From Mortgages and Overwork to Debt-Free Living and $700 Remodels

Fair Companies/Video screen capture

The other day I mused on why neither Mitt Romney nor Barack Obama would seriously talk about encouraging Americans to work less.

But maybe politicians of all stripes have already done what they can in this regard.

Because there's little doubt that many of those who are new to the voluntary simplicity, tiny house or Plenitude Economics have found themselves drawn to it by economic circumstances beyond their control.

Whether we blame that on Democrats or Republicans is a discussion that is busy raging elsewhere. What interests me here is the folks who have taken unfortunate circumstances and used them as an opportunity to rethink their lives. Take the Jordan Family:

Three years ago, the Jordan family left their 2,500-square-foot, 4-bedroom home to move into a 1-bedroom 320-square-foot prefab. They also left behind a mortgage, the four jobs they'd taken on between the 2 of them to pay it, and a lot of stress. They now have more time to focus on their family home business and on spending time with their teenage son.

The video below from Fair Companies explores how they've made ends meet. It also reveals a rather wonderful, and often overlooked, upside of tiny houses—even when you do choose to build on or remodel, the costs are usually dramatically less. The Jordan's, for example, remodeled their son's sleeping loft into a stand-up bedroom for a total cost of around $700.

Some might see this as the unfortunate poverty of our economic crisis. The Jordan's seem to see it as an opportunity to find what really matters in life. This lifestyle is not, as Debra herself admits, for everyone. But I'd be willing to bet there are still lessons for us all.

Update: Kimberley Mok already covered the original story of the Jordan's shotgun home in 2011. This video is a follow up to that original.

Tags: Architecture | Economics | Green Building | Living With Less | United States

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