Sisters Alexis Monkhouse and Ashley Okegbenro Monkhouse purchased matching tiny homes for around $75,000 each in 2018.
Today, the duo live next door to one another in a tiny-house village.
While their home exteriors are similar, the interiors reflect their different personalities and lifestyles.
And it wasn’t easy, the duo said. With differing cleaning standards and preferred room temperatures, living together “was exhausting,” Ashley told Insider.
But in 2018, the sisters found a way to live close together while having separate spaces: They bought matching tiny houses.
Although they look similar from the outside, both homes reflect each sister and their different lives.
The sisters didn’t set out to buy tiny homes together
In 2018, Alexis and Ashley were living together in an apartment outside of Tampa, Florida, but Ashley wanted to move out and live with friends, she said. Alexis told Insider she quickly realized she couldn’t afford the $1,390 rent by herself.
Around the same time, Alexis was learning about the tiny-living movement. Their mother had recently passed away and left them both life insurance benefits, so Alexis said she decided she would buy a tiny house.
She scheduled an appointment with a builder and dragged her sister along.
“I think we toured one house and were like, ‘OK, this is really cool,'” Alexis said. “Then we toured the second house, and Ashley was like, ‘OK, I’m going to get a tiny house, too.”
From the outside, the houses look nearly identical, but inside, each small space reflects the sisters’ personalities
It took about six months for the builders to finish the sisters’ homes, and in July 2018, they moved into their respective tiny houses. Alexis’ home cost about $75,000 to build, and Ashley said she spent close to $80,000.
Ashley described her 325-square-foot home as modern. The interior decor rarely strays away from black, white, or grey tones.
Her house has a kitchen, living room, lofted bedroom, and a bathroom with a bathtub.
Step inside Alexis’ 325-square-foot house, and instead, you’ll find orange undertones and natural woods. Alexis said she aimed for a “homey and warm” feeling.
Alexis has two lofts, and there’s also a kitchen, bathroom, and large living room on the first floor.
The sisters said their homes reflect their interests and personalities well. Alexis prioritized custom-built bookshelves and a large living room for her daughter, Nalini. Ashley dedicated most of her square footage to the kitchen, where she said she likes to cook, bake, and eat.
“We love our houses,” Ashley said. “I think it’s because it’s designed for each of us. It’s how we wanted it.”.
After they built their tiny homes, the duo moved into a tiny village
The sisters agreed that finding a place for both of their tiny houses was one of their biggest challenges. They couldn’t find many sites offering land to rent for their homes on wheels.
For a few months, they lived on farmland in Land O’ Lakes, Florida. Eventually, two lots opened up in a tiny-house village outside of Tampa, Florida, which they now call home.
They each pay $475 a month for their plot of land, electricity, and sewer hookups, and their homes are just a few steps away from each other.
The sisters are in different life stages, but they said their tiny homes keep them bonded
Alexis is raising her daughter in her 325-square-foot tiny house and working on a master’s degree in anthropology. Meanwhile, Ashley said she’s focused on her two Shih Tzus, Tulula and Chaos, and finishing her master’s degree in exercise and nutrition.
While the sisters lead different lives, they agreed tiny living works for both of them.
And they said living next door to one another has kept them connected.
Ashley and Alexis are just a 10-second walk away from one another, but more often than not, the sisters said they yell from window to window.
“We’re so happy here,” Alexis told Insider.
Read the original article on Insider