This 13-year old owns his own house -- all 89-square feet of it

13-year-old Luke Thill owns his own home.
13-year-old Luke Thill owns his own home. YouTube

At 13, Luke Thill owns his own home.

It’s tiny.

Only 89-square feet, this is the Dubuque, Iowa eighth-grader’s “starter home,” he said in an interview with the Des Moines Register. The structure cost $1,500 and was paid for by bartering with typical teenager work – cutting lawns, cleaning out garages and the like. He also raised some money online and used reclaimed materials when he could.

“I liked the minimalism,” he said. “And I wanted to have a house without a huge mortgage.”

He is not alone.

Tiny homes are popular, and there are no fewer than five tiny home reality TV shows.

In Clovis, California, city planners are looking at tiny houses as part of the city’s long-term plan for its downtown. The homes would be built in alley spaces and used for student housing or rentals, according to a story in The Fresno Bee.

And Thill is just the latest teen to see advantages in the tiny home market.

In 2011, Austin Hays started building his tiny home as a “dorm room on wheels” – a place the Sonoma, California teen could live while at college.

The home, built during his sophomore, junior and senior years in high school, was chronicled on the website It was only 130-square feet, but included a full kitchen and almost full-sized shower, a sofa that doubled as a bed, and a composting toilet.

There were even plans to add solar, according to the story.

Joshua Tehee, 559-441-6749,