Jason Miles was spending almost $1,000 a month in rent to live in a 600-square-foot basement apartment in Nashville, Tennessee.
The average cost of rent had increased about 70 percent over the last six years from $872 to $1,242, according to the Tennesseean, so it was time for him to buy a house of his own.
However, the process of trying to find a suitable home in his price range was extremely frustrating.
“I spent all of 2015 perusing listings and going to open houses, only to have the homes that were in my price range snapped up by other buyers the day they came onto the market, or, in many cases, before the homes were even officially for sale,” he told Country Living.
Even though Experian says that Americans believe homeownership is less affordable than it used to be, Miles didn’t let that spoil his dream of becoming a homeowner. But he knew he would have to get creative.
“As a native of Nashville, a lifelong resident born and bred here, I’m somewhat of a unicorn,” he explains. “Nearly a hundred people a day move to my city, and most come from other parts of the country where the cost of living is higher. Many come here with lucrative job offers in hand. Needless to say, they’re bringing equity with them and can (usually) easily afford housing. For those of us who’ve been here a while, however, it’s not so simple.”
So, he decided he would build a tiny house that was bigger than his existing apartment but could accommodate his 6′ 4″ frame.
Miles set out to build an 800-square-foot structure on a foundation so it wouldn’t depreciate in value like a car or RV if the tiny home was on wheels.
He used a plan for a storage barn so that it would have tall ceilings that would make the home feel larger.
He basically learned how to build his home from watching YouTube videos and would work on his home after he got home from work at 5 p.m. until 11 p.m. and 18 hours a day on Saturday and Sunday.
“My home is definitely a labor of love that took a lot of blood, sweat, and tears,” he explains.
Now Miles is saving about $300 per month in rent and $20,000 in interest on the plot of land he bought by buying a 15-year mortgage instead of a 30-year mortgage.
His home has been appraised at $40,000 which is higher than what he paid for it. So, he’s already winning and has an adorable little set-up of his own.
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His home includes a large loft bedroom, bathroom, a full kitchen, a table to eat at, a living room, and a space to keep his musical equipment and play. You can get the full scoop on Miles’ tiny home building journey here.
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