Cheap Homes - The Non-Traditional
Looking for a cheap home? You may want to consider the options below. Keep in mind that they may be just temporary. Years ago I used my own home as a boarding house, for example, in order to quickly pay off the mortgage. On the other hand, maybe you have no interest in living with others, or building a home. That's okay - you may still find some clues here as to how to save on your next home anyhow.
Building Your Own Home
There are several large companies that sell house kits. These come with the complete plans and materials delivered to your site. You could build it yourself, but the general idea is to be your own general contractor. You might get a nice house for 30% less this way.
Build In Stages
A friend of mine grew up in a basement as his father slowly built the house overhead through the years. Paying cash as you go to build your own home sounds like a way to save a lot of interest, certainly, but it has it's problems too. In this case, it mean no windows for years. The biggest problem now, is that regulations won't allow you to do this in most towns.
The idea has more merit if you don't take it to extremes, though. How about buying a smaller house that you can afford now, and adding on later? Be sure that it is possible according to local codes.
Buying Land To Build On
If you can't afford to buy a house where you want to live, maybe you can buy a lot on payments while you are renting or living elsewhere. If values are rising rapidly, you'll quickly gain equity in your land, which will make it easier to obtain financing to build a home in the future.
Living In Your Rental Property
Buying a duplex and living in one of the units has been popular for many decades now. Of course, the idea is that the rent from the other unit lowers your net housing cost. This isn't always the case, though. Look closely at the numbers.
Some of the duplexes around here sell for over 0,000, but get only 0 monthly rent per unit. It would be cheaper to buy a little 0,000 house for yourself. On the other hand, when we were in Michigan a few years ago, good four-plexes brought in enough income from three units to make living in the fourth almost free.
Living In An RV
This is an option many retirees are taking now. A couple years ago we met several older couples who lived in their recreational vehicles for free, by being hosts at campgrounds. Their duties were few, and included checking in new arrivals a few times a day.
Another way to live in an RV is to buy a lot and park it there. The idea here is that you can live cheaply (if you buy a used RV) until you can finance the construction of your new home.
In Arizona, the Bureau of Land Management, or BLM now charges to park your RV on some public lands that were previously free. The upside is that the fee is only around 0, you can now stay for six months, and there are pump-out stations and water available. That's cheaper than property taxes!
Buying A Motel
Most small motels come with living quarters. Buy a motel and you get a home and a job all in one. Just be sure that the numbers work, and that you want to work.
In some areas of the south, you can see hundreds of houseboats in the larger lakes. There is the allure of living on the water, but there are also financial advantages. Used houseboats can cost much less than houses on land, you can find places to park them cheap or free, and you don't pay property taxes.
Even More Cheap Home Options
There are still other possibilities for cheap homes, if you really want to live creatively. Buying a home with an extra lot that can be split off and sold might save you thousands, for example. Then there are the lifestyle options that are beyond the scope of this article, like living in a school bus, converting office space into living space, and building a log cabin in the woods.
About the Author: Steve Gillman wrote the book: Cheap Homes - How To Save Thousands Buying Your Next House. To learn more, and to see a photo of the beautiful home he and his wife bought for ,500, visit http://www.YourCheapHome.com