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Building a Tiny House with Ethan Waldman

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Table of Contents  
  1. Show Notes

Afraid you’ll never get a foot on the property ladder?  Why not build your own tiny house?  Ethan Waldman did just that and tells us how we can too.

In 2012, fed up with his job, Ethan quit, bought $1000 worth of lumber and began constructing his own two hundred square foot tiny house on wheels.  He has been living in it for a year and it has everything you would find in a regular sized house, just smaller.

Tiny houses are becoming quite the phenomenon due to a perfect storm of events.  The financial crisis scared a lot of people away from the housing market, those not dissuaded couldn’t get a loan.  Kids coming out of college with tens of thousands of dollars worth of debt, saw that home ownership would be forever out of reach and weren’t sure they wanted that part of the American dream anyway.

Ethan learned as he went along.  The only experience he had was from a tiny house workshop, he hadn’t built anything prior to the tiny house.  He did hire some help when construction was taking longer than he had planned for.  By the end of the project, the tiny house cost about $45,000, $33,000 for materials and $12,000 for labor.  Ethan had about $30,000 saved before quitting his job and still did some consulting work after leaving.

To build a tiny house takes about eight hundred people hours, Ethan finished his in about fifteen months, working on it about half time.  There are some legal issues regarding this type of housing and the laws vary by state so be sure to check them out before starting your own tiny house.

When you invite someone to come see the tiny house, they don't say no.

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Ethan has unexpectedly become the poster boy for tiny houses.  He recently published a book, Tiny House Decisions to help people design their own tiny house.

Not everyone has to take out a mortgage and buy a big ugly McMansion, you could build your own tiny house and tell the banks to shove it!

Show Notes

Cloud Coach:  The story of Ethan’s tiny house from start to finish.

Tumbleweed Tiny House Company:  A California based company that designs and builds tiny houses.

Betterment:  Start your tiny house fund today.

Candice Elliott - Senior Editor Candice Elliott is a substantial contributor to Listen Money Matters. She has been a personal finance writer since 2013 and has written extensively on student loan debt, investing, and credit. She has successfully navigated these areas in her own life and knows how to help others do the same. Candice has answered thousands of questions from the LMM community and spent countless hours doing research for hundreds of personal finance articles. She happily calls New Orleans, Louisiana home-the most fun city in the world.

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