For some, the only true sign of success is owning your own home. Considering that research suggests that 50% of the population under 40 will be renting by 2025, it appears that owning your own home could be something of the past.
Despite developers having access to property development finance to ensure homes are being built to address the housing shortage in the UK there is still an issue. With salaries not rising with property prices, more and more people are seeking alternatives beyond buying or renting to ensure a roof over their heads and a place to call home.
Mobile homes and chalets
Sadly, many people attach a ‘trailer park’ stigma to those who live in mobile homes. However, for the fraction of the price of a bricks and mortar house, mobile homes tend to offer rural locations and ample off-street parking, with enough green space to add patios, decking and garden at your leisure. Furthermore, you are likely to live in a community of likeminded people.
Mobile homes are becoming extremely popular with ex-renters as a two-bedroom chalet can be secured for as little as £60,000. Mobile homes come in all shapes and sizes and, although you are often situated on a specific mobile home site, you are essentially living in a detached property that would be far too expensive on the traditional market.
Around the UK there are countless empty properties. Being a property guardian means you live in the property and essentially look after it, reporting any maintenance issues to the owner to company managing the property. Properties of this nature can be anything from disused monasteries or ex care homes to schools and water towers.
Many properties can decay or be infiltrated by squatters when not in use. Guardians give building owners peace of mind that the property is being looked after. Benefits for guardians include extremely cheap rent that typically includes all bills, giving people the scope to save towards a deposit with greater ease.
Buying a property in London is a myth for many and renting is a necessary evil for many who live there. However, throwing money away monthly is something many are finding hard to bear. For those who have been saving for a property but cannot quite manage it, utilising that money on one of the capital’s waterways could be an attractive option.
House boats are by no means cheap, but prices are a drop in the ocean compared to London properties. Cost will depend on the size, but you can pick narrowboats up for £10,000 and up for something that doesn’t need any work completing. Permanent moorings can be expensive per annum, reaching £10,000 in some of London’s most sought-after areas. Typically, many people opt for a continuous cruiser license. This comes in at £800 per year and the only stipulation is you have to change moorings every two weeks.
The media has been reporting on tiny homes more frequently and YouTube is rife with tiny house builds and home tours. Costing as little as £12,000 in the UK, tiny homes are often harnessed by those who want to live off-grid and live a more rural lifestyle. Don’t worry, they can be kitted out with electricity, water, draining and internet too.
Those wanting to live off-grid in a tiny home will likely have to invest in solar panels, generators or wind turbines to power commodities. For those who are keeping a toe in more traditional life you can hook up to the electric and water supply if a building is nearby.
Tiny homes are not for everybody. However, after the initial costs, they are a cheap way of completely owning your own space. Although having more money in your pocket is a clear benefit, tiny homes give you the chance to be energy efficient, environmentally friendly and live a more minimalistic lifestyle.
Alternative living today
Quirky living accommodation is becoming the norm nowadays as people simply cannot keep up with rental or mortgage payments. People are camping, living in kitted-out vans or investing in caravans as alternative spaces to reside. Whilst it may all seem doom and gloom, many are actively seeking these lifestyles to escape the paycheck-to-paycheck lifecycle associate with renting or buying.