There are plenty of alternatives to a traditional home today, from tiny houses and smart homes to alternative housing. What’s your dream house?

The “8 awesome alternatives to traditional houses near philadelphia, pa” is a blog post about 8 different types of alternative housing options. The author also provides information on what these different options are and how much they cost.

8 awesome alternatives to traditional houses

Do you find the thought of a standard apartment or a suburban home with a white picket fence a bit “blah”?

You’re not alone yourself. People from many areas of life are revolting against soaring housing costs, from the emergence of small houses to the rise of co-living places.

By “skyrocketing,” I mean property prices rising at three times the typical pace.

It’s also not just about the money. There’s less need than ever to be tied to one area, with more Americans working remotely than ever before.

Check out these ideas to get you enthusiastic about alternative housing, whether you’re trying to save money, embrace a more nomadic lifestyle, or just beat your own drum a bit differently. We’ll start with suggestions for individuals who want to live on the go, then move on to drop-in houses for those who have land, and finally, a couple of ways to live for free.

Mrdoomits / istockphoto contributed to this image.

1. Spend your life aboard a boat



Who said you have to live in a house on the ground?

My sister Lauren dated a man who wanted to be closer to her, so he purchased a secondhand houseboat for roughly $40,000 and leased a spot on Baltimore’s Fells Point riverfront Promenade. Two bedrooms, complete power, a 46-inch LED television, heat, running water, and, of course, a motor were all included.

I’ve always felt they should have taken the houseboat down the coast and parked it in the Keys or someplace similarly appealing. Unfortunately, they did not. However, I like how one other couple sold their home, purchased a multifamily rental to become landlords, and then purchased a houseboat to cruise across Europe. All with far cheaper living costs than back home in the United States.

If you’re interested, My Money Wizard, a fellow personal finance blogger, lays out all the benefits of a houseboat, from cost to mobility to a better perspective and landscape.

A houseboat isn’t the only boat-based option for owning a home. Why not sail across the globe with your partner, significant other, or just a (very) nice friend? See what it’s like to live full-time aboard a yacht with Kristin Hanes’ experience at The Wayward Home.

Keep in mind that most nations have lower living costs than the United States. Check out these 10 nations where $2,000 a month can buy you a nice life to get a taste of what’s possible out in the wide blue yonder.


courtesy of jacoblund / istockphoto.

2. Travel the world in a recreational vehicle


What comes to mind when you think of an RV? Think again about those decrepit beige trailer-buses from the 1970s.

RVs nowadays have more in common with luxury residences than with trailers. When parked, many have massive “slides” — rooms that slide out from the main part to form a huge, multi-room house. RV living may include everything from jacuzzi tubs to queen-sized mattresses, fully outfitted kitchens, and comfy restrooms to any other convenience you choose.

You might even go for a camper van to keep things simple. It’s your decision.

Consider a pleasant and transportable RV lifestyle at whatever luxury level you can afford, whether you make $1,000 per month or $10,000 per month. It’s certainly preferable than overpaying for a filthy flat!

My father-in-law doesn’t live in his full-time, but he and his wife will travel in their expensive “mobile palace” for months at a time. This is the pinnacle of alternative dwelling.

Paul and Nina, on the other hand, enjoy a frugal but fulfilling full-time existence in their RV on a shoestring budget. They show that a joyful nomadic existence does not need a lot of money, and that you can take advantage of the numerous inexpensive unusual housing options available. All you have to do now is become creative!

Image courtesy of Pekic.

3. Towing a Tiny House


Everyone has heard of the small home trend by now. However, there are certain benefits to hitching a little home to the back of your vehicle or truck.

To begin, you do not need a dedicated RV. You may maintain your existing vehicle or truck if it has adequate power to tow a hitch, which is generally far less expensive than purchasing an RV for your alternative dwelling.

Second, you don’t need an RV park to get electricity and water. Solar roofs with rainwater reclamation and filtering systems are common in compact dwellings. That means you can park almost anywhere and stay as long as you like, presuming the police doesn’t come after you.

After all, who needs a mortgage? Set aside $10,000 to $50,000 and go out into the globe!

Ckellyphoto / Deposit Photos / Ckellyphoto

4. Other Nomadic Options: Housesitting, Airbnb & Beyond


Nobody says you have to own a house, even if you’re a nomad. Why not live in someone else’s house?

Depending on the location, utilizing Airbnb or other short-term listing services, it is possible to live very cheaply in other people’s houses. Long-term stay hotels are also an option, and in certain countries, they are inexpensive.

However, they are still costly. Want to stay at other people’s homes for free? Make a house-sitting offer! Visit for a free dating service for pet owners and house sitters. Craigslist, local pet owners’ Facebook groups, and area Realtors are all other possibilities. provided the image.

5. Prefabricated Cabins


Are you a landowner? Purchase a prefabricated cabin!

Even better, use a cabin kit to construct your own cabin. My father and uncle accomplished it by purchasing a 10-acre parcel on the Madison River in Montana, purchasing a three-bedroom log house kit, and spending many summers constructing it.

It’s stunning, with solar panels for power, a rainwater recovery system for water, and a propane-powered on-demand hot water heater.

Pellet or wood-burning stoves provide excellent heat and are inexpensive to purchase and install.

Image courtesy of andresr.

6. Container Residences


Shipping container houses are inexpensive and simple to install.

They may also seem and feel more “at home” than you would expect. Nothing says you can’t cover the house’s metal skeleton from the inside and out.

The greatest part is that you can combine numerous containers to create a house that is whatever form or size you like. Check out these case studies of shipping container houses that were created for less than $10,000 as low-cost unconventional housing options.

Photos courtesy of pics-xl / iStock.

7. Home Improvements


Who wouldn’t want to be able to live for nothing?

The concept is simple: you purchase a house and figure out how to get someone else to pay your mortgage. The traditional concept is purchasing a modest multifamily and renting out the next unit (s).

Isn’t it easy?

If you’ve never purchased a house or rented a property before, you could break a sweat. A full case study on how a 27-year-old with no real estate expertise house hacked and now lives for free in a nice suburban home can be found here.

If multifamily buildings are hard to get by where you wish to reside, consider a home with a carriage house or casita, or an income suite. Alternatively, you may purchase a house and rent out the other bedrooms. Deni and I have both done it, and it has worked out well.

Deni even househacked her suburban single-family home by bringing in a foreign exchange student, and the placement firm paid for half of her housing bills! Both with alternative housing and inventive solutions to offset regular housing bills, a little imagination can go a long way.

Compare mortgage conditions on Loan Depot or Credible, and remember that the rentals from nearby apartments might help you qualify for a loan.

courtesy of istockphoto/AntonioGuillem.

8. Teach in another country and live for free


This is something I really do!

My wife is a school counselor at an international school in Brazil, having previously worked in Abu Dhabi. Her school arranges for us to stay in a three-bedroom apartment in a fantastic complex with a pool and gym. A beach and boardwalk are just outside our building.

You also won’t have to pay US income taxes on the first $108,700 you earn overseas (for tax year 2021).

We, along with many of our friends, have toured the globe in this manner, raising our children and sending them to the (excellent) embassy schools where they work. It’s a fantastic way of life.

In reality, it’s a fantastic method to save money and make real estate investments. Look no farther than Ashley and Kevin Thompson, who are currently in their early 30s and have retired using rental homes after accumulating money while teaching overseas.

isockphoto/monkeybusinessimages is the source of this picture.

The Conclusion


Housing is the most expensive item for almost everyone on the planet. If you can lower or eliminate that expense, you’ll have more money to put into income-producing assets like rental properties and dividend-paying securities.

The more costs you can pay with your passive income, the closer you are to financial independence and early retirement (FIRE)! syndicated this story, which first appeared on

AntonioGuillem / istockphoto contributed to this image.

MediaFeed has more.

Depositphotos_180479030_m-2015 provided the image.


The “alternative living solutions” is a list of 8 alternatives to traditional houses. The list includes everything from tiny homes and shipping containers to yurts and treehouses.

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  • non traditional living
  • alternative house building methods
  • alternatives to living in a house
  • housing alternatives for families
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