Paying for housing can be a major burden. If you’re not living with mom and dad anymore, there are really only two options: buy or rent. But that’s easier said than done. In 2010, the average cost of U.S. homes was $272,900; rent in New York, the highest rental market of all 50 states, averaged $2,980 per month.
I certainly don’t have that kind of scratch on hand. Do you?
There is another option, and with a small loan it practically eliminates all rental and mortgage costs. It’s called tiny houses: fully functional homes–with living room, kitchen, bathroom, and bedrooms–squeezed into 89 sq. ft. to 847 sq. ft. frames. You can purchase home plans from Tumbleweed Tiny House Company for $49 to $859, depending on the size of the house, and build your own house. The plans are simple, too. Check out this video of 16-year-old Austin Hays building his 130 sq. ft. house. He’s paying for it with summer jobs, and will live in it during and after college–it even has wheels. (The wheels actually allow you to avoid building regulation codes.) As for building costs, smaller homes cost around $12,999 if done DIY–Austin has cut his costs in half by using recycled products, though–or $14,999 fully assembled.
I recently moved out of an apartment that cost me $17,832 to live in for two years ($743 per month). In retrospect, I could have been owning my own home for that amount, especially considering my apartment wasn’t much bigger in square footage. The savings are in the numbers. Utilities–practically the only monthly cost after the initial purchase–are also very low considering the size of the home.
Just know that you’re not restricted to a mortgage or rent. If you don’t need the space, or have access to a lot, it could be beneficial to build your own cottage.