A musician in Tennessee spent five years raising his daughter in a 196-square-foot tiny home.
But now that Brent Thompson's daughter Pearl is nearly a teenager, he's decided to sell the house.
"It was cute for a while," Thompson said, but Pearl is "getting older" and "needs her own space."
In 2017, Brent Thompson needed a home where he could raise his daughter Pearl and practice his music.
Brent said he bought the tiny home in 2017 because it seemed like the perfect place to raise his daughter Pearl while also focusing on his music.
A long-time jazz singer and professional voiceover artist, Brent, 47, plays around 50 shows a year, which requires a lot of practice, he said.
"I was looking for a home but also something that could be an art space or a music space," he said.
At the time, tiny homes were less well-known, and he didn't set out on his house-hunting journey to buy one, he said.
But as fate would have it, his sister sent him a listing for a tiny 196-square-foot home in Knoxville, Tennessee.
The previous owners were in a rush to sell due to needing to relocate for a job, so Brent said he had to decide on the house "fairly quick."
When they went to see a tiny home on a picturesque farm in Knoxville, Tennessee, Brent said Pearl instantly fell in love with how cute it was, so they snapped it up.
The "cuteness aspect" of owning a tiny home was a significant reason Brent said he ended up "pulling the trigger" and purchasing the small space.
It also helped that Pearl, who was around 8 years old at the time, was awestruck that the tiny home was parked on a farm in Knoxville, Tennessee.
After Brent bought the house, they stayed on the farm for a year through an agreement with the landowners.
For a small fee, which Brent chose not to disclose to Insider, they could keep the house on the land and pull electricity and water from the main property.
Now he's upgraded from the tiny home he and his daughter fell in love with five years ago for something a little more spacious and private, and the tiny home could be yours for $69,500.
Brent is in the process of selling his tiny home on Craigslist.
Since Brent moved the home off the farmland he had rented, the tiny house is now located just five minutes from downtown Knoxville in a "convenient" wooded area near a creek.
When a new landowner moved in and asked if Brent was willing to sell his home, he said no. So Brent said the new landowner told him that he and the house had to move elsewhere.
When he could no longer park the tiny home on the farm, Brent took to social media to see if he could find someone willing to share a small portion of their land with him. He just needed to be close to electricity and water, he told Insider.
It didn't take long until someone said they had space for his home on their land five minutes away from downtown Knoxville.
"I found a place that was kind of in the woods near a creek and bamboo forest, and it was just perfect. It was very convenient," he said. "That's where it's been ever since, and it's just been super adorable."
Brent says one of the best things about owning a tiny home is that you can live a nomadic lifestyle.
It wasn't a perk that initially came to mind when he bought the tiny home, but Brent said he came to appreciate how seamless it is to move your entire property whenever necessary.
Brent has given the tiny home a "facelift" since moving in, which included ensuring it was habitable during the winter.
Before Brent and Pearl moved in, he said the tiny home wasn't exactly well-suited for winter.
"It was almost like a camping setup," Brent said.
The biggest issue was accessing hot water in freezing temperatures, which was nearly impossible because the original water heating unit ran off a propane gas tank connected with copper pipes. When the water froze, the pipes would expand and burst, causing Brent a headache.
So as someone who likes a good hot shower, Brent was keen to find a solution. He said he installed drain valves on the unit to cut off the water when it wasn't needed, which has worked like "a charm" in preventing burst pipes ever since.
Although he made sure he and Pearl didn't lose the luxury of hot water, there were some aspects of tiny living he did say they had to get used to. Top of the list was getting accustomed to a dry flush toilet.
"I don't have to get into the details of it, but it became a part of our life," Brent said. Unlike standard toilets, dry flush toilets need to be routinely emptied by hand, according to ShopTinyHouses.com.
Brent and Pearl also got creative with saving space with solutions like a collapsible desk and storage under the stairs.
"We had to get really creative in that smaller space," Brent said.
The living room features a collapsible desk. And storage-wise, he said that they created nifty spaces to put clothes and items beneath their loveseat couch and the stairs.
But even though the space was tiny, Brent said he never felt claustrophobic, despite being 6-foot-2.
"It is small, but I never really felt super cramped in it," he said.
Brent said the home is an excellent place for creating - he had plenty of space to work on his music while Pearl worked on producing videos for her YouTube channel.
According to Brent, the acoustics in the tiny home were ideal due to the balance of hard and soft surfaces in the space. It was so good, in fact, that he even hosted several band rehearsals with other musicians at his house.
He kept his guitar on a high hook on the wall and a keyboard piano next to a window that looked out onto the green surroundings. They didn't have any neighbors, so Brent said he could play as loud as he liked without worrying about disturbing anyone else.
"It was a really great space for just creation," he said.
And Brent wasn't the only one who got creative within the tiny home. He said Pearl would use the space to puzzle, do crafts, and even produce content for her Minecraft-inspired YouTube channel WolfyVibes.
The tiny house only has one bed in the loft, which Brent and Pearl shared. As "cute" as it was in the beginning, Brent said he was keen to give Pearl her own space as she got older.
Eventually, after three years, Brent decided it was time to look for a new home that would give Pearl the space and privacy he felt she needed as she enters her teenage years.
"I just had this consciousness as a father that I was like, 'Gosh, she really needs her own space,'" he said. He said he promised her in 2022 that he would buy them a new home - and he did.
Their new home, a condo in a converted schoolhouse, is bigger but has a similar feel to their former tiny home. "The coloring, the perspective of the space, the freedom of it. It just feels like the tiny house just grew up," Brent said.
Even though Brent felt it was time for him and Pearl to move on, he still has a soft spot in his heart for all the memories they shared in their tiny home.
One of Brent's fondest memories of raising Pearl in their tiny home was when he found her curled up in the kitchen sink, attempting to take a bath there. "She was tiny, and she got into the physical kitchen sink," he said with a smile. "But I don't think we followed through on that."
He said their tiny home was an intimate space, which meant that they were constantly hanging out. After spending five years in such close proximity, Brent said he hopes it will positively affect his relationship with his daughter as she grows up.
"I would like to think that as a dad who loves his daughter and who always wants her to love him that as we get teenage years that that time helped us become closer," he said.
Brent and Pearl are enjoying their new space, especially their flushing toilet. But he said he's open to living in a tiny home again.
Brent said that living simply in their tiny home has made them really appreciate their new house's amenities, like a flushing toilet and more privacy.
"It feels like we're growing up, like this is the next chapter in our story," Brent said.
And the best thing is doing it for Pearl, he said. "It makes me feel good as a dad to kind of give her what she needs," he said.
With that said, Brent isn't opposed to one day revisiting tiny living. "I would definitely be open to it again," he said. "I loved living so close to the river while also being in the woods."