 2 bedroom, bath, livingroom, kitchen/dining area. When it’s completed the materials will total between $12,000 and $15,000. Here’s a link to a picture:
Another link showing my 8ft x 16ft tiny house with front porch/deck installed:
Wow, Winston, I really like both your houses, nice looking.
Thank you Conor for spelling most everything out cost wise.
I would have loved to see more detail on the foundation. It looks like the blocks were just stacked & not secured to the slab & where/how does the plumbing/electrical go from trench to house. Did you have to get inspectors to sign off off this?
Well now… Coner McCaan, welcome to Texas. I do not know where y’all hail from but you found something out about Texas. People in small Texas towns enjoy helping others succeed at their efforts. You are the kind of individual who made Texas what it is, a state with backbone. We wear the disdane of others as our badge of honor, the insults of others, like a garland of accolades, and what has emerged is a nation within a nation. Independent, willing to go our own way, and try new ideas. Not asking others to finance these efforts but using our own resources to accomplish our goals.
You chose to set yourself down in the middle of Texas, some might say the middle of nowhere, but each person in Spur knows right where they are and what they are doing there. You have made an investment in their lives as well as yours, they’ll back you for it. There are 254 counties in Texas, most all of them will allow you to do what you are doing. Some of the counties run right into the towns as ours does. Many of the smaller towns needing growth accommodate your kind of efforts, they desire to see you succeed. In Texas we don’t encourage folks to come this way unless they came and liked it. We don’t like folks who come this way wanting to bring their broken, bankrupt ideas of how to build utopia, we already have it, and we like it.
Pay no attention to the “All Hat and No Cattle” crowd. You will recognize them by their efforts to undermine your efforts, as if they are entitled to critique your efforts although they have not attempted to do what you have done. Entitlement seems to be their stock in trade. Yup they have a hat, and it is a big one, but they ain’t got no cattle, and most likely never will.
My hats off to you Coner all 142 as of last count, small hats, each worn with a memory, you sir will have great memories. Here’s to living small and debt free!
I live somewhere right outside Detroit. People here enjoy seeing others fail and get great joy from others misery.
REALLY like your response. You could write for the State of TEXAS Chamber of Commerce, if there were such a thing. Brings home to me how I miss my home folk in OKLAHOMA, even after 35 years in OREGON. If you are writing other posts, I hope I catch them. THNX.
Coner – REALLY like your response. You could write for the State of TEXAS Chamber of Commerce, if there were such a thing. Brings home to me how I miss my home folk in OKLAHOMA, even after 35 years in OREGON. If you are writing other posts, I hope I catch them. THNX.
I’ve only traveled through Texas a couple of times, but have always admired Texas with news of Texas doing it’s own thing and not caring about what other’s think. My husband and I joke that with the direction the country is going me might have to leave the states or move to Texas. LOL Your big hat but no cattle saying will forever be in my repertoire. I really enjoyed your post.
Steve, you sound like a Fine Texan. Coner, I live tiny myself. Thank you for sharing truthfully the cost of becoming independent and debt free. Once you add all things up (which don’t always happen all at once) it can be more expensive than most people think.
I’m on 5 acres entering sixth year with a self designed 136sq ft Tiny House. I could move it onto a purchased lot in the woods with High Speed internet,cable,power,water etc legally but I would need two lots as you can only stay on each lot for 1/2 year I’m in Wa. State
Too beautiful to move to anyplace else.
Nice that this tiny Texas town has seen the light and is thinking more than just land taxes and embracing new residents that will help grow a small town economy.
Steve, HI! I used to live in the Amarillo area, about 30 years, before moving. (picked up the accent and boots) I did not know, after reading this site, for quite awhile, that TX was allowing the tiny homes in most areas! Yea! That is a huge problem for most people, in most states, as you may know, allowing any tiny home!! We hear it all the time. People should be able to live in any home desired, even RVs. I hope you are serious, or know that the TH’s are allowed in most TX areas? I loved TX, even the cactus. Some of the attitudes seem to have changed, but most people were friendly and welcoming. I will be checking out Spur, and other places now. thanks for your comment! 🙂
WOW! $230 a month seems like a HUGE amount for utilities for a tiny house! That’s about what I pay for all the utilities I use in my 576 square foot house with bad windows, bad insulation, heavy- duty Michigan heat bills, a land-line, high-speed internet, and a 4g smartphone! Never considered that might be comparatively little compared to other parts of the country…
Man, I thought the SAME thing! My house is 2250 square feet near Tulsa, and I just added up my utilities. For electric, water, trash, gas, internet and house alarm, this month was $218.94. The highest this year was $232.46. Cool that the guy is debt free, but something’s not right on those utilities. hehe…
Okay. I live in Texas about 30 minutes east of Dallas. You guys saying that 200 a month for all utilities is high is baffling me. I live in 480 sq feet in an 80 year old house that I know has insulation issues. My lowest electric bill in the last year was 92.00. Gas 20. Cable/internet 130. Water sewage and trash is 100 in the winter and when I water the yard during the summer is close to 130. That’s ranging from 340 to 370 a month in utilities and in the summer its closer to 400 because of electric. While better windows, doors and insulation might cut my electric maybe in half, its still a savings. Some things you can save on like Water/sewage/trash, Cable/internet. Those things are not going to change much with a small house because that doesnt have anything to do with how big your house is. If I live in 100 sq feet or 480 sq feet Im still going to shower just as much, wash clothes, use the toilet, those things wont change. heating and cooling should be where he is saving money, as long as its insulated properly.
Texas is too far from my family (and likely too hot)….but I hope that other states will follow its example.
Maybe it’s just expensive where I live, but I pay a good bit more than $230 a month for all my utilities. o_O
It’s a ways from Fort Hood, where I spent some time way back when, but it sure looks like Texas to me. I agree with Conor’s postmortem conclusion that he probably would have done better with local builder/s, but these are definitely things we learn by not doing them. And it would be a great way to meet your future neighbors, too. 😉
EXCELLENT article. Thank you for giving us a thorough run-down of your journey. We planned a trip to Texas until that unusual nasty weather stopped us in our tracks. We’ll stay out of their way for the time being. I have to meet those Texans I’ve read about, my kind of place.
This is a very interesting story. The main points, are that Conor is able to legally live in a town, on his own land, in the home of his choice, even though his home is a tiny house. Moreover, he lives within walking distance of a grocery store. This is a wonderful set of circumstances. I hope Conor enjoys his situation, in Spur, Texas.
I probably would be better suited to living within another community, in another state. Thus, for me, there would likely be the usual slew of housing restrictions associated with zoning laws and permit requirements. Even if I attempted to build the best home in a typical city, the tiny size of my proposed tiny house would raise the hackles of city’s residents and leaders.
It is so important to insulate, use thermo pane windows and have better insulation in roof than most tiny houses allow. That said, if his place is paid for he is better off than a lot of our fellow citizens.
I’m glad he made his dream come true. 230.00 per month is a deal. To own your own land and home and be close to town. I wish there were places in Florida that would let you live in a tiny home on your own piece of property without having another bigger home on the land.
For some reason the link no longer works, but I googled Spur TX and found all kinds of information. I seem to be a bit obsessed by tiny homes, I am already living in a 400 sq ft apartment, paying half my income. I would love to own my own little piece of heaven – I don’t need much space, and I could afford utilities. I used to live in Texas and I loved it. The people, the food, the attitude were all amazing. I need to find a way to make this happen.
I hope you do!!
It even has a tiny bathroom. And I love that if he wants to travel he can put the wheels back on and take a vacation. Yep this one is perfection😘