Fed Up With Rent and Dorms, U of M Student Built This Amazing Tiny House

By Heather Callaghan

Life is rough and then you have college debt – plus rent. Or, university debt with the privilege of the naked roommate conundrum. Of course that does not include all the other myriad costs of living and learning in the modern Western world. Lily Tomlin once said: “The trouble with the rat race is that even if you win you’re still a rat.” Perhaps Christopher Cerk of Ann Arbor wanted to bypass parts of the race that most people take for granted. Perhaps the 21-year-old Computer Science student wanted to get off the wheel and work smarter, not harder. He began researching different living styles to face his final time at University of Michigan. He even considered living in a van, according to The Blaze.

Cerk had already spent an average of $800 on monthly campus living and grew weary of dorm life before slowly-but-surely investing a total of $13,000 into building materials over a period of two years. He has carried his new 170-square-foot house on a trailer to a nearby private property with permission and will now go to his final two years of classes with one less worry looming overhead. He attributes his adventurous and ambitious personality for making the leap into an off-the-grid lifestyle. The picture above and the following come from the original news video on WXYZ 7 ABC:

He is now saving approximately $6,000 a year on rent and is able to use the landowner’s amenities like laundry and water.
Fox News reported:

The tiny house features a compostable toilet, shower and two 100-watt solarpanels that are expected to supply enough juice to charge his cellphone andlaptop, provide lighting and power for a cook-top stove. It also has a propaneheater.

Tiny homes are known for the pros, but they are not without the cons. While they are cheaper to maintain they aren’t always as cost-effective as, say, buying a foreclosed or reduced-price home. They are mobile but might not offer protection from disaster, fire, or theft. However, it appears that the tiny home’s biggest predators are city code enforcers, even as the popularity rises and “regular” homes go abandoned in the face of foreclosure and homelessness. In fact, Cerk cannot disclose the location of his home because the living spaces in Ann Arbor must be 450 square feet. Ironically, he probably has more personal space in his tiny home than he would living in a cramped dorm room with a roommate.
Cerk could always sell his creation if he wanted. He said tiny homes are a major undertaking with lots of planning and building – but very rewarding. He has a designated place to live after he graduates when he might ask his girlfriend to join him in the tiny home adventure and keep his slice of off-grid living.
He said:

I think it’s just a good step for people to go toward — using space more efficiently and living in a more purposeful and simple way.

Check out his website, chriscerk.com, for more inspiration.

Heather Callaghan is a natural health blogger and food freedom activist. You can see her work at NaturalBlaze.com and ActivistPost.com. Like at Facebook

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