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How Not to Pay the Mortgage: Build a 320-Square-Foot Home

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As we've seen before, there's more than one way to not pay a mortgage. The billboard option is cool but temporary—after a number of months the payments return. But an Arkansas couple may have found a permanent solution to their inability to pay off their 2,000-square-foot home. "We looked at trailers [and] mobile homes, but to be honest those are $50,000, $60,000 dollars as well," explains Debra, one of the homeowners, in a video interview. We did not want to spend that kind of money on housing. We also thought of living in a shed." She and her husband, Gary, settled instead on a custom-designed 320-square-foot home that cost $15K, took only six weeks to build, and is now paid in full. "I was worried about other people would think," Debra says. "It's just not what people do—they don't live in 320-square-foot homes." Still, she points out, it's plenty of space for herself, her husband, and their 13-year-old son, not to mention full-size appliances, her china collection, and tall ceilings that help "contribute to the spacious feel." She adds poignantly, I've got everything I need right here."

Video: Shotgun shack redux: mortgage free in 320 square feet

· How Not to Pay the Mortgage: Turn Your House Into a Billboard! [Curbed National]
· Shotgun shack redux: mortgage free in 320 square feet [Fair Companies via Gawker]
· Shotgun shack redux: mortgage free in 320 square feet [YouTube]