What if everything you’ve ever owned was suddenly destroyed by a wildfire? Nicole Sallak Anderson shares her experience of losing her California home to wildfire, how she found solace in documenting her post-fire journey, and how her memoir ultimately led her to tiny house living. Nicole is full of practical advice and insights on tiny house living and the importance of resilience in the face of adversity!
In This Episode:
- Rebuilding from nothing
- How much does your insurance really cover?
- What to do when you’re short on tradespeople
- Benefits and challenges unique to the tiny lifestyle
- Plans for future tiny houses
Links and Resources:
- Wildfire: Losing Everything, Gaining the World by Nicole Sallak Anderson
- ESCAPE RV and Tiny Homes
Nicole Sallak Anderson
Nicole Sallak Anderson is a Computer Science graduate from Purdue University, and former CTO for a small Silicon Valley startup, turned novelist, speaker, and blogger. Her essays range from AI and Zen to tiny house living to direct democracy to the loneliness of modern parenting— featured as a top twenty story on Medium. She is the author of The Song of the King’s Heart Trilogy, is a series about the last native Pharaoh of Ancient Egypt and his quest to take back his ancestral kingdom from the Ptolemaic Empire as well as the contemporary romance, It Takes Two, a love story with a tango twist. Her memoir, Wildfire: Losing Everything, Gaining the World, a collection of essays following the first year after she lost her home, pets, and all her belongings to a California wildfire, will be released in 2023.
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Writing about her experience helped Nicole through it
They chose THOWs in case of another fire
And built one for each of her sons, as well!
Nicole and her husband's tiny house is the largest on the property
The big tiny house has the most amenities
Nicole's husband watches late night TV in one tiny house
The other serves as her office when her son isn't there
Nicole Sallak Anderson [00:00:00]: So I found plumber and an electrician, but neither of them had a trencher. So my husband bought the trencher and trenched, all plumbing, all the electrical lines down to the house and and then the electrician put in the little electrical box.
Ethan Waldman [00:00:16]: Nicole Sallak Anderson is an author and former CTO for a small Silicon Valley startup. But her family lost everything in a wildfire in California, and they decided to rebuild using tiny homes. They actually have three tiny houses on their lot because they wanted to make sure they had room for when their sons come to visit. And in this conversation, we'll talk about what it was like navigating putting tiny houses on land after a fire came through, issues with insurance, which tiny homes Nicole and her family chose and why, and what some of the challenges of tiny house living are for Nicole and her family.
Ethan Waldman [00:00:57]: I hope you stick around.
Ethan Waldman [00:02:28]: All right. I am here with Nicole Sallak Anderson. Nicole is a computer science graduate from Purdue University and former CTO for a small Silicon Valley startup turned novelist, speaker and blogger. Her essays range from AI and Zen to tiny house living to direct democracy to the loneliness of modern parenting - featured as a top 20 story on Medium. She's the author of the Song of the King's Heart trilogy, which is a series about the last native Pharaoh of Ancient Egypt and his quest to take back his ancestral kingdom from the Ptolemaic empire, as well as the contemporary romance, (I hope I pronounced that right) It Takes Two, a love story with a tango twist. Her memoir, Wildfire- Losing Everything, Gaining the World, is a collection of essays following the first year after she lost her home, pets and all of her belongings to a California wildfire, which will be released in 2023. Nicole Sallak Anderson. Welcome to the show.
Nicole Sallak Anderson [00:03:25]: Thank you very much for having me.
Ethan Waldman [00:03:28]: Yeah, you're very welcome. Beyond the purview of this tiny house podcast. I feel like there are so many different things that I want to talk
Ethan Waldman [00:03:35]: to you about, but,
Ethan Waldman [00:03:37]: I guess take us back. And I know you've done some writing about this on your Substack, but you lost everything in a wildfire. Do we mean like everything everything?
Nicole Sallak Anderson [00:03:54]: Yeah. Yeah. So I was blessed to move to California, to this plot of land in the Santa Cruz Mountains, which is just right above the town of Santa Cruz, right by the Pacific, and about an hour and a half south of San Francisco. And we moved here in 2007. In 2020, we lost everything to the wildfires that occurred across the state. There was a lightning storm that basically there were... We lost a lot. But yes, our house, two houses, a cat, some boats, every single thing we owned other than what we packed the night we evacuated.
Ethan Waldman [00:04:38]: Wow.
Ethan Waldman [00:04:39]: I'm so sorry. That's really awful.
Nicole Sallak Anderson [00:04:43]: It was quite shocking. Yes, it still is. But that's been part of the journey.
Ethan Waldman [00:04:49]: Yeah.
Ethan Waldman [00:04:49]: I mean, I know a lot of people who kind of intentionally decide to downsize and live in a tiny house, really struggle with the process of getting rid of things so that they can move into a tiny house. But I'm imagining that you actually needed to acquire things and move into a tiny house.
Nicole Sallak Anderson [00:05:09]: Well, you know, what's kind of interesting is that that was... So when I became tiny curious, as I put it, and began following various people on Instagram like yourself, and that was always the thing that came up. What do you do with your stuff? What do you do with your stuff? And since we had no stuff and combined with - I go over this a lot in the memoir - it was combined with one, just the absolute expense of rebuilding in California. We just weren't insured to meet all of the requirements and codes. We had no idea, with our insurance, what to insure for, combined with sort of a need to if you want to live in a wildfire zone, why would you have a house you couldn't move off of it?
Ethan Waldman [00:05:54]: Right.
Nicole Sallak Anderson [00:05:55]: So we went for it, but not having the stuff made it so much easier and also strange, because stuff comes to you. I didn't expect this. When you lose everything, it comes to you. And suddenly I'm like, "No, I'm moving into a 325 square foot home. Please don't offer me that, please." Generosity from people.
Ethan Waldman [00:06:15]: Right.
Nicole Sallak Anderson [00:06:16]: And so just really holding that line of I don't want to be overflowing when I had this opportunity to not be overflowing.
Ethan Waldman [00:06:27]: Yeah, well, I think that our culture in particular seems to prioritize giving things and consuming. So it's only natural that when somebody wants to do something nice and try to help you out, they try to give you a thing.
Nicole Sallak Anderson [00:06:44]: It makes them feel better, and I don't blame them. But I kept saying, I actually got Marie Kondo's books for the first time to say no to stuff. So I still needed to manage it, even though I had it much easier than anyone else who's downsizing.
Ethan Waldman [00:07:03]: Yeah. So what was the process like and the time frame like from after the Wildfire and you kind of returned to your land and find everything gone to actually having a tiny house built or delivered to your land?
Nicole Sallak Anderson [00:07:20]: Yeah, well, it happened in August of 2020, but we weren't even allowed to return to the land until September when the fires were finally put out and it was safe.
Ethan Waldman [00:07:30]: Okay.
Nicole Sallak Anderson [00:07:34]: But at first I so desperately just wanted to replace what was lost. We went straight away with hiring an architect and getting everybody onto the land that needed to be here to build a house.
Ethan Waldman [00:07:46]: Okay.
Nicole Sallak Anderson [00:07:47]: And then in February of 2021, we got our first builders contract like estimate. And that's when we realized that if we wanted to replace what we lost, we were going to need a lot of money.
Ethan Waldman [00:08:02]: Right.
Nicole Sallak Anderson [00:08:04]: And I'd, on the side, been already following the tiny house movement. So I began asking those questions of people, and because I had already brought the septic guys out, brought the well people out, applied for my temp power permit, it was sort of like, "Oh, I just have to plug it in." So the process was, do we want a builder? We want to build it ourselves. In the end, permitting will be easier with a builder so we found a builder and the house arrived in October of 2021. So a little over a year later, we showed up and we plugged it in. And we then loved it so much we decided we needed two more. And the reason for that is because we have two adult sons that come and go and we have relatives who come to visit. That's one of the downsides of tiny home living is space. So we put in two more, one for each young man. And when the boys aren't here, I'm in the one that's the office. This is my eldest son's, but when he's not here, it's my office. And then the other one we call the lounge. It's my younger sons, and it's where my husband watches TV when I want to sleep.
Ethan Waldman [00:09:29]: Awesome.
Nicole Sallak Anderson [00:09:29]: And it's actually been perfect.
Ethan Waldman [00:09:31]: Yeah.
Nicole Sallak Anderson [00:09:32]: And then they can take these, should they want to, in the future, because it is a national movement.
Ethan Waldman [00:09:39]: Yeah.
Nicole Sallak Anderson [00:09:40]: And it is portable.
Ethan Waldman [00:09:45]: They don't always tell you that about insurance, that they don't cover the cost of building something new. They cover the value of what was there, even if it didn't doesn't meet current codes. To build the same thing might cost a lot more or you wouldn't even be allowed to build the same thing because of the change in codes.
Nicole Sallak Anderson [00:10:07]: Yeah, that's what happened to us with the foundation, and that really changed the pricing. And you do get something called code upgrades that you can buy in your insurance policy. However, it's a percentage of the value of the in California. That doesn't cover it's. Not even close.
Ethan Waldman [00:10:28]: Okay. Yeah.
Ethan Waldman [00:10:30]: I mean, that must have been its own shock and disappointment, just realizing because we all buy homeowners insurance and we kind of just assume, like, oh, yeah, it'll be fine. If anything bad happens, I have insurance.
Ethan Waldman [00:10:44]: Right?
Nicole Sallak Anderson [00:10:45]: Yeah. No, it felt like losing the house again, or at least a dream again, because we really did just want to return.
Ethan Waldman [00:10:54]: Yeah.
Nicole Sallak Anderson [00:10:55]: We were like, "Oh, now we might not be able to we might have to leave our entire state. Because it's not like it's just Santa Cruz, it's the state." And this allowed us to stay.
Ethan Waldman [00:11:07]: Yeah.
Ethan Waldman [00:11:08]: Well, I love the idea of multiple tiny houses. And I actually interviewed a couple that hasn't gone out on the show yet, but by the time people are listening to this episode, it'll be episode 258 with Elisa and Ryk. And they are a married couple that have kind of a his and hers tiny house. They have two tiny houses. They each have their own space, but they're parked right next to each other. Obviously, I love this kind of family model that you're using with these tiny houses. And I'm curious, is each tiny house, like a full, complete kitchen, bathroom, everything? Or did you kind of say, "Okay, my office tiny house just needs to be like a bedroom/office room?"
Nicole Sallak Anderson [00:11:57]: Yeah, no, they all have bathrooms because the builder we went with, every model has a bathroom in it. It's not like he doesn't build them that way. But the two others have a very small like, they they have a sink and a tiny hot plate, like an induction stovetop, but no oven. It's pretty simple. And a little tiny fridge. Whereas the main house, where my husband and I live that has the full on kitchen.
Ethan Waldman [00:12:26]: Got it.
Nicole Sallak Anderson [00:12:27]: Yeah.
Ethan Waldman [00:12:28]: What's the size of the main tiny house? And of the two accessory tiny houses?
Nicole Sallak Anderson [00:12:34]: Yeah, the main tiny house is 325. Littler ones are 250.
Ethan Waldman [00:12:41]: Okay.
Nicole Sallak Anderson [00:12:42]: And they're shorter, but one of them is very tall and open. This one is smaller. But I liked it because it had the bed on the main floor for our elders when they come to visit, climbing up the ladder is very difficult for them, whereas the other one has the lofted bed. So the whole space is you think it's so much bigger than it is, and I really like that aspect of it, but you have to go up a ladder to get to the bed. And that's fine for a 21 year old man, but it's not great for 70 year old grandma and grandpa, right?
Ethan Waldman [00:13:17]: Certainly not.
Ethan Waldman [00:13:18]: Yes.
Nicole Sallak Anderson [00:13:19]: We balanced it that way, too, because I really love the lofted bedroom thing.
Ethan Waldman [00:13:25]: Were all three houses built by the same builder? And do they match or are they all very different?
Nicole Sallak Anderson [00:13:33]: Yes, we used Escape Homes out of Wisconsin, and one of the reasons I picked them was because they are built. They have beautiful design, the cabinetry, the interiors and the designs are really great. So we got an Escape Traveler XLS for the main house, the big house as we call it, the Big Tiny. And then we got a little Boho that matches it externally. But my younger son wanted to kind of he chose the one which is a very different looking design by them, but he just wanted to change it up. And I actually like the way it complements the whole little village.
Ethan Waldman [00:14:15]: Yeah.
Ethan Waldman [00:14:16]: So you've created your own little tiny house village right on your land.
Nicole Sallak Anderson [00:14:22]: Exactly. And so far we've been able to permit one of them. The county is being hesitant about the other two. We think there's a path for the state. The state itself is moving towards wanting more tiny homes, more adu. So I think it's just going to be a matter of time. And since the boys don't live here full time, it doesn't matter. Right, but we are working towards that. But the state is more like, oh, you can have a tiny house or maybe two at the moment, this works and this is a family solution. So I think they'll figure that out with time and we're just working with them constantly and offering up a space for them to see how this is a viable solution for the housing crisis.
Ethan Waldman [00:15:15]: Yeah.
Ethan Waldman [00:15:15]: So how would you say the three tiny homes compared in cost to rebuilding what you had?
Nicole Sallak Anderson [00:15:26]: Well, and this is what's interesting because I belong to a couple of Facebook groups and it really matters what state you live in. That that answer to that question, for sure.
Ethan Waldman [00:15:36]: Yeah.
Nicole Sallak Anderson [00:15:36]: But for us, I even looked into putting in a foundationed tiny home. There is a point where it doesn't really save you any money to go too small in California when building. When I looked into a foundation, two bedroom, 800, you know, 800 square foot, 1000 square foot home and it was going to cost $800,000 by the time everything was said and done. And while this is not 800 sqft total there what we calculated it up to that. Yeah, actually it is. This was about $230,000 for putting ordering them. We did upgrade a lot in the Big Tiny, not in the two little ones. And then of course, we just had to repair a well and septic. If you were to install that and this is one of the things the tiny home movement here in Santa Cruz County has come up against. If you were to install those new your septic and your well, you were looking at another $200,000.
Ethan Waldman [00:16:47]: Yeah.
Nicole Sallak Anderson [00:16:48]: Now you were going to have to do that for a foundation home anyway. But it really runs counter to the idea of affordable housing and you can get these composting toilet situations and they're not allowing that right now. You have to put in a septic and a new septic here is about $100,000, but the house itself was just going to be $800,000 for a two bedroom, 850 square foot home.
Ethan Waldman [00:17:15]: Wow.
Nicole Sallak Anderson [00:17:17]: Yeah. With like lower end appliances and flooring and all of the requirements that California required.
Ethan Waldman [00:17:29]: Yeah. So difficult to want to pull the trigger on that when you can do tiny homes and probably get much nicer finishes inside and also kind of scale up for your needs.
Nicole Sallak Anderson [00:17:45]: Yeah, exactly. And that's what we changes. Sometimes you need another unit because you've got your parents there too. Right. Housing affects everyone and sometimes you have a young adult child or you have a friend in need, or sometimes you don't need any of that and it's just you.
Ethan Waldman [00:18:04]: Yeah.
Ethan Waldman [00:18:05]: So in terms of the actual land and the site prep for these three tiny homes, like, what did you have to do to kind of create the infrastructure for them?
Nicole Sallak Anderson [00:18:17]: Well, because we were a fire rebuild, like I said, we already had a septic and well on hand. The tanks had been burnt and obviously all of the underground plumbing had to be redone and trenched and that was an interesting kind of... So, after a fire, it's kind of twofold. One, the trades, there aren't a lot of them anymore, so if you have infrastructure costs or things that need to be done on the land, it's really hard to get someone to come out to work. And then when 900 homes were lost, those who are around are like, you got vague. So I found plumbers and an electrician, but neither of them had a trencher or the time. They didn't have a staff large enough to trench. So my husband bought the trencher and trenched, all the plumbing, all the electrical lines down to the house, and then the electrician put in the little electrical box outlet for a tiny home, which is so cool. And the plumber ran the to its location and then we down to the septic. But it was interesting. So my husband and my son had to do that other work and then they came and put in the electrical or the conduit or the plumbing.
Ethan Waldman [00:19:33]: Yeah.
Nicole Sallak Anderson [00:19:33]: And then the inspector looked at everything and then we filled it in. So that's kind of how that went. And then electricity was just through. At the moment, we are not off grid. We are on a power pole with PG&E and that was just an order ticket and they did all of that.
Ethan Waldman [00:19:50]: Nice.
Nicole Sallak Anderson [00:19:50]: But we had to have the electrician bring everything off the panel box.
Ethan Waldman [00:19:54]: Right. Yeah.
Ethan Waldman [00:19:55]: If you've already got the power out to your land, it's usually a lot cheaper to just use it rather than go with the solar panels.
Ethan Waldman [00:20:04]: Right.
Nicole Sallak Anderson [00:20:05]: Because they were required by state law to put in power to our land because power had already been here. So they put up all the infrastructure to do it.
Ethan Waldman [00:20:13]: Yeah.
Nicole Sallak Anderson [00:20:13]: If you didn't have that, that would be a lot more lost to it.
Ethan Waldman [00:20:18]: Very expensive to bring power up to a property.
Nicole Sallak Anderson [00:20:23]: Very we got that.
Ethan Waldman [00:20:28]: I hate to ask you, but I'm curious. Do you have kind of an evacuation plan should you need to boogie and try to bring these homes with you?
Nicole Sallak Anderson [00:20:40]: We've gone back and forth on that, so it's an interesting thing. I would hate for them to burn because it's a gross mess. Like, plain and simple. When you see the toxic mess left behind when the American home burns, it would be great to get them off the land. However, no, we do not have the ability to take all three of them off the land. We have made it so that all around each one, it's patio, not wood. Like, we followed all the fire codes. They are insured as vehicles, 100% plus all of our belongings. So, like, on the flip side, when you've lost everything, it's not hard to lose it again. We are fine with it burning. We are trying everything we can. They've got metal roof, metal underbelly. They're in a much better situation than our home ever was.
Ethan Waldman [00:21:39]: Yeah.
Nicole Sallak Anderson [00:21:40]: So the likelihood is slim, but no, we don't have at the moment, we can get one off. We have a truck and we can drive one off, and the other two would have to be left behind. And that's okay.
Ethan Waldman [00:21:52]: Yeah, that sounds reasonable. I mean, it's not easy to move multiple tiny homes, let alone one of them.
Nicole Sallak Anderson [00:21:59]: No. And once you get them in, they're kind of in. But what is neat is we have the one kind of at the end on the driveway. We can pull it out the others. That's not going to be the case. They're in. We've moved the land, we've had them. I don't even know how they parked them. These men are amazing that drive trucks that deliver the tiny house.
Ethan Waldman [00:22:21]: Oh, my gosh.
Nicole Sallak Anderson [00:22:21]: Yeah, they're not going anywhere.
Ethan Waldman [00:22:24]: Yeah, my tiny house. In its current location, the trailer hitch is literally like 3ft from the corner of the lot. And the guy who towed it actually used a winch around a tree in the woods to drag the tiny house back into the corner.
Nicole Sallak Anderson [00:22:40]: It was crazy watching these people deliver these things.
Ethan Waldman [00:22:45]: No, it is incredible. Definitely incredible.
Ethan Waldman [00:22:50]: So.
Ethan Waldman [00:22:53]: You have collected your essays into a memoir called Wildfire. Losing Everything, Gaining the world. Tell us about the book project.
Nicole Sallak Anderson [00:23:09]: So I've been a writer, a novelist, and blogger. I've had a blog since 2013, and it was mostly focused on technology and consciousness and living, I would say sustainable living. Those schools kind of go together, but not tiny house focused or anything like that for all those years. But then when I lost my house, what I discovered was writing and blogging about it really helped me heal and process it. And I didn't publish every essay that I wrote, but I had followers that wanted to know how I was. So the first essay is this is what happened. And then here we are. And then it just kept going. And I decided I would write at least every week. Sometimes it was every day for the first year. And when I was done, I realized I had sort of a story about a girl and her land and I wanted to share it with everyone. And so then I kind of curated the essays that made, you know, that told that story. Yeah, but they were written as it happened. So it's an in the moment thing. And it culminates with my first night in my the first tiny when it was delivered. So about a year and months after the fire.
Ethan Waldman [00:24:39]: Wow, nice.
Ethan Waldman [00:24:41]: And is that book out now or is it something that's coming soon?
Nicole Sallak Anderson [00:24:45]: It's available for preorder and it comes out on May 1. So I don't know if you're going to share my website or anything or yeah, go to my website and there's a link for the pre order for the Kindle and paperback. Yeah, you'll put it in the show notes. That's great. Yeah, Beltane. I thought that it would be nice, release it on a celebration of the Earth and all of its renewal.
Ethan Waldman [00:25:16]: Very nice.
Ethan Waldman [00:25:17]: Have you found that living tiny has given you a better appreciation for your land and just the outdoors in general?
Nicole Sallak Anderson [00:25:28]: Yes, although I'm going to admit and this is one of the things we talk about, maybe you've talked about this with some of your other guests too, about the challenges of tiny living.
Ethan Waldman [00:25:37]: Yeah.
Nicole Sallak Anderson [00:25:38]: Because you are so much closer to nature, the extremes can be difficult. Extreme heat. And in the case of California, we just had extreme storms, weather that has not been seen here in a long time needed the rain, but managing, unfortunately, yes, we were closer to nature. And it's a bit wild to have those 70 miles an hour winds the houses withstood that they move with it. Right. This is pretty crazy. We unfortunately did have some leaking in one of the bigger tiny homes. And so understanding how to manage condensation and moisture is a big one. Escape is sending a carpenter out to work on the windows. There may have been an issue there. Okay, well, in just in that bigger tiny not in the one I'm in at the moment. It's completely dry, but it was challenging. Like, oh my goodness, the window is leaking. And then what do you do once it gets wet? And how do you manage the condensation in a small place? So I highly recommend dehumidifiers for anyone who lives in a small space. And then the extreme heat can sometimes be interesting. But in that case we have a mini split with an AC. So it helps building shade structures around your house to accommodate. That is part of the fun, but definitely important in small house living. Your outdoor living room, double as your sunscreen to help manage that.
Ethan Waldman [00:27:22]: Yeah.
Ethan Waldman [00:27:24]: And I second the recommendation for dehumidifiers. For sure they can help.
Nicole Sallak Anderson [00:27:29]: We had no idea. And we did let it get too moist. They even had mold on my shoes in my closet. I wasn't paying attention. But we figured it out and hopefully Escape will do the right thing when they come here, too, because there was a leak in a window. But definitely the dehumidifier was huge. And managing your heat, don't let it get below like 60 in there, which is tricky when the power goes out.
Ethan Waldman [00:27:56]: Yeah.
Nicole Sallak Anderson [00:27:57]: Even if you have a propane heater, you need a generator. It's really important.
Ethan Waldman [00:28:05]: Yeah, definitely. The house is very small, so it is more susceptible to a deep freeze or very hot temperatures. It will heat up or cool down a lot quicker than a bigger house.
Nicole Sallak Anderson [00:28:18]: Really?
Ethan Waldman [00:28:19]: Yeah.
Nicole Sallak Anderson [00:28:20]: You just live and learn, but definitely be prepared for that.
Ethan Waldman [00:28:26]: Yeah.
Ethan Waldman [00:28:28]: Any plans to add additional tiny homes to the village?
Ethan Waldman [00:28:33]: No.
Nicole Sallak Anderson [00:28:34]: Like I said, we're going to have a hard enough time getting both of my son's units officially permitted.
Ethan Waldman [00:28:42]: Yeah.
Nicole Sallak Anderson [00:28:43]: So I don't see adding more to them, but I do actually see adding more to some land that I have up in the Upper Peninsula. Talk about Michigan, talk about a cold place. But my parents bought land up there and it was interesting. Right after the fire, they bought it long ago and never developed it. And after the fire is my dad. He's getting old and he's like, gee, are you interested in this land? I'm like, I can't think about that, dad. But in the middle of the night, I woke up and I was like I just had this feeling like, we need it, we need that land. The up has lots of water and above the 42nd parallel, I'm actually looking into working with that county, which is a lot easier to work with than California. Put in some housing there for that I could rent out as per skiers. There's a lot of skiing in the Upper Peninsula, and it's very close to that Nordic skiing. There are trails that actually border the property. So sort of opening up the property and connecting with them and putting Nordic skiing and tiny homes on wheels in there. And they seem pretty open to that. So that's a project that I hope to work on maybe in the next five years to do it there because I love it. I love it very a lot.
Ethan Waldman [00:30:03]: So do you think you'll do another tiny home on a trailer for that build?
Nicole Sallak Anderson [00:30:08]: No, because of the temperatures there and how cold it gets, and they can get like 22, three, four, five ft of snow. I think I would foundation tiny homes there or combine it because something I've noticed, I was an Airbnb hostess for a while and traveled a lot on Airbnb. People love to stay in tiny homes. So there is sort of a I think I might combine it with one home that is foundationed and then throw on, like, a little corral. Even some of the resorts in the area have done that, where they've got the corral of tiny homes on wheels around a fireplace, fire pit or a communal area. And I think that would be a really neat way to do it and have some flexibility.
Ethan Waldman [00:30:56]: Nice.
Nicole Sallak Anderson [00:30:57]: Or put them closer to the trails and then just have the one main house. But we'll see.
Ethan Waldman [00:31:02]: Yeah.
Nicole Sallak Anderson [00:31:02]: I think I'll start with the homes on wheels because they're more flexible.
Ethan Waldman [00:31:07]: Right.
Ethan Waldman [00:31:07]: Very flexible. Also very potentially different build needs for that cold climate.
Nicole Sallak Anderson [00:31:14]: Absolutely.
Ethan Waldman [00:31:15]: Yeah.
Nicole Sallak Anderson [00:31:16]: And to get to learn the land, too. It's not as much of a like we've even said that here. It's not as much of a commitment. If the wildfire season continues so horribly or the drought continues so horribly, we can take these homes to a new place and you can learn about the land before making the commitment of putting in a foundation to home.
Ethan Waldman [00:31:38]: Yeah.
Ethan Waldman [00:31:41]: How have your kids enjoyed living tiny when they're there?
Nicole Sallak Anderson [00:31:45]: When they've been here, I think they treat it like a campground. I mean, to be fair, they were in college, then the house burnt. They had just left for college.
Ethan Waldman [00:31:53]: Okay.
Nicole Sallak Anderson [00:31:54]: And so they come and visit. This is not home yet to them. It's so different.
Ethan Waldman [00:32:01]: Right.
Nicole Sallak Anderson [00:32:02]: I think they think they both said they appreciate knowing that they have a home solution. It's not tied to staying with mom and dad.
Ethan Waldman [00:32:12]: Nice. Yeah.
Ethan Waldman [00:32:13]: They have their own space when they come to visit.
Ethan Waldman [00:32:16]: Yes.
Nicole Sallak Anderson [00:32:16]: And they both like that.
Ethan Waldman [00:32:18]: Nice.
Ethan Waldman [00:32:19]: And they have their own space away from each other when they come and visit. It's awesome.
Ethan Waldman [00:32:23]: Yeah, it is. Yeah.
Nicole Sallak Anderson [00:32:25]: They definitely enjoy that part. And like I said, one calls us glamping. He was just here for a spring break, but he enjoyed it.
Ethan Waldman [00:32:34]: Nice. Yeah.
Ethan Waldman [00:32:36]: Any kind of unexpected you kind of mentioned some of the challenges of living tiny. Any kind of unexpected benefits or things that you weren't expecting part of this.
Nicole Sallak Anderson [00:32:49]: Because we don't have a lot of stuff now, so I don't think this is going to apply to everyone. But if you have I have found I have found it so clean and easy to keep clean, of course, because it's small. But if you have a lot of clutter, that could get difficult. But I almost feel less chaos in my life because it's so clean and simple. And then, of course, I can clean everything in less than an hour, which is really great. I was expecting that. And it is everything I expected. But the biggest one is just sitting in this space and feeling held in a way that my big house never made me feel.
Ethan Waldman [00:33:36]: Nice. Yeah. Nice.
Nicole Sallak Anderson [00:33:38]: Well and there's just less clutter in my head as a result, too.
Ethan Waldman [00:33:43]: Yeah.
Ethan Waldman [00:33:43]: It's amazing how one kind of can reflect the other.
Ethan Waldman [00:33:46]: The.
Ethan Waldman [00:33:46]: Clutter in your space and the clutter in your mind.
Ethan Waldman [00:33:49]: Yeah.
Nicole Sallak Anderson [00:33:50]: And I'm sure there is a danger that this could become cluttered.
Ethan Waldman [00:33:53]: Yes.
Nicole Sallak Anderson [00:33:54]: You can see behind me, I don't have much stuff. That's because this is my son's unit. I don't want to spill it with me.
Ethan Waldman [00:34:01]: Right.
Nicole Sallak Anderson [00:34:01]: But at the same time, I could see how that shelf up there could be completely full.
Ethan Waldman [00:34:06]: Right.
Nicole Sallak Anderson [00:34:07]: But at the moment it's not. And I really appreciate it.
Ethan Waldman [00:34:10]: Nice. Awesome.
Ethan Waldman [00:34:12]: Well, Nicole Sallak Anderson, thank you so much for being a guest on the show today. It was really wonderful to meet you.
Nicole Sallak Anderson [00:34:18]: Well, thank you so much, Ethan. And thank you for your work and what you do on Instagram and sharing with everybody, because it's a beautiful way to live. It really is.
Ethan Waldman [00:34:28]: Thank you so much to Nicole Sallak Anderson for being a guest on the show today. You can find the show notes, including photo of Nicole's tiny houses, links to her books, and a complete transcript over at thetinyhouse.net/264. Again, that's thetinyhouse.net/264. 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.
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