A college dropout made around $13,000 from a simple investment after deciding to travel and adopt an off-grid lifestyle.
Louis Herron has chosen to live in a tiny house on a piece of land in Arizona, which allows him to avoid high rental costs and live more sustainably.
In 2011, he dropped out of Ball State University to travel the country, working near Yosemite National Park in California and Glacier National Park in Montana.
Then in 2013, he took the plunge and settled in Flagstaff, 30 minutes from the Grand Canyon, buying a one-acre property with all his savings.
Herron spent $2,333 and, according to CNBC Make It, the small property is now worth around $15,000.
An appraiser told Herron that the increase in value was “based on the location, the vegetation on the property…electricity nearby, [and] Neighboring properties.”
He told the news outlet: “I was 21 or 22 at the time and had no idea I could even buy a property.”
“I walked onto the property and knew I had to take advantage of the opportunity, even if I didn’t do anything with it.”
“I spent all my savings on this country.”
However, he did something with the land, which now houses two tiny houses that together form his bedroom and living space.
Herron runs a desert hiking business full-time to continue his wanderlust lifestyle.
He explained that a friend found the deal on the property, which had three acres for sale for $7,000.
The couple hired a third friend and they all bought the land and divided it equally.
Then, in 2015, Herron bought a prefab tiny house and moved in two years later after rents skyrocketed.
“The cost of living has skyrocketed due to the gentrification going on in the city, so I thought instead of paying a ridiculous amount for rent, I could just live in the country,” he said.
However, since the first house wasn’t big enough, he bought a second tiny house.
Recognizing the value of his land and the popularity of tiny houses, Herron and his then-partner built a 16-foot yurt on the property in 2020 for $15,000.
The couple rented it out on Airbnb and earned $27,600 in one year between 2021 and 2022.
Herron now plans to expand the Airbnb business by building more yurts, but has no plans to leave his property.
“The Grand Canyon is arguably the most incredible setting in the country,” he said.
“I love living right on my doorstep, going on excursions whenever I want and sleeping under the stars in the canyon.”