04/27 The allure of the tiny house to bypass the mortgage burden

Stuart Dakin and Leah Stephens in their tiny house in the Yarra Valley. Photo: Chris Hopkins

Stuart Dakin and Leah Stephens in their tiny house in the Yarra Valley. Photo: Chris Hopkins

Tiny house fever is taking hold as people look for innovative ways to bypass having a massive mortgage debt.

Stuart Dakin, 32, and his partner, Leah Stephens, 35, moved into their tiny house in the Yarra Valley in Victoria [Australia] a few months ago.

“I was interested in doing something a little more environmentally and socially conscious,” says Dakin. “Also in experimenting with what is possible in terms of how small a space you can live in and how few materials you can actually use to build a comfortable space.”

At $35,000-$40,000, the entire house cost less than most city-dwellers would need to stump up for a home deposit. Plus, he funded it from savings, not debt.

Among the biggest outlays were the solar panels that allow them to live off the grid ($6000-$7000) and the custom-built trailer that transported the almost four-tonne house to its location ($8000). Using recycled materials helped to keep costs down, with about half the materials second-hand.

The living costs of their petite maison are virtually nothing – gas bottles are about $60 per month and they sometimes need to fill their water tanks.

To park on the 30-acre block they provide a helping hand to the land’s owners.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/money/the-allure-of-the-tiny-house-20160421-gobjoz.html

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Elaine Walker