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Mortgage-free Small Octagon House with Add-ons

Guest Post by Reader who Lives in Mortgage-free Small Octagon House

We built this small octagon house in 1979 with mostly found/recycled materials that we pulled through the woods on a little path on a reinforced garden cart so we did it with no mortgage.

Later on, we got a little crazy with the add-ons as you’ll see.

And the sauna is near a river. While there are only 2 acres, it’s in the middle of the Green Mountain National Forest.

I raised 4 children with no running water here. I chose voluntary simplicity (mostly voluntary).

Oh, and one more, I built a tent platform then garden shed recently and my daughter made another studio with it.

Small Octagon House

I’m 64 now and have never earned more than $10,000 a year. And except for lack of dentistry am joyful.

Mortgage-free Small Octagon House Mortgage-free Octagon House

Here we are hanging around the house. I’m peeling garlic on the porch and some of my kids are visiting and catching a breeze on the roof.

Family in a Mortgage-free Octagon House Deck Interior of Small Octagon House

You can see some of the interior living space in the photo above.


I run an art/nature summer day camp for kids in the yard, woods and river. We are really connected to each other and the land here.

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{ 22 comments… add one }
  • Avatar Spencer Limb

    I love your house, and have been planning on building with a similar design in mind. One of things hold me up is what to use for the foundation. What did you do when you built this place?

    • Great question Spencer, I’ll see if I can get an answer for you from her. Thanks!

  • Inspirational, thanks for sharing. I wish everyone could be this connected to the land.

  • Avatar Dominick Bundy

    How refreshing , to learn of someone else almost in the same category as me.. Imagine only living on 10,000 a year nowadays. But it can be done. Because I do it as well.. And i consider my self very rich. I don’t need or want any more than I already have.And everything I own is paid for. The key is be happy with what you have, Don’t buy crap you don’t need.Pay off all your debts and bills. then just sit back live life and watch the world go by. you’ll be surprise how quickly you can built a need egg for yourself. without depriving yourself the simpler joys of life.. so see that alone makes me very rich..

    • Avatar Dominick Bundy

      LOL!! Sorry I met to say nest egg instead of need egg.. that was a typo error.

      • Thanks so much for sharing Dominick, I didn’t know that about you.

    • Avatar brian

      Dominick, it could not have been said any other way, you hit the nail right on the head. If we take a look around our living space and just look at the things we have purchased, and some of the things we bought and have not seen in years in our closet, cellar, garage there is a lot of money we could use for just living simple. This is my biggest goal, when I buy something I think first, how many hours do I have to work for it, and do I really need it. Living life at home, or with friends and not spending most of our life working just to spend our money on (things) that don’t mean a thing. Enjoy nature, simple pleasures, and life will be so much better

  • Thank you for such an inspiring post. What a wonderful house and a wonderful (though I’m sure not without it’s challenges) life! The writer is clearly a brave and strong woman.

  • Avatar Carolyn B

    Nice home. !979 –hmmmm, some very early forward thinking in the small house & voluntary simplicity movements.

  • Avatar Juliana

    What a wonderful life. I will be you at 64. I am 52 just embarking on my grid free journey. Thank you, you encourage me.

  • Avatar Brian

    What an inspiration you are. Thankyou so much for sharing. It really made my day.

  • Avatar connie

    I love your tiny house, your garden, your land and your life!

  • I love your home! I am very inspired by you. I can feel the love, creativity and homey-ness through the pictures. What beautiful colors and joy! Thank you. I am also very inspired that you are showing us that we can create these homesteads and live our lives joyfully with smaller incomes if we have the land to have our homes on.

  • Avatar Dean

    The key is NO Debt! It is amazing how much people spend renting other peoples money. Being debt free and owning your own home, tiny, small or otherwise, is freedom!

  • Hurrah! Finally I got a website from where I can really obtain useful data concerning my study and knowledge.

  • Avatar Kim W

    I love this little house, which is really a home! What a lovely place to raise your children! We have 4 children and lived mostly in a big village near Ilkely Moor. The children didn’t necessarily appreciate the beauty of the area at the time or the freedom they had there, but they do now !

  • Avatar Marsha Cowan

    So cool!

  • Avatar Jjannice Joyner

    I admire your courage. Simplicity breeds a sense of peace and tranquility. To free ourselves from the burden of” things “, open up the doors to noticing and appreciating the small things in life. The beauty of the day.

  • Avatar dave

    She mentions lack of dental care as one of her regrets in only make 10K a year..well, high quality dental care is available across the border from Yuma in Algodones Mexico for a fraction (sometimes as much as 70% less) than what US dentists cost. Snowbirds flock to Algodones for the cheap dental care, prescriptions and opticians. The blogs I read all say they are very happy with the level of care and quality. The world outside the USA is much less expensive, most Americans just don’t realize it.

  • Avatar David

    You didn’t mention the source of the $10,000. per year. I’ll bet it’s selling garlic.

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