Bring Your Own Septic Tank: A Tiny House With Big Possibilities in Washington

Set on almost 6 acres of wooded land, this house sticks out like a needle in a proverbial haystack.

The property has enough space to build a 20,000-square-foot hunting lodge—but why bother when a 200-square-foot home will suffice?

What sets this tiny home apart from the miniature pack is its location. Perched near the popular Lake Riley in Arlington, WA, it is the perfect spot for weekend campers, a sweet vacation home, or a year-round residence, according to listing agent Kay Gailey. The home is available for $100,000.

“That’s what’s nice about it—you can enjoy [the outdoors] and you don’t have to worry about anyone building near you,” Gailey says.

The scenery is spectacular: The property is filled with evergreen trees and has a trail leading to a pond and creek. Wildlife in the area include birds, deer, raccoons, and possibly a bear or two.

Though it’s tiny, the home doesn’t sacrifice comfort. The second floor fits a queen-size bed, and a skylight opens the bedroom to the night sky.

On the first floor is a small kitchen with a half-size refrigerator and a narrow oven. There’s also a small living room, which opens to a walkout porch.

While this house has central heating, electricity, and well water, there is a caveat: There’s only one bathroom—and no sewage system.

The home is outfitted with a composting toilet, so you might want to bring your own septic tank. The original owner, who built the home in 2008, installed a portable septic system beneath the home (the home is raised off the ground). However, he took it with him when he sold the home in 2010 to its current owner.

The current owner, whose grandkids use the home as a vacation and camping spot, has decided to sell it without a septic tank, Gailey says.

If you’re down to compost, the area has all the hallmarks of a worthwhile camping ground. During the day, you can drive a mile over to Lake Riley for boating, fishing, and other outdoor activities. At night, there’s a fire pit and a seating area. You can also hit downtown Arlington in 15 minutes if you want to head back to civilization.

Gailey says the absence of a septic system means a cash deal might be the only option. She’s looking for banks that would be willing to do a deal with at least 20% down, but it might be a long shot.

“You basically need cash to buy it, otherwise I could be selling this place all day long,” Gailey says.

The home is attracting attention from a range of people with different plans, she says. There’s a young couple interested in getting back to nature and living there year-round. On the opposite end of the spectrum there’s an older couple who would like to use it as a part-time home. Others are looking to take the tiny house elsewhere (yep, it’s portable!) and build another home on the property.

So while the house is tiny, it comes with big possibilities.

“It’s a cute little thing. It makes me want to downsize my stuff,” Gailey says.

Published by Craig Donofrio on

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