In 2015, Jenn Baxter downsized and moved into a tiny house in the Lake Norman area, sharing her story with the world on HGTV and in SouthPark Magazine. Over time, the house became unusable and she had to move out. This week, she joins Sean and Sallie on the CharlotteFive Podcast to follow up, offer advice to anyone considering a tiny house and to explain why she thinks her first tiny house fell apart.
What’s the difference between a tiny house and a house that’s just tiny?
“Generally speaking a ‘tiny house’ is usually 400 square feet or less, and usually when you’re referring to a tiny house, most people are referring to a tiny house on wheels. So those are usually built on a flatbed trailer as opposed to a foundation.”
In 2015, you moved into a 160 square-foot tiny house. What brought on this decision?
“For me, it was pretty much a series of traumatic things that happened in my life that happened back to back. I had been in an abusive relationship for a couple of years, my father got sick with cancer and passed away, my mother got sick with cancer and passed away. And then, sort of as a result of all of those things, my own health took a huge nosedive and I just got to the point of where I felt like I was just physically spent, emotionally spent and spiritually spent, and I really just felt like I kind of needed to hit the reboot button on my life, and just sort of start over. I’d actually been somebody that never really cared about material belongings…So at this point in my life when all of this stuff had happened and I had heard about tiny houses, it just seemed like the perfect time to do something like that.”
What percentage of people actually have what it takes to live in a tiny home?
“It’s hard to put a percentage on it, I always say I feel like anybody could do it…It’s just about, you really have to get to a point in your life when you really want things to change. If you’re totally used to having this expansive space to live in, and having lots and lots of extra stuff, then it would be a huge, huge transition. It’s not something you can take lightly. You have to be at a point where, for whatever reason, like I said for me it was because I had been through some traumatic stuff, sometimes it’s just simply to save money or live mortgage free, but I feel like anybody can do it.”
For more on Jenn Baxter or her experience on living in a tiny house, check out her blog, Live a F.a.s.t. Life.
The CharlotteFive Podcast — presented by The Charlotte Observer and powered by OrthoCarolina — is a weekly podcast that aims to get you Charlotte Smart, Fast with fun, interesting and useful news about the city. It’s co-hosted by Sean Clark-Weis and Sallie Funderburk and is a production of the Charlotte Observer and Brian Baltosiewich.