Unfortunately nightmares are an important part of sleep. Nightmares are typically a manifestation of other common feelings like stress and anxiety. They come about for good reason. They are catalysts of awareness and change. Perhaps then, the visionary ordeal experienced by some in the tiny house world – after correction, of course – are, in fact, welcome eureka moments. Are you wondering what in the world I am talking about?
On October 21, 2015, author and blogger Jenn Baxter wrote a post on her popular blog entitled Tiny House Lessons: Buyer Beware. She began with: “So, some of you might already know from my Facebook post about my stuff being stolen, that I am no longer in my tiny house.” *gasp, snort*. For months Jenn had been updating her blog about the final move in day and all the decisions and steps leading up to it. She even posted at one point that it was the cutest tiny house ever. For all intents and purposes 2015 was “the year of the perfect” for her. Jenn and her tiny house were even featured on an episode of Tiny House, Big Living. All of that changed though when she published her post in mid-October. She exposed to the world that not all tiny house people are to be trusted. And unfortunately it all went down in North Carolina. Carolina builder. Carolina buyer. Nationwide problem!
Once I started staying at the house full time, I realized the problems were far from over. First, every time it rained, dirty water would pour in around the air conditioner because it was installed incorrectly, pooling on the kitchen counter and the floor. The electric outlet in my bathroom was not GFCI protected, so I was afraid to keep anything plugged into it.
And the list just goes on. It was a nightmare experience for Baxter and one that she wanted the world to know about so no other buyer’s would suffer her same fate. As Jenn disclosed, she worked with an attorney and assembled a demand letter including photos of all the issues she had experienced, the copies of a few inspections she had done post-move in day, and an ultimatum. The builder chose to refund her money and take the house back.
Unfortunately, the cautionary tale doesn’t end there. Just two weeks after her revealing post the tiny house ended up online for sale. No improvements had been made. Nothing had been fixed to Jenn’s knowledge. And there was no notice of disclosure. The house was for sale as seen on a national television show and all over the web. Fortunately, the post quickly disappeared.
Here we are though. Not a full year later and the house is back on the public market with repainted trim and few changes inside including the removal of the staircase in lieu of a ladder and the removal of the washer/dryer unit altogether. No disclosure notices and no mention of the electrical issues and plumbing issues Jenn encountered. May her nightmare serve as a literal wake-up call to us all. BUYER BEWARE! This house has proven itself to be little more than a project house or “as is” model.
Our goal is not at all to show a tiny house community member in a bad light. But at TinyHouseNC we have made a pledge to do our best to expose all sides of the modern movement and that includes throwing the penalty flag when necessary. So again, BUYER BEWARE. And builders, please do not continue to try and pass off a reprehensible tiny house to us in the future. It is not fair to this community and it is not fair to you, even. We will not stand for second rate work in the state of North Carolina.
To read Jenn Baxter’s original story please visit: http://www.liveafastlife.com/blog-devlin/2015/10/tiny-house-lessons-buyer-beware.
EDITOR’S NOTE: As of Tuesday, August 9, 2016, the listing no longer remains active and the house does not show as being for sale.