Living in a traditional home can be expensive and leave little money for other things. With an increasing cost of living, higher rates of unemployment, and a general shift in consciousness towards sustainability, millions of Americans are breaking outside of the mold to live in unique and cost effective ways that not only reduce their carbon footprint, but also allow them to gain financial freedom.
Here are five popular alternative home options to consider. While they may not all be your cup of tea, there may be something that strikes your fancy. Who knows, there could be a “small” move in your future!
Home on Wheels
While most people consider an RV a great tool for vacationing, many Americans are starting to use them for full time living. The benefits of living in an RV are obvious; no land to pay for, ability to travel and a cost savings over traditional housing. RV’s have a sleeping area, kitchen, and usually a bathroom. If a traditional RV won’t work, several companies are building, and selling, small homes on wheels. These tiny houses offer all of the comforts of a stick built home, with the ability to travel like an RV. The main downside to this style of housing is the cost of gas.
Green homes, like those built with cob, straw bale, and recycled materials, are becoming more popular. Cob homes are made with mud to create beautiful and unique homes. Straw bale homes are made by stacking straw, then covering it in concrete or mud. Old bags, tires, and bottles are being filled with dirt and stacked to create unique and natural homes. These building styles are much cheaper than traditional homes, and because of their excellent insulation, are much cheaper to heat and cool. Of course, these buildings don’t look like traditional homes, and some areas may not allow them or provide insurance for them.
Shipping Container Home
Old shipping containers like the ones you see on ships and trains, are becoming popular to use as homes. These metal crates are finished off with electricity, plumbing, insulation, walls, flooring and siding for a modern, yet cozy, feel. These crates can be lined up, stacked, or joined to create larger living spaces. They are low cost and a fun way to use recycled materials in a retro, modern fashion.
While living in a tent may seem a little far-fetched, several companies have designed wall tents, yurts and even teepees to be full time dwellings. These alternative homes are much cheaper than other options, and make great homes. They can be heated, provide protection from the elements, and can even have multiple rooms, flooring, and normal doors and windows. You will have to get used to living with the smells, sights, and feelings of nature right outside your fabric walls. However, this can be very stress relieving and provide a great respite from the buzz of the modern world.
Home on the Water
Living in a houseboat can save you tons of cash. Of course, you can buy a large houseboat with tons of amenities, or a big fancy yacht and not save any money. However, humbling yourself to live in a smaller boat can mean lower costs: no lawn care costs, no property taxes, no recycling or trash cost. Usually the only charge is a monthly cost for a marina slip. Living on the water allows you to be in touch with the outdoors and gives you a first hand few of the sunset over the water every night. If you love the water, a houseboat may be the best choice for you.
-The Alternative Daily