Living Tiny Series, Part Two: Stacy and Ryan of The Next Ridge

The Next Ridge in the Woods, Living Tiny(All photos courtesy of The Next Ridge)

Before you decide to live tiny, it’s important to ask yourself this question: What do I want my life to look like? Can living tiny help?

Some people want to live mortgage free. Others want to have a small carbon footprint. And how about those who want to spend more time outside? Can you relate?

In a previous Close to Home blog post, Stacy and Ryan with @thenextridge shared some of the practical reasons why they decided to go tiny, including the benefits and downsides. They discussed how in the end, living tiny helped them improve their lives.

This is the second article in our two part interview with @thenextridge. Take a look at why Stacy and Ryan decided to live life on their own terms.

What are some of the benefits of living in a tiny home?
The Next Ridge Kitchen - Living Tiny

The Next Ridge: Before building a tiny house, we were sick of renting homes that were too large for our needs, poorly constructed, not insulated, and badly laid out. Our tiny house feels so much better because it’s streamlined, and nothing is wasted. Additionally, we LOVE that all the details are designed for us, by us. I love taking baths so we got a custom deep soaking tub, and a tankless hot water heater for endless hot water! We got an extra large kitchen and fridge in our tiny house because I love cooking. We love heating with a wood fire so we have a wood stove in the living area. To feel extravagant, we got heated tile floors in the bathroom and exposed beams in the living area. There’s no expense wasted on things we don’t really love.

What were some unexpected challenges you faced when deciding to live tiny?
The Next Ridge Washer/Dryer - Living Tiny

The Next Ridge: Storage of course is always an issue but I don’t know if that counts as “unexpected”. We just have a decent amount of outdoor gear and tools that need storage space outside the house. An unexpected hurdle has been laundry. The laundry machine we bought has a little vibration issue and gives the house a shake when it’s spinning up!

What do you want other people to know about living in a tiny home?

The Next Ridge: Actually in a lot of places, it’s not legal to live in a tiny home. I wish everyone realized that. I imagine the laws might change more quickly if it was widely understood how difficult it is to make this lifestyle work under the radar and outside the law.  Some people are lucky to live in a place where it is legal to live in a self-built mobile home. But many of those living tiny are just doing their best to pursue a lifestyle they believe in, and hoping that no one complains about their tiny home to the local zoning board.

C2HH Note: (For more information on living legally in a tiny home, check out our recent blog post)
What advice would you give someone who is deciding to go tiny and doesn’t know where to start?

The Next Ridge: I would highly suggest finding a professional builder who is willing to work with you. If you’re handy and you’d like to finish out the interior that’s awesome. But it’s so much more practical and safe to allow a professional to handle the structure and exterior finishes: waterproofing, rough electric, plumbing. At the very least, get your tiny home professionally inspected if you’re going to build some of the structure and exterior yourself. Just remember, it’s not always the rosy story portrayed by many self-built tiny house dwellers, but it’s important to be realistic about your goals.

The Next Ridge - Ryan in the Loft - Living Tiny
What are some of the financial advantages of living in a tiny home?

The Next Ridge: This is my favorite topic, ha! I wanted to go tiny primarily because of finances. We were tired of paying our landlord’s mortgage and wanted to invest in something that was our own. We were able to pay for the entire house with cash and we can now live debt-free in a home we will own for the rest of our lives.

Living as debt-free as possible is very important to me. I’m sure we’ll have a mortgage at some point when we buy our own land or upgrade to a larger home. But, we don’t make a habit of buying depreciating assets (like cars or any other consumer goods) on credit. We don’t live month-to-month and we have money to travel and explore. Also, we have enough money to quit our jobs for a while if we needed to. For us that freedom is so much more important and enjoyable than all the other things our money could have bought.

Ryan & Stacy, The Next Ridge, Living Tiny
The decision to live tiny…

There is no doubt that when deciding to go tiny, there will be some challenges along the way. But the beauty of living in a tiny home is that you get to pick the details. Not only does living tiny allow you to choose how you want to live your life, but you can choose what it looks like too. The build process can be stressful, but the reward will be well worth it. And being debt free, what’s better than that?

For more information on Stacy and Ryan, check out their social media accounts:

Facebook: The Next Ridge

Instagram: @thenextridge

Youtube: TheNextRidge

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