Our New Home

Our New Home! First things first: we bought a small house! That hunk o’ junk in the picture above is ours!

Ok, ok, I know this might seem like it is coming out of the blue, but it’s actually been a long time coming. Let me explain: the real, honest truth is that we purchased this house months ago. But I had a full-time job outside of this blog that I was trying to protect and I couldn’t tell anyone online because the house we bought is quite far from our current Airstream home– like 4 hours away. But I can now spill the beans because I recently quit my job and fingers crossed, we’ll be moving to our new location and our new home soon.

We’ve already told our close family and friends and they’ve had a lot of questions, understandably. So I thought I’d answer the questions they’ve been asking us below. If you have more questions, feel free to leave ’em in the comments.

So the big question is why? Why did we choose to leave our Airstream home behind?
Well, this question isn’t so easy. A lot of the answer is very personal and I don’t want to get into all the nitty-gritty details online. But I will say that I wasn’t happy in my full-time job and I needed a change. George’s business is also growing and becoming harder for him to manage on his own. This is a blessing, I know.

We also know that it would be very difficult for us to secure a home loan with his business alone. Tax returns often don’t reflect the take-home pay of self-employed people because when mortgage underwriters look at tax returns for proof of income, they see income after business expenses have been deducted. Let’s just say when we went into the bank to ask about a home loan and they found out George was self-employed, we got all the frowny faces. In other words, we needed to obtain a loan before I left my traditional job.

Could we have lived in the Airstream for another two or three years until we made George’s taxes look “more appealing?” Yes. But as George’s business grows, his need for “business stuff” grows as well.  George does not just sell digital artwork, he also sells physical artwork and some vintage goods. His business has outgrown the Airstream. We truly felt like if we ever wanted to live in a house, now is the time to do it.

George and I have also had a dream since before we were even married to live in Asheville, NC. In fact, we got married there. We adore the mountains and Asheville is a haven for artists and free thinkers. It’s a town full of good food, good times and although it is becoming more expensive, it’s still fairly affordable. Over the years I’ve applied to so many jobs in that area, but it just never worked out. And we are honestly tired of waiting.

So when we officially move to our new home in Asheville, (we hope at the end of this month), I’ll take on a new role as business manager of our company. I know that I can help our business grow and flourish. I’m also thrilled to work for myself and have a more flexible, healthier schedule and lifestyle. I love routine and dependability, so not having a regular paycheck admittedly scares me a bit, but the benefits outweigh the risks.

So, how do you feel?
For the last few months I’ve felt the widest range of emotions possible. I’ve felt proud. WE BOUGHT A HOUSE. And the home purchase fueled me to finish writing a book to share what I’ve learned about living in an Airstream with others. I’ve felt scared and helpless. Did I mention we bought a fixer upper? Home renovation is no joke, y’all. I’ve been proud of our finances and I’ve thought that we were totally screwed. I’ve thought we made the best decision ever and simultaneously the worst. I’m been ready to get the hell out of the Airstream and I’ve never wanted to leave our little home on wheels.

What will happen to the Airstream?
We’ve wrestled with this question for a while. We still don’t have a definitive answer. The easy thing to do would be to sell it. And in some ways, the easy way out seems really appealing right now. We’ve been working on the house every weekend and George has even been driving up during the week sometimes to meet with sub-contractors. We’re #tired.

On the other hand, we still really love the Airstream. Truly. And I still want to share the love with others. We’ve been toying with the idea of remodeling the Airstream (again!) and renting it out as an AirBnB. I know some people aren’t as spontaneous as we are and would love to try out living in an Airstream. This could be a great opportunity for them and us! But I still don’t know for sure. Would ya’ll be into that? 😉

Is your new home a tiny house?
This is the first question my friends have been asking. And no, technically the house we bought is not a tiny house. Tiny houses are usually less than 500 square feet and our new home is about 800 square feet. I would consider it a small home, but no, it’s not a tiny house. I will post pictures of our new home and our renovation progress soon.

And the second question my friend’s ask…
What will happen to the blog?
The blog isn’t going anywhere. I’m still going to share our journey. I’m going to chronicle our house renovations fo’ sho’. And I hope you stick around for it. Although the Airstream is super interesting, it’s never been all about the Airstream. I didn’t name this blog A Small Airstream, I named it A Small Life. My mission remains the same– living a small, happy life.

Thank you for all your support throughout the years. I hope you’ll continue to follow along.

love,
melanie

46 thoughts on “Our New Home

  1. linda

    CONGRATS! So happy for you! We bought a fixer upper 27 years ago; still living in it and loving the journey. Have fixed it and added on and raised 2 kids with lots of love. the journey never ends, we have more projects than time 🙂

    Reply
  2. Seth Campbell

    Congrats guys! My wife and I currently live in a tiny house on wheels and our next goal is very similar: purchase a (small) fixer upper and either rent our tiny house on wheels as an air b’n’b on convert it into a studio space (I’ve also been self employed for almost 11 years, so I read you loud and clear on the taxes and bank loan thing) Living tiny is amazing, and I don’t want to ever give it up; no matter the square footage, as long as no space is wasted space, then you’re living small/efficient/comfortable. Congrats and best of luck. Always loved your blog and IG posts, look forward to the oncoming ones!

    Reply
  3. Debbie Hofsommer

    Oh, I’m so excited for you!!!!! My feeling is YES, definitely turn your Airstream into an AirBnb!!!!! Do you have room to park her at your new house? Asheville is also a huge tiny house hub!!! (I’m sure you already knew that) I just feel that if you sell her (unless you HAVE to) now that you will regret it. Much love and blessings for your new adventure!!!! <3 <3 <3

    Reply
  4. Pamela

    So excited for you and your family! My first AirBnB was in a 34ft Classic in Austin and a great experience. I’ve renovated a 1932 Bungalow too and it is totally worth it! In Asheville, NC…wow, how fortunate you are to take advantage of all the beauty and energy! Share and Happy Journey👍

    Reply
      1. Sarah Pete

        ooh, I forgot I was going to say— an airbnb of your current home would be awesome! I stayed in a tiny house airbnb in Nebraska on my way to Colorado last summer, and it was amazing! It was so fun to be able to experience, but not actually have to live in one permanently. Super fun. 🙂

  5. christine drane

    Good for you guys! 800 square feet sounds wonderful, just right. You have worked hard to save the money to do this, and you deserve it! I don’t really KNOW you, but have enjoyed your blog, and you have always talked about buying a home. As you say, your blog is about a small life, as in space, but honey, you obviously are able to live a BIG life because of it. Can’t wait to see pics as you begin this new journey.

    Reply
  6. Taylor

    Congrats!! I’ve started following your blog quite recently, because my husband and I are thinking of living in a travel trailer as well to simplify our lives. Our goal was to be able to eventually buy a small house and continue to live simply after some years in a trailer. You’re story is inspiring and continues to let us know we aren’t crazy, because we receive some interesting faces when we share our plan.
    Congrats again on your new home, working for yourself, and this new adventure! And to your husband for his growing art! Can’t wait to see the home as you go!

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  7. Ray

    Congratulations!!! I have 0 worries about the up-fixing of the new home, you are pro’s by now come on!! Yaaay so excitinggg

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  8. Darice

    Oh, congratulations! This is actually the first blog post I’ve read of yours – been creeping on Instagram for a while. 😉 So very thrilled for you both – and way to go on leaving an unfulfilling job for the adventure of a mom+pop – it’s the most rewarding move ever. (I’m biased, of course!)

    800 sq ft sounds lovely – enjoy dancing every room…we’re snuggled into 657 sq ft with two littles. Our furniture is arranged to ensure room for twirling – on tough days it makes all the difference in the world.

    Can’t wait to follow this next chapter. Here’s to the journey, may it be full of success and overflowing with laughter.

    Reply
    1. melanie Post author

      Darice, thanks so much! I think 800 square feet is going to work for us since we’ll also be running a business out of our home too. I’ll be sure to arrange our furniture for dance parties 😉

      Reply
  9. Beth Janes aka theinfamousmissbeth.blogspot.com

    Fabulous! We are actually starting to look for a “small” house as well. While most people would consider our current house to be small, it’s beginning to get too big for us. Best wishes!

    Reply
  10. Emily

    My heart absolutely SWELLED with joy when I saw this. I’m so excited for you!

    My advice is to not sell the Airstream. I think the AirBnB idea is a great one. And it’s like having a guest house when people come visit! Plus, as a person who also bought a small house with her husband (910 sq. ft) sometimes you need a space of your own, even if only for an hour or a night.

    Again, so excited for you. I love the blog and have a tremendous amount of respect for the journey you’ve taken. You will enjoy the heck out of this house, I have no doubt.

    Reply
  11. Lindsay

    Congratulations! What wonderful news! I think that keeping the Airstream and using it as an AirBNB is an amazing idea. If you get tired of managing that, you can always sell it in the future. And it would be a nice way to have some extra cash flow through your business. Congrats again! Looking forward to seeing how the renovation progresses!

    Reply
  12. Tremaine Kwasikpui

    Congrats on all of the #Powermoves. Truly motivating and exciting. Porsha and I follow your post and we enjoy them all. Continue to enjoy life and share with us all waiting to see the exciting next steps.

    Reply
  13. Elise Schaecher

    Congratulations! We run an Airbnb in our basement apartment – nice way to earn side money for our extra space. We stayed in a cute tiny trailer near the bay area. From the reviews we saw it seems to be very popular. I would encourage you to give hosting a try! It might make you more money than selling the airstream would in the long run.

    Reply
    1. melanie Post author

      Elise, thanks for reaching out. I’ve definitely thought of that! I just recently took a Skillshare class on AirBnB and it may have scared me more than it was helpful. Haha! I’d love to hear any advice if you have it!

      Reply
  14. Claire

    Wow congrats! 800SF will probably feel huge to you at first – we bought a 1300SF house after living in a 500SF apartment and though our friends thought we were nuts for “buying such a small house”, it seems really luxurious to us!

    Reply
  15. Tina Eaton

    I just stumbled upon your blog so first I must say THANK YOU for creating this resource! My boyfriend and I will be living on the road (in a 17 ft. trailer) starting this summer. One of the first stops on our list? Asheville! I would 1000% encourage you to keep your trailer as an AirBnB! When we lived in Boulder, CO, a couple in our neighborhood was probably able to cover their mortgage by AirBnB-ing a trailer in their yard. And it wasn’t nearly as nice as yours. We also AirBnB-ed our own apartment and were very pleased with the results. If you get tired of the work (cleaning between every visitor is no joke!), you can always sell it later. Best of luck. I’ll try to remember to look you guys up when we’re in the area. 🙂

    Reply

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