Tiny House Mortgage? I Interviewed An Owner to Find Out More

A couple of days ago I reached out to a Reddit user that was receiving a lot of social media attention for her idyllic and modern tiny house. I wanted to find out the story behind the build, and what I learned was both surprising and inspiring! Not only was she kind enough to share her background and the path that led her to owning a tiny house, but she was also the first person to receive a tiny house mortgage in the country of Norway – and at a much lower interest than a typical mortgage.

First of all, congratulations on a beautiful house. I showed the interior to my girlfriend and she said that she recognized it and that it was making the rounds on Instagram. Does it feel a little bit weird seeing your personal living space spread on social media?

Thank you, I’m honored! Well, I honestly didn’t think it would reach anyone outside my own personal circle, I suspect there are some algorithms involved on Instagram’s part. I’m glad so many liked it and hopefully find it inspirational. Last year I was asked to do a piece on the news here in Norway, and the response was massive, both good and bad. My phone didn’t stop buzzing, although a lot of the attention was from older gross men, that kind of sucked. But I like to think it inspired someone else to get their own house as well. I choose to set my Instagram account to the public in case anyone else wanted to see the house, even though I’m actually a very private and shy person. But it’s for a good cause I think 🙂

I read on one of your older posts that you hired a company called Norske Mikrohus. How was your experience using an established tiny home builder? Are you glad you used professionals as opposed to going a DIY route? Was there any one thing that made you decide which way to go?

This has been my dream for about 10 years now, and originally I wanted to build it myself, or with a significant other. But I was told by my dad that it was a stupid dream and unrealistic, so I kept it mostly to myself. I started saving up for an apartment like everyone else my age, but I never saw myself living in one. (Or at least, that wasn’t the dream). I realized I wanted to travel as much as I could, and this, of course, costs money. Living cheap and small made even more sense. My mom was very involved in my vision, but we both agreed it would be hard for me to build it myself. I do not possess the knowledge or patience to do anything close to what I ended up with. 4 years ago I started dating someone who was very much opposed to the idea of living tiny, and I made my peace with that. But then when he left me 2 years later I almost saw it as a sign to just go for it. Once again my mom and I sat down and talked it through. The way we saw it I had 3 options:

1) Building it myself after work, while living at home to save money. I would have to ask my dad for assistance (educated carpenter) my mom thought he would be down but I had a bad feeling about it.

2) Put out the idea on a site not different from Craigslist, see if any “freelance” professionals could do the job or…

3) Go with a company who specializes in tiny homes. We had already googled a bit and found Norske Mikrohus, but after watching a million YouTube videos with people who lived in homes worth 15 000$ the price felt a little steep.

I was the first to be granted that kind of loan for a house like this; it’s not considered a house to the banks, so it was very special.

Once the house was delivered, how difficult or quick was it to be able to find land to park it? How many times have you had to move the house, and where is it parked now?

So I went to my dad, and presented my idea. I showed him the houses NM made and told him what it cost, and asked him if he thought it would be possible to hire someone else to make it or make it myself and save money. This is when everything went downhill. I don’t think I will ever forget the look on his face, he was beyond disappointed in me. He said it was naive and stupid, I would regret it and lose so much money. My whole future was in jeopardy and wouldn’t ever be able to retire because my whole economic situation would go downhill (you can’t invest in a house like that what are you thinking). I was devastated and ashamed, left, and didn’t really know what to do.

I called up my mom (btw, my parents don’t live together) and she basically just said “Screw it, we’re gonna do this anyway.”  We called the bank where I had all my savings and set up a meeting. My mom and stepdad co-signed the loan and suddenly I was the first one in Norway to be granted a house mortgage (just 2.2% interest), no one else had succeeded to get one. We figured it would be smarter to hire someone who has the experience rather than to hope for the best just to save some money. I haven’t regretted this decision once.

The house was delivered to my mom’s house, and then we moved it again to the farm I’m living at. Part of the service they offer is to find a property to rent not too far from the capital. So it all worked out really well. It’s easy enough to move, you just need a bigger car, like a pickup truck.

Living in a nordic country, are you happy with the amount of insulation that you were able to achieve? What method are you currently using to heat up the space?

The house is installed with heating cables [radiant heating] in the floors which works out until it reaches 0 degrees Celsius. That’s when I use an electric heater with a set thermostat, it’s very easy and cheap. The house was built with the climate in mind, and it has worked out really well.

 

Having gone through the whole process, is there anything you would do differently or any advice you might have for people looking to own a tiny home?

Follow your gut. I’m a firm believer in planning and doing proper research, but at some point, you’ll go a little crazy if you second guess everything and worry about making the wrong choice. Don’t get discouraged when someone is negative or skeptical when you share your vision with them, most everyone I talked to in the process was very positive, but a few weren’t. But after seeing the finished product everyone’s convinced and had to “eat their words”.

Also, it’s all about living your best life and adapting to whatever’s going on around you. Relationships, jobs, friends, and family, nothing is forever. Things change, for good and bad. So just make the best of it and try not to worry too much. Enjoy the little things and focus on the things that are in your power to change.

 

Here in the US, financing a tiny house is costly due to the high-interest rate. Oftentimes the cost of building a tiny house is too nominal to be able to translate it to a mortgage. Although we probably won’t see any offers like this in the states, it’s good to know that other countries are progressing towards affordable housing and a smaller carbon footprint.

Leave a Reply

avatar
  Subscribe  
Notify of
Tiny house in a field

Why Modern Tiny Homes Are Growing In Popularity

In recent years tiny homes have exploded in popularity! This has led to an enormous increase in both the types and styles of tiny homes available on the market. Methods of construction have become increasingly varied from wood two by...

Hand tools on wooden background

DIY Tiny House | The Most Important Tools for Building A Tiny House

One of the most frequently asked questions by DIY tiny house builders is, “What tools will I need to build a tiny house?” You’ll often find greatly varying responses depending on experience, skill, and budget. For those with larger budgets...

Tiny House Mortgage? I Interviewed An Owner to Find Out More

A couple of days ago I reached out to a Reddit user that was receiving a lot of social media attention for her idyllic and modern tiny house. I wanted to find out the story behind the build, and what...