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Single Mom Facing Homelessness Built A $10K Tiny Home Instead Of Taking Out A $300K Mortgage

“And I honestly looked into all my options short of selling my organs or entering the world of escorting, I felt like my world was crumbling.” – Charlotte Sapwell

When your entire life changes and the rug is pulled from under you, it can be tempting to just roll over and let life trample over you. Charlotte Sapwell, on the other hand, decided to prove to the world that she is a force to be reckoned with.

Sapwell was left without an income and without a home after an unexpected breakup. Facing having to move back in with her parents, she knew that that couldn’t be a permanent solution. “For me moving back home was a necessity, in order to keep a roof over my boys head we ventured back,” she said on her Instagram account. Unfortunately, this move home made her feel depressed, anxious, like a failure and that she was going backward, so it was always only going to be a short-term solution.

A mortgage, however, to become a homeowner again, would put her in $400,000 AUD worth of debt, something she wasn’t too keen on getting herself into. It appeared that her choices were limited and she was going to become homeless.

Luckily, her adopted grandpa had an idea and had the cash to put behind it. As a handyman, he had the skills to help teach Sapwell DIY. Despite having failed Year 7, 8 and 9 woodwork, Sapwell managed to develop the skills, under the tuition of her grandpa, to build herself a tiny house. She began by taking an old site office that was filled to the brim with junk, sold everything inside, and that was when her grandpa suggested turning it into a tiny home.

With a budget of just under $13,000 AUD, Sapwell set to work turning the dingy looking office building into a real home, with a fully plumbed bathroom, a bedroom for the boys, and a living room/kitchen that Sapwell also uses as her bedroom. The house is a mere three by six meters and took five months to build.

Do For Yourself

On her Instagram, Sapwell boasted, and rightfully so, that she had been givena bit of help but [was] doing most of the grunt work [her]self.” (2)

She told FEMAIL: “I went from living in a massive home with my husband and kids, to a tiny rented unit to this small space, and out of all the places I’ve lived this is my favorite.” (1)

Sapwell enjoyed building the home so much that she’s now working on building another tiny home for a family member, with the view that this will become the prototype for future tiny homes. Having begun a party hire business with her family a little while before her divorce, she now plans to start up a business building and selling tiny houses for other people.

Sapwell’s advice to anyone else who can’t afford a traditional home is “Don’t be afraid to dream big and live small.”

The Tragic Ending

Unfortunately, since Charlotte was able to provide for her family through her ingenuity and hard work with her own two hands, the powers that be had different plans. Charlotte and her two boys were forced to move into her parents’ house due to the structure not being up to code. Charlotte writes, “The council forced us out, and have taken away my space and pushed me to breaking point- but they will NEVER be able to take away my achievements, my pride, or my bragging rights.” (3) It’s very possible this story could have had the happy ending we were all rooting for. Regardless of Charlotte’s current living situation, her story reminds us to push the envelope and never stop fighting to provide a better life for ourselves and our families.

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