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They Ditched Their Mortgage And Went Tiny


April & Chad were once homeowners in the Portland area, working 6 days a week to stay afloat. But when they started seeing Tiny Living shows on HGTV, they ended up selling their home and business and moving into a studio apartment while they planned their tiny journey!

In 2017, they bought their 24′ Chinook Peak tiny house from Tiny Mountain Houses in Oregon, and parked it on April’s parent’s property. But when Chad’s aging parents needed help, they took their home with them all the way across the country to Maine, where they’ve been living on his parent’s land ever since. April said being able to take their home with them made the transition so much easier than it would have been otherwise!

The couple is now debt-free and have no regrets about going tiny three years ago. We got to do a Q&A with the couple, which you can read at the end of the post! Enjoy the photo tour.

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Interview & Tour: April & Chad’s 24′ Chinook Peak

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Images via April & Chad

You walk into the mudroom/living room.

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Images via April & Chad

Storage stairs take you into their cozy loft bedroom.

 

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Images via April & Chad

They have a love seat and office area in the living room.

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Images via April & Chad

Artwork makes the place home!

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Images via April & Chad

Lovely windows provide good sunlight.

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Images via April & Chad

Great shoe organizer in the mudroom area.

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Images via April & Chad

Lovely beadboard cabinets.

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Images via April & Chad

Nice-size refrigerator to store all you need.

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Images via April & Chad

The farmhouse sink with a whole bank of windows.

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Images via April & Chad

A ladder leads to the secondary loft.

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Images via April & Chad

View looking down from the main loft.

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Images via April & Chad

Great to see they are composting here!

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Images via April & Chad

The storage loft is used primarily for clothing.

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Images via April & Chad

Bathroom with shower/tub combo and toilet.

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Images via April & Chad

They chose the composting toilet option.

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Images via April & Chad

What do you think of this lovely space?

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Images via April & Chad

Here they are on their little slice of paradise.

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Images via April & Chad

From the builder: The floor plan

What are your name(s)?

April and Chad Guest

How many people (and animals) are living in your tiny house?

Me, my husband and our two cats, Harry and Lola.

Where do you live? How long have you lived tiny?

We live in Maine but moved from Portland, Oregon two years ago. We have been in our tiny since April of 2017.

What do you do for work? Or do you travel full-time?

I work in HR and my husband is in merchandising.

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

In Oregon we owned a bar and grill. Chad ran the day to day business and I also worked my own full time job. We had a home that we loved but we just felt our quality of life was stressed. We had been getting into watching shows about tiny house living and were inspired enough to give it a try. We sold our house and our business, moved into a studio apartment for a year and began formulating our tiny house plan. The ultimate goal for us was to regain a positive work life balance and become debt free, thus allowing us the freedom to travel and enjoy life more.

How did you build your tiny house or buy it?

We researched builders in our area and found a newer company in Salem, OR that built it for us. The company is Tiny Mountain Houses. Ours is the 24′ Chinook Peak, with some custom changes. We added extra windows, quartz countertops and the farm house sink. We have a tub shower combo in the bathroom, a composting toilet and an all in one washer dryer. There are two lofts, one we use for a closet/storage and our bedroom. The lofts are 4′ in the middle so there is plenty of room. Nothing feels claustrophobic in our tiny.

Are you comfortable sharing how much your tiny home cost? What are bills/utilites like compared to before?

We got an additional discount for paying cash so I believe the cost was around, $68,000. The only bill we have is for electricity. We are on a well for water. So our monthly expenses are about $400 less a month compared to our traditional home.

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

Originally we were on my parents land outside of Portland, OR so we really lucked out there. My husband is originally from Maine and we decided to move back to help his aging parents. They have 50 acres so we currently live on their land, also very lucky. We have a great place to park our tiny and we are close enough to help them out. The tiny house really made the decision to move to Maine feasible for me. Being able to take our house with us was a huge benefit.

Before going tiny, what was life like?

We were really busy, working 6 days a week and feeling very stressed out. Life now despite the pandemic is much more relaxed and we can enjoy living in the country on more levels than we had ever expected.

Is there anything from your old life that you miss?

The things we miss are more related to moving rather than living tiny. We miss friends and Portland but living tiny, we have no regrets.

What benefits are you experiencing after going tiny?

Much more freedom in multiple areas of life………money, time, travel, stress. It’s been a very positive experience for us.

What about some challenges?

Now that we are living in a much colder winter climate, we have had our pipes freeze several times. It usually lasts about a few days, so it is not horrible, just annoying. If we had known we were going to move to a colder climate we would have made more adjustments to the build to accommodate. So getting ready for winter is very important to us now. We put skirting around in the fall and we have a heated hose for our water connection. We also have the piper under the house heat taped, so all of that is very helpful. Otherwise we stay very cozy in the winter. I also would have changed the design on a few things that now I find wasteful, such as a tub/shower combo. I never use the tub and would have been fine with a roomier shower, which would have given us a bit more storage in the bathroom.

What makes your tiny home special?

It is ours and 100% paid for! Not having a mortgage is huge!

What is your favorite part of your tiny home?

I love all the windows! We have so much natural light and are able to take in all the forest views around us.

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

Don’t be scared to give it a try! We figured even if we ended up hating it we could sell our tiny and go back to a traditional house. Nothing is forever and you can change your mind, but most likely, you will be surprised at how easy it is. Overall, the positives of living tiny really outweigh the negatives. Do your research and have an open mind!

Highlights:

  • Living tiny for 3 years
  • Bought 24′ Chinook Peak from Tiny Mountain Houses
  • Moved cross-country to Maine
  • Taking care of aging parents on their property
  • Loft bedroom
  • Living room/office
  • Bathroom with tub/shower
  • Composting toilet
  • Kitchen with two-burner cooktop
  • Large refrigerator

Learn More:

Our big thanks to April for sharing! 🙏

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Natalie C. McKee

Natalie C. McKee

Natalie C. McKee is a contributor for Tiny House Talk and the Tiny House Newsletter. She's a wife and mama of two little kids. She and her family just purchased a small fixer-upper and are starting a self-sufficient homestead on their happy little acre.
{ 5 comments… add one }
  • Avatar Theresa Perdue
    July 22, 2020, 10:48 am

    I love this home. It’s so warm and cozy. And of course beautiful.

    • Natalie C. McKee Natalie C. McKee
      July 22, 2020, 12:59 pm

      Cozy is the way to go!

  • Avatar JF
    July 22, 2020, 10:53 am

    Love it — big fan of Tiny Mountain Houses. The one thing I noticed right away was the screened outdoor tent. Ah, the bugs of New England. We don’t have those here in Oregon (raised in the Boston area — where the bugs will eat you alive).

    • Natalie C. McKee Natalie C. McKee
      July 22, 2020, 12:59 pm

      So so true haha!

  • Avatar Sheila
    July 22, 2020, 1:53 pm

    This is real pretty inside and out. Windows lots of them. The loft where the bed is looks like I wouldn’t have to make the bed on my knees. I can scrunch it. Very comfortable and is clean and looks lived in and loved.

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