How Am I Going to Pay For This?!

Okay, tiny housers recommend that you save all of the money for your build before you start. I’m not waiting that long.

Last week I had an appointment at the bank. The age of majority in Nova Scotia is 19, so basically I can’t do anything until then. I can’t get any credit or start building my credit rating until I turn 19 (in April). But I knew that already. The reason I made the appointment was to learn about what my options will be the minute I turn 19. I want to start the build this spring. I’ve already been dreaming about this for two years; I don’t want to wait another year just working and saving and paying rent. I hate being stuck and not able to move forward.

The plan was to start the build in April around my birthday, but it might end up being May now. I have some savings and I still have about 8 months to save more, but of course I won’t have $30 000 before I start building. If I keep saving the way I have been this year (and I intend to save more), by April/May I’ll have enough to buy the trailer, the insulation for the floor, and (hopefully) all of the framing. Then comes the hard part: where I’m going to get the rest of the money! The plan is a line of credit. Putting all my materials on credit cards would just rack up an insane amount of interest, so a line of credit is the way to go. I will still pay interest, but that’s the cost of starting right away.

Then there’s the fact that I have no credit rating and no collateral. The bank meeting was very back and forth. One sentence she was saying that it was doable, and then the next she was telling me they’d give me a credit card with a $100 limit and make me wait a year before anything else could happen. She couldn’t give me any definitive answers. I’ll only know for sure if I’m eligible for a line of credit when I apply when I’m 19. I can possibly have my dad co-sign, but again, I won’t know if that will work either until we apply when I’m 19.

So, my options are:

1. Get a credit card when I turn 19, build my credit rating, and eventually get a high enough limit to turn it into a line of credit.

2. Apply for a line of credit. The minimum is $10 000, which would be great, but it also makes it harder for me to get. They could say no.

3. Apply for a line of credit with my dad co-signing. They could still say no.

4. Use my parents’ line of credit and pay them. My parents could say no.

It’s tough because I need to have my windows before I finalize my framing, but I don’t know where the money for them is going to come from until a month before the build. April/May is going to be tense.

Basically I’m just going to do whatever I can do. I’ll get a credit card to build my credit rating even if I end up using my parents’ line of credit. I’ll take the build one bit at a time, and if I have to stop and save money for a while, so be it. But, it will also be tense when winter gets close because I need to have the shell finished.

I did some math though (NOTE: some very quick math with some very rough estimates), and it helps to think of it like this: I don’t plan on buying the washer/dryer combo right away, or the dishwasher, or the fancy toilet, and I hope to find some less expensive counter tops (they are so unexpectedly pricey!) so subtract all those. Then, also included in my original $31 000 estimate are books, tools, and the trip to Toronto for the Tumbleweed workshop. All of that is either already paid for, or I don’t have that much left to buy, so subtract all that. That brings down the cost to about $23 000. Way less intimidating! Then, I only need $15 000 before winter. I hope to have $8 000 saved by the time I’m ready to buy the trailer, so that leaves only $7 000 that I’ll need before winter.

I can do this.


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"It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan." - Eleanor Roosevelt

"It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare. It is because we do not dare that they are difficult." - Seneca

"Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful." - William Morris
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