Texas man builds miniature house in hopes of avoiding college debt

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Joel Weber’s house measures 145 square feet.

?? – Joel Weber said he was determined to take on less college debt by living in the tiny 145 square foot house he built, rather than struggling to pay higher rent in his college town of Austin , in Texas.

“I wanted a place to feel at home,” Weber told ABC News. “I wanted it to be affordable so that I could be debt free and be an investment to give back to the community – not just paid in rent that I wouldn’t get any return on.”

Weber, who will be starting his freshman year at the University of Texas at Austin, said it can cost up to $ 800 a month to live in the area near his school.

In an attempt to save himself from further debt, the 25-year-old said it was in the summer of 2014 that he decided to build his own house, rather than stressing out the higher costs of an apartment or dormitory on campus.

The housing, Weber said, took a year to complete and cost around $ 20,000.

“I saved quite a bit and what I didn’t have family, friends and the community around me donated materials,” he said. “I designed it and worked with a carpenter and an electrician who both volunteered their time.

“I do landscaping, I take care of the house, I nanny for someone in the area, and when I have the extra money I can charge people a little less for them. help, ”Weber added. “It’s about being able to give back to these people in my community.

Built on an 18 foot flatbed trailer, the space includes two lofts, working plumbing, electricity, shower, propane stove and a Weber sink made from a mango bowl.

Regarding his height, Weber said he couldn’t be happier with the outcome of his house.

“The smaller my house, the more active I will be,” he said. “That’s why it fits my lifestyle because it allows me to be on the move, but it’s also within my means.”

While now parked near his hometown of Dallas, Weber said he was excited to move his tiny home to Austin when he starts school in the fall.

“I could live there forever and I’m okay with that, 145 square feet might not be right for everyone, and that’s okay,” Weber added. “It’s more about how I can live simple and still be grateful.”


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