From Raw Land to a Tiny Home

by | Feb 7, 2022


On August 14, 2020, Matt, Shelly and Beau Bauman officially became owners of a 5-acre parcel in lower Ahualoa, Big Island of Hawaii. This amazing family had been referred to me by an agent in Truckee, CA. They purchased it sight unseen! (Thank God for Facetime, and a cousin who lived on-island, considered their “Boots on the ground”.) The land was gorgeous, with huge clumps of thick trunk bamboo, open grassy areas, sky high eucalyptus, and “possibilities” in abundance…if you have an eye for possibilities!

Initially, they set up a tent under the bamboo, and utilized an outhouse that came with the purchase. Four-year-old Beau thought he had died and gone to heaven as he pushed his Tonka trucks past fallen tree trunks and through the dense forestation that was part of the 5 acres. Slowly, but methodically, a one-room structure and outdoor shower were added to the off-grid landscape. I loved stopping by just to see their progress. Turns out Shelly was pretty handy with a paint brush and Matt could wield a hammer with no trouble. Within months, they were able to move into the Tiny House, smaller than a two-car garage, and 2020 rolled on by.

In 2021, they were able to add an attached, yet accessed from the outside, shower, an amazing covered lanai with bamboo harvested from their property, huge slab steps that lead to the lanai and were fashioned from a fallen tree, a beautiful interior kitchen, (their only source of cooking heat had been the exterior BBQ), plus interior flooring and shiplap, a tree house for Beau, and gardens! Oh, I almost forgot to mention the hen that moved in and then laid her eggs, producing about 10 chicks that now take care of unwanted bugs in the yard! Beau still buzzes the property with a Nerf Bow & Arrows, shooting at targets tucked under brush and against trees!

I stopped by twice in January just to see what they were up to, bringing along another bag of my white pineapple tops to add to their growing collection of eventual food options. Shelly and Matt shared that plans for 2022 include adding a master bedroom accessed by an extension to their covered lanai…utilizing the “pod” concept of living. And one day, Beau will have his own bedroom too! (Currently, he loves to scoot up a set of rails attached to the wall next to Matt and Shelly’s bed, so he can access his loft room – a combination play room and sleeping quarters perfect for an energetic, home-schooled guy!)

It is absolutely amazing to witness what this family has accomplished! And, they have done it all on their own, with ingenuity, creativity, patience and joy!

If you are looking to embark on a journey like the Bauman’s, contact me and I will help you find the Hawaii property of your dreams! Just be sure you come with enthusiasm and a hammer!!!

Just click on the photos below to scroll through and see the Bauman’s place!

What Clients Are Saying

“If it wasn’t for Jen, we wouldn’t be here on the Big Island now! She drove to multiple locations to do Facetime walk-throughs, connected with our loan officer through the USDA, and advocated for us in a timely and professional manner. Jen McGeehan stuck with us to the end!”

Read Testimonials

Jen McGeehan

Phone: 808.747.2365
Email Jen

I am an adventurer by heart, never letting too much dust settle under my feet. But, I am also a nester, a woman who loves her home, garden, animals, family, and whatever career I happen to be in. In my latest adventure, I’ve successfully merged over 46 years of varied work and life experience into a real estate career that focuses on the goals and dreams of my clients. Are you interested in moving to the Big Island of Hawaiʻi? I’d love to talk with you about your dream goal, and help you achieve it!

Integrity is the cornerstone of my business! 

Coldwell Banker | Island Properties