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Tiny homes have come to the forefront in a big way. With the American Dream reaching its tipping point, living simply has become a rebellious response to a failing ideal. In the words of Henry David Thoreau, “As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler; solitude will not be solitude, poverty will not be poverty, nor weakness weakness.”

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People no longer want to prove themselves to others. They just want to be happy. And many people are finding the answers in minimalism.

The tiny house movement has created such a buzz, there are now television shows, books, and countless blogs dedicated to the little abodes. The downside of the hype is the way consumerism has sought to turn the movement on its head, creating high-end tiny homes that run a pretty penny.

But rather than give a new face to unaffordable monster-sized homes that comes off as pretentious and unnecessary, there are affordable tiny homes that can still be built to have a comfortable, beautiful, and totally functional environment — all for under 20 grand.

Off-Grid Tiny Home in Hawaii Built for $11,000

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Photo: Julie Fitts

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Kristie Wolfe is a dressmaker hailing from Boise, Idaho. Building her first tiny home in Hawaii saved her so much money, she has been able to build a second vacation home in the state as well. She now rents out the second home for extra income.

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Photo: Julie Fitts

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Photo: Julie Fitts

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Photo: Julie Fitts

Off-Grid Tiny Home Built for Under $18,000

tiny homePhoto: Living Big In A Tiny House

Brett Sutherland of New Zealand built this tiny home using salvaged materials and a flexible water tank called a “flexi-tank” that resides under a living room daybed, which doubles as a guest space. He also found broken inventory at a local hardware store to cheaply create a gorgeous and functional shower-tub.

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Photo: Living Big In A Tiny House

Tiny Treehouse Built on Island for $8,200

tiny homePhoto: Geoff de Ruiter

Treehouses are one of those childhood dreams that never really die. But to think one could suffice as a cozy home is pure bliss. This one was built using salvaged materials by graduate student Geoff de Ruiter as a means for achieving “stability.” He wanted an option where he simply had to pay his property taxes and not worry about owning anything else. “Stability to me is also sustainability,” he said. “Because it means we are not needing to forever chase resources.”

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Photo: Geoff de Ruiter

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Photo: Geoff de Ruiter

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Photo: Geoff de Ruiter

A $10,000 Tiny Home Built With 80% Recycled Materials

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Photo: Living Big In A Tiny House

Photo: Living Big In A Tiny House

Earthquakes in New Zealand have caused people to seek out alternative options for building their homes, and tiny homes are among the top choices for those who want to restart their lives quickly and efficiently. Patrick and Cori moved here from America and decided to create a tiny home together. Using salvaged materials and their own two hands, they built it with just $10,000.

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Photo: Living Big In A Tiny House

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Photo: Living Big In A Tiny House

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Photo: Living Big In A Tiny House

Pre-Fab Tiny House Prototype for Just $1,200

tiny home

Photo: Pin Up Houses

 Photo: Pin Up Houses

Czech company Pin Up Houses says this 74-square-feet tiny house can be assembled in just three hours, and doesn’t even come close to breaking the bank to do it. Though there’s no toilet included, the house is completely insulated.

A Tiny Home Made With Recycled Materials for $500

tiny home

Photo: Scott Brooks / Brendan McGarry

This 83-square-foot home may be as simple as it comes, but the design features, like the multifunctional counter and the flip-up sleeping and sitting area, are surely striking. This mini-cabin is a no frills nature den built by Scott Brooks.

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Photo: Scott Brooks / Brendan McGarry

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Photo: Scott Brooks / Brendan McGarry

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Photo: Scott Brooks / Brendan McGarry


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