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The $10,000 DIY house

Posted by Scott Van Voorhis April 22, 2014 10:35 AM

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Two millennials down in Rhode Island are living debt and rent free right now in their own home, built for $10,000, or the cost of a half-decent used car.

I guess you don't need to spend $300,000 or $400,000 to live in your own house after all!

OK, at 128 square feet, it's not much bigger than a storage shed.

But it's cute and maybe just the right size for a pair of twenty-somethings looking to save up money for something a big bigger down the line.

It's also, frankly, about what the young couple in question, Jess Belhumeur and Dan Sullivan, could afford right now, according this Yahoo Finance piece that details their adventure. Jess works in the marketing and has $45,000 in student debt, while Dan is in college working part-time jobs on the side.

Lots of student debt and not much money coming in.

So how did they do it?

Well you can read their blog to find out. But the short answer is they scavenged materials off building sites and craigslist. They also gave up on traditional plumbing, installing a chemical toilet and carrying in water, while using space heaters to keep warm, Yahoo notes.

Jess and Dan also built the whole thing on a trailer bed, which allowed them to sidestep local building codes and qualify as a mobile home, the piece notes.

Still, they also got an assist from Jess' parents, who provided a spot in their backyard to build in.

Given land costs are sky high in New England, except in the more remote, rural areas, that was a huge break.

The pair also gets their electricity from mom and dad's house, which, yes, they pay for.

That said, with so many millennials stuck at home, this seems like a pretty creative alternative.

It could be pretty tough if you have kids, though.

Could you live in 128 square feet without getting a divorce?  Does it really take a special couple to do this or are we are all just too spoiled these days?

This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About boston real estate now
Scott Van Voorhis is a freelance writer who specializes in real estate and business issues.

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