The 180-square foot tiny home that occupied an Anderson Island campsite over the summer is now being used by a family in the Berkeley, California, area.
The Arizona family that built the home and used it as a temporary residence in Pierce County for the summer delivered it to its new family on their return from Washington to Arizona in September.
Selling the tiny home was always the plan for the Graves family, who built it using reclaimed materials and appliances from Craigslist. They wanted a buyer in Washington, maybe even Pierce County, to take the home, but no legitimate offers materialized.
They used the money from the sale of the house to buy a new semi for husband Rusty Graves, who owns a trucking business.
The family of four has since made the transition from living in close quarters back to their 1,200-square-foot home, located 30 miles west of Phoenix.
But just because they’ve abandoned the minimalist lifestyle doesn’t mean they’ve turned their backs on tiny homes.
“We decided we're going to build tiny homes,” Rusty Graves said.
Since listing the family’s tiny home for sale on websites this summer, and because of a story in The News Tribune in September, Graves said he received 40 to 50 calls from people interested in the house.
Although the house was spoken for, Graves saw a business opportunity.
“We’re custom building whatever people want to suit their needs,” Graves said.
Graves and wife Rachelle are currently building a tiny home for a woman in California who is retiring and looking to downsize. Her son called about the Anderson Island home, but because it had sold, Graves offered to build another one.
Unlike the home the family lived in this summer, which was 8 feet wide, 22 1/2 feet long with 12-foot vaulted ceilings at its center and two lofts, the home they’re building now will run 24 feet long. It also won’t have the lofts and will have lower ceilings to lessen heating and cooling costs.
So far the family only has the one order, which it hopes to finish by January at the latest. But Graves said they plan to “ride this wave” as long as it lasts.
The home, which will have new appliances and nicer finishes than the house they lived in over the summer, is priced at $25,000.
“It’s given me a lot more time to be home with my wife,” Graves said of the new business venture. “I was gone during the day before, but now I’m home working on the tiny homes.”
Between tiny house orders Graves plans to continue with his one-man trucking business. Owning the business offers flexibility to put driving on hold if more people request homes, Graves said.
The family plans to return to Anderson Island again next summer, where they own a vacant lot.
But this time instead of hooking a tiny home to the trailer hitch, the family plans to go big and park a 53-foot long semi trailer at the island campground.