Society presents a false dichotomy for how to house ourselves: either go deeply in debt for 20-30 years for a mortgage-financed conventional home or be trapped in an endless cycle of renting. But there are lots of other options.
As was discussed in a recent blog post, you could move to a small town and set up an urban homestead. This could be a less expensive older home, fixer upper or tiny home. By the way, I’ve known people who got fairly rich fixing up older homes by primarily making cosmetic changes to boost the resale value.
Another option is mobile living – camper van, truck camper, or used motor home. I know someone who is getting ready to travel the US in a stealth converted cargo trailer or contractor’s trailer. These trailers are often priced very affordably due to the downturn in new home construction. This person wants to tour ecovillages and WOOFer farms to hang out with like-minded people. One key advantage of mobile living is the ease of heading south for the winter or just packing up and leaving whenever you feel like it. If the vehicle is fuel efficient and/or you stay in one place for a period of time, your costs can be very low. You can also live in the trailer or van as you build your own sustainable home. A trailer can be disconnected and parked for ease of running errands in your truck. You could later resell the trailer for about what you paid for it, which means virtually free housing for the duration of your freedom loving road trip. The Mobile Kodgers website describes how someone camped for free (boondocked) in a cargo trailer for years. Related: Stealth Van Masterpiece. Also, search YouTube for ‘boondocking’.
Or how about traveling the world for cheap? You can rent a budget hotel with Wifi in developing countries for the price of a fast food meal or get a beach shack and live for $200/month for rent and food until your finances improve. See websites like Escape Artist.com with all the details.
I saved the best for last. Refer back to the Small Town Urban Homesteading blog post mentioned above. How about building your own dirt cheap rural homestead a few miles outside of a town like the one described in that blog post? New Mexico isn’t the best place for this due to the state-wide building codes, but there are still places in the US where there are very few building codes. The key idea here is proximity to resources. Build near a livable small town with the amenities you need – supermarket, health food store, gas station, library, computer repair, building supply center and so on. This lifestyle seems like the best of both worlds.
Image source: http://i.ytimg.com/vi/yZ9S9M76pWg/hqdefault.jpg