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Woman Builds Mortgage-free $15k Tiny Home in 2 Months

According to the Huffington Post Kayla Feenstra is a landscaper who’s found a way to live better without a mortgage.

She designed and built the home of her dreams. It just happens to be a mortgage-free tiny home of just 130 square feet.

It’s been nicknamed, “Jack in a Box.” And she built it for just $15,000 and two months of labor. It was built right onto a trailer.

So if she ever wants to move she can simply tow and go. Especially since she doesn’t own her own land.

Woman Builds Mortgage-free Life with 130 Sq. Ft. Home

© Kayla Feenstra

© Kayla Feenstra

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Thanks, Corrinna, for the shout out on this story!


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Alex is a contributor and editor for TinyHouseTalk.com and the always free Tiny House Newsletter. He has a passion for exploring and sharing tiny homes (from yurts and RVs to tiny cabins and cottages) and inspiring simple living stories. We invite you to send in your story and tiny home photos too so we can re-share and inspire others towards a simple life too. Thank you!
{ 8 comments… add one }
  • Anne
    April 9, 2014, 8:38 pm

    I would like to see a floorplan, because I see no bathroom or closet area. Obviously she hasn’t put in countertops yet, is there a table area, etc. Nice bay window area and good use of the RVStove.

  • Edwin
    April 9, 2014, 11:56 pm

    It’s nice to see people building tiny houses in Canada not just in the U S A, I’m not sure how this would work in Manitoba winters, most are a bit colder then many places where they have these homes.
    Some winters it can go down to – 45C below Zero, yes that’s right, you read it right. I live here and this last winter it went down to -48c with the wind chill, with out it was -44c so, yes it gets cold.

  • Doc
    April 10, 2014, 1:02 am

    Has to be the best tongue build out I have seen to date! Love this aspect of your design. When I saw it on the “other pictures page” before it was sheathed it made me rethink floor plans! Flip/flopping the house to make this the living area with solid pane windows where yours are and awning windows across the bottoms. Floor to ceiling windows! Just a dreamy room to think about. Or more, what if you ran the bay up to the loft as well?!?! That same sitting area on two floors of one tiny home!?!? It likely wouldn’t make sense she from a weight on the tongue perspective but I can still think outside the original jack in the “box”! Perhaps when you build j.I.b. 2.0!
    Very nice design.
    Kudos to dad on the creative spice rack solution as well!

    • di
      May 29, 2014, 1:53 pm

      When I sit on a couch, I prefer to face a scenic view. I dislike facing a messy kitchen.

      • Doc
        June 2, 2014, 8:05 pm

        Might be time to clean the tiny kitchen then, I’m just sayin..

  • Jason King
    April 10, 2014, 2:46 am

    Hey! I saw this woman featured in a news clip on CTV News! Awesome she’s getting so much recognition.

  • April 10, 2014, 10:24 am

    For IFFAT ScienceFair, if you look at many travel trailer designs in America, it is not uncommon for the cook stove to be close or even inches from a pull-out bed. With proper side guards one can avoid overheating the cloth nearby. One photo above shows a spice rack directly behind the cook stove and space between that rack and the lower bed/couch. I did not find another heating unit in the photos to warrant the ‘safety’ question.

  • David Michael
    April 10, 2014, 10:30 pm

    Hi…I applaud Kayla for building a tiny home for $15,000. Well done!

    My wife and I have been living for eight years in our 27 ft motorhome exploring the USA, although we now spend most of our time in the southwest in the winter and northwest (Oregon) in the summer. We have a space of about 200 sq ft. It has everything one could ever need…solar power, generator built in, bathroom with shower, kitchen, frig (electric or gas), beds that serve as couches during the day, dinette, etc etc. Not sure why people really want to build a tiny home when they can buy a used RV for $15-20,000.

    I would be interested in building a 600-800 sq ft house in the craftsman style (lots of wood) for $80, ooo or so. For the moment, however, I love our Lazy Daze RV (Class C) and totally recommend it for full timing on a smaller scale for a couple or single.

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