Imagine moving your family from living in a comfortably-sized home into a muchtinier home, downsizing so drastically that you would have to part with three quarters of everything you own, selling, donating and tossing many items you grew attached to throughout your life. Just thinking about it gives us anxiety. But that’s exactly what Hari and Karl Berzins decided to do about four years ago when their restaurant went out of business and left them struggling financially, and they’ve given us a house tour of their new small abode.
The Berzins owned a successful restaurant in central Florida called New Day Café. But in 2008, because of the steep rises in gas prices, Hurricane Fay sweeping through the area and the collapse of big banks like Lehman Brothers, the Berzins lost their restaurant. “So at that point, we just made a firm decision that we were not going into debt again,” says Hari Berzins. “And we haven’t since. We really climbed out of that hole.”
After stumbling upon Tiny House Blog, the couple decided that to live completely mortgage-free, they would build their own tiny home. So they saved every penny, bought a piece of land in southwest Virginia and started building their new house on a flatbed trailer while still in Florida. The framework of the house is a total of 168 square feet. But, there are also two sleeping lofts, one for their two kids and one for mom and dad. In total, Berzins estimates that there’s about 320 square feet of space. Once they were able to find jobs in Virginia, the family moved, bringing their new home with them. Hari’s husband finished the interior of the home once they arrived, and they also put in a well and septic tank on the property.
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