As costs soar and employment becomes precarious more people are looking for creative options for cheap housing. Instead of signing your life away to the mortgage company, you can consider small houses, alternative building plans and even mobile housing options.
You'll cut your housing costs and eliminate clutter from your life if you go with a small house. The Small House Society provides links to building plans, designers and construction companies who specialize in houses less than 500 square feet. According to the Society, small houses not only require a cheaper initial payment, but they continue to save money in lower heating and cooling costs.
Alternative Building Materials
Depending on where you decide to build your house, alternative building materials like straw bale, cob or rammed earth may provide a cheap and earth-friendly alternatives to a traditional bricks and mortar home. Not all these alternative building materials are practical in every climate and you will want to check your local building codes. GreenHomeBuilding maintains a list of local experts and building ideas that can help you decide on the best alternative building material for your cheap home.
Mobile Home Options
Although small homes and alternative homes provide cheaper options than traditional housing, they both require that you own or purchase land. If you want to avoid that cost you will need to consider mobile housing options. But mobile does not mean you are destined to live the rest of your life in a FEMA trailer. There are a wide range of creative moveable housing options including folding homes, yurts and houses made out of recycled shipping containers. Contemporary designers have even taken on the hippie school bus to provide cheap and mobile housing.
Lori Karnac is a librarian, researcher and professor who has done academic research and writing since 1990. Karnac has written for the Key West Arts blog and "Artlurker" in Miami. She has a Master of Arts in library and information sciences from the University of California at Berkeley, and teaches academic research, art and design classes.