News Home & Design Homeschooling Family of 4 Goes Mortgage-Free With a Tiny House After happily swapping a big house for a tiny house, the family spends more time together and gets to travel more. By Kimberley Mok Kimberley Mok Twitter Writer McGill University Cornell University Kimberley Mok is a former architect who has been covering architecture and the arts for Treehugger since 2007. Learn about our editorial process Published March 15, 2023 11:02AM EDT Share Twitter Pinterest Email Tiny House Expedition News Environment Business & Policy Science Animals Home & Design Current Events Treehugger Voices News Archive Many families with kids might dismiss the idea of living in a tiny house due to the misconception that tiny houses don't have enough space and are, therefore, mostly for couples or people living alone. But time and time again, we've seen numerous examples of families who have gladly made the decision to go tiny—thus improving their quality of life and gaining more freedom in exchange. The Eusebes, a family of four, are one of these adventurous families who recently discovered the joys of tiny living. Parents Stephan and Sabine were the owners of a 2,500-square-foot suburban home and living the typical American lifestyle along with their two kids. But things changed when Sabine became fascinated by tiny houses, and the idea of traveling more was so appealing that she wanted to try it out. Stephan, however, was much more reluctant to go tiny. But after a few trial runs with some rented tiny houses, the family realized that downsizing not only made financial sense, it would also let them spend more time together as a family. Their custom-built tiny house is a testament to their journey as a family, and we get to see how they were able to make it work from this tour via Tiny House Expedition: As the once-hesitant Stephan explains, tiny houses started to make some sense when he realized the significant amount of underutilized space in their suburban home—a common phenomenon for many of us: "So we had a huge house, and I created all these individual spaces for everyone can be in their comfort zone. But in our big house, we all just ended up congregating together. [..] And it just seemed like every space in the house, we would all end up in the same room. So it felt like a waste of space at some point." The family's 38-foot-long home is built on top of a gooseneck trailer (also known as a fifth-wheel) and is based on the Canada Goose model that is offered by Canada's Mint Tiny House Company. As Sabine explains, they chose the company after figuring out what they needed in terms of features and also because they knew that Stephan's six-foot-plus height needed an actual bedroom, not a sleeping loft. Though the cross-border pandemic lockdowns at the time prevented the family from visiting the unit while it was under construction, it was ultimately delivered to them on time over the border. Tiny House Expedition The home's 391-square-foot interior is surprisingly roomy, even with the two lofts and the master bedroom in the gooseneck factored in. The double patio door entrance opens into the living room, which has an L-shaped sectional that serves as the family's all-purpose communal area, and can also convert into a guest bed. Tiny House Expedition Next up is a standing desk on wheels outfitted with a huge curved monitor, which Stephan uses as a home office, working remotely as an IT professional. The table can also be rolled over to the sofa when he wants to sit and work instead. Tiny House Expedition Beyond that is the kitchen, which is split into two zones on either side. Here we find all the basic appliances like a propane-powered stove, oven, and apartment-sized refrigerator, as well as convenient extras like a drawer-sized dishwasher. Tiny House Expedition In the kitchen, there is a set of stairs that lead up to the loft where the kids' two bedrooms are located. Tiny House Expedition It's an elegant solution that maximizes the space above the living room while also providing private spaces—each with its own shelves and windows—for each of the children to enjoy. Tiny House Expedition On the other side of the kitchen, just past the refrigerator and up a hidden ladder, there is a secondary loft that the family uses as a space for the kids' homeschooling activities. Tiny House Expedition Back downstairs and past the kitchen, we enter the bathroom. Here we have a space large enough to hold a vanity and sink, a flush toilet, a stackable washer and dryer, and a shower stall that is equipped with a built-in seat. Tiny House Expedition The master bedroom is situated up in the gooseneck, up a few steps. The space comes together wonderfully, with enough headroom for Stephan. There is a queen-sized bed that can be oriented either to have bedside tables on each side or turned to create a daybed for the whole family to lounge around and watch a film together. Tiny House Expedition In the master bedroom, there are also spaces for two closets, one of which Sabine, a travel contract nurse, has also converted into a small home office for herself. Tiny House Expedition All told, the family spent around $120,000 for all the upgrades for their tiny house. While some may see this as a soberingly expensive tiny house, it's all relative; for the Eusebes, the money they gained from selling their big house more than covered this tiny house, and without a mortgage hanging over their heads, they are now able to also fund their ongoing plans to travel to five states in five years, as well as enjoying more intangible and precious experiences. As Stephan explains: "Financially speaking, living in a tiny house is way more feasible than I expected. And the difference is so significant that that is what actually sold me [on the idea]. When we're talking about the bills, and just keeping the lights on, it was becoming something that I dreaded. And seeing my paycheck, and then seeing it go within a matter of minutes—it was pretty depressing. Now we get to be way more irresponsible with our money [laughs]. Now, we get to travel, we get to see family more often, so the kids get to enjoy a lot more family time." Even with the limited space in a tiny house, each family member has their own private space if needed. It's an inspiring story for any family that's rethinking their life priorities and wanting to get out of debt. Sabine adds that: "We talk about everybody being in the rat race. You get into debt to earn this degree. Then you go to work to pay back that debt. And you spend so much time away from family. Living in a tiny house has completely turned that around. [..] It's enriched our lives so much since downsizing." To follow the Eusebes' journey, check out Living The Tiny Dream on YouTube.