For a lot of people, the direction of their life follows a pretty specific path. As the old story goes "Go to school, go to college, get a job, buy a house." (Plus, you'll probably have marriage and kids thrown in there for good measure!) That last one is the often seen as the true sign that you've made it as an adult. Being able to buy a house has historically been something of a status symbol for many people. However, thanks to the rising cost of houses and the cost of living as well as the stagnation of wages, the idea of buying your own home has gone from expectation to far-fetched fantasy for a lot of people. Where your parents might have been able to afford a home on normal salaries without too much trouble, the idea of being able to buy a house is something that many working people simply can't entertain. Not only that but, even if you do have the money for it, is it always the right option? After all, owning a house comes with a whole host of responsibilities as well as the fact that, in today's volatile market, you simply can't be sure that you're getting a fair price, both when you buy and when you sell. However, you don't need to despair just because buying a house might not be the right choice for you. There are, in fact, a surprising number of alternatives that you might be able to look into instead. Here are just some of the other options that many people have found to be superior to buying a house.
The most obvious alternative to buying a house is simply to rent it. For a lot of people, there are many ways in which renting and buying feel very similar on a day to day basis. However, there are a few fundamental differences that could possibly impact your decision.
The most obvious positive thing about renting is that you have far less responsibility than you would if you were a homeowner. If your heating or A/C breaks in a home that you own, then you're the one who's going to have to deal with it. However, if you're living in a rented property, then that kind of thing is the responsibility of your landlord. Not only will they often pay to get it repaired but will take care of everything when it comes to contacting the company in the first place.
The other positive aspect of renting is that you have far more freedom over where you can live. If you decide you aren't happy there, after your six-month tenancy contract is up, then you can simply find somewhere new and move. When you're living in a home that you own, then you're much more heavily committed to one place for much longer. This is made even easier by the fact that there are always rented properties coming on the market as more and more people realize that becoming a landlord is a sound investment.
Of course, living in a rented property isn't all positive. For one thing, you have a lot less security than you would if you were buying. After all, the house doesn't belong to you and if a landlord decides, after your tenancy is up, that they want you gone, then you've got to go.
Not only that but if you want to make any changes to your home, then you're pretty much stuck. Some landlords are so strict that they won't even allow you to drill into the walls to hang some shelves.
The other major issue people have with renting is that it can feel like you're throwing your money away. When you buy your home, you're paying that money back against your mortgage which means that you're technically investing that money into your home. When you rent, you're literally just paying to live there. Whether that's an issue will really depend on your personal preference, but it's certainly something to consider.
Of course, if you want to own your home but want to go in a slightly different direction you could always think about building your home.
The main benefit to building your own home is that you get to make it completely personal to you. There are a lot of properties on the market today, but you can't necessarily be sure that you're going to be able to find one that's perfect for you and your needs. That's why so many people are choosing custom homes. By building it yourself you can make sure that it fits your exact specifications. That way you're far more likely to end up in your forever home than you would if you were living somewhere that wasn't quite perfect for your needs.
The other great thing about building your own home is that you don't have to worry about getting caught in a chain. Sometimes you can find the perfect home but you've got to wait for the people selling to find their own new home before you can actually buy it. And even then there's the risk that they will pull out of the sale and you'll be left having to start your search all over again. By building your own home you take yourself out of that cycle.
Building your own house can actually end up being cheaper than buying. However, that's not always the case. You need to be able to be incredibly disciplined about your budget and ambitions if you want to build your own home. Otherwise, you're going to find the costs spiraling, and you could end up getting yourself into some serious financial difficulty.
The other important thing to remember about building a house is that it takes time. Everything from planning with an architect, finding the right team, finding the land that you need, creating a budget, not to mention the construction itself are all going to take a lot of time. While that's happening, you need somewhere else to live which means that you could end up spending money on a rented property which is going to add to the costs significantly. If you're going to build your home, then you might want to think about finding someone to stay with while it's being built.
Just because you're not buying a house, doesn't mean that there aren't options out there for you if you are looking to own your home. Plenty of people have found themselves very happy living in alternative properties like houseboats and RV's. Sure, this option certainly isn't for everyone, but for those who can embrace it, there's a lot to recommend it.
When you're living somewhere like a houseboat or in a RV, then you have more freedom than just about any other option. After all, why would you ever need to be tied to one specific place if you can just take your home with you wherever you go! If you're the type of person who gets bored staying in one place for too long, then you're almost certain to find some serious charm in living in this kind of property.
The other main reason that so many people find themselves deciding to live in these kinds of properties is the price. A houseboat, for example, is significantly cheaper than a house. If you want to become a homeowner, but you simply don't have the budget to be able to buy a house, then this might be a much better option for you.
Of course, you really do need to be a particular kind of person to fully embrace that kind of nomadic lifestyle. Not only that but there are a lot of modern conveniences that you have to give up when you're living in an alternative property. One of the most obvious is that of space. A RV or a houseboat simply don't have the kind of space that you would get from a house or an apartment. You have to embrace a pretty minimalist lifestyle in order to prevent yourself from becoming overly cramped, and even then you're not going to have much room to maneuver.
The other issue is that these kinds of homes often come with surprising hidden costs that you might not think about. A houseboat will usually involve a price that you need to pay when you dock in certain places as well as the license that you need to actually pilot it. Similarly, a RV will have fuel costs as well as the cost of maintenance in order the actually keep the thing running.
Whether or not you find these options particularly appealing will depend entirely on your personal preference. However, hopefully, we have shown you that there are plenty of option available to you and just because you're not in a position to buy a house right now doesn't mean that you're not going to be able to find your perfect home.