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    “The thing about a tiny house,” Rachael Mora jokes, “is the tour doesn’t actually take that long.”
     
     
    She’s walking me through her new home, a whopping 300 square feet tucked into the back of her mother’s lot near Churchill Downs. When it came time for 20somethings Rachael and husband Felipe to renew the lease on their 600-square-foot, one-bedroom/one-bath East End apartment, she remembered information her dad had sent her about “tiny houses.” “I started to say, ‘I feel like we should build a tiny house,’” Rachael says. “After like a year and two months we’ll be in the clear on what we would have spent living in our apartment. Then we’re basically living free. We upped our retirement contributions so much when we moved in here."
     
     
    “We were first going to buy some plans of (a tiny house), but my dad was like, ‘I can just do it. Draw what you want.’ I didn’t know how hard some of that was. I was like, ‘I really want a corner window!’ — I saw some on Pinterest — and Dad’s like, ‘OK, I can figure that out.’” The couple explored the idea of purchasing their own lot but couldn’t strike a deal. That’s when Rachael’s mother offered her backyard. 
     
    A guest bed pulls out from beneath the kitchen floor.
     
    Building costs totaled $12,500, about $3,000 more for furnishings. The Moras (she works for an energy-management company; he’s in healthcare), with a lot of help from Rachael’s retired father who once worked for a contractor, spent four months constructing the house, which sits on I-beams and can be transported by flatbed trailer. The top of the house can be lowered to meet road laws, and Rachael says that, when a growing family forces them to move, the tiny house will go with them, become a guest house wherever they end up. (The city doesn’t recognize tiny houses as their own category, putting them in a sort of legislative void. If a home isn’t on a permanent foundation, it’s generally classified as a mobile home or RV. “Because it’s such a new movement, a lot of people are scared of doing it,” Rachael says. “In a way, it’s a car. You can literally park your car in your backyard, period. Usually people don’t complain. It’s like tree houses. Actually, tree houses have a lot more rules because they’re permanent.”)
     
    Hidden LEDs light the stairs up to the bedroom.
     
    The home is 28 feet long. Dark ceiling beams draw eyes upward. The kitchen has a small fridge, a convection oven and induction burners in place of a stove; a guest bed pulls out from a nook beneath the kitchen floor. The cabinets are actually dressers from Ikea, topped with a counter. “They’re way cheaper,” Rachael says. “The kitchen I plotted out — I really wanted drawers — was going to be like $1,500. These were, altogether, I think $270.” An accordion-style window above the kitchen bar opens onto their deck. In the living room, framed wedding photos hang above a slate-gray couch that sits across from an electric fireplace, a TV mounted above it. Instead of a tub, a tiled shower stands in the small bathroom with a sliding, barn-style door. Hidden LEDs light the stairwell, which has drawers to conceal, say, the water heater. The couple’s bedroom is upstairs. Toby, their dog, has a bed in front of a window. Large windows and airy ceilings give the home some breathing room. “I feel like we have more space here than in our apartment,” Rachael says. 
     
     
    “We got rid of a lot of kitchen gadgets and stuff you just don’t use. I started doing a capsule wardrobe: basic tops, sweaters and accessories,” she says. “I scanned all of my photos and use one photo book instead of having a box of pictures. That was the hardest part for me, getting rid of all of these mementos that I really don’t need. I don’t need 18 things from every country I’ve been to.” As for Felipe? “I moved from Panama with two suitcases, so…” he says with a laugh.