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Millennials Build a Debt-free Tiny House for $30K

Back in 2018, Nicole and Jamie started building their DIY tiny house as a chance to own a home in the high-cost-of-living state of Massachusetts. It took them about 2 years and $30,000 to complete the build, and they have been loving living there ever since.

The home features shou sugi ban siding and an adorable arched doorway that steps down into the house. Inside, there is a cozy living space and a cool pull-out staircase up to their bedroom. The entire loft bedroom is actually an inset mattress, so they crawl right into bed. What do you think of this design?

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High School Sweethearts Build Their Own Tiny Home With No Mortgage

They made a special spot for books.

A view of their plans.

High school sweethearts build their own debt-free tiny home!

VIDEO: Tiny house built by millennials for affordable housing


  • Nicole and Jamie started building their DIY tiny house in 2018 to own a home in Massachusetts.
  • It took them 2 years and $30,000 to complete the build.
  • The tiny house features unique design elements like shou sugi ban siding and an arched doorway.
  • Inside, it has a cozy living space and a loft bedroom with an inset mattress.
  • The couple built their tiny home without a mortgage, achieving debt-free homeownership.
  • The house includes a special spot for books.

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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 three little kids. She and her family are homesteaders with sheep, goats, chickens, ducks and quail on their happy little acre.
{ 4 comments… add one }
  • jerry dycus
    September 9, 2022, 7:19 am

    A very nice TH. Many don’t do the smart roof choice, a single plane/shed roof allows more usable room and half the cost to build. I’m in the flat roof deck up in the breeze, away from mosquitos and under the solar panels.
    Not fond of this style loft as rather do more length, less height and not climb down a ladder/stairs in the middle of the night.
    But those are my preferences. They have done a great job for them and so start fiscally. I’ve always owned my modest homes, first sailboats then a TH compound has saved me $400k in today’s $ and another $150k in income taxes to make that money, I didn’t have to work for.
    The recent covid my wealth went up very nicely because I owned my home and I survived a long illness I would have lost a mortgaged home during.
    To be free one need a paid off modest home, low cost transport paid for and simple enough to fix and make your own power preferably on your modest land, quality of life rises many x vs the regular scam designed to take all your money. Just say NO!

  • David Pedersen
    September 9, 2022, 11:10 am

    That is very dark inside.

  • Marsha Cowan
    September 9, 2022, 4:25 pm

    I’m in love with this! So warm and cozy and “cottagey” (is that a word?). I love the exterior and the very clever moving stairs/counter/storage. This home seems very liveable, and is absolutely lovely. Great job!

  • Rebecca
    September 10, 2022, 1:59 am

    Personally, I would prefer something a little bigger. Having said that, I really like what they’ve done and how they have made it work for themselves. And they made room for both books and plants, my kind of people.

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