These Rustic Homes Prove Housing Can Be Beautiful And Affordable


If you’ve ever seen a beautifully designed home, maybe one set back in the woods away from the noise and stress of an urban center, you’ve probably thought about what it would be like to live there.

But then you probably also thought, “Maybe when I win the lottery!” Because the reality is that gorgeous homes in tranquil settings are often out of many peoples’ price ranges.

But that might change thanks to a group of architecture students at Auburn University.

The college’s Rural Studio program set out to prove that good design and affordability don’t have to be opposites. Thanks to the tiny house movement, people are rethinking the way we live and design housing, re-considering sustainability, efficiency, and affordability more than size and flash. And many people, including an architect who built his own tiny house so he could experience living small firsthand, are seeing that you don’t need a lot of space to live comfortably.

These houses aren’t tiny, but they’re made using only $20,000. That means that they’re very affordable for lower-income families, or people living on Social Security who would be otherwise unable to afford their own home.

Check them out below and see that just because something isn’t flashy or expensive doesn’t mean it can’t be adorable, and housing like this can make a huge difference in someone’s life.

[H/T: My Modern Met]


The Rural Studio program was established by Auburn University in 1993 in Alabama’s Hale County, home to a number of low-income families who struggle to survive.

This house is now home to Sylvia and her family.

The houses are no-frills, but they’re cute in their spare, stripped-down way. And more importantly, they give independence and a home to people who may otherwise be unable to afford one.

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Using principles of reusing, recycling, and making the most out of a little, the architecture students worked with the community to build homes.

They believe that anyone, no matter how much money they may have, deserves a well-designed home that’s functional as well as visually pleasing.

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Rural Studio / Timothy Hursley

The houses are typically one bedroom, one bath homes, but they can be customized to meet the needs of their residents. They’re also built to be as low-cost as possible.





Often built on short stilts, the houses feature timber and corrugated metal exteriors. They also use passive heating and cooling to keep costs down.


The platforms keep the houses elevated off the ground and protect them from flooding. They’re also a cheap alternative to a traditional foundation.


Each house’s design is carefully considered to maximize space, storage, and light, and to be as pleasant as possible for the residents.


The homes have provided a lot for Hale County’s residents, and at the same time, teach the students about architecture, design, and how those things can shape a community.

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Inside, the layout is simple and clean, with plenty of natural light.

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And of course, they become real homes when people put their personal touches on them!

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The designs of these houses are always changing and improving, so it’s always a learning experience for everyone involved.


Each year, these houses are designed by students as a hands-on project, but even better than seeing your concept realized or getting a good grade? These projects get to become someone’s home!

You can see more of Rural Studio’s projects in Hale County and learn more about each house on theirwebsite. Keep up with their latest projects on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Would you like to live in one of these $20,000 homes? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below — and please SHARE!




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