Austin Hay is still in high school, but he’s building his own house. It’s only 130 square feet, but it makes him a homeowner without a mortgage at just 16 years old. Right now, it’s parked in his parents’ backyard, but he’s built it on wheels so he plans to take it to college and then wherever he goes after he graduates.
He’s been sleeping in his tiny home for a few months now and he’s already decided not to return to big (his parents’ home is 1800 square feet). “Living small means less bills, living big means more bills,” he explained from the tiny stoop of his new home. “I don’t want to pay big bills”. Hay’s 130-square-foot home may make him the youngest member of the growing Small House Movement. Hay expects to spend about $12,000 building his home (the used trailer cost him $2000) and he’s paying for it working two summer jobs (at a camp and at a park snack bar).
He’s cut his costs in half (the home’s estimated DIY price is $23,000) because Hay has scavenged everything from doors, windows and flooring to the kitchen sink (the hardwood floors were $25 at a salvage yard and so was the stainless steel sink).