Transforming a $600 Trailer into a $100,000 Success Story

In 2014, an enthusiastic young couple embarked on their inaugural camping adventure with their recently acquired RV trailer. Inexperienced in towing, their confidence proved to be misplaced, resulting in the trailer overturning just a few miles into their journey.

Fortunately, no one suffered injuries, but their egos endured a considerable blow that day. Following the mishap, the insurance company auctioned off the damaged trailer, fetching a mere $600. Enter a determined and ambitious young man, who saw potential beyond the wreckage. With exciting plans for both the trailer and its pristine, unused appliances and fixtures, he eagerly embraced the opportunity.

He meticulously disassembled and recycled the primary structure of the trailer, incorporating its appliances and fixtures into his secluded cabin in the nearby woods. However, after realizing he lacked the energy and concentration to fully realize his vision for the trailer, he opted to sell it. I stumbled upon the listing on Craigslist, purchased it for the same $600, and embarked on a mission to demonstrate to the tiny-house community that it was indeed possible to construct an 18-foot-long tiny home, employing traditional wood building methods, and keep its weight below the trailer’s capacity of 7,000 lbs.

Following eight months of dedicated construction, a 200-mile journey, obtaining a certified scale’s yellow slip, investing $8,000 of my personal funds, and receiving $12,000 worth of sponsored materials and labor, My Tiny Perch debuted as a short-term rental in Sherwood, Oregon in February 2018.

What began as an experiment quickly became a sensation! Bookings flooded in, accompanied by a stream of 5-star reviews from delighted guests. The media took a keen interest, neighbors were thrilled, and the success inspired me to undertake three additional tiny home builds within the same year. Among these projects was a tiny luxury home, making its debut at a local real estate event that had traditionally showcased only multi-million-dollar mansions.

Following Perch’s success, the subsequent chapters in this story feel like a bit of a fairy tale—a tale propelled by determination, hard work, tears, and generous support. With a multitude of sponsors and financial backing, what began with a single tiny home transformed into a remarkable portfolio: seven tiny homes, five teardrop trailers, and the establishment of an entirely new RV rental business, all unfolding over four years. Then came the true miracle.

In 2022, Perch and the entire Tiny House Village discovered their “forever home.” What initially started as a risky venture with a modest $600 investment on a leased Christmas Tree farm evolved into a thriving enterprise now situated on 2-1/2 acres of waterfront land—land that I proudly own. Nearly every day, I wake up grateful that what commenced as a design dream, evolved into a fairy tale, and culminated in a miraculous reality.

Since the inception of My Tiny House Village in 2018, beginning with My Tiny Perch, it has yielded over $100,000 in revenue. While this figure may not be substantial when compared to other short-term rentals, the remarkable aspect lies in the fact that it all began with a $600 trailer. The return on my initial investment is truly unparalleled!

Authored by Michelle “MJ” Boyle, this article is featured in Tiny House Magazine Issue 124.

     

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