To step out of college with a mountain of debts incurred during college life is not what a student would wish to do. That is why a college student in Texas decided to build himself a house to avoid paying housing loan while studying in college.
Joel Weber is a college student at the University of Texas at Austin. He built a 145-square-foot house to avoid incurring more college debt before his graduation.
Speaking to ABC News, he said, “I wanted a place to call home. I wanted it to be affordable so I could be debt-free and let it be an investment to give back to the community—not just dumped into rent that I wouldn’t get any return on.”
Joel said that the housing rental could cost more than $800 a month if he was to live near the school. That’s when he decided to build the house. The building process took one year and the house costs about $20,000.
On how he built the house, he said, “I saved up quite a bit, and what I didn’t have, family, friends and the community around me donated materials. I designed it, and worked with a carpenter and electrician who both volunteered their time.”
“I do landscaping, I house sit, I nanny for someone in the area, and when I have extra money, I can charge people a little less to help them out. It’s about being able to give back to these people in my community,” he added.
Built on an 18-foot flatbed trailer, his house consists of two lofts, a propane-powered stove, a shower, electricity, working plumbing and also a fully functional sink made from a mango bowl.
He is proud of his home. “The smaller my house is, the more I’ll be active. That’s why it fits my lifestyle because it allows me to be on the move, but it’s also within my means.”
He also intends to live in the house for a long time. “I may live in it forever and I’m cool with that, 145 square feet might not be for everybody, and that’s OK. It’s more about how I can live simple and still be grateful.”