October 20, 2018
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How student loan debt, desire to own led us to build our tiny house

Kayla and Benjamin Nadeau are building their own tiny home in Belfast. Here they share more details about pursuing the tiny-house dream.

What made you decide to live in a tiny house?
A few things factored into our decision to start building our very own tiny house. One major one was that we got tired of handing our money (rent) to someone so they could gain equity. We wanted our own home, and with mountains of student loan debt standing in our way it would take us many years to even think about buying our own house unless we were willing to bury ourselves deeper in debt. The other major reason was we realized that when we were renting, all our time was spent in a living room area watching TV, or we would go somewhere to explore and drive around. What made us happy even living in a larger space were the same things we could get living in a tiny house. But we would own it and could look around and say, “We built this.”

What’s the hardest thing about it?
Having patience! We have literally gone week by week, day off by day off since May 2014. We get paid on Friday and would buy whatever we could afford for the next step to build. We have Sundays and Wednesdays off. So we would normally start a project Sunday, and if it wasn’t finished that day then we would finish on Wednesday. Sometimes the project would make a visual difference in showing our progress, and other times it wouldn’t. So I have been learning how to be patient throughout this whole process. It’s not easy!

What advice do you have for someone looking to build or buy their own tiny house?
Research a lot! And if you decide to build, don’t be afraid to ask people questions. Sometimes you might think you sound crazy, but you need to learn somehow. People from Lowe’s have been extremely helpful, but always research before you do something. And when you decide to build or live in a tiny house, the hardest part is making the initial decision/commitment. Once you decide to do so, just go with it. The journey will teach you so much and will be a big lifetime event you will never forget.

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