Cutting loose from the herd
The good news is that there are still affordable homes out there. The bad news is that most of them are called tents. All joking aside that's closer to reality than we like to admit. Our options seem to be shrinking year after year.
We all want our homes to be a blessing and not a curse. And we've all seen lately how fast the dream of owning your own affordable home can turn into a nightmare. Faster than you can say 'subprime'. How do we avoid the mortgage trap that has seen so many have to walk away from their homes and face crippling losses?
With the benefit of hindsight, for anyone who has been badly burned by this experience, the lessons can usually be boiled down to just one...don't live beyond your means. Don't be like that kid in the candy store who gets his fist stuck in the bottle.
If you're smart enough to avoid the pitfalls, the good news is that, unlike the stock market for example, real estate, affordable homes included always has inherent value and while it will have its up and downs will never go to zero. First and foremost, a home should be a home, and not just real estate. It should be a place to nurture our dreams and our families, and a sanctuary to weather the storms. It should be built for the long haul, not for short term gain. If you look at it that way you can't go wrong.
Anyway...enough of preaching to the choir already. Presumably, if you're reading this you are already convince of the merits of doing things a little bit differently from the herd. Especially herds that are stampeding straight for the nearest cliff.
There are plenty of things things we can do to lessen the cost of building that home. Most of life's failures begin as failures of the imagination, the inability to see beyond the box that we presently find ourselves in. So keep all doors open and see where they lead.
Simplify Simplify Simplify
For those of us who are overextended both financially and pscychologically, it can be the ultimate wisdom to simplify. Start by cutting back on everything you don't need...all that junk and pointless activity that clutters up your life.
As for housing....think small. If you're looking for affordable homes, build a small house. Or better yet build a tiny house. Absolutely everything about that small/tiny house is going to cost you exponentially less than a big one. And you can take all the money you save and do whatever you want with it.
Okay, let's face it, the tiny house option does not work for everyone, especially those with big families but the basic principle of cutting back on the non essentials and simplifying your life still applies universally.
Think Outside the Box
Here's just a brief sampling of some of the non-conventional (and non-tent) options you might want to consider: How about shipping containers? Have you seen what's being done with them lately? Another seemingly inexhaustable resource being ingeniously transformed to meet our most basic need both economically and with style.
Floating homes...how about converting an old fishing boat or barge? Living aboard down at the docks Living aboard down at the docks is a lifestyle with which I have some experience and can be amazingly affordable and a fascinating way of life that has you rubbing shoulders with a whole different cast of characters that you might never otherwise get to meet.
Then there's all the possibilities for being a part of unique communities, housing co-operatives and intentional communities. Or getting together with a group of like-minded friends to jointly buy a big parcel of land to build to build affordable homes on.
You might be thinking "Oh yeah, communes...didn't they have something like a 100% implosion rate back in the '70's?" Actually, I think it was more like 110% but these aren't communes and the newer incarnations have a lot of happy stakeholders.
Or for the more adventurous... How about a whole new life abroad? Canadians and Americans, for example, are flocking in droves to Mexico not just for vacation any more but to live there, either for up to six months of each year as non-residents or full time as residents. Mexico abounds with affordable homes and even the potential to build your own not-so-tiny hacienda if you're so inclined...
Big dreamer? Maybe what you need is an alternative income on steroids.
Pick of the Crop
In my opinion (and I'm not alone) the two smartest choices of all are SBI! aka Site-Built-It and Vertical Legacy. Both are phenomenal home businesses without parallel in terms of income potential, topnotch management and proven success. These are simply put, best of class and will be around for a very long time.
PROVEN Track Record
What sets SBI and VL apart is their willingness to put their money on the line to back up their claims. Both offer huge cash awards to ANYONE who can uncover better programs than theirs. And by huge I mean just that. In the case of SBI! the amount is a whopping $50,000 and I believe $10,000 for VL. In both cases there have been no takers.
And yes, for the record I am a proud owner AND shameless promoter of both businesses.
Click below to find out WHY: