I've always loved the idea of his and hers tiny houses, where a couple downsizes into two separate houses that are parked next to one another. Well, I finally found the perfect guests to interview about it! Elisa and Ryk share their insights on why they chose two tiny houses, the logistics of parking them, and how living tiny has changed their relationship. They have lots of great lessons to share about living tiny and advice for other couples who are considering dual tiny homes.
Elisa and Ryk
Elisa, a spiritual mentor and entrepreneur, and Ryk, a finance guy, met, fell in love, and got married in Virginia, almost 11 years ago. After experiencing a winter in upstate NY, they decided to move west and came to Seattle, WA. in 2015. Both consider themselves to be gypsies who want to travel and explore this country and the world, as much as they can.
Elisa discovered tiny houses on YouTube. After years of watching others live in tiny houses, they decided to take the plunge and buy not one, but two tiny’s and live in them full time. They have been living near Mt. Hood, OR. for the last 18 months. Now they are happy tiny housers and are looking to their next big adventure, and planning to take their houses with them!
This Week's Sponsor:
PODX GO Tiny Homes
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Elisa and Ryk live side-by-side in their tiny houses
Elisa bought the show model at a tiny house expo
They lived in her tiny together while his was being built
They are built to face each other with common area in between
Ryk's house is a custom build
He works in his tiny house
It's nice to each have their own space
But they still spend most of their time together
Elisa Boots 0:00
Tiny House 3.0, which we feel where we are now, is we don't, we don't have, we did not have land to put our tinies on. We bought my first house without a place to park it and had to find a place.
Ethan Waldman 0:14
Welcome to the Tiny House Lifestyle Podcast, the show where you learn how to plan, build and live the tiny lifestyle. I'm your host, Ethan Waldman, and this is episode 258 with Elisa and Ryk. I've always loved the idea of his and hers tiny houses, where a couple downsizes into two separate houses that are parked next to one another, and I finally found the perfect guests to interview about it. In this conversation, we'll learn why Elisa and Ryk decided to have two tiny houses, what they've had to do to park the two tiny houses, and how living tiny has changed their relationship. They have lots of great lessons to share about living tiny and advice for other couples who are interested in doing dual tiny homes. I hope you stick around for our conversation.
Are you looking for a compact and affordable way to streamline your lifestyle? I'd like to tell you about the sponsor of this week's episode PODX Go and their new Grande S1 tiny home. This meticulously designed tiny home expands from a trailer to a 364 square foot home with just the push of a button. Certified by NOAH and built to ANSI 119.5 standards, the Grande S1 is towable with an F-250 or equivalent. The PODX Go home is 99% factory built with healthy and eco friendly materials that you can rest easy knowing your home is taking care of you and the environment. It features a fully fitted kitchen, bedroom bath and living room with ingenious storage spaces throughout. PODX Go has even partnered with Renogy Solar Systems so you can live off grid or reduce your energy bills. Discover the ultimate choice for your tiny lifestyle with PODX Go's Grande S1 model, PODX Go has launched their crowdfunding campaign with special pricing starting from just $49,000. Visit PODXGo.com to watch a video of the S1 unfold and to get the crowdfunding launch discount. Again that website is PODXGo.com. Thank you so much to PODX Go for sponsoring our show.
Right I am here with Elisa and Ryk. Elisa, a spiritual mentor and entrepreneur and Ryk, a finance guy, met, fell in love and got married in Virginia almost 11 years ago. After experiencing a winter in upstate New York they decided to move west and came to Seattle in 2015. Both consider themselves to be gypsies who want to travel and explore this country and the world as much as they can. Elisa discovered tiny houses on YouTube after years of watching others live in tiny houses. They decided to take the plunge and buy not one but two tinies and live in them full time. They've been living near Mount Hood, Oregon for the last 18 months. Now they are happy tiny housers and are looking to their next big adventure and planning to take their houses with them. Elisa and Ryk, welcome to the show.
Elisa Boots 3:43
Ryk Hall 3:45
Thank you very much.
Ethan Waldman 3:46
Yeah, you're very welcome. And I feel like I've heard this so many times that someone says like, I could live in a tiny house but not with my husband or not with my wife. So you two you've like cracked the code. You went for two separate tiny houses.
Elisa Boots 4:02
Yes. We went to a tiny house show in Portland, Oregon. We drove from Washington to Portland. And we saw various tiny houses and some were the old Tumbleweeds, which I was like, now that I'm in one I don't think I can do.
Ethan Waldman 4:20
Elisa Boots 4:21
But we still loved the idea of being tiny because we saw various sizes, right? But they just seemed really small unless you got one of those Monster tinies right and but we do different things. We're active independent people. Ryk works remotely and he needs a space during the day, you know, to to do his work. So with we said, well, let's just buy two. We did spend what was it four months in my tiny before yours was ready, honey?
Ethan Waldman 4:51
Elisa Boots 4:52
And I only sent him out of the house once.
Ryk Hall 4:57
I did a great job.
Ethan Waldman 4:59
Hopefully he went willingly?
Elisa Boots 5:02
Well, I called him back in the house. You know, it's it's tough to exist in a small space with two people who already have kind of their lives mapped out or they're doing specific things. So we are very happy that we have two tinies. And we are parked literally about 25 feet away from each other. And we face each other. And so in the morning, Ryk has a commute of about what, 25 feet to go honey to do his work?
Ryk Hall 5:37
Elisa Boots 5:37
And yeah, but we still live in my tiny house, primarily mine, the bigger kitchen, we sleep over here. Okay. But whenever guests go ahead,
Ryk Hall 5:51
Elisa Boots 5:52
Together, yes, we do. But whenever we have guests, they have, they get Rick's bed over on his tiny house. And it's like they have their own personal space. You know, it's it works out beautifully for guests to come. And we still can host them and they can have their privacy, they can enjoy their mornings, you know, or their evenings, how are they want to do it. And we have found we actually entertain a lot more people now. And we have found that it's been a great arrangement.
Ethan Waldman 6:27
I'm sure people have a reason to want to come visit you because you've got these two unique tiny houses to stay in.
Elisa Boots 6:33
Yeah, I think that's been the the lure, right. But we've had many repeat guests. And we're hoping that you know, by helping our friends kind of see what the tiny lifestyle is, like, without any obligation or just to enjoy a nice weekend that they will go back and share that information with other people or their kids. And hopefully, perpetuate, you know, tiny house life. Yeah,
Ryk Hall 6:59
I had a comment on the two tiny houses. So Elisa has a standard model, which has my face the front, you exit on the right.
Ethan Waldman 7:10
Ryk Hall 7:11
We had mine on the opposite floor plan. So you exit on the left so we can see each other. So if we need to get in contact, we can wave at each other from where we are. And that's one of the things we want we're thinking about was putting them Ls instead of you know, parallel across from each other. Yeah, but yeah, for that what
Ethan Waldman 7:33
So are the two houses the same model, like the same size, the same model? Or are they are they totally different?
Elisa Boots 7:42
Our houses are very different. And we bought mine first. Mine was actually a show model that we saw, I saw at another home show with my mother several years before and I loved it. It was one of the houses I walked in, and I said I can I can live here I can be in this space because it's a shed style. And it has a 13 foot ceiling or a 12 foot ceiling. And it's an open concept.
Ethan Waldman 8:13
Elisa Boots 8:14
And the way it is designed, the stairs are actually do not have a backing on them. Some people look at them a little strangely, but they really open up the space. And his is all one level with a bedroom in the back. His is a little longer. Mine's 26 Is 30 okay, and it's a completely different style. His has read wood and black metal and mine is blue, cedar painted deep blue with bright silver metal on the back.
Ethan Waldman 8:48
Elisa Boots 8:48
So we're very different. And we like it that way. And it's always been everybody's like well I like her house but I like his house but I like her house but I like his house. So it's always a topic of great discussion when people visit it or watch our video. We've had there's been a lot of feedback on who likes whose house you know, but we're very happy with the fact that we can express our own individual likings
Ethan Waldman 9:17
Elisa Boots 9:17
And still create a comfortable home.
Ethan Waldman 9:20
Yeah, I love I love it. I mean, would you say that the the two you know the the red wood and the the blue and silver? Did you each kind of decide on the aesthetics of the house separately a kind of of your house or was it a joint decision for each house?
Elisa Boots 9:37
Well, I'll tell you a little bit about mine and then Ryk can talk about his mind again was at a Home Show. I mean I bought the demo model. So it was already painted a deep blue which is my favorite color. And that's another reason why I liked it. And I really love the blue and the silver. It's I call my house is called Little starlet, little Starly, I can't talk, Little Starry Blue and his then we built his from the ground up, it was customized by the same builder. So Honey, why don't you tell? Tell Ethan about your house?
Ryk Hall 10:12
Sure. So mine is called Lassen Creek, which is a favorite place that I had when I was growing up. And so we really kind of stretched the builder. We designed it based off one of their, you know, standard templates. But then we have some extra features like the redwood siding, and the black panel. So this is all done during COVID. So it took about six months longer than they thought it would just because of the supply chain issues.
Ethan Waldman 10:45
Ryk Hall 10:45
And of course, being a big dreamer. There were things I want. Practical. So as I go into what was at level three or year three of of tiny house is kind of like I can see some of the wisdom that they had in not doing everything I wanted. So but you know, it's great. The temperature is awesome. I have lots of glass, which lets a lot of light in.
Ethan Waldman 11:13
Ryk Hall 11:15
Yeah, so it's fantastic.
Ethan Waldman 11:17
Awesome. Well, I like I can't decide between the myself I'll post the YouTube it'll be embedded on the show notes page for the episode as well as some great pictures that you sent me those all be on the show notes page so people can check them out for themselves.
Elisa Boots 11:34
Ethan Waldman 11:37
So tell me about your your parking or Go Go ahead.
Elisa Boots 11:40
I was gonna say well, the debate continues right.
Ethan Waldman 11:43
Elisa Boots 11:43
The debate will continue.
Ethan Waldman 11:46
Tell me about your parking situation. Where are you where you are living and has that been Where you've been the whole time that you've been living tiny?
Elisa Boots 11:53
You know, this. We were talking earlier, Ryk and I about Tiny House versions. So like, you know, tiny house 1.0 Is I'm thinking about a tiny I'd like to live in a tiny don't know how I'm going to do it, but I want to do it. Tiny House 2.0 You got your tiny, awesome, and you're and you're in the midst of building it, dealing with all the fun things that go along with that? Well, Tiny House 3.0, which we feel where we are now is we don't we don't have we did not have land to put our tinies on. We bought my first house without a place to park it and had to find a place. So we were very fortunate that our builder had just gotten a flyer in the mail of a local RV park that had tiny houses for rent, you know, nightly rentals, right? But they said basically, hey, we're open to tiny housers coming and live here because we allow people to live here on a permanent basis. So we checked it out literally on the way back home from the builder and this, this RV park is beautiful. And so we said, you know, because we there's just no way we can purchase and have land by the time the houses are complete and ready to go. We'll just stay here. And so we moved our tinies here. And so we live in an RV park. But this RV park is a very nice park it has a clubhouse and a pool and a hot tub and, and it's forested, and it has woods all around. And so we literally if you see the video, you can see we live amongst amongst the cedar trees.
Eventually, yes, we do want our own land or, and I think part of maybe tiny house 3.5 or 4.0 it will be community we are very focused on community, especially as older Gen Xers that we are, you know, when you have other people around you that maybe share similar value systems and and just kind of the desire to live tiny it would be an awesome idea to have land and have several tineis on it, you know several people living on in their tinies on the land. We've looked at communities like Acony Bell and Tiny Tranquillity which are awesome, both of those are beautiful communities. But because we have two tinies that kind of throws a wrench into things because in one space we were allowed to we weren't allowed to be on the same lot size. And on the other space, they wouldn't allow us to put the tinies in an l like even if it was right up against the end of a lot because of hookups and things like that and sure I get it, I totally get it. So eventually we would like to either invest in land with some other tiny home owners or you know, somehow buy a small parcel of land where we can put our two tinies on there comfortably and maybe invite some other people to come in temporarily or you know just stay for a short short time or or however that goes but that That's kind of the next version of our The next goal in our tiny journey is to find a permanent place for the tinies to reside.
Ethan Waldman 15:10
Elisa Boots 15:10
Our tinies are really nice. And I know they travel well, but they're just not, we just are not equipped to like, move them around constantly. That's just not kind of our lifestyle. So yeah, that's, that's the end result is to have some land where we can do this, and we all know land prices. Now. So that's why we were thinking of, you know, eventually maybe coming in with some other people who would like the same thing is we wouldn't and either subdivide the land from there, or we all go in as investors, you know, and, and do our own little tiny home community, you know, it doesn't have to be as big as Tiny Tranquility or Aconyy Bell. It's just, you know, five or six of us.
Ethan Waldman 15:50
Maybe, maybe there's a listener who wants to? Who wants to do this with you?
Elisa Boots 15:56
Yes, we would, we welcome to Talking to anybody, we are just, you know, this, this is new territory, you know, for us, Ethan, and I think for the country, as people age, and we're, we're talking from our generation here, you know, we don't have the same advantages that our parents had, or maybe other generations had. And we want to live our lives a little differently, too. So this is how we are seeing things, but I also think it is the way of the future, you know, okay, you have five acres of land, why do you need all that to yourself? I mean, share that and have some other people who can help you out as, as life progresses, and you can help them out. And we can share, you know, kind of community surroundings. And I think that's a much better way to age in place than going to an old folks home, or, you know, we're not, we're not ready for that yet. Are we ready? We're not ready for the old folks home. But we want to maintain our independence, we want to maintain our lifestyle. And we want to do this as long as we can. So this is why we were thinking community, even if it's a small one is is kind of what we're focusing on. And what we're looking
Ryk Hall 17:11
for. What I was finding out is we've been looking for land, all up and down, you know, the west coast on the East Coast. And, you know, of course, everybody knows zoning is hit or miss and it depends. But that's been quite the journey, too. And in level one, or Level two is is saying, you know, we were upstate Washington, we thought they were really progressive, but we already had our tiny homes built and wanted to buy some land, and they wanted to approve the plans of our tiny homes before we built them. Like they're already built. And they're like, we can't vary on that. And we're like, Okay, well, there's a state called Oregon. That's, you know, a little more progressive debt. Yeah.
Ethan Waldman 18:02
Ryk Hall 18:03
So it's just the whole journey has just been very weird and very strange.
Elisa Boots 18:07
Yeah. We even offered this was Thurston County, in Washington State.
Ethan Waldman 18:13
Elisa Boots 18:14
We even said Our houses are NOAH certified, they're certified. I mean, they're going to be built to a certain level of safety and sustainability, etc, etc. They're like, Oh, we're not no, we don't we don't. We don't recognize any certifications. It has to be approved by our, our whoever approves them.
Ethan Waldman 18:33
Yeah, that's, that's, that's a little strange. That's, I mean, that feels like they're looking at it from a traditional single family home perspective where you would need the plans submitted to the to the town before you build.
Elisa Boots 18:47
Yes. And so, you know, we've we've, we researched many of the counties around us here in Washington and Oregon. It's very interesting, you know, as we all know, right? It when you take it down to the county level, I mean, we even went to Wasco County, which is down in Hood River, Oregon. And they were very, they were very excited that we had tinies. They were like, Yeah, we're down with that. We're cool with it.
Ethan Waldman 19:13
Elisa Boots 19:13
And then some other counties like right next door said, Yeah, we like tinies. But you have to take them off the wheels. And then, you know, one other county said, yeah, we'll do tinies, but they have to be on a foundation, they have to be not just on skids, they have to be on a foundation. So everybody's a little at least in Oregon, they're there. They're recognizing it, but it is we you know, that is I guess, part of tiny house 2.0 When you're really trying to figure out where to live, you've got to do your due diligence, and you've got to even you know, we thought for sure we could we could put our tinies someplace and that's why when I had bought my house, right but and we had done some research, but when you really dig in deep, it's you really have to do your research. And so that's why we came to the conclusion that for us a - trying to find land where the ordinances can be positive. And you know, or at least they're curious and say, hey, you know, talk to us about it.
Ethan Waldman 20:10
Elisa Boots 20:11
And then to go in along with other people and living there. I feel like that's going to be something that's going to come up much more frequently as we move forward in this in this movement of tiny houses.
Ethan Waldman 20:24
Ryk Hall 20:25
And I would did want to say it's getting better every day, more and more states, more and more counties and locations are opening up.
Ethan Waldman 20:33
Ryk Hall 20:34
THIA, has been doing a lot of work. There's a bunch of other organizations that are working legislatively and with local councils. And there's just a whole lot of groundswell support for tiny homes, and people are working with their local governments. And so that's, that's kind of what's needed. Because you've got a jump up and down just just to be seen a little bit.
Ethan Waldman 20:58
Yeah, yeah. I think the places that have recognized that they have a shortage of housing. And they've, they've started to try to address that problem are going to be much more receptive to movable tiny homes, because they are such a great solution. They're kind of ready made their quality. They, you know, not like you are migrants, you know, like coming to live somewhere for a couple of months, you're going to become members of the community and like, and live there.
Elisa Boots 21:29
Yeah, exactly. And I think that's a difference there. The desire for community the desire to, and you know, not to say that RVs don't have communities as well. But that's usually more transient, transient of nature of the nature is is transiency.
But for us, we, we've talked to a lot of other tiny home owners, there are other tiny home owners in the park here who live here like us, and we've, we've, we've spoken with some of them. You know, we're fortunate that we live in an area where Portland has passed the ADU ordinance, so that you know, tinies are now much more visible on Facebook and etc, etc. So people are more familiar with what a tiny house is.
Ethan Waldman 22:16
Elisa Boots 22:17
I think when you go out further, people are less than though and they just think of it as an RV. So I think that's the main work we have to do is, is really talking to these ordinances, councils, and counties to say, you know, We're not transient, where we, we want to be permanent. And I, it's just our homes are on wheels, you know, maybe we might take them for a little vacation one day or something, but we're gonna come back, you know, we're gonna be there, we're gonna be there. And we want to be members of the community, we're not just here to be here for a few months and leave. So that's what I hope that we can, that we can foster with I'm sorry, that's my dog, we can foster that type of immunity and communication with these other counties.
Ethan Waldman 23:07
I feel like at you know, I don't know how old you two are, but you've mentioned kind of, you know, growing old and I feel like at at at this point in life, I can envision a couple like you kind of building their dream home kind of like, building that last biggest, nicest home that they are going to live in before kind of really getting old, you don't you don't seem that old. I'm and you know, doing two tiny houses is a is a really novel and kind of different approach to that I'm curious, you know, did you compare kind of in cost, like, you know, building one, one standard home versus the two tiny homes? And just I'm curious to kind of get in your head about the decision making process on on, on doing the two tiny homes versus maybe one, you know, small home?
Elisa Boots 24:07
Right. That's a really good point. So we have had comments on our video is like, wow, you've spent a lot of money and so expensive. How could you do that?
Ethan Waldman 24:16
Elisa Boots 24:17
But for the total costs between our two homes, mine was used basically, it was a show model and his was custom built. We have spent less than $200,000 I don't know. There might be a few places left in the country. If you're a good builder, like you can build by yourself that you can build your quote, dream home for less than $200,000 Hats off to you. That's not possible where we live.
Ethan Waldman 24:43
Elisa Boots 24:44
And that's not even in the cards of for a lot of people in our age group who got slammed by the recession and you know who you know, I owned a condo at one point went underwater during the resession. So I lost all my equity in that home. And so I don't have and we didn't have combined income we didn't have, you know, $300, $400, $500,000 to build a custom dream home of our own. And even to buy we live in the Pacific Northwest. And I know we got comments on our on our film about, you know, how could you spend so much money that well, you know, if you live in Arkansas, or you live in the south or whatever, your prices are cheaper, you know, okay, great. You can probably buy a house maybe for $200,000, you know, like a house house? That's impossible here.
Ethan Waldman 25:36
Elisa Boots 25:36
It's just impossible.
Ethan Waldman 25:37
Elisa Boots 25:38
And so this was our this was our answer to that it's, we this way we can we get our what we like, you know, he has his house and what he likes in his house, I have my house, what I like in mine. We have built them with quality builders. So they're not going to fall apart in a year or so. And I think that's another thing people are wondering now, how long do tinies last? Well, our builders pretty much built these houses like they would a little house, a house, how do you know, maybe a few modifications, but we don't have plastic in our houses. They're built with wood and metal and steel. And so I think for the price that we paid combined, I just don't think if again, if somebody can build their dream home for under $200,000, like stick a stick built dream home on a on a quarter acre lot, you go for it. But we couldn't.
Ryk Hall 26:31
And what's great is that we're very unique people. And we each have our unique tastes, and we like each other's tastes. But we want our own tastes. And so that's really hard to do if you're living in one house, it's like, okay, then you start negotiating, okay, I want the kitchen, you can have the bedroom or the garage.
Elisa Boots 26:51
Or the man cave.
Ryk Hall 26:55
So you start this negotiation, but this way we can do we can do it our way.
Ethan Waldman 27:00
Ryk Hall 27:00
Because what's important to both of us is that our surroundings help us thrive. And that's what our, our tiny homes are designed to do. We walk in, and has what we need to help us, you know, be our best. The other great thing was, you know, as you get older, and let's say we wanted to buy a house, we'd have to take every resource we had, convert it into the house, we wouldn't have any leftover for reserve.
Ethan Waldman 27:30
Ryk Hall 27:30
Which is really important. Plus, we like to travel. And, you know, it's, that's a, that's a blast. And that's what we like to do so. So we've kind of said, This is what's important to us. And so therefore we can live in a smaller house, and still have these these other items that we can do. The, the thing that's really important, I think, for everybody to listen, or to or to think about is that when you go out to look for a tiny house, make sure that it's certified, either NOAH, or there's a couple of other ones out there. There's a lot of people that just built them on a trailer on the weekends. And you know, this is their first and only or they're just getting started. And so you know, you want somebody to say yes, the electrical work just for fun works. It's awesome. It's also whatever code there is. So yeah, that's one of my big messages for people.
Elisa Boots 28:31
And I would just like to add to that, that we were able to buy these houses, we were fortunate enough to have the resources to buy them outright. I didn't want to carry a mortgage into my 60s and 70s. I just don't. And yes, we do pay a lot rent for each of our lots. But that totals less than $2,000 a month and well under, well under $2,000 a month. So this way we keep our our finances very minimal. Yet, we still have all the perks of you know, living a nice, a nice lifestyle, a comfortable lifestyle. And I know tiny home financing is still also in its infancy. And that was another reason why we did pay cash because it just really wasn't that many. There weren't that many places to get financing even several years ago. I think that's going to change I think that's going to improve. And so you know, there's a huge difference in carrying a mortgage of $150 - $200,000 versus a $500,000 mortgage. Right? And I just didn't want to be paying that until the day I died. And so yeah, that was another reason why we chose this at this time of our lives. Because instead of buying that dream house and having that mortgage, we decided get our tinies and pay for them outright, and therefore the only thing we have is the rent each month, and we're set.
Ethan Waldman 30:06
Nice. How has how has living tiny changed your relationship?
Elisa Boots 30:15
I'll let you take that first, honey.
Ethan Waldman 30:17
Oh yeah, I want to hear from both of you.
Ryk Hall 30:20
Okay, buckle in. I think it's made it better. And the reason being, we talk more, I think, and there are times when she wants to be by herself, or she's gonna watch some special TV series that, you know, that I'm not interested in, I can come over to my place, read a book or watch TV or, you know, do something like that. And, you know, we still come together and we eat meals, and we we go to the store, and we do a whole bunch of stuff together. But we're not beholden to be in each other space, day after day after day.
Ethan Waldman 30:58
Ryk Hall 30:59
And I think that's important. Especially for for everybody. I think. I think everybody needs quality space and quality time, to themselves and in their relationship.
Elisa Boots 31:11
I would agree, I think our relationship has improved. We communicate more. It's very ironic how we live in two separate houses, but we communicate more, we text we text all the time, you know, we come over, I come over for coffee break at about three o'clock each day. And I bring my coffee cup with the three minute he's got the coffeemaker so we sit and chat for a few minutes, the dog comes with us. And we have a really, you know, we have a really nice time. And I think we solve problems better together now, because just this morning, we had an issue because it's snowing here in Oregon, it's cold, it's probably colder than on the East Coast. And I lost my hot water. Yeah, I bet you do. Right? And I think you said something in your, your blog this morning about pipes freezing over. Well, I lost my hot water because my water filter had filled up and then gotten all in, I don't know what it froze or something. It just was crazy. So we're out there in the snow. Both of us are in our jammas we're fixing this, this water filter. And, and, and we're going back into check and everything. But you know, because of that, we we have to solve problems together. It's not like, you know, Oh, honey, you take care of this, it's your thing to do that. No, it's we both get in on it whenever he has a problem with his house, or an issue. You know, I'm over there. And we're both trying to solve it together. Because we both want to understand what's going on with our homes.
Ethan Waldman 32:43
Elisa Boots 32:44
And I think that that has really drawn us closer as partners and just, you know, accomplishing things and, and especially the fact that now we can travel. So we talk a lot about okay, where are we going this year? What are we going to be doing? You know, what state are we visiting, things like that. And I think for the good that has really helped our relationship because we're constantly checking in, you know, where it's not just like he's down in the man cave for hours? I don't see him I don't talk to him. It's, we have a lot more contact and communication.
Ethan Waldman 33:21
Nice. Well, could you each share maybe a lesson or two that you've learned since you went tiny?
Elisa Boots 33:29
Well, I think, you know, the lesson I think I've learned in this is that everybody who comes into tiny homes are drawn to tiny homes come in from various different places and various different backgrounds and desires and goals. Right? I think the wonderful thing that we've learned is that there are other people like us out here, who are interested in doing that, and we're really happy to help. But you know, it's not for everybody. And tiny living is not for everybody. And it's it's an option, certainly, but it's not for everybody. And I think we we've had to learn, you know, sometimes that there just going to be people who want to kind of debate debate with us and argue with us, you know, why are you doing this? You know, and I've just chosen not to engage for that matter, because I think everybody's on their own path and they have to figure it out for themselves. I'm not going to spoon feed you. I'm here to help you I you know, I I really want to help to help people kind of come into the tiny life, but you have to have to want that. And so we've kind of learned just to you know, this is who we are. We're not going to we're not going to press anybody on this lifestyle because it's a very different one and especially for people who are little older, maybe more traditional, it's something that's a big it's a big lifestyle change, right? So yeah, I don't push it on people as the best thing since sliced bread unless that's what you've been looking for. And this is, you know, you really know it. I think another lesson, too, is talking with builders, that there are great builders out there, there are fantastic builders out there. But I would say to anybody, anybody who's interested in the tiny lifestyle and are looking for someone to build their home versus build it yourself, make sure you can communicate with your builder. Make sure that your builders understand tinies. And I think you had that on a previous podcast is that there's everybody jumping in the game now, right? But the biggest lesson is buyer beware, you've got to really do your research. And we had to learn that lesson too, we really had to be very focused on what we want and what we needed in our homes, right and fight for that.
Ethan Waldman 34:00
Elisa Boots 34:02
And that it's okay to say, No, not this builder. It's okay to step back and walk away. If you did a lot of nose, you know, it's your tiny home, it's got to be the way that you envision it. So your price may go up, you know, to do all custom work, where you can save time and do it yourself later on. But at the same time, you know, it takes teamwork. And so you have to have a good feeling with your builder that when you come up with an idea that they're just not, Nope, we don't do that. And if that happens too much, it's okay to find another builder. Take the time. Take the time to go you know, sort it out.
And I would just like to add one more thing you know, once you have a tiny home, and even if you have a brand new home, I've lived in every type of imaginal dwelling imaginable dwelling, or you know, my life and so tiny homes are the, we have a well built tiny home. But just like just like anything else like weather, right? Who, who knows tiny homes react to weather a little differently because they're on wheels, right? So the lesson that we had to learn here is that you have to be involved with your tiny home. And it's a partnership with your tiny home so to speak, because it's still such a new it's such a new industry. We we had some issues when we first moved into the park, we called a plumber. Okay, what do you have plumbing issues you call a plumber? Well, the plumber comes he's like, Ah, I I've never worked on something like this before. Now he did, he did an okay job because he was a good guy. And he wanted to learn, he's like, Okay, well, you know, I'm gonna take this chance to really check this out and see how this works. And that's great. But I think as a tiny home owner, you have to be more engaged with your home. And that's a lesson two that we learned pretty quickly. And and right up to this morning when we're out in our jammies. Trying to put a water filter on.
Ryk Hall 38:16
There's things like, being out and and learning to rent, keep your water running. When the temperature goes below zero.
Ethan Waldman 38:24
Ryk Hall 38:24
Bbecause you're not a foundation. And, you know, your pipes may freeze, or you know, something, and so it's being adaptable as well. The other lesson that I've learned is, imagine what you can do and then try and do it. Because you never know what you can accomplish like I put in backsplash in my kitchen I'd never done backsplash before, all I did was watch YouTube, you know, as long as you can find it on YouTube and watch it for a while, you know, the backsplash turned out great, it stayed on the wall. All my nightmares that I thought would happen, you know, weren't even a thing. So, you know, try it. And then if, if you don't like it, you can take it down and do something else. Because it's such a small footprint that you're not investing 20,000 You're investing like $100 - $500 to do it yourself.
Ethan Waldman 39:19
Yeah. I like that. And I'll add that I've you know, I I started my build in 2012, finished in 2013, and I'm still learning things about the house and about keeping keeping things running and moving to this day. So it never - It's a never ending learning process, which is is fun. It can be frustrating. But ultimately, it just makes you a better homeowner and more. You know, you learn new skills all the time.
Elisa Boots 39:47
Yes, yes, we've learned. I mean, we've owned homes. Both of us have owned homes separately and together and we've learned things that I never knew and I'm glad I learned them I'm really glad because it also aides to this feeling or the ability to be more self sufficient, you know, we're not, we're not total pioneers, we're not completely off grid, we don't, you know, grow our own food or anything like that.
Ethan Waldman 40:14
Elisa Boots 40:14
But the feeling that feeling of like, I accomplished this, like, you know, my husband put in that backsplash and, and that I was we were able to fix our water issue this morning without totally, you know, freaking out and whatnot. That's a great feeling that is an awesome feeling to be able to accomplish these things with your house to work in partnership with your home, you know?
Ethan Waldman 40:37
Nice, nice. Well, I'm curious. What, you know, I'll ask the question in two different ways and take it however you however you want, you know, what would you do differently? You know, if you were going to do it again, in terms of the, to the his in hers tiny house? And, and or, you know, what would be your advice to a couple who was looking to do dual tiny homes, you know, any, you know, any things specific to the to the dual tiny home setup that you wish you knew before that you that you can pass along?
Elisa Boots 41:12
Those are great questions. I think I would tell other people who want to do the dual tiny homes. Number one, it's, it's not impossible, it. And again, you know, you have to be both have to be really communicate about it, and how you how you want it done, it is doable, I do feel that in today's market, I'm seeing a lot of used tinies on the market now, which are, they look beautiful. So consider that. You don't necessarily have to custom build your tinies unless you want to, there's a lot of beautiful homes out there for sale. So you can always start that way. What I would do differently is i, this, my rig is a 26. And I like it, it's great. I, I you know, if I had the opportunity to trade up, I love my home, I would definitely though try to go a little bit bigger, just a tad bit bigger. But again, you know, that's all personal preference. I've seen people just, you know, snug as bugs and happy as clams in a 16 to 20 foot tiny. It's just a personal preference, right? But I would, you know, I would consider that a slightly larger one in the future. But also to consider you know, you don't have to go through a builder necessarily, if you really do your due diligence and if you're thinking of buying a used tiny go and visit that tiny. Walk that tiny. Ask every question you can and then you I think you can do just as well with a used one too. And I think we're gonna come up into the age now of tiny home rent knows, right, we're gonna have like a little HDTV you renovate your tiny home because that's, we're kind of getting into that with the fact that many people have houses now and are trying to sell them. And I think for anybody who wants to do this as a couple, your biggest key is, you know, know what your life goals are, know what you guys want to be doing, and, and decide if this is something you're going to do for the next five or 10 years or if this is going to be a permanent thing for you to and and know that in the end, if it doesn't work for you, it's okay. There are still tons of lifestyle options out there. It's okay if it doesn't work for you. But for us, it did. But I think because we did an incredible amount of homework before we started this and there were still things we couldn't foresee. But you know, we tried to be locked in with our eyes as wide open as possible.
Ethan Waldman 43:56
Nice. What about you, Ryk?
Ryk Hall 43:58
It's a journey, right? And so, being yourself is a journey. Being together as a different journey. And so give each other like if you're gonna do this together, you don't have to have the same model be let each other breathe a little bit and let's let each person be what they can be and do what they like. You know, give them but but at the end that lets them make their own decisions. Because I think that that gives everybody the best trust and the best level of kind of empowerment in a way saying I see what you're doing. I wouldn't do it. But if you like it, go ahead. Yeah, that's great. The other thing is so my mom came with a empty bedroom, had no bedroom and so I was able to sit down and design something that was very unique with with the bookcases underneath, and then the bed on top. And so, you know, being able to use your creativity to solve your own problem is, is this really fun to do? And so like for the first year, I would just come and stand in my tiny house, a disbelief that I was in a tiny house, right? But then also, it's like, what am I going to do here? And so you know, you just stand there. And after a while, you go, Oh, I could do this, or this, or this or this? And, you know, it's just, it's really fun to, to experience that.
Ethan Waldman 45:29
Nice, nice. Well, one thing that I like to ask all my guests, what are two or three resources that that have helped you out along the way that you'd like to share with our listeners?
Elisa Boots 45:41
Wow. Well, first of all, we we are members of of the Tiny Home Industry Association, that THIA, we find that going on their website provides amazing information all over from all around the country. It's a great resource, if you're thinking about tiny if you're depending on where you live. And you're like, Well, how do they view tinies around in my county, in my state, you know, chances are, you're going to find some great information on that website. And it's all in one place versus having to go to every single county website and try to research it yourself. So that's a great resource we've we've come into, that we really, really are happy with. Another resource is just, you know, YouTube, and that's how, you know, for several years, I watched all the YouTube videos and, and saved my favorite ones, and listened to people's stories, because I feel what's more interesting about tiny houses, than the tiny houses themselves are the stories about the people who went tiny, you know? Because they reflect people who are looking at something slightly different. And that's not you know, you might be in the neighborhood where you're the only one thinking that way, right? And it's really nice to feel that there are other people out there who feel the same way that you do. So I would say those have been my two biggest resources. What about you, honey?
Ryk Hall 47:12
I would say, use existing tiny home members, and like ones that have Airbnb ease or something like, Go stay overnight in one. There was one we had in Seattle. And it was beautiful. But it had this kind of like Apex window, that triangle window. And so you wake up in the middle of the night and you whack your head on it. It's a beautiful design. But at the end of the end of the night, you know, you're kind of scratching your head because you whacked too much. So you know, just try and live in the space. So I think existing tiny home people are great, are a great resource.
Elisa and Ryk, thank you so much for being guests on the show. This was so much fun, and I can't wait to share this with the listeners.
Elisa Boots 48:01
Thank you so much, Ethan. We're so honored that you asked us to come on the show.
Ryk Hall 48:07
Yeah, thank you, Ethan. It's been really enjoyable.
Ethan Waldman 48:11
Thank you so much to Elisa and Ryk for being guests. On the show today. You can find the show notes, including photos of both tiny houses, a video tour of both tiny houses, and as always a complete written transcript of this interview. That's all at thetinyhouse.net/258. Again, thetinyhouse.net/258.
Thank you so much to PODX Go for being the sponsor of this episode. You can learn more about PODX Go and the Grande S1 tiny house at PODXGo.com.
Well, that's all for this week. I'm your host, Ethan Waldman, and I'll be back next week with another episode of the Tiny House Lifestyle Podcast.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai
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