WAXAHACHIE — It is not exactly a mobile home and it's no small house — just refer to it as a tiny home.
And 68-year-old Martha Lynn is believed to be the first homeowner continuously living in a "tiny home" in Waxahachie.
“This is my little world right now, and I love it,” Lynn expressed. “I had been watching ‘Tiny House Nation’ for about a year and-a-half, and I liked the whole concept of pairing down and getting rid of stuff.”
“This house is only 399 square feet, and for me, this space is perfect,” she added.
When first walking through the front door, one might not believe the grand size of Lynn’s miniature living space.
From the spacious living room shared with a kitchen that contains full-sized appliances, to an upstairs loft and a bedroom with a queen-size bed connected to a bathroom, Lynn’s home flows with openness and movability.
“I looked through 31 models for about three and-a-half hours back in May before I found this one and fell in love with it. I just knew it was for me,” Lynn recalled.
In a balance between mobile and manufactured home, Lynn’s abode is classified as a Recreational Vehicle (RV) that includes a VIN number, because of its compact design.
Though the concept of a tiny home is not uncommon, the idea of it extends from small structures that include cabins, cottages, and apartments, teetering on a movement “to live more simply.”
The decision to join the tiny house crusade came after Lynn went on medical leave in March and resigned from her job at Dell, the computer company.
“I was working 35 hours overtime and needed to make some adjustments,” Lynn began. “Well, my doctor gave me a medical ultimatum of either leaving my job or find a place and do something much less intense than what I was doing.”
“There was this thing in my heart where I was like ‘I want to be home,’ and Waxahachie is where my heart beats because of my family roots,” she emphasized.
Lynn’s parents owning The Cotton Shop back in the 1960-70s, though her father passed away of cancer when she was 27 and her mother killed at the post office in 1999.
“So there’s a lot of history here for me,” Lynn nodded. “I had a dress shop at one time and was very involved in the Chamber of Commerce. I also graduated high school here and married my high school sweetheart, so all of my roots are here.”
After being rejected from an RV estate for understandable reasons of not accepting an extended lease, Lynn found Pine Meadows Mobile Estates off South Interstate Highway 35 to be quite welcoming of the unique residence.
“I called Tina at Pine Meadows, and she was like, ‘Yes, we want you here, and that’s the cutest thing we’ve ever seen,’” Lynn recollected of the invitation.
Moving back to her hometown on July 9, Lynn soon became the talk of her community.
“I don’t know how many people I had come by to look at it the first week,” Lynn chuckled. “And more have been stopping by because no one had seen one before.”
“Everyone here loves it,” said Tina Nelson, resident manager of Pine Meadows Mobile Estates. “As a matter of fact, people have been driving by just to look at it because it’s the first one all of us have seen up close beside what's on TV.”
“This is the first tiny home we’ve ever had on the property, and it’s quite lovely. It’s compacted and small, but it’s beautiful, and it’s a cute little home,” she complimented
Thanks to “Tiny House Nation,” a reality television series, and many others like it, the tiny-house movement has spread throughout the United States as a cost-effective way to live.
“Life is too short, and I knew if I lived somewhere else I would have a big mortgage and would have to work the rest of my life,” Lynn rationalized. “So I thought, ‘What can I do that I can afford?’ So I started looking and found these little houses at Rockwall Recreation Resorts and Cottages.”
“It was feasible financially for me because my utilities are very low and it’s easy on the environment, and I just saw so much waste I had. Everybody wants their homes to be more and more, and I just wanted to live simply. That’s when I saw the need to slow down, and I realized that less is more,” she included.
Downsizing from a three-bedroom house, Lynn went on to say that she got rid of nearly 80 percent of all her belongings, which included clothes, furniture, home décor and kitchenware.
“I just realized that since I lived through it, I’ll remember and not forget the important things,” Lynn noted.
As Lynn let go of material possessions, her home steadily grew in popularity with daily tours and the resounding comments of her home being “the first tiny house in Waxahachie.”
“As far as I know there aren’t any other tiny houses in Waxahachie,” Lynn acknowledged. “Everyone that I’ve talked to said they’ve never seen this before, and I think I’m one of the first to have a tiny house.”
“I know there are some in the surrounding areas that are using them as lake houses, but I haven’t heard of anybody living in a tiny house in Waxahachie yet,” she added.
“I don’t know of anyone in Waxahachie that has one,” added Rene Williams, Midlothian’s Canyon Creek Construction sales manager. “Our owner has a friend that’s in the building business, and one of them is a producer of ‘Tiny House Nation,’ so we built our first tiny house for the TV show back in 2014.”
“It was for a couple that moved to Hutchins, and it looked like a birdhouse,” he recalled of the tiny home. “We built the second one for Deion Sanders in Cedar Hill, and that was for the TV show as well. And the last one we built is actually our owner’s, and that one is in Midlothian.”
“To my knowledge, this is the first tiny home in Waxahachie,” affirmed Gary Estes, Owner of Estes Electric, Inc., the company that set up Lynn’s electric. “And we’ve been here for 35 years.”
“I haven’t heard of any in our area,” asserted Kristi Hiller, a Century 21 agent in Waxahachie. “It’s a new thing that’s been brought to our attention within the last six months to over a year because of all the shows that are happening.”
According to Tiny Home Builders, for a tiny home to be considered “tiny,” it must be listed under 600 square feet.
To support Hiller’s claim, David Byers, a ReMax real estate agent in Ovilla, confirmed the closest property size listed in their system was verified at 837 square feet, disqualifying it from being considered a tiny home.
“It seems like a lot of people are moving that way, and with the curiosity level here, I would think more people are going to get tiny houses,” Nelson recognized.
“Because it’s a good mixture of a manufactured home and a stick built house on a foundation, I think it’s a good medium that could be the start of a trend,” Estes added.
Seemingly being the first tiny house in Waxahachie that is lived in year-round, Lynn added that she hopes to set an example for her family to appreciate the "little" things in life.
“I just wanted a little spot in this world, and I’m totally complete just right here in this space. I just hope to set a good example for my children and my grandchildren,” Lynn concluded.
Chelsea Groomer, @ChelseaGroomer