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Extraordinary Customers Taking Tiny Homes to the Next Level

Tiny homes have become wildly popular due to lifestyle and economical shifts worldwide. uShip has helped drive the movement by helping transport an average of 75 tiny homes across the U.S. annually.

One of our frequent customers is Tiny Mountain Houses, a family business on the West Coast run by Lou Pereyra and his sons, Ryan and Nick.

Since building their first home in 2014, the trio has been unstoppable manufacturing an average of 40 tiny homes per year. This year, they’re looking to total 55 houses, including sales throughout the continental U.S., Canada, and Hawaii. The team is currently en route to expand the business to both Japan and China in 2018.

According to Lou, getting these homes from point A to point B is the easy part of the process, partially thanks to uShip. In the beginning, Tiny Mountain Houses used their own two trucks for deliveries. As business boomed, they realized their time was better spent in the office than on the road. They learned about uShip from “Shipping Wars,” a reality TV series on A&E, and the rest is history. Today, the team outsources much of their shipping through our marketplace.

With transportation taken care of, the Pereyra family gets to concentrate on building an incredible product. Tiny Mountain Houses aims to offer better “craftsmanship, comfort, and affordability” than the competition with smarter designs and manufacturing solutions. Their homes have a distinctive look with open floor plans and no narrow hallways. They use mostly residential-sized appliances, fixtures, and cabinetry. Their goal is to make their homes as livable as possible. Afterall, it should be a pleasure to live tiny – not a chore.

uShip sees about 75 tiny houses shipped through its marketplace annually. Pictured is the Lincoln Peak model – 18 feet long and approximately 210 square feet of tiny luxury. (Courtesy of Tiny Mountain Houses)

According to Lou, 95% of Tiny Mountain Houses are custom built to order, ensuring that every client ends up with their dream home.

With so much attention to quality and detail, it’s no wonder why Tiny Mountain Houses have been featured on HGTV’s “Tiny House Hunters” and FYI’s “Tiny House Hunting.”

Many Americans dream of going tiny, and there is no shortage of manufacturers these days, but often tiny dreams run into a big problem – zoning regulations.

This is one problem that uShip customer, Sarah Murphy, a.k.a. Music City Tiny House, ran into when trying to realize her dreams of going tiny. Sarah and her husband, John, lived in D.C. While they were making good money at the time, they were also starting a family and reprioritizing their spending. They wanted to use their financial power to buy things that were truly important to them. Skyrocketing rent and utilities did not make the list. Sarah and her husband decided the best course of action was to pack up, move to Nashville, and go tiny.

The Murphy’s were surprised to find that going tiny was not that easy. They bought their tiny house, but due to zoning issues, they were never able to make that house a home. Instead, they ended up buying a home with a backyard, and that’s where they put their tiny house.

Zoning and coding regulations vary by city and state. In Nashville in particular, the law allows you to own a tiny home, but as long as the tiny house is on wheels, you can’t live in it.

The rabbit hole of laws that amounted to their botched plans led to Sarah and John becoming active tiny house advocates. As early adopters, they really believed in the tiny house movement because it allowed for economic empowerment. The number of barriers to entry for tiny homeowners was astounding to them, and they were determined to break down the walls.

While they couldn’t live in their tiny home, Sarah and John would rent it out on Airbnb to the tiny-house curious. This was an intentional portal they created as a way for future tiny house homeowners to get the feel of living tiny before they committed. The Murphy’s also became educators, bloggers, and lobbyists for the tiny home movement.

While tiny home advocacy is still very near and dear to their hearts, the Murphy’s eventually felt it was best to sell their little piece of paradise to a loving new family in Augusta, Ga. They used uShip to make this move in November of 2016.

Andrea’s tiny home sits on the same land of her childhood home in Washington state, where she’s able to keep bees and build her budding beeswax business, Tiny House Apothecary. (Courtesy of Tiny House Apothecary)

This year, we also had the pleasure of meeting tiny house shipper Andrea Fender, owner of Host Bounce and Tiny House Apothecary.

Living in downtown San Francisco, Andrea came to the realization that she, a single woman, could never afford to own property in the city. After doing some research and crunching some numbers, she came up with a solution. She’d build a tiny home on Lake Tahoe and rent it out until it was paid. Her little piece of property sat in an upscale trailer park in a beautiful section of the lake, so she took her idea a step further. She offered to help manage rentals for other property owners in the park. At that point, Host Bounce was born.

Since Andrea is a numbers person, she was able to cleverly finance various aspects of building her tiny home on several different 0% finance credit cards. At the time when she actually left San Francisco and moved into her tiny home full time, her house was already two-thirds paid off by her Host Bounce business. She was well on her way to financial freedom.

Today, Andrea’s tiny home sits on a gorgeous plot on the acreage of her childhood home in rural Washington state. Here, she’s able to keep bees and build her budding beeswax business, Tiny House Apothecary. All the while, she’s able to take care of her father and enjoy the relaxation of the country. A tiny house dream come true!

uShip is a big supporter of the tiny home movement, and we love having an important role in the journey. We look forward to helping more customers get their tiny dreams on the road. Share your story with us!

*Our cover photo is the very popular, very livable 24-foot, 314-square foot Castle Peak model. (Courtesy of Tiny Mountain Houses)