Woman lives completely rent-free after building ‘luxury tiny home’ in garden

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Living rent-free is a dream many of us have, and this woman achieved it – by living in her own back garden.

Precious Price pays absolutely no rent or mortgage on the “luxury tiny home” she built in the back garden of a stunning three-bedroom home in Atlanta, Georgia, that she bought back in 2019. The woman’s initial plan with her big house was to rent out the spare bedrooms for added income, but when the Covid-19 pandemic hit in 2020, bookings dried up – and so did her cash flow.

So, the woman came up with a new plan and decided to build a smaller home for herself on the grounds of her larger one, allowing her to rent out the entirety of the main property instead of individual rooms.

Precious claims she didn’t have to take out a bank loan for her tiny home

She told CNBC: “I stared out the kitchen window into my huge backyard, and something clicked: I could use that space to build a tiny home to live in, and fully rent out the main house.”

So Precious got to work planning her new home, starting by applying for all the necessary permits including building, electrical and plumbing. Once she got the go-ahead, work began in October 2020. She purchased a shed and hired a local contracting team to lay a concrete foundation.

To give the appearance of a light and airy feel, Precious painted the walls a blue shade and added rustic touches. Inside the tiny home, she can fit a queen-sized mattress within the loft and a daybed that doubles as a couch on the main floor – in addition to a full bathroom, kitchen and breakfast nook.

While living in a tiny home may seem rather luxurious, Precious claims she’s had to make some life-changing adaptions. She explained: “I’ve had to downsize my wardrobe and shoe collection. But rather than getting rid of clothes I still want to keep, I store some at a friend’s house. Every few weeks, we do a wardrobe swap.”

The daybed also happens to double up as a couch

Keen to save as much cash as possible, she rented out her main house during the build and rented a room in her neighbour’s home. Precious’s new home was completed in March 2021, and she initially rented it out on Airbnb to start paying off the costs. She moved in permanently at the start of this year.

Laying out all of the structural and material costs – from labour to the prefabricated shed structure – she believes she spent about $35,000 (£27,700) on the project. Rather than taking out a bank loan to pay for everything, Precious, who boasts more than 10,000 followers on her YouTube channel, put about $20,000 (£15,800) on credit cards and cashed out $8,500 (£6,700) in stocks.

However, her newly found income from the main house meant she was able to pay off the debt in 2022. She’s now able to bring in almost $32,000 (£25,300) in gross rental income from the bigger property by charging between $89 (£70) and $129 (£102) per night, as well as offering monthly leases for $1,300 (£1,030).

The tiny home’s stairs lead to the loft’s queen-sized mattress

Breaking down the monthly associated costs for both homes, Precious spent a total of $1,580 (£1,250) on the upkeep of her home and business – $1,200 (£950) of which was on mortgage and property taxes, $190 (£150) on electricity, $110 (£87) on water, and $80 (£63) on internet.

She said: “All of this is covered by the $2,725 (£2,155) I make from renting out the main house, which means I’m able to live in my tiny home for free. In addition, she claims the home has given her a ‘ton of real estate options’ – including rental income and backup housing for herself and other family members.

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