Debt-Free Living in Your Dream Home

Achieve debt-free living by following these readers’ advice on acquiring or building a home without a mortgage. Your dream home is within your reach if you pair patience with resourcefulness.

South Africa Log Home
Roy Trembath’s log home in South Africa is built out of eucalyptus trees, an invasive species.
Photo by Roy Trembath
Log Home Balcony
The sun sets behind Roy Trembath's debt-free home in South Africa.
Photo by Roy Trembath
Spiral Staircase
Roy Trembath built this spiral staircase for just $50 out of recycled I-beam off-cuts that he sourced from nearby scrap yards.
Photo by Roy Trembath
Straw Bale House Construction
Though drought made straw scarce in Texas, the Poupores sourced enough to build their straw bale home. Reclaimed telephone poles support the roof.
Photo by Priscilla Poupore
Straw Bale House
The Poupores worked on their house for a decade; performing labor slowly helped keep costs low.
Photo by Priscilla Poupore
Tiny Cabin With Solar Panels
LaMar Alexander’s tiny Utah cabin has a loft inside to free up valuable floor space. He also harvests rain and rescues greywater for his garden.
Photo by LaMar Alexander
Log Cabin In Snow
Betsy and Larry Mehaffey built this off-grid log cabin in Idaho over the course of several years to spread out the expense and effort.
Photo by Betsy Mehaffey
Man Standing On Foundation
After laying their foundation, the Burggraf family hosted a barn-raising-style gathering to erect their Tennessee home.
Photo by Tyler Burggraf
House On Stilts
Six families helped the Burggrafs get their house under a roof after five sessions.
Photo by Tyler Burggraf
Dome Kit Home Skeleton
The Rigoni-Escobar family traded their million-dollar home and mortgage for a small dome kit home in California that they could construct together.
Photo by Jacki Rigoni
Dome Kit Home Construction
Jacki Rigoni and Mauricio Escobar wanted to model self-sufficiency for their children by building a dome home with them.
Photo by Jacki Rigoni
Finished Dome Kit Home
The Rigoni-Escobar dome kit home is located in San Jose, Calif. This 400-square-foot structure cost about $11,000.
Photo by Jacki Rigoni

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