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Canadian couple who ditched their brick and mortar home for an $18,000 20ft YURT with no plumbing claim it has changed their life ‘for the better’

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A couple from Canada have revealed how they have ditched their brick and mortar house for a 20ft yurt – claiming it has changed their lives ‘for the better.’

Joe and Leah Hinterberger were interviewed for the YouTube channel Exploring Alternatives and offered viewers a tour of their circular home which they share with their two cats Peeko and Lily.

In the documentary short, they reveal how they have been living in their new abode for five months and it cost them much less than a conventional house at just $18,000. 

Leah told DailyMail.com that the biggest challenge they face is not having running water or indoor plumbing, so they have to be ‘very mindful’ of their water consumption. 

Another downside, is that their toilet is located outside, and going out in the middle of the night in freezing temperatures ‘can be a challenge.’

A couple from Canada have revealed how they have ditched their brick and mortar house for a 20ft yurt - claiming it has changed their lives 'for the better'

A couple from Canada have revealed how they have ditched their brick and mortar house for a 20ft yurt – claiming it has changed their lives ‘for the better’ 

Joe and Leah Hinterberger were interviewed for the YouTube channel Exploring Alternatives and during the segment they offer viewers a tour of their circular home

Joe and Leah Hinterberger were interviewed for the YouTube channel Exploring Alternatives and during the segment they offer viewers a tour of their circular home 

In the documentary short, they reveal how they have been living in their new abode for five months and it cost them much less than a conventional house at just $18,000

In the documentary short, they reveal how they have been living in their new abode for five months and it cost them much less than a conventional house at just $18,000

In the winter, the pipes in their outdoor shower also freeze, so they have joined a local gym so they can wash in comfort.  

However, Leah says these things are mild inconveniences and there are more upsides to yurt life than downsides. 

She explained: ‘On the flip side of the coin, some of the things we love the most about living in our yurt is how close to nature you are. 

‘We have curious critters stopping by to check out what we are doing quite frequently. 

‘The rain is probably my favorite part, the sound of it dancing off the canvas is so calming. 

‘It is a small space which can be cleaned up in such a small amount of time but staying organized is really important.’

Joe and Leah moved out of their brick and mortar home in June 2023, after landing new jobs in the area that they now live. 

Joe works as a truck mechanic, while Leah works on the First Nation Reserve where their yurt is located. 

Leah told DailyMail.com that the biggest challenge they face is not having running water or indoor plumbing so they have to use an outhouse and outdoor shower

Leah told DailyMail.com that the biggest challenge they face is not having running water or indoor plumbing so they have to use an outhouse and outdoor shower

Joe and Leah moved out of their brick and mortar home in June 2023, after landing new jobs in the area that they now live

Joe and Leah moved out of their brick and mortar home in June 2023, after landing new jobs in the area that they now live

Before moving into the round structure, they were living in a school bus conversion.  

However, Leah said the renovated vehicle ‘was a bit cramped so we started looking for alternatives.’

Explaining how they settled on a yurt, Leah said: ‘After deciding to ditch the school bus, I started researching for something that would fit the bill of our priorities, minimalist and eco-friendly options. 

‘Yurts popped up. I think I took it and ran with at this point. Joe was in agreement and we connected with a company called Groovy Yurts to tour their facility.

‘While on the tour we fell in love with the natural wood 20ft “Super Ger” they had on display. We ordered our yurt that day and picked it up a couple weeks later. 

‘The yurt has been super comfortable for us because we love camping so much. 

‘The yurt is like a very grand tent made of natural material and was imported from Mongolia.’ 

Joe works as a truck mechanic, while Leah works on the First Nation Reserve where their yurt is located

Joe works as a truck mechanic, while Leah works on the First Nation Reserve where their yurt is located

Leah points out that living in something round is 'definitely different' and it can be difficult finding furniture that fits

Leah points out that living in something round is ‘definitely different’ and it can be difficult finding furniture that fits

In terms of heating the yurt, the couple rely on a wood burner but if they go away overnight they use an oil filled radiator to keep their cats warm

In terms of heating the yurt, the couple rely on a wood burner but if they go away overnight they use an oil filled radiator to keep their cats warm

In the Exploring Alternatives YouTube, Joe and Leah showcase some of the spaces in the open plan home, with these including a kitchen, dining area, open closet, central wood burner and their bed. 

Leah points out that living in something round is ‘definitely different’ and it can be difficult finding furniture that fits. 

Joe built their kitchen from scratch so it would work in the space and he installed his ‘luxury item,’ in the form of an espresso machine. 

Moving outside, there is a BBQ area where the couple do most of their cooking to prevent the yurt from smelling, while other features include a log store, the outhouse and shower.  

In terms of heating the yurt, the couple rely on a wood burner but if they go away overnight they use an oil filled radiator to keep their cats warm.

In the Exploring Alternatives YouTube, Joe and Leah showcase some of the spaces in the open plan home, with these including kitchen, dining area, open closet and their bed

In the Exploring Alternatives YouTube, Joe and Leah showcase some of the spaces in the open plan home, with these including kitchen, dining area, open closet and their bed

The couple said their goal for the future was to build a log cabin but since being in the yurt, they 'really don't have a plan for when we will move out of our yurt, if ever'

The couple said their goal for the future was to build a log cabin but since being in the yurt, they ‘really don’t have a plan for when we will move out of our yurt, if ever’

Touching on their living expenses, Leah says they no longer pay a mortgage and their only outgoings are for hydro electricity, food supplies, insurance, cell phones, gym membership and fuel for their cars. 

For others considering yurt life, she concludes: ‘Yurt life isn’t for everyone and I think you really have to be open minded and in tune with your own capabilities and limitations.

‘We gave away most of our belongings and kept only the things that we need to get by, for some they would say this is not a luxurious life but you realize pretty quickly how little you need to actually make you happy. 

‘We found that disconnecting from attachment to personal possessions has unveiled a life of less stress because you aren’t worrying about losing things, breaking things or having them taken away.

‘We are trying to be kinder to our planet with steps that are feasible for us as a couple.

‘Our goal for the future was to build a log cabin but since being in the yurt, we really don’t have a plan for when we will move out of our yurt, if ever.’

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