Austin man builds home on top of his car, turning tragedy into positivity

Terry Gonzalez roams the Austin area of ​​his mobile home, but that’s not what you might imagine when you hear the words “mobile home.”

Gonzalez’s home is on top of his sedan, which he himself fully constructed. FOX 7 had the chance to hear his story while parked on the corner of Barton Springs Road and Lamar Blvd.

“How I ever thought about this, I will never know until I saw the metal frame sitting over there and I said to myself, ‘it looks like it fits on top of my car,'” Gonzalez said.

Gonzalez says this house was built out of necessity so that his furry friends, like his dog Oliver, have room to lie down in his vehicle.

Although Gonzalez and his animals have lived in this home for years now, it is still an ongoing work. His next project on the home is to add a skylight.

“The truth must be known, it’s all pallets, and it’s remnants of pallets from a Circle K sign,” Gonzalez said. “The chandeliers I could add are a recent addition and everything is functional.”

Gonzalez’s life situation has garnered some attention on the streets of Austin, as well as on social media. He says he appreciates the attention, but most of those who show support for his self-built home are not aware of the reason behind it.

While it appears that Gonzalez’s home may be the result of the current state of the Austin housing market, it is in fact a product of creativity and survival after he lost several personal belongings.

“It just brings out heavy emotions, you know, the attention, the love you gave it when it was built for me out of a tragedy,” Gonzalez said.

He said all of this happened after the former home he had rebuilt and lived in caught fire. He claims the family of the owners of that home set it on fire. Shortly after losing his house, Gonzalez says his truck and trailer were towed and disposed of, and he was unable to get his belongings out, which included thousands of dollars in tools.

Gonzalez’s famous drivable home was the positive result of hard times. He says the support from Austin residents helps keep him going, and he especially appreciates that the authorities in Travis County have only pulled him over to compliment his home, not give him a quote.

“I just would never have thought I would have this moment right here to be able to thank everyone personally,” Gonzalez said. “Austin- thank you so much for bringing this to life in a way I never imagined.”

He does not plan to leave Austin just yet, but he never leaves his home one place for too long.

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