This woman is living her best life in a self-sufficient and off-grid tiny house homestead mortgage-free

In 2014, Ariel McGlothin moved into her tiny house that she’s named Fy Nyth (Welsh for “My Nest”) in the gorgeous mountains of western Wyoming. Since then, she’s been living mortgage-free and her life has never been better.

She lived in a shared apartment with her roommate until the owners moved. They looked for a new place to live but couldn’t find anything affordable.

Ariel McGlothin's tiny homestead

Ariel came across a tiny home on wheels while looking for van life options. After learning more about their lifestyle, she realized that a tiny, mobile, insulated house would be a good idea for a snowy climate.

Ariel now lives on a large piece of land, where she grows her own food. Ariel doesn’t have a mortgage and can enjoy the beauty of her surroundings every day.

Ariel McGlothin tending to her garden

Living mortgage-free in an off-grid house requires Ariel to do everything on her own, including carrying water she gets from her neighbor’s well and splitting firewood to keep her place warm.

The Fy Nyth’s primary heat source is a wood stove, and her backup is a propane tank, which she only needs to refill every year and a half to two years.

Ariel also has access to a small 400-watt solar power bank that is located on a hill near her mobile house. It can charge a laptop and camera batteries.

Ariel gathering wood chops for her woodstove

“I did not build my tiny house myself,” Ariel told Exploring Alternatives. “I did start looking for professional builders. They were fantastic. We came up with a design and I loved it. I basically designed this house around having space for all the things I wanted to keep.”

Ariel’s interests include wildlife photography, hiking, and backpacking, so she ensured her house had room for all the gear involved in those hobbies.

Fy Nyth’s interior walls are made from pine siding and the exterior walls are cedar siding. Cork flooring is used, which Ariel described as being softer on the joints than cedar siding and very warm.

The living area of Fy Nyth

The metal roof covers the top and exterior. During winter, the snow flakes right off the roof.

The kitchen makes up half of the tiny house. It features butcher block countertops on both sides of a stove, a double sink with built-in drainboard and soft-close cupboard doors. There’s also storage for dishes and food and a cupboard that serves as a pantry.

The house also has a small bathroom that includes a composting toilet, a shower, and a sink.

The sleeping loft of Fy Nyth

The living room is the other half of Fy Nyth. It has an L-shaped couch with storage underneath. You can also make it a guest bed by adding an extra board.

Ariel also purchased a table that could be folded out into a desk so she could do her job. Ariel can also invite her friends over for dinner with the expanded table.

The sleeping loft is accessible via stairs. It has a partial wall that blocks heat from the woodstove below, so it doesn’t get hot in the loft. The wall provides more privacy and security.

The stairs going up the loft and kitchen of Fy Nyth

“I’m really happy with the design in here. Nearly everything has worked out extraordinarily well for me. That’s how I live my life. It’s been awesome,” Ariel said.

Ariel’s life is proof that you don’t need a lot to be happy and content—all you need are the things that matter.

You can take a tour of her cozy, mortgage-free house by clicking the video below. Explore Alternatives on YouTube for more tiny home videos. Ariel can be followed on her blog or YouTube channel. 

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