College Student Built A Mini 145-Square-Foot Home. He Wanted To Be Debt-Free.

"I wanted a place to call home."

Going to college and accumulating major debt goes hand-in-hand for many college students. Joel Weber, a University of Texas at Austin student, wanted to carefully invest his money and ultimately be debt-free. 

Weber, 25, built his very own 145-square-foot house in 2014, on an 18-foot flatbed trailer, costing an estimated $20,000, according to ABC News

His home consists of two lofts with functioning plumbing, electricity, a shower, a stove and a sink he created from a mango bowl. 


Weber is entering his junior year in college. He will not only avoid spending around $800 a month on rent near his campus, but he will be mortgage-free. 

"I wanted a place to call home," he told ABC News. "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."

Weber designed his home and worked with a carpenter and electrician who both volunteered their time. Along with his personal savings, his family, friends and the community chipped in to donate materials for his tiny home. 

When the fall semester of University of Texas at Austin is back in session, Weber plans to move his tiny home from his hometown of Dallas to Austin. 

"I may live in it forever and I'm cool with that, 145 square feet might not be for everybody, and that's OK," Weber said. "It's more about how I can live simple and still be grateful."

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