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

Life often throws us curve balls, and we have to swing just right to get ourselves back on track. When a mom from Australia found her marriage crumbling — and two young children to look after — she found herself in a bit of a mess.

The divorce left her facing homelessness. Buying a home is simply not as affordable as it once was, and Charlotte Sapwell was told in order to get a home, she'd have to take out a $400,000 ($300,000+ USD) mortgage to finance it.

Charlotte wanted to start her life fresh with her two kids, but with a debt that large, it's hard to feel stable and secure.

Facebook | Chalortte Sapwell - Little Explorers

When a marriage ends, you want to focus on the good that lies ahead, not be burdened with homelessness and crippling debt.

Charlotte refused to be burdened by the mortgage, and instead came up with a crafty solution that would keep her out of bank debt.

Facebook | Charlotte Sapwell - Little Explorers

She went from a woman who couldn't afford rent to a woman who owned her own home in just five months.

With her grandfather's support, and her children as motivation, Charlotte built a 3x6 meter (roughly 10x20 foot) tiny home.

Facebook | Charlotte Sapwell - Little Explorers

She used her grandfather's property and woodworking knowledge, but ultimately, she built the entire space by herself. AND it only cost her around $13,000 ($10,000 USD), which her grandfather loaned her.

It took her about five months to build the space, which includes a combined living space, kitchen, and bedroom for Charlotte, and a second bedroom for the kids.

Facebook | Charlotte Sapwell - Little Explorers

Charlotte says out of everywhere she's lived, this is by far her favorite.

Giving her boys a bedroom to themselves means that Charlotte shares her own bedroom with the living, dining, and kitchen area.

Facebook | Charlotte Sapwell - Little Explorers

She wrote on a Facebook post, "At first I was so against a ‘double’ bed but like everything else I was forced to downsize... With some homely decor I wouldn’t have my ‘bedroom’ any other way."

As her skills continue to grow, Charlotte has been giving the home upgrades, including a sliding barn door for the kids' room.

Facebook | Charlotte Sapwell - Little Explorers

She's even used her new skills to create fun toys for her kids, including this Ice Cream stand that they often pretend is the shop Charlotte bought her building supplies from.

Facebook | Charlotte Sapwell - Little Explorers

These kids seriously look up to their mom!

I don't know about you, but I'm so impressed with all that she has accomplished.

Facebook | Charlotte Sapwell - Little Explorers

It's one thing to make a tiny space work for you, it's another to build the entire thing yourself!

While she never expected any fame, she says that the experience has helped her see that she's not the only single mom who has experienced financial strain when it comes to housing. 

Facebook | Charlotte Sapwell - Little Explorers

"It’s nice to know I’m not the only one but this fact alone makes me even more aware of Australia’s housing crisis- and I would love to help in anyway!"

She's even started to speak up about homelessness to help others understand how to get through it.

Facebook | Charlotte Sapwell - Little Explorers

Charlotte truly is an inspiration to so many people!

Charlotte has documented her whole experience, including her divorce, building the home, and the aftermath, on her Facebook page.

Facebook | Charlotte Sapwell - Little Explorers

It's become an outlet for her to talk about her projects, motherhood, body image, and the state of things in Australia.

While there has been an overwhelmingly positive response to her story, there are some people who choose to bring her down.

Facebook | Charlotte Sapwell - Little Explorers

But Charlotte is not here for the naysayers, "I know what I’ve achieved, I know what I’m capable of, I KNOW that the only people who matter are incredibly supportive."

Charlotte has used this experience as an opportunity to teach her sons an important lesson.

Facebook | Charlotte Sapwell - Little Explorers

She told Daily Mail, "I just want other females to know they are capable of anything."

She enjoyed the process so much that she's planning on starting a business building and selling tiny homes for other people.

Facebook | Charlotte Sapwell - Little Explorers

Her first customer? Her grandmother. The project will serve as a prototype for future homes.

For someone who says she failed ninth-grade woodworking, she certainly has a talent for building, and for living a minimalist lifestyle.

Facebook | Charlotte Sapwell - Little Explorers

The kids have plenty of room to play, and Charlotte can breathe easy knowing she's setting a great example for them both.

"I want my boys to know — it doesn't matter if you are a boy or girl, anyone can build their future," she says.

Charlotte's next step is to pay back her grandfather for the materials used, and continue to live a life she loves with her sons. 


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