January 18, 2013 by megmstephens
I have some important news to share that is going to impact Heartland House and this blog. November and December were wild and crazy months for me, and ultimately resulted in my resignation from my current job so I could take a new job in California! Dan and I will be moving to California at the end of February. I will be working for Tumbleweed Tiny House Company (!!) as their in-house designer and architect. The whole story is quite incredible, so let me start at the beginning.
Before I bought Heartland House, I had been spending a lot of time considering and researching what type of project I wanted to do since I was itching for more hands-on projects in my life and less screen time. I looked at shipping container houses, I looked at RVs, I looked at treehouses (a lifelong obsession for me). I found Tumbleweed Tiny House Company among all of this research and I instantly fell in love with the idea of living small in a well-designed space. I started looking for property to build a cottage design, thinking I wanted to build the B53 or the Loring.
Somewhere around the same time I was looking for property for my Tumbleweed Cottage I ran into the real estate listing for Heartland House. I immediately called up a realtor to walk through the house because it looked so similar to the New Vessica or the Sabastarosa designs I had found at Tumbleweed. Something was tugging at me to investigate Heartland House a little more, because it financially made more sense to buy a fully standing but dilapidated house for $7,000 than to buy an empty lot for $5,000 and have to build from scratch. So that’s how I ended up with Heartland House back in June.
Fast forward to my birthday over Thanksgiving weekend: I was thinking about life goals and what I still wanted to achieve, and of course building a Tumbleweed was still there on my list. So the next week I got an email from Tumbleweed’s weekly newsletter talking about a discount to attend one of their workshops. I’m a cheap person, so of course I like the idea of a discount. I ask Dan if he wants to come to a workshop with me in March and, surprisingly he’s pretty excited about it and tells me to go ahead and sign us up!
I end up calling Tumbleweed because I was having problems with the check out – and the phone forwards to Paul. Paul and I end up talking for about a half hour, and at the end of the conversation he asks me to submit my resume for a position they have open at Tumbleweed. I didn’t have my resume updated and it took me about a week to cut loose from all the things I was doing and focus on getting a resume put together. I send it off to Paul and I didn’t hear anything back for a while. He calls me up and we talk again for a while (Paul totally sprung an impromptu phone interview on me). Paul asks about a portfolio of my work, which I admit I don’t have. I’ve never really kept a record of my projects at the University because there wasn’t really a point – each one is so unique and complex and specific to the particular location and people that it would take a lot of explaining to make them make sense to someone not familiar with the university. Paul then just asks if I want to come to California to interview anyway, even though I don’t have a portfolio.
So that’s how Dan and I ended up in northern California for 9 days over Christmas break. I must have done something right because Tumbleweed offered me the job. The only problem was that Dan was *this close* to finishing his degree in Medical Technology, and the final year of his program is an internship that can only happen at a few hospitals in the state of Indiana that have an agreement with the University. So how would I be able to take my dream job working for Tumbleweed in California if it meant that Dan would have to give up his chance at a career in Medical Technology and start all over again?
Luckily it turns out that Tumbleweed is more than just an awesome company. They really care about the people they want to have working for them, so they offered me the job with the ability to move back to Indiana in the fall when Dan starts his internship in Indianapolis. At that point, I will work from home for half of the month and fly out to California to work in the office for the other half of the month for the 11 month duration of Dan’s internship. At the end of all of this sometime in 2014 Dan will have a degree in Medical Technology and be a certified Clinical Laboratory Specialist looking for a job in California, and I will be working my dream job and we will be permanently moved to California.
Wait. What about Heartland House?
I submitted my resignation on January 8th. My last day is coming up on Tuesday, January 22nd. We have to be in California at the end of February/beginning of March for my new job at Tumbleweed (have I mentioned how awesome they are, letting me have a few weeks before officially starting work?)
Starting next week, Dan and I will be spending 5 weeks straight working on Heartland House full-time trying to get it finished and ready to go up for sale. Dan has already gotten quotes from a few contractors to completely replace the roof for us (I’m crazy and determined to do this project, but not so crazy that I will attempt a complete roof tear off and replacement during the winter in Indiana. Icy roofs are not appealing to me. Remember how I sprained my ankle? I wasn’t even off the ground when I did that).
So my Heartland House project is quickly accelerating from a weekend/spare time hobby into a full-blown flip with a deadline. I’m not sure we’ll actually be able to finish it before it is time to leave for California, but I’m trying to think positively!
P.S.- if anyone has a weekend to spare in late January or February and would be willing to help out on the house, send me an email about it. Dan and I will feed you delicious food in exchange for helping hands! meg(dot)m(dot)stephens(at)gmail(dot)com