Creative Living Options

For most people, one of the largest expenses within their budget are living costs (i.e. combined expenses for rent/mortgage, utilities, taxes, insurance and/or maintenance). In a past life we joint in on this by buying a McMansion. Although it was certainly luxury living, after a few years we started to notice the drawbacks in terms of cost (and the mortgage was not even too bad!) and time (cleaning/maintenance).

Other options?

We currently rent, but are looking again into home ownership. The region where we are considering purchasing, the cost vs. rent balance (assuming minimal down payment) tips in favour of buying. It furthermore gives us the opportunity to purchase a future investment as well (i.e. we are scouting for a home or homes that can be turned into a rental property or properties).

However, some folks have found creative ways to reduce their cost of living or enhance their way of living. Many of them documented these (ongoing) journeys, below is an assortment of (sometimes inactive) blogs that give you an idea how to “thinking outside the box” on “think inside the box” in one case.

Creative Living Options!

Creative Living Options: The Houseboat
Creative Living Options: The Houseboat

Not all off the following “housing” options are for everyone, or even possible for most, but it should make you think more creatively about your current/future living arrangement. For example:

  • Can you move to live cheaper and/or liberate equity to invest?
  • Can you sub-let a room/basement/attic/garage to get more income?
  • Can you split your home into two or more units?
  • Can you move to a recreational facility/park and live in a RV/Cabin/Trailer/House boat (you may need two as regulations don’t always allow permanent living at these places)?
Creative Living Options: the Box Truck
Creative Living Options: the Box Truck

Several creative living arrangements

Living in the office:

Living in a pickup:

Living in an RV:

Living in a box truck:

Living on a boat (stationary):

Living on a boat (travelling):

Living on a floating homes:

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  1. Let me just start by greeting a fellow Dutch PF blogger! Good to ‘stumble upon you’ here.

    Interesting links you provide, we are also exploring the possibilities of alternative (and cheaper) ways of living. We like the tiny houses you see a lot of these days, but they are practically sea containers most of the time. Living on a boat and travelling is our absolute favorite.

    Mrs. CTC

    1. Hello Mrs. CTC,

      Thank you for commenting. Hope you guys are able to work your way to the coast. Not sure if you have ever been to the west coast of the USA, but I think you would love the drive down from Astoria (Oregon) to San Francisco (California) on highway 101. It is probably one of our favorite coastal drives.

      As for the creative living options, we are playing with the idea of converting an old van (Mercedes Sprinter or equivalent) to an RV to travel around through Europe. Found a couple more blogs about the topic and some have done amazing jobs. It’s also a fairly cheap way or getting around Europe, with maximum flexibility, but it will remain dreaming for now I’m afraid.

      De groetjes terug!
      Mr. CF

    1. Doing a vacation in one is certainly possible, albeit most people use a caravan (more flexible and cheaper). The massive fifth-wheels, trailers and RV’s as you see in the US and Canada are not very common. However, there are trailers for sale in recreation areas that you could use for living purposes. These are generally cheap, but you will have to work around the regulations as permanent residence in these parks is not permitted.

  2. It is good to look at all these options to get an overview of the possibilities. Keep us posted on your progress.

    Living on a boat looks interesting. In the town where I live, there are various housing/office boats.

    1. I love house boats too, but as mentioned to Mr. Tako, it is unlikely that we find one before we need to move our of our current rental unit.

    1. As a matter of fact, yes, we are considering purchasing a larger unit which we would split into multiple units to rent our and keep one for ourselves. Or purchasing multiple units at the same time. Hope to be able to schedule a visit next week for a potential property with 4 units. If feasibly, we would practically be living for free, as the rent of 3 units pays for the entire mortgage, we would live in the 4th unit.

      We also have considered living on a house boat, but we have not been able to find an affordable one at the right location and in good condition. And since this market is very small, the chance of us finding one before we need to move is small. We found a couple nice ones, but these set you back about €300,000, they do have about 200m2 living space on two levels (about 2200 sqft). But these were above our budget, and the additional maintenance cost can be quite high.

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