Alternative Living Spaces to Escape A Mortgage

words Al Woods

It isn’t a recent phenomenon, but it is getting more and more difficult to even get a foot on the first rung of the ladder. 

The property ladder, that is!

First-time buyers have been finding it increasingly difficult to get on to the property ladder – even with many governmental support schemes. 

Enter mini homes, van life, container homes, and houseboats. 

Alternative house

Photo by Hama Haki on Unsplash

What factors make getting a mortgage difficult?

Getting a mortgage used to be a much simpler process. Yet now, with complex criteria and endless check-boxes, getting a mortgage can be very difficult indeed. 

  • Lower income poses an issue because lenders will look at how affordable a mortgage is. Often not taking into consideration that the person in question has been paying private rent for years, at a much higher cost. 
  • Smaller deposits can be an issue too. The higher the deposit you have, the better of a prospect you will look. Government schemes are also typically available to those who have a decent-sized deposit. 
  • Bad credit is one of the biggest hurdles people face when trying to get their first mortgage. Missed payments, credit cards, closed accounts, and utilities all feature on your credit file. 

What are some of the alternatives to traditional housing?

Earth houses

One of the earth-friendly alternatives to traditional housing is an Earth House. 

Earth houses are coinstructed using a mix of clay, earth and some of the most sustainable housing materials. 

Earth houses come in a several different options:

  • Cob houses are a mixture of straw and earth. They often look similar to the houses made from clay. They are long lasting, and can be similar to houses that you may associate with the Hobbits from Lord of the Rings. 
  • Earthbag houses are constructed using bags of earthen type materials. The earthen material bags are stacked to make the walls. Earthbag houses don’t use framing. 
  • Rammed earth homes filled preconstructed walls with soil. The materials are packed tightly, and are very solid homes. 
Metal homes and cabins

Metal homes are cheaper than traditional homes to build, and they last longer too. You can have a metal home constructed and then placed on the land you own.

Modern steel has quickly become one of the materials of choice for those who wish to have a cost effective and energy efficient home. 

  • Quonset huts are a popular choice. They have design elements that make them modern and hard wearing. Quonset hut homes are easy to place and are carachterized by their distinct shape and features. 
  • Container style homes are usually more square in form, and are becoming very popular. Usually constructed from shipping containers, or drawing inspiration directly from them. Container homes are cost-effective, durable and completely customizable. 
Tiny House

A Tiny House is exactly as it sounds. A very small home placed on a small piece of land. There is even a dedicated Tiny Homes show on Netflix

Tiny houses were conceptulaized due to the increase in house prices and the difficulty getting a mortgage. 

They are designed to have everything you need to live comfortably and nothing more. Everything within the home is usually multiple purpose, and they are cheap to run and maintain. 

Tiny Houses are usually no bigger than 400sq ft. 

Tiny Houses also lend themselves to a minimalist lifestyle. 

Van Life

Transforming a regular van into a house on wheels has been the perfect combination of living space and adventure. Although the initial setup of the vehicle home may take some time, they are comfortable and multi purpose. 

One of the biggest pros for a vehicle based home, is that it provides the owner with countless freedoms that traditional homes don’t. 

Not only that but the possibility to live a more minimal life, like a tiny house but on wheels. 


Ever fancied living off the ground? Well treehouses give you that option. Building a treehouse isn’t too expensive, and they can be perfect for full-time living. 

Many people’s first experience with treehouses happens as a child, however having one as your home as an adult is now possible. 

Treehouses let the owner stay in touch with nature in a special way. You are really spending time in the wilderness, and that has a big feel good factor. 

Treehouses are also associated with a tranquil lifestyle and incredible privacy too. 

Alternatives to traditional housing is the best way to skip all of the paperwork and stress associated with a mortgage. Freeing yourself from the traditional, and still having somewhere to call home. 


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