How much you’d save if you skipped buying a house

Could you afford to live in a float home? Find out here

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From the November 2016 issue of the magazine.

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Before this, read “To Hell with this Home Market” to learn all about ways to have a home without buying a house in Canada’s crazy housing market.

Float home

COST SAVINGS: $200,000 cheaper than some Vancouver condos
WHO IT’S FOR: Home buyers who want a piece of Vancouver shoreline, but can’t stomach a million-dollar mortgage
WHO IT ISN’T FOR: People with mobility issues or who don’t like the idea of shovelling their roof
HOT TIP: If you don’t want to pump out your septic tank each month you can pay the marina about $10 to do it

Cottage escape

COST SAVINGS: Considerable, especially if you steer clear of vacation hotspots
WHO IT’S FOR: The self-employed
WHO IT ISN’T FOR: People who can’t stand the thought of weekend cottage traffic
HOT TIP: Older cottages are often sold “contents-in” which means that you may inherit old love letters from a bygone era or a crocheted wall plaque

Build an Earthship

COST SAVINGS: Huge. You can build for about $25 per square foot
WHO IT’S FOR: Hands-on builders and those who don’t mind lots of digging
WHO IT ISN’T FOR: Anyone who hates the idea of living in Yoda’s Dagobah home
HOT TIP: You need old tires to build an Earthship. Check with your local garage to see if they’ve got extras

Shipping container home

COST SAVINGS: Significant. You can build for about $100 per square foot, at least half the cost of a traditionally built home
WHO IT’S FOR: If you love building with Lego, you’ll really dig this build
WHO IT ISN’T FOR: Those dreaming of wide, expansive rooms. Shipping containers can be as long as 14 metres, but max out at less than three metres wide
HOT TIP: Containers cost between $1,200 and $10,000, depending on size and condition. It’s cheaper to add the insulation on the inside but bear in mind you’ll lose valuable living space

Camper van

COST SAVINGS: Enormous. A 2005 Chevy Gulf Stream van can be had for as little as $5,000
WHO IT’S FOR: People who value travel way, way, way above personal space
WHO IT ISN’T FOR: Anyone who requires a stationary life (due to daycare, schools, or work site)
HOT TIP: Unless you splurge on an RV, a camper van will be light on amenities. Get creative with stackable storage and don’t forget to consider how you’ll address the whole bathroom issue

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