Full House

Hopefully soon, my parents will be getting their long awaited offer on their new home making them officially full time residents of MA about 2 to 2.25 hours away. Even though they will be that far out I still want to ensure they are fully involved in their newest grandchild’s life.

Our house in on the smaller, economical I like to call it, size. It serves are purposes and is nothing more than that. We live in a modest 3 bedroom, 1 bath house about 1100 square feet. It’s a great house on a great lot in a great community, but it doesn’t have a lot of extra space. With 3 dogs, a nursery, and our bedroom, that leaves 1 spare bedroom so we typically don’t get many guests.

So I started brainstorming, how can I make it convenient for my parents to visit either short term or during extended periods without causing them the expense of a hotel room. First idea was to build a small guest house in the back. Nothing crazy, but it would be their own space. A little kitchenette, with a bathroom and bedroom; think tiny house style. The idea of getting to build it using green materials, and even making it off the grid appealed to me. First thing I decided to look at was the zoning laws. Of course my dreams got crushed because we know the government loves to regulate the use of our own private property. If I were zoned in an R-40 or larger it would be allowed, but my half acres (which is more than adequate for a small guest house) is zoned R-20 and therefore not allowed. Not only is it not allowed, they won’t even let you apply for a variance. There goes my fun project. I’m sure Jessica would be grateful for that.

Second idea, if they won’t let me build a permanent structure, why can’t I get a non-permanent structure. What if I got an old used fifth wheel camper and parked in the back as a guest house. It similarly could be off the grid, just without be having to build. So I started searching craigslist to see what the used camper market had to offer. They are a little more costly than I had imagined so I’d have to keep looking for a deal. I also think I’d have to make it look a little more “home-y” for my mother to agree to stay in it. Meaning I would probably have to park it on a gravel spot, with a small floating deck, a couple planter boxes. Just some things to make it cute and not just an old camper in the backyard. I haven’t counted the idea out, I just need to do a little more research.

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