Grist

My husband and I think we’ve found a way to pay off our mortgage early, without taking on an extra job or working nights. We’ve decided to construct a rental unit — a “mother-in-law suite” — within our home. If it pans out as we hope, the rental income will let us pay off our loan 10 years early. And who knows: It could give us a chance to live closer to family as we, or they, get on in years.

Jason and I are not alone; lots of folks across the country are experimenting with adding a second (or third) dwelling to an existing single-family home. And in perhaps the most interesting development, more and more people are choosing to buck the “bigger is better” trend in North American housing. They’re taking small spaces — backyards, side lots, or freestanding garages — and using them to build tiny houses.

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