This blog is the story of our decision to make a huge change, sell off and donate all of our belongings, buy a tiny house on wheels and leave the city for the country. We are currently in the process of creating our tiny house homestead, organic farm and art studio in the mountains of western North Carolina.
We had originally given ourselves a deadline of two years to prepare. Two years to save money, sell all of our belongings except the most sentimental things, find unrestricted land and buy it. We were going to put The Bumbleshack on our property in Florida and rent it out as a riverfront vacation place, with access to the dock, kayaks and organic garden, to save money. But that never happened because we moved to North Carolina faster than expected. At this time, we are still parked on our rental land, which is 23 wooded acres with a tiny cabin and some horses 10 minutes from downtown Asheville. We plan to move to our property sometime this summer, fingers crossed! It is located at 3600 feet elevation with a rushing creek, a spring for our drinking water, apple trees, grape vines and a 100 year old 700 square foot house we intend to renovate to historical accuracy.
Why? Basically, we’re done with the high cost of living today. We want to live debt free, spend less time making money to pay a big mortgage and other living expenses and more time with our kids out in nature and seeing the world. We’re done with Monsanto, GMOs, pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, BPA, pollution, big business, high mortgages, cancer causing preservatives, toxins in household products and cosmetics, Colony Collapse Disorder, the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, parabens, fracking and flouride poisoning our water supply. We don’t want to consume poison any more. We don’t want to have to rely on others for our food. I want my kids to grow up playing outdoors in a safe environment. And we don’t want to keep contributing to the ruination of our beautiful earth. Mostly, we want to do something on a personal level to help the environment and our quality of life, and let others know that they can do it too.
Besides, life is short! I have realized in my old age that you gotta’ do what you wanna’ do NOW, or you will never do it!
Now, we aren’t goin’ all Little House on the Prairie, with no electricity or running water. We will have electricity at the property, but the tiny houses will run on solar, wind and/or hydro power. The main house will have grid tied solar through the local power co-op. We will have running water from the bountiful spring, internet access, and television through internet apps like Netflix, Hulu Plus and YouTube TV. Our property is located a half hour from downtown Asheville, 10 miles from downtown Wayneville and 11 miles from Maggie Valley, so we have access to lots of cultural activities.
And we aren’t preppers lookin’ to bug out either, although I can sympathize with these people’s fears. Did you know that grocery stores only have about 3 days worth of food, meaning we would run out of food in 3 days, if for some reason our trucking system went down? That scares me. We like the idea of being self sufficient, but we don’t think the apocalypse is near just yet…or that the zombies are coming. But we’ll be ready if we’re wrong!
It costs a little bit of money up front to go off grid, debt free. We have already installed a springbox on the spring, a permanent electrical pole and cleared some land, but we still need a solar panel system for the tiny house, a small barn, fencing, gardening equipment, a hoop house, seeds/plants and trees. We can take our time with building out some of these things, but we need the necessities immediately. We plan to sell farm products like fruits, nuts, veggies, cut flowers and eggs down the road.
We have taken the first several steps, came up enough money to buy the first tiny house, moved to the mountains and bought the land! But we still have lots of hard work to do. The land is rough, the house is falling down and we are starting from scratch. Stay tuned to see how it all turns out!
You said your thinking about maybe NC, it snows there, doesn’t it. You have a great plan and I applaud you for it. Still I suggest you go spend some time in the area you plan to end up in before you make the finial move. I personally would find out what codes are in place for buying and building on land even if your going to be off grid. Like a septic tanks and zoning for a barn along with building codes and annexing the property for everything your talking about. A green house can be built with PVC pipe and clear plastic, its light and easy to move and cheap. I’ve only read this page so I’ll keep reading, I’m sure I missed or just haven’t read what you probably already thought of. Cool idea.
Hey, Leigh! Glad you stopped by to visit! I actually grew up in NC, and we have been vacationing there every single summer since. My parents just bought a second home there (again), and we are headed up to visit next month. We have spent lots of time there! 🙂 I have spoken to so many building/zoning and health departments in the past few months! I make sure I get the details on each piece of property before we would even bother to make the trip up there to see it. I am super thorough. I am a “retired” biologist, and my job was wildlife permitting and dealing with the government agencies so I am used to the bureaucracy. I have a blog post a little ways back on this site all about one of our recent communications with a county zoning department called, “Land, Zoning and Tiny Houses”. So far, every single one of them has been really nice and accommodating, giving us suggestions and advice. Thanks for your compliments on my idea!
Hi, I currently live in Florida and want to do what you have done. I have only begun to job hunt and look at land online. I am meeting with a realtor tomorrow to go over my options of getting my house in order to sell. I am excited because my heart belongs in the mountains, but I am nervous about the timing out of everything….selling house, finding a job and using the money from the house sale to purchase my dream land (preferably with stream/creek, spring, 100%wooded, hilly for 4wheeling and a cave!). I just found your blog today and plan on reading more. I want to be in the vicinity where Georgia, Tennessee and the Carolinas all meet.
Hi, Julie! Sounds like a great plan! We moved here from Florida too. We bought our tiny house first so that we could casually look for land wherever we ended up…we decided renting a spot on someone else’s land for awhile was the way to go. It worked out for us! Sell your house, take that money and buy or build your house while renting somewhere maybe?? We just found the perfect piece of land with a 100 year old house, a spring, a rushing creek, and it is totally unrestricted. You can do it! The cave might be hard to find, but you could always dig out your own cave in the side of a hill. Good luck!