Throw back to July, 2016. I was 24 years old when I purchased the Mountain. I earned a living as a miscellaneous contractor via an innovative natural products start up. Financially, how did I make progress toward a more autonomous lifestyle? Persistence, patience, and strategically using the few Federal Reserve Notes I had at the time. Sigh! I was approved for a loan with 4% APR/interest through a local credit union and secured the Mountain after putting forward a small down payment with the RV outlet. The process was seamless, and I drove my unit off the lot after only one week of planning everything out. Although I inquired about using alternative currency for the purchase, I am blessed that the RV outlet and credit union I utilized to acquire the Mountain did not accept crypto at this time, as the value of Bitcoin soared to an all time high in 2017. I’ve sat on my crypto investment and have waited for it to increase in value. Patience is a virtue!
Photo Credit: Bitcoin.com
In the meantime, a great deal of time and Federal Reserve Notes went into the Mountain and its renovations. Step #1 was shopping for the right travel trailer and, eventually, loan approval. On July 9th, 2016 I set my intention to find the perfect “glamper” with an inspiring post on Instagram. I toured the available options all over central Texas within this time frame.
I visited a handful of local RV outlets and saw a dozen of options that fit my budget. Some of the potentials were really glamorous and fueled my desire to create a beautiful Glamper on the interior.
10 days later, I posted my first photo of the Mountain with a short but sweet caption, “Sold!” What happened in between that time frame is pretty straight forward.
The mountain caught my eye because it was completely stripped of all RV furniture, which was really appealing as I did not want the booth / chair table ambiance in the living quarters. Most of the units had horribly small refrigerators, which is a no go as I love to cook fresh meals!
Some of the larger units within my budget caught my attention, although I quickly learned that units older than 2001 would not fly if I needed to use a loan to purchase. My budget was 12k MAX although my goal was to find a unit for $10k or less. I certainly did not have the full amount upfront. I pursued the”Mountain” unit, a 2004 travel trailer which fit the parameters for loan approval via my local credit union.
Once I decided on the Mountain, I met with a snazzy salesman named Sheldon who set me up with the paperwork necessary to seek out a loan from my credit union. I put a small $120 down payment on the Mountain to keep others buyers from snatching it up in the interim, and planned my trip to the credit union! Because I had a decently high credit score, I was offered a 36 month loan with an APR at 4.2%…. Not too shabby!
I put forward $2k as a down payment through the RV outlet and we signed off on the title transfer after the loan was 100% approved. The title transfer ended up costing about $800. Signing up for RV insurance was a necessity to receive the loan, and the price came in at $42 a month for basic protections. I was advised by almost all RV outlets I visited to list the unit as “recreational purpose” rather than residential, as this is apparently a deal breaker for most loan offices. Shhhhh. Secrets are generally bad, but in this case, it was utilized toward a healthy purpose – ownership.
Once all of the paperwork was signed I set out for my very first travel trailer tutorial with a knowledgeable RV center staff member who thoroughly informed of the electric, water, and tank necessities to make the unit operational. I was perplexed to learn that I would need to use a septic dump tank wagon, septic friendly toilet paper, and an organic powder product for odor / septic treatment. To be honest, I had not even considered the accessories that I would need to purchase to make the unit operational.
All in all, the purchase has proven to be a solid investment as I continue to utilize it as a tiny home dwelling to this day, and many more to come! I made my decision to live this life style on a whim and have absolutely no regrets. I am now in a position to fully own the Mountain within the next year and have not paid a penny toward apartment leasing. This venture has been very unique and satisfying.
If I, at the age of 24 while earning a humble income, could make this happen than I fully believe it is possible for others to follow similar steps toward owning their own tiny dwelling! As I venture toward a life of permaculture and net-zero energy, I am reminded of a stimulating quote that has helped me walk upon this path. “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” -Lao Tzu
Begin… the rest is easy! Which aspect of the PERMA model does this topic pertain to? You guessed it – Accomplishment!