Countless calls from estate agents for properties that don't tick the boxes; house viewings packed into Saturday mornings and mortgages that are difficult to grasp - this is what house hunting looks like in 2014. First-time buyers must now pay 10.5% more for a property (in the UK) than they would have 12 months ago and the process is hardly a walk in the park.
However it's a common problem around the world and there are a few remarkable people who have decided to opt out of the property rat race and build their very own house. At a fraction of the cost and with no less charm, we take a look at an alternative route to getting your home.
Gabriella and Andrew Morrison, Oregon, USA
It took the couple four months to build and cost £13,061($22,000) and £19,591 ($33,000) including their high end appliances, cabinetry, furniture, and fixtures. It includes a full-sized kitchen, a set of stairs, a master bedroom, space for a home office, storage that doubles up as furniture and a bathroom with a full-sized sink, shower and toilet.
"We are now debt free, off grid, joyful, closer as a family, and enjoying living our lives full time in hOMe," said Gabriella Morrison.
(Images: TinyHouseBuild/Rex Features)
Malissa and Chris Tack, moving home, USA
Macy Miller, Idaho, USA
Christopher Smith and Merete Mueller, Colorado, USA
Lee Manning and Mike Ellis, Devon, UK
Lee Manning, a finance director and his partner Mike Ellis, a nurse, bought a quarter of an acre of land for £120k and built a dormer bungalow on it for £110,000. "I started checking the Rightmove website every day at our 10.30 coffee break, for building sites or derelict houses to knock down," said Manning, 33, to Devon Life magazine. "This became an addiction and went on for years! Then one day in February there it was... a pretty ¼-acre site for £120k in Kingsteignton."