A former real estate assessor has been showing off his dream home in Rhode Island. He’s got cherry-wood floors, cathedral ceilings and stained-glass windows; the only thing he doesn’t have, is space.

Doug Immel’s home measures just 164 square feet, and cost a mere US$28,000; a seventh of the typical home price in the state. The draw for Immel was being able to have a great home and no mortgage. He says he wants to be free of the burden of career ‘vagaries’ and is choosing to invest the money he would have spent on home loan payments in a mutual fund and cut his retirement age in the process.

It’s part of a growing trend among young professionals and the ‘empty nesters’ who find that their modest housing needs give them additional money for other things.

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