7 Alternatives to Purchasing a Single-Family Home


A lot of people want to buy a home. According to a report from Housing Wire, 84 percent of Americans said that purchasing a house is a priority to them.

Unfortunately, not everyone has the financial capability necessary to buy a traditional, single-family home. These homes, which have large, open porches, several rooms and a spacious living room can cost a home buyer hundreds of thousands of dollars.

If you can’t afford or don’t want to purchase a traditional house, don’t fret.

Here are seven alternatives you can check out:

1. Mobile Home

This residential structure may not be as big as a traditional home, but they allow you to live comfortably. You can shell out less cash to have them at particular sites. Take note, though, that you still need to pay for the other expenses on top of the mobile home, such as utilities, mobile home insurance and lot rent.

Many selling groups online also share excellent tips on how to sell your mobile home successfully. They can show the buyers the pictures of mobile homes and sell them at the price you want.

2. Tiny House

Living in a tiny home can be a unique experience. Many of these residential structures have wheels, which the homeowner can attach to an RV or a van for locomotive purposes. Getting a tiny house comes with two benefits: low cost of living and location independence.

You may still have to pay real estate tax or property tax on your tiny house, but the amount you’ll pay will considerably be lower than what traditional homeowners pay. Also, depending on which state you live in, you may need to pay property tax.

Taxes aside, you can go wherever you want. If you’re bored or fed up with your current neighborhood or community, just move your house to another city or state.

3. Condo Unit

Opting for the condominium option gives you some benefits of both renting and owning a house. This is because you:

  • can often pay less when purchasing a house
  • don’t have to maintain your building
  • only purchase the living area from the drywall in

There are, however, caveats that you need to be aware of when living in a condominium. As a condo unit owner, you have to adhere to strict rules. What’s more, you may not be able to certain activities that you may otherwise like doing, such as performing routine maintenance on your car and growing a garden.

4. Houseboat

As the name suggests, a houseboat is a home that floats. Some people look at this residential structure as a fantastic vacation property. Others see houseboats as an exciting and fun way to temporarily experience a different way of life.

Many cities in the United States allow you to live on a houseboat. A few of them include Portland, Oregon, Piermont, New York, Sausalito, California and Fort Myers, Florida.

Living on a houseboat comes with many perks. First of all, you don’t have to worry about yard or lawn maintenance. This means not having to mow the lawn or shovel the snow off the drive.

Another benefit is that you get to wake up to a beautiful waterfront view every single day. Given that you’ll dock your house at a marina, you can enjoy unparalleled access to the bay or lake on which you reside.

If you’re going to live on a houseboat, though, you’ll likely have less space than the usual single-family home. What’s more, you’ll have to pay rental costs for the slip you’re using in the marina.

5. Join the Church or the Army

An out-of-the-box alternative to purchasing a house is joining a church or signing up for the army.

Some churches offer accommodation for their staff within the church quarters. If you need a roof over your head and want to have a meaningful life serving God, then this option might be for you.

When you join the military, you’ll live in an accommodation allotted for you within the barracks. Consider this option if you want to serve your nation and protect your country’s freedom and liberty.

6. Live with Your Friends

If you and your friends all work in the same company or city, then you could all live together and split rent payments. Do note, however, that this is not a long-term option. Everybody has different goals in life. Your friends may eventually choose to have families of their own and relocate to a more suitable home.

7. Travel Around the Country or the World

Traveling around the country or the world is another alternative to purchasing a home. You could try to get local jobs (or become a digital nomad), live at a hostel or your van and not have to worry about paying property taxes and maintenance.

This kind of life, however, can be incredibly demanding. Make sure you’re physically and mentally ready to become a nomad before you take the plunge.

Choosing where you live will always be a personal life. If buying a traditional, single-family house is out of reach or something you don’t want to do, these seven alternatives are available for you.