An Update from Casey

It’s been a while since I’ve written an honest-to-goodness actual post on here, so here’s an update on what’s going on in Friday-world.

Tiny House

The Tiny House has been listed at Tiny House Listings for a while now.  I’ve dropped the price from $27,500 down to $19,500.  With that $8,000 shaved off – and my selling it for less than the materials cost – I’ve been seeing a healthy level of interest in it.  As luck would have it (our luck is really terrible), when one woman came from out of town to see the house, we forgot the keys at home (40 minutes round trip from the house).  These sort of things seem to keep happening regularly.

At this point, I don’t really ever expect the house to sell; but it is definitely at the right price.  I’ll keep waiting for the right buyer to come along, and as soon as they do, I’ll make the purchase as easy for them as I possibly can.  I’m really, really looking forward to not having the Tiny House in my possession any more.

We’ve also listed our property in Spring Branch with a realtor, so hopefully we’ll get some leads from that very soon.  We’ll be taking approximately a $15,000 bath on that purchase, so although it’s a very tough pill to swallow, we also just want to be rid of it.

Side Note on Tiny Houses

It’s very unfortunate for me to read from multiple sources online about how fantastic and trouble-free tiny house living is, including from people who have previously spoken about the problems they’ve faced (now speaking as if those never happened).  I realize that Jessica and I have probably had the worst experience of any Tiny Housers ever, but it’s downright disingenuous for people to say things like, “I built it for less than $8,000 easily!” or “If you build the Tiny House, the Land will come after.”  Yeah, and hopefully it’s not littered with meth head criminals.

Although a lot of news stations across the country wanted to interview me about the Tiny House theft (I said no to all of them except one), I’ve only found two references to the theft in prolific Tiny Housers’ websites.  One was in a podcast with a woman who spoke very frankly about the difficulties of living in a Tiny House, but the other was on Tiny House Talk, where my story was posted simply so that the author could earn money through affiliate sales of Amazon Products (theft prevention products).  I left a comment on that site saying it was unfortunate that he though it was okay to profit off of our tragedy without even telling me about it.  The comment was deleted by the author.

I’m very happy to read the multiple comments on this site and Jessica’s about the number of people whose eyes are being opened to the harsh realities of trying to live in a Tiny House in this day and age where it’s not widely accepted.  I simply hope more people start telling the truth about it.

Web Development Business

About 1.5 weeks ago I thought to myself, Why don’t I redesign my Web Development website to match my new business focus?  I thought it would take an afternoon, max.  1.5 weeks later, I’ve finished the redesign and uploaded the changes to Friday Next online.  I’m very excited about these changes, as they much more closely reflect the things I’m really good at, and I want to provide services to my clients the best I can.

I’m basically taking all the variables out of my business, so when people come to my website, they see exactly what they’re going to get; decide if it’s worth it to them or not; and then I provide the service.  It’s a much simpler model than what I’ve been using for the past three years, which has involved quite a few instances of my spending a lot of (unpaid) time putting together quotes for people who never write back.  Since I will no longer work for free, this new model is going to be great for not only conversions, but also my general mental health.

Personal Life

Life has been really tough for the past four years.  Like, really tough.  At the end of our tenure in Utah, we thought it would be fun to rent a warehouse as a “Build a Tiny House” slash “Live in It” space.  We started tearing the drywall down in the residential part of the warehouse (turns out the wiring in it was bare, and a high-heat fire hazard).  When we decided that it wasn’t going to work out, the landlord tried to make us pay for the entire year (we had just signed the lease 4 days prior).  We ended up losing about $1,000 there.  That sucked.

Then when we left our apartment early in Utah, we were charged something ridiculous like $2,500.  We came back to Texas and decided to have Scott Stewart build our Tiny House.  Remember how that turned out?  Thank FSM we actually got our money back on that one, but it was a huge emotional setback.  Then my family went crazy, and they all decided to defend my pedophile, child-molesting biological father.  So I disowned all of them in November of 2013 and won’t ever talk to them again.

Then we spent 2.5 years trying to build a Tiny House while my business was crawling to just over the poverty-level of income earning.  The stress we went through during that time was incredible.  Of course after that, the Tiny House was stolen, we ended up paying over $600 in impound fees and all the storage fees from then to now, and we found out we’d be losing $15,000 on the land we purchased.

The only thing I’ve actually been happy to spend money on was Jessica’s Endometriosis surgery in California, earlier this year. She’s already doing better than she has been in years, but that surgery was almost $16,000 out of pocket, and we’ll likely be fighting the insurance company for years to get a gap exception, so that we can get even a fraction of that money back. (We both really wish we lived in a country with universal healthcare for this exact reason. Higher taxes? No problem. If we had the money I paid for my college degree and this surgery, we’d be doing just fine.)

And then after all that, I forget the keys when we’re going to show the house to a potential seller.  It’s stuff like this that just really gets me.  It’s just Murphy-town here (whatever can go wrong, will).  I’ve even had issues with some of my business clients trying to take advantage of me.

Suffice it to say, we’re taking massive action to change our lives so that we don’t have to suffer through this misery any more.  I’ve already accepted the fact that we will never have boat loads of money in any bank or mutual fund account – we’ll probably live paycheck to paycheck for the rest of our lives, but I would be totally fine with that if there weren’t so many other negative factors at play.

I’ve stopped telling myself that things will absolutely be better in the future, but my realistic goal is that by 2016, we will be in a place emotionally and physically better for both of our well-beings.  Jessica published her first novella, and she has plenty more in the works.  I’ve changed my business’ business model, and I have plans to change what I do for income completely.  We’re both working desperately hard towards having a life that we can both be satisfied with.

I know this doesn’t end with a happy note, but that’s really the point here.   There’s not always a happy point to end on.  Hopefully there will be one in the future, but for now, we’re just working our asses off towards that goal.

3 Replies to “An Update from Casey”

  1. Hey Casey,

    re: “I know this doesn’t end with a happy note, but that’s really the point here. ” There are good arguments for not being positive for the sake of being positive. I’m just finishing up a book called The Antidote: Happiness For People Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking and its thesis is precisely that typical goal setting and positive thinking isn’t necessarily good, and may even be harmful.

    If you have a Kindle and you’re interested in reading it let me know and I’ll send you a copy through Amazon. I think you might dig it.

    -Karol

    1. Thanks Karol – It’s nice to be understood when it comes to stuff like this. So many times I hear things like, “Don’t worry, it’ll get better,” etc, and all I really want to hear is “Damn, that sucks.” I’d love to give that book a read – my Amazon account email is casey.friday (at) gmail.com | Thanks!

  2. Damn, that REALLY sucks! I’ve been some monstrous crap in the last two years too, but if it was a contest, you guys win. 😉 Please know I am extraordinarily grateful you shared your experience.

    Walking out of my yoga class Sunday, it was serendipity that a Tiny House miraculously appeared 50 feet from the door. I’m cashing in on a hot DFW real estate market and will be “homeless” next week. The TH enthusiasts asked, “What’s keeping you from going tiny?” “Ummmmm?????” I stammered. Downsizing?…sure, no problem. Everything I own is going into a 5*6 storage shed. And I’d like to get rid of at least half of that. Money? No problem, I could pay cash. All excited I came home to search for a pre-built TH. Bull by the horns, right? But then I got to thinking: I walked to my yoga class (mine as in I’m the teacher 2x a week). I walked to the TH open house. I walked to the grocery store when I got hungry during the TH open house. I could have walked to almost any restaurant I was in the mood for. I could have shopped were I the least bit retail inclined. And then I walked home. None that would happen in a TH. At least not yet.

    “Good on ya mate” I say to the early TH adopters, but I realize, I too am a city girl. (Great post by Jessica btw.)

    During the TH meetup, I heard there’s a push to get a TH community in Garland…a very convenient, older Dallas suburb, and a decent little city in it’s own right. Perhaps TH living for us city dwellers is on the horizon?! But for now, I’m a condo owner/flipper.

    Keep your ear to the ground though. Dallas is awesome and if the Garland mayor really does come through with a viable TH option, you might want to consider moving your GORGEOUS (and IMHO perfect) TH 4 1/2 hours north up I35. SA is nice, but Dallas in the last 4 years or so….totally won me over. Keep tabs on B.A. at “abedovermyhead.com”.

    In any case….namaste’ and many many thanks and blessings and positive energy and all
    ‘dat good sh*t.

    Allison
    ~always a tiny house mindset. perhaps some day, a tiny house dweller.

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