Access-A-Hut's Blog

Decision Process

Ok, we have run the decision process–informally. We need to do the whole exercise when we can, together.

NEEDS:
Handicap accessible
Can be maintained if we are both on disability (in our worst case scenario needs to be under $200 a month).
Sunlight
Plan for potential future needs of caretaker
Plan for potential desires of travelling and teaching
Easy to maintain home.
Accommodate one small dog with arthritis and one young, rambunctious cat

WANTS:
Low carbon footprint
Beauty
Garden/green around us

OBJECTIVE:
Build a sustainable, accessible, beautiful tiny home that we can live in and heal in to maintain our independence as long as possible. Many many years.

RESOURCES
Deena’s web skills, MaJe’s comparison skills,
Deena’s current job
MaJe’s disability income
Brilliant friends
A good friend who is a builder

CONSTRAINTS
Must stay in Denver City and County (health insurance, job, experienced doctors)

ALTERNATIVES /EVALUATION
Mobile/Do not buy land If we are in someone’s backyard, then building either a trailer or a house  that can be moved easily becomes the more efficient way to go, as its advantages are portability and flexibility, and disadvantages are higher costs, width limit of 8 feet, and weight considerations. Also, Denver will not let us live in one full time, so we would need to find someone who owns land and we can apply for a variance. You can only get a variance on a property. Also, trailers break (poor Jay!)

Mobile/Buy LandIf we buy land and get the variance and build a mobile home, we limit weight, limit width to 8 feet, have to figure out/pay for a foundation anyway, and have the higher cost of a trailer. Further, if we move that home, we have an empty piece of land that may be hard to sell.

Stationary/Rent. This is what we have now (No Action). We love our rented 700 square foot part of an older mansion. We love our garden. We can make this work 95% of the time now, although Deena’s legs are dislocating more and more frequently, and this percentage is going down way more than Deena wants to admit. And the house is too big for MaJe to get what she needs when she is exhausted. We *want* *need* a garden, we need our pets (they are not quite service animals, but very close to it). No apartment in Denver will take us with these conditions. And there are only 3 accessible apartments listed right now–none of which are in Denver. So… we have to remember, this No Action alternative has some pretty fatal flaws.

And getting land to rent and then forking out the money for our house is just plain silly.

Stationary/Buy Land.
If we buy land and get the variance and build a stationary home, we can build a bit larger (to fit an electric wheelchair), build without weight limits, and build equity. We have done some research (not enough!!!) and preliminary indications are that this would be easier to sell/rent if and when we were disabled enough to need more care. (That is the very worst case scenario–most likely is that we will be able to stay in the house and live well because it requires so little maintenance.) Zoning becomes easier. The disadvantages are that we would not be able to move into a caretaker’s or assisted living backyard with our lovely home.

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