What Alternative Housing Options Are Available Today?

Many are keen on buying a home but few have actually explored the possibility of alternative housing. Just what are these options?

There are plenty of factors that prevent many Americans from owning a home today. There’s the surge of home prices that far outruns the pace of wage growth, the increasing interest rates, the continued scarcity in housing inventory. All these are making homeownership too difficult or intimidating for many of the country’s home buyers.

Fortunately, this is not the end of the road. There are plenty of actions one can take in order to still achieve the dream of owning a space of one’s own.

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Aside from looking at low down payment mortgage programs or down payment assistance options, you can look at today’s alternative housing options.

Indeed, the demands of modern life are forcing us to reexamine how we do things, living arrangements included. If you’re tired of the conventional homeownership system or don’t want to go through the hassle of getting a mortgage (yet), exploring these options might be worth the shot.

Here, we have outlined some of the most interesting alternative housing setups today.

Co-Living Spaces

If you’ve seen the comedy series Silicon Valley, then you’re probably a bit familiar with this setup. Co-living spaces are usually where a homeowner rents out space to people. Renters usually have their own bedrooms while the kitchen, bathrooms, and living areas are shared.

These setups are popular in areas with high costs of living such as in New York City where the average monthly rent rose by 1.14 percent from last year to $3,245. In Silicon Valley, you can share a co-living space for over a thousand dollars.

But of course, this is a wonderful option if you’re fine sharing a living space with strangers.

Housing Co-Ops

Housing co-ops are generally not considered real property. A buyer becomes a shareholder of an entity that owns that property once he or she buys into the co-op. Being a shareholder, he or she is entitled to a unit of housing within that property.

This type of housing setup is more common in foreign countries but is slowly gaining popularity in the US. Residents of a co-op housing pool their resources to manage the property together. These include maintenance, repairs, the establishment of common amenities, etc. This pooling of resources allows the co-op to save on housing costs which in turn cuts down the cost of homeownership overall. These properties look like your typical apartment building cluster or condo units.

You may inquire from the National Association of Housing Cooperatives about where to find a co-op, or start one yourself.

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Many of today’s millennials are exploring the idea of being nomadic, exploring various work opportunities while being able to travel around. This housing setup works around that idea.

Homeowners give free accommodation in exchange for work. The range of required skills vary from the most simple yard help tasks to month-long skill tutorials, etc.

Tiny Homes

If you’re completely okay with having little space of your own, living in a tiny home for as low a rent as $300 per month is an option worth considering.

Manufactured homes

Compared to site-built homes, manufactured homes cost five times less, with the option to customize. Manufactured homes have evolved throughout the years to be more efficient, functionality and design wise.

RV Living

You’ve probably seen countless of Instagram posts with the hashtag #vanlife. This picturesque and somewhat romantic kind of lifestyle is on the hype these days especially those who don’t want to be shackled by an 8 to 5 job and want some adventures on the road. If you want to be mobile and carry work with you, the RV life might be just the right choice.


House-sitting is definitely a thing and has been so for some time now. Housesitters are typically hired by homeowners who travel for work and leave their homes vacant for a significant period of time. It’s also common among people who are selling their homes and leave their properties vulnerable to thieves during this time. Usually, your job is as simple as keeping the property clean and safe, perhaps with a bit of pet-sitting as well on the sideline.


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