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Millennial Spends $950/Month to Live in a Tiny House in Austin


Meet Torey and her dog Dandelion! They’re living in their very own tiny home in Austin, Texas for $950 per month.

Torey was tired of paying rent and not owning anything, but couldn’t afford the $400K homes for sale in Austin. So instead she put $5,000 down on an ESCAPE ONE tiny home built by ESCAPE that cost her $60,000 ($400/month loan). For an additional $550 a month she rents a beautiful lot in a mobile home park with a detached shed, water, and plenty of space for Dandy to run and roam.

The average rent price for Austin is more than $1,700 per month according to Zillow, so Torey is saving, living in the city she loves and getting a beautiful custom space to call her own. Check out the video tour below from Jenna of Tiny House Giant Journey!

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Torey & Dandelion’s ESCAPE Tiny House Life in Austin Texas

Torey loves her plants and has decorated her tiny with plenty of them, including an ivy from her grandmother’s funeral.

She has space to sit up in her loft bed, and has windows on all three sides to give her a view of the outdoors.

Her living area can sit up to 6 people at a time, and is very warm and cozy.

VIDEO: Smart Millennial Buys Stylish TINY HOUSE as Perfect 1st Home

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Big thanks to Jenna for the beautiful video tour!🙏

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Natalie C. McKee

Natalie C. McKee

Natalie C. McKee is a contributor for Tiny House Talk and the Tiny House Newsletter. She's a wife and mama of two little kids. She and her family just purchased a small fixer-upper and are starting a self-sufficient homestead on their happy little acre.
Natalie C. McKee

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{ 14 comments… add one }
  • Avatar GiGi
    April 4, 2020, 7:19 pm

    Where in Austin is this? I have been looking.

  • Avatar David Ihnen
    April 5, 2020, 1:34 am

    I think the biggest question here is who does 15 year loans for 60K tiny homes. And did they put down 20% up front? That’s not a spectacular interest rate.

  • Avatar Maria
    April 5, 2020, 6:46 am

    The point on going Tiny is not to have a mortgage.

    • Avatar Lee Baldwin
      April 5, 2020, 8:32 pm

      It would seem that the point, to this woman, was to cut her monthly payments in half. Sounds like a win to me.

    • Avatar James D.
      April 5, 2020, 10:33 pm

      It should be remembered that it’s really about people’s lives, so the points vary depending on what they care about and how they go about it and is not going to be all lumped into a single goal or reason for everyone.

      So it’s really about more people being able to take control of their lives and be able to live it under their own terms.

      The details will just vary per person and their situation and desired goals to achieve. Everything else is just a means to that end. So while things like avoiding a mortgage is something that would be preferred, it should not be confused with whether or not someone is achieving the actual goal of either a better life or achieving a life goal they had set for themselves.

      Problem is not everyone can avoid a mortgage to achieve what they want but done right its impact can be limited and be used as a tool to achieve a goal that some people would simply not be able to otherwise…

      Fact is she is paying much less than she would be renting in that area and when she eventually pays off her mortgage, then she’ll be paying even less and will be the owner of a home at a fraction of the cost in that area. Versus paying even more in rent over the same period and have both nothing to show for it and only able to look forward to more years of paying high rent in that area because the housing is over $400K and she could never save up while renting in that area… A 15 year mortgage is also a lot better than a 30+ one and she’ll likely be able to pay it off in much less time and be debt free from that point on and still have most of a her life to look forward to… Just to put this in perspective of how it’s actually working out for her…

      • Natalie C. McKee Natalie C. McKee
        April 6, 2020, 2:27 pm

        Thank you, James. You said it all! We personally chose a small home on an acre of land and a traditional mortgage because we really wanted a homestead with livestock and a huge garden — and we longed to put down roots. While we’re paying FAR less than many of our counterparts, it’s still not debt-free or mobile. That said, we had other goals. While her situation isn’t perfect for everyone, she seems to have put a lot of thought into her decision.

  • April 5, 2020, 11:16 am

    All pros and cons aside People do what they can to live affordably where They choose to live. This person feels she is saving money so give her credit for that. Many do believe going Tiny is live affordably, have less possessions and feel happy about life. Each person must choose within their Affordability. Affordability depends on type of income you have, if you are young, retired and physical ability. Some people do have financial means to live in a ‘richer appearance’ of lifestyle and may choose to live much more simply while other folk may not have the finance to live in a better home and can only dream of living better. So many of us make the mistake of putting down someone else’s idea simply because it does not match our own.

    • Avatar Jeff
      April 5, 2020, 3:19 pm

      Totally agree with your assessment Miss Joyce!

    • Natalie C. McKee Natalie C. McKee
      April 6, 2020, 2:58 pm

      Beautifully said, Joyce.

  • April 6, 2020, 10:32 pm

    Sad that she has to resort to paying a $550 monthly lot rental in a mobile home park.

    • Avatar James D.
      April 7, 2020, 4:36 am

      Why say that when she’s happy with her choice and she’s actually getting quite a bit for what she’s paying?

      She has a much larger lot than is typical, enough room for an outdoor space, enough to feel separate from her neighbors, enough room for her dog to run around and she even has a better view than you’d get in most of the rest of that area. Along with easy access to nearby shops and restaurants, and other benefits of the area she’s in…

      While her lot rent includes things like maintenance, so she doesn’t have to maintain the lot, a good size storage shed and all her water utilities is also included and doesn’t have to be paid separately…

      Like she said in the video, she’s getting to live the lifestyle she wants, in the city she loves and doing it under her terms.

      Many people pay more and get a lot less, with often having to compromise or give up on what they want out of it… So there are things to be sad about but I don’t believe her situation is one of them…

      • Natalie C. McKee Natalie C. McKee
        April 7, 2020, 1:29 pm

        Well said, James. Thank you.

  • Avatar Tom
    April 8, 2020, 6:27 pm

    I didn’t see the dog, where’s the dog?

    • Avatar James D.
      April 9, 2020, 1:30 am

      In the video, it’s a small one (don’t know the breed)…

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