Look: Age 11 Girl Buys and Renovates Her Own Tiny Home

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A resident of Attica, New York, Lauren Nelson — like many young people — was looking forward to the summer. No school, plenty of free time — and quarantine.

With the change of plans and a renewed need to find local activities, 11-year-old Lauren came up with a unique summer project that will last for years to come.

It started with her browsing through a well-known doll catalog and spotting a toy camper that was commanding a hefty sum.

“She showed us a $650 little VW bus that they sell, my husband was like, ‘That’s ridiculous, you could buy your own camper for that price,'” Aimee Nelson, Lauren’s mother, told WKBW-TV.

Shortly afterward, a neighbor listed an old camper for sale.

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“And then the one day, up popped a ‘for sale’ sign and she squealed the whole way home,” her mother said.

It was a little out of Lauren’s budget, but she haggled and went home the owner of a camper.

“It wasn’t very hard,” she said of the negotiating.

“He said $500 and I said $400 because that was the money that I had in my bank account and he said sold.”

A fan of HGTV’s “Tiny House Hunters,” Lauren got to work renovating the outdated camper with the help of family and friends, and transforming it into a light, bright and airy “Camp Hygge.”

“It means very comfortable and safe,” she explained of her selected name. “It has its own kitchen and bathroom.”

“I love this, I love renovating. I was very motivated with this camper, I really wanted a place where I could hang out … like my own house,” she added.

Many readers have been impressed with the girl’s investment and hard work on her tiny home, and her parents also approve of her project.

“She has three envelopes that she puts her money in — ‘give,’ ‘save’ and ‘spend’ — and I think she made a really good choice,” her mom said.

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“She now says she’s part of the tiny home nation.”

While this summer has come to a close, with so many kids being schooled at home, this kind of project is not only doable but has all kinds of practical and educational benefits as well.

For Lauren, this is just the start. Who knows what next summer will hold?

In the meantime, she has advice for others:

“If you’re looking to have some big plans in the future, you should go out and do it,” she said.

“Make it happen.”

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking