Cheap Housing Alternatives

75 Cheap Housing Alternatives-Realistic Solutions In 2024!

Are you looking for cheap housing alternatives?

Housing is a necessity but for some, it can be a luxury.

My partner and I spent countless hours searching for decent housing at reasonable prices before moving to Ireland. I know Housing isn’t always affordable so I thought I’d lend a hand and write about various cheap alternative living solutions ideas, so you never have to worry about having a roof over your head. 

Cheap housing alternatives

Whether you’re renting or looking to buy, this list of cheap housing alternatives should give you an idea of all the other options other than traditional housing. 

75 Cheap Housing Alternatives

  1. RV And Motorhomes
  2. A Manufactured House
  3. Unfinished Space
  4. Become A Live-In Caretaker
  5. House Boat
  6. Live-In Airbnb Property Manager
  7. Tiny House
  8. Shipping Container Home
  9. Pallet Home
  10. Earth Berm
  11. Tree House
  12. Free Spirit Spheres
  13. Yurt
  14. Cob House
  15. Shack
  16. Bus Home
  17. Habitat For Humanity House
  18. Mobile Home
  19. Get A Property With Many Rooms
  20. House Sitting
  21. Geodesic Dome Home
  22. Box Car Home
  23. Join The Military
  24. Accessory Dwelling Units
  25. Buy A House In Cash
  26. Truck Home
  27. Couch Surf
  28. Get A Duplex
  29. Shed Home
  30. Straw Bale Home
  31. Long-Term Airbnb
  32. Earth Bag Home
  33. Become A Digital Nomad
  34. Pet Sitting
  35. Move In With Your Parents
  36. Job With Housing
  37. Move In With A Friend
  38. Hotel
  39. Sailboat
  40. Hemp Concrete Home
  41. Join The Peace Corps
  42. Rent A Room
  43. Fixer Upper
  44. Live Under A City
  45. Van Home
  46. Coliving
  47. Buy A Cooperative Housing Unit
  48. Camping
  49. Hostels
  50. Silo House
  51. Modular Igloo
  52. Tipi
  53. Move To A Cheaper City
  54. Relocate Overseas
  55. Rent A Guest House
  56. Prefab Homes
  57. Barndos
  58. 3-D Printed Homes
  59. CrossMod Homes
  60. Bamboo Homes
  61. Capsule Houses
  62. Aircrete Domes
  63. Bunker Houses
  64. Condominium
  65. Earthships
  66. Naturhus
  67. Converted Churches
  68. Pit Houses
  69. Cordwood Houses
  70. Water Towers
  71. Sod Houses
  72. Quonset Huts
  73. Grain Bin Houses
  74. Recycled PET Bottles
  75. Adobe Houses


Some of the links on here are affiliate links and I may earn if you click on them, AT NO EXTRA cost to you. Hope you find the information here useful! Thanks.

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75 Cheap Housing Alternatives

Are you sick and tired of conventional homes and the massive price tag that comes with them? 

You don’t have to throw in the towel just yet.

 I’m going to share with you some of the many alternative living solutions creative and frugal individuals have taken to over the years.

1.RV And Motorhomes

  • Average cost per month: $1500-$3000
  • Average initial investment: $10,000 – $300,000. This price highly varies based on features, size, and condition (used or new)
  • Pros: you can save money on electricity, cable, internet or rent.
  • Cons: it can be costly if your motorhome breaks down and needs repairs.
cheap housing alternatives

Rv Saving Money Tips: 

This is one of the best alternative living solutions, additionally, some of the monthly costs of living in a motorhome can decrease if you:

  • Avoid long-distance travel and stay stationary in one area
  • Use apps such as GasBuddy App to find the cheapest gas stations
  • Buy items in bulk and make your own meals 
  • Use RV apps to find free or low-cost services, for example, Ultimate PUBLIC Campgrounds App serves to find cheap or free campsites
  • Subscribe to RV memberships such as Boondockers, where you can have access to stay with hosts for free while your membership is active.

Your home but on wheels -an RV or  recreational vehicle is a motor vehicle or trailer which includes living quarters accommodation. 

If you like to travel and want to do so from the comfort of your home, you may enjoy living in an RV as it’s one of the cheap housing alternatives. 

Like any traditional home, you’ll have access to a kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, etc. 

Of course, the whole car console is up front but what’s nice about having an RV is that you can park it at RV camps or parks. 

This RV blogger traveled to 48 different states with an RV and spent under $20,000 that year.

Note:  Did you know you could make some good extra money by living in a van? If you want to learn how, check out my article: How To Make Money Living In A Van [50+ Ways To Earn Cash While On The Road].

2. A Manufactured House

Average costs in the US

  • Per square foot: $55 
  • Lot rent: $300 per month
  • Buy an acre: $10,000 or less (in a rural area)
  • Pros: It is cheap compared to a conventional home, can be moved, and you can enjoy low property taxes.
  • Cons: some providers use low-quality construction materials, and some cities/towns do not allow manufactured homes.

Manufactured homes Saving Money Tips

  • You can get lower prices to buy your manufactured home between January-March because there are fewer people buying in winter months.
  • You can find the cheapest manufactured homes in New Mexico, Arizona, and Oregon.
  • Also, if you want to buy land instead of renting, the price per acre in New Mexico, Arizona, and Oregon is cheaper than in other states. 

If this alternative living solution caught your interest, and want to dig deeper about land costs, check out this article: cost per acre in each state in the USA.

Another cheap housing alternative for you to consider is a manufactured home. These are common housing alternatives because they are cheap and come in a variety of shapes and sizes. 

The most common type of manufactured home is a trailer or mobile home. 

The average cost of a manufactured home on the lower end will cost you roughly $10k-$15k but if you’re looking for something more luxurious, then you can expect to pay anywhere from $60k-$100k+.

cheap housing alternatives

3. Unfinished Space

Did you guys watch Ghostbuster or the Princess Diaries? These movies had one thing in common, the characters used a fire station as their living and working quarters.

I’m not saying go out there and look for abandoned fire stations to live in but instead, look for unfinished spaces that you can purchase for a fraction of the price of a conventional home.

Why are they so cheap you ask? 

Well, more often than not, they can be in odd locations, the building process was never completed, or simply it remained uninhabited. I find that the owner of these cheap housing alternatives just want to get rid of the property and they’ll do it at a low cost.

With a few do-it-yourself activities, you can turn that unfinished space into your dream home and do so without breaking the bank.

Talking about unfinished and abandoned spaces, did you know that some cities and towns in the US are giving away homes for free or at affordable prices?

For example, in St. Louis Missouri you can get a single-family home of less than 1,500 square feet for $1!!!

Of course, this does come with disadvantages as these cities are mostly abandoned and you will still need to invest in renovation. 

But, if you are in need of a play to stay and can’t afford a conventional home this may be an option to consider.

4. Become A Live-In Caretaker

  • Average salary per year in the US: $35,713
  • Top 3 cities that pay the most: Richmond, CA, Stamford, CT, and Bellevue, WA.

Do you have some experience in caretaking or possibly even nursing experience? If you do, becoming a live-in caretaker is a cheap housing option to consider. 

Live-in caregivers often receive free accommodation and meals in exchange for their caregiving services. 

You can look for caretaking jobs on websites like

cheap housing alternatives

5.House Boat

  • Average cost per month: $500-$900
  • Average initial investment: $20.000$50.000
  • Pros: you don’t have to pay property taxes and in general it is low maintenance.
  • Cons: lack of space and privacy, plus unpredictable repair costs.

This is truly one of the best cheap unconventional housing alternatives to consider! 

But, before purchasing you should: 

  • Rent your houseboat before buying it, this could help you spot any issues to fix or problems with the houseboat.
  • Get into Facebook groups, just search “houseboats + your location” and ask around about prices and lifestyle costs to get an idea about how much you’ll need.
cheap housing alternatives

Don’t like the idea of a home on wheels? What about a home on water? If you love the water and want to dive into your backyards, try out a house boat.

Houseboats are pretty common in some parts of the world -take the Netherlands for example, over 100,000 people live in houseboats docked by the water.

You can choose to buy or rent but a great website to have a look at is Boat Trader if you’re interested in houseboat shopping.

6.Live-In Airbnb Property Manager

A lot of people have had success renting on Airbnb but have you wondered what happens to the accommodation when no one is living there? 

Or what if the owners don’t even live in the country? Some Airbnb hosts have been known to shrug off their property responsibilities onto others -that’s you.

As a live-in Airbnb property manager, you can live in the property or area of the property for a fraction of the price as long as you manage the turnover process. This could mean tending to the property, managing the guests or other accommodations. 

When I visited Budapest, I met a full time Airbnb Property manager who managed the property of wealthy families living abroad. She arranged the Airbnb I stayed in and started in a separate part of the house rent free. 

What a great cheap alternative living solution, don’t you agree?

Making money with your extra space is one of the smartest ways of getting some extra cash with low investment. 

For this I have created a guide that will help you make $200 fast, and on top of that get tips from an airbnb superhost, so you can have your house ready for guests and successfully earn money with your extra space!

7.Tiny House

  • Average cost: $30k-60k in the US
  • Pros: lower maintenance cost, it is portable so you can use it for traveling around other cities.
  • Cons: minimal storage space.

When thinking of small inexpensive homes to build, the first thing that comes to mind is a tiny house. 

If you’re a minimalist looking for alternative living situations, and you feel like you don’t need more than a few squared metres to live in, then why not live in a tiny house?

You can buy or rent your tiny house but with the tiny house movement fast becoming a trend, new tiny houses can sell for $60k. 

You’ll probably save much more money if you consider to build your tiny house as cheap housing alternatives.

Tips when building your tiny house:

  • The trailer is the foundation of your tiny house. It is VERY advisable that you don’t buy a cheap used trailer but instead buy a new one or a custom made for tiny houses.
  • A recommended company is Perfection Trailers sale, it has good reviews and provides high-quality trailers.
  • Do not buy anything on a whim, in tiny houses, size and weight matter a LOT. For example, this includes planning your window frame and correct sizing.
cheap housing alternatives

8.Shipping Container Home

Looking for cheap unconventional housing alternatives to wow your friends with?

Shipping container homes are actually another form of traditional housing alternatives. Suitable for those looking for the comfort of home in a smaller space but not as small as a tiny house. 

Shipping containers can range from $1500 to $5k -if you’re lucky there are some on the market for $800 each. 

But if the sound of remodelling a shipping container doesn’t sound too appealing to you, you can also purchase prefabricated and designed shipping container homes for $15k and up as cheap housing alternatives.

A crucial tip: Find out what was inside the shipping container before you purchase it. Some shipping containers are used to transport toxic chemicals -you don’t want to be making a home in that one if that is the case.

9.Pallet Home

When thinking of pallets, a house does not come to mind, A bench, swing, spice rack or even bed frame sure, but a house? Nope. 

Turns out, you can actually build a sturdy and liveable house entirely out of pallets. It isn’t a fancy affair but it is something cheap and unique.

cheap housing alternatives

10.Earth Berm

J. R. R. Tolkien wrote the famous line, “In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit,” as the opening words of his award winning novel. 

I wanted to live in a hole in the ground just like a hobbit and guess what?

You can -they’re called earth berms!

An earth berm is an underground cheap housing option that has one front facing area that the world is able to see. They’re also known as earth shelters.

11.Tree House

If you think about it, a tree house is a great cheap alternative housing idea. 

And when I say tree house, I mean a fully fledged home with all the comforts of a regular house in a tree -not the kind you see children playing in. 

It can be done and it has been done! 

Have a look at this article and behold the wonders that can be done with a tree house. If you’re in Crossville, Tennessee, check out the tallest treehouse in the world, also known as the Ministers’ Tree house.

12.Free Spirit Spheres

Want to bring your tiny house living choice to another level literally? A free spirit sphere is a round home that is suspended by ropes attached to trees and is a cheap housing alternatives. 

This is for those of you looking for a little thrill for their next new housing alternative -not so much for anyone that is scared of heights or the idea of their home hanging in the trees.


If you love camping then a Yurt should be one you list of alternative housing options. I think yurts are basically sturdy and spacious tents that have an amazingly decorated interiors. 

It’s like an eternal glamping (Glam+Camping) trip and it’s a fantastic cheap housing alternative for someone who likes to be close to nature.

cheap housing alternatives

14. Cob House

This is one of the ultimate housing alternatives. 

Organic construction material known as cob is created by combining soil, water, a fibrous organic material, such as straw, and occasionally lime.

Subsoil naturally has a variety of components, so if it lacks the correct balance, it can be altered using sand or clay. You would not have to worry about the foundation of the cob house since it is made from soil. 

It is a common building material for homes because it is also a durable substance. Cob uses inexpensive materials and is earthquake and fire-resistant. 

Long rainstorms don’t damage cobs but they instead strengthen them.

15. Shack 

Now, I know that staying in a shack is not the first thing that comes to mind when you think of cheap housing ideas. 

To get inspiration and resources for building a shack, open up the trusty old search engine. A fast Internet search will turn up a tonne of information about shack home construction

16. Bus Home

Want to simplify your life and start cheap living?

If you’re thinking of living in a bus that has been converted, it’s a terrific way to travel, slow down, and pay less in daily expenses.

Read this article on how to live in a school bus, maybe you can gain an idea or two to implement this idea.

17. Habitat For Humanity House

Habitat for Humanity assists people with cheap living options.

You must take homeownership lessons, assist in the renovation of the home, and have a stable salary, a good credit history, and a small house deposit in order to purchase a home.

If you are eligible for these cheap housing alternatives, your nearby Habitat partner will let you know. If so, you will save a tonne of money over the years because the loan is interest-free.

18. Mobile Home

If renting a typical house is out of your price range, you might want to think about renting a mobile home as cheap housing alternatives. Depending on where you reside, you might be able to rent an equivalent amount of space for a much lower price.

Here are some resources for this alternative housing for rent:

cheap housing alternatives

19. Get A Property With Many Rooms

When I had my first property, I eventually moved into the tiniest bedroom, which had 3 bedrooms, and leased out the others.

Without realizing it, I was able to pay off my mortgage quicker than anticipated, ended up living for free, and was even earning an income from my tenants. 

So, the next time you are thinking of alternatives to living in a house, consider getting a property and earning money from your space.

20. House Sitting

You would be surprised to learn how many houses go unoccupied because their owners are out of town for work, always abroad, and leave their houses empty. 

For this reason, a lot of people decide to appoint a house sitter to look after their home. A house-sitter stays at someone’s property when and takes care of tasks like watering plants, collecting mail, and simply keeping the property looking occupied.

This is a great method to get some free lodging. Here is an article on How To Become A Professional House Sitter [For Newbies!].

21. Geodesic Dome Home

In addition to having amazing and distinctive looks, these cheap housing alternatives are also incredibly energy efficient, which lowers their operating costs.

Here are 4 places to buy geodesic dome house kits and start the cheapest way to live.

22. Box Car Home

A boxcar that has been turned into a house is one of the best alternative homes.

Compared to an RV or bus, you have more space, and it also offers more stability because you probably won’t have to relocate it as frequently.

23. Join The Military

When you enlist in any branch of the military, a basic housing allowance will be provided to you. 

These are some resources that can help you with your search for alternative living spaces:

24. Accessory Dwelling Units

An ADU is an additional living unit or a secondary house on a larger residential property with a main residential house.

ADUs, also known as granny flats or backyard cottages are a convenient and cheap living alternatives for many people.

California is one state where ADUs are increasingly becoming popular for housing and you can search some nearby.

ADUs are also preferred by homeowners since they guarantee a consistent stream of income in the form of rent.


World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms is an organization/ community which allows people from all over the world to volunteer at organic farms in exchange for food and shelter.

This is an example of unconventional housing options. You can stay for short terms in different countries for free and learn about their culture too!

26. Truck Home

Try getting a truck home if you are cheap home ideas to live alone. It can be significantly less expensive than conventional houses.

Do not knock the idea till you have tried it – here is a guide to living in your truck.

27. Couch Surf

This idea should not come as a surprise when it comes to cheap house ideas. offers a selection of cheap housing alternatives to anyone seeking to couch surfer. 

Alternatively, you could check to see whether a kind friend or relative would mind if you stayed on their couch. However, be aware that you shouldn’t put someone under too much pressure for more than a few weeks.

cheap housing alternatives

28. Get A Duplex

I would advise purchasing a duplex as cheap housing alternatives if you prefer a more conventional style of home. Even though it is significantly less expensive, you still receive your own private living area and a similar piece of land to a typical house.

Duplex homes have the advantage that you can reside in one apartment while renting out the other. The rental revenue can then be used to reduce your mortgage.

29. Shed Home

Shed homes are a popular and cost-effective housing choice. 

Unbelievable as it may seem, renting a shed is increasingly becoming a viable housing alternative. Although it may seem strange, sheds are easily approved to be occupied

Need more convincing? Here are 13 reasons why you should live in a shed!

30. Straw Bale Home

Straw bale homes are definitely among the cost-effective alternative houses.

While building a home can be expensive at first, StrawBale reports that homeowners who repurpose components, such as windows and doors, have built their homes for as low as $15 per square foot.

Making wise material decisions and employing your own workforce both help to reduce build costs making this one of the cheap housing alternatives.

31. Long-Term Airbnb

Renting a property from Airbnb might be less expensive based on where you reside. As electricity is included in the price, staying in an Airbnb may be less expensive overall than leasing a home.

While you may argue that there is now a tonne of luxurious accommodations on Airbnb, you can find the cheapest Airbnb in every state with just a quick search!

Also, you may pick the sort of accommodation you wish to rent, from apartments to tents, as well as whether you want to rent the entire space or just a room.

32. Earth Bag Home

Earthbag dwellings are created from bags of oil that are piled up like bricks to form a house, much as their name implies.

To explore one of the practical alternative housing solutions, read this beginner’s guide to earthbag home construction.

33. Become A Digital Nomad

Those who work online which enables them to move around whenever they wish are known as digital nomads.

Here are multiple useful resources on becoming a digital nomad

34. Pet Sitting

Some folks require pet care when they are away from home for work or for vacation. To care for their pets while they are gone, they employ pet sitters to stay in their homes.

So, taking care of pets could result in free lodging. This may be a fantastic job for you if you enjoy working with animals, and you’ll get alternative living arrangements.

Here are 5 Apps and Websites to Help You Find a Pet Sitting Job.

35. Move In With Your Parents

You can not deny that this is one of the best alternative living options. 

Living with your parents is a reasonable option,  at the very least temporarily. If you save the money you might spend on rent, you will have sufficient funds in a few years for a home deposit.

Since you might not need to put into the long hours when compared to if you had your own apartment, it also provides you the ability to save for other life goals you may have.

Living with family members is obviously preferable if you can contribute to the household expenses and buy your own food, but it’s still significantly less expensive than renting an apartment.

Here are some articles to help you out:

36. Job With Housing

Housing benefits are included in some of the jobs out there. Just do a quick Google search to find jobs that offer housing facilities to save you some bucks on housing expenses. 

37. Move In With A Friend

Moving in with a friend might be a wise financial decision for both you and your buddy. Just offer to take care of some of the utilities or meals and you’ve got yourself a decent arrangement. 

38. Hotel

Sometimes, when compared to owning a property where there are taxes to pay, the cost of electricity, internet, and many other bills, living in a hotel may be an affordable alternative. 

39. Sailboat

It sounds like living on a sailboat would be enjoyable and reasonably priced. Yes, it’s not for everyone, but a sailboat may be purchased for a lot less money than a house.

It’s a good option if you’re open to alternatives to apartment living.

40. Hemp Concrete Home

Hemp is making a comeback as a construction material now that marijuana has been made legal in certain countries.

Concrete made of hemp, also known as hempcrete, is one of the oldest and most environmentally friendly construction materials, and many people are opting to use it to construct their homes. This could be one of the cheap housing alternatives for you.

cheap housing alternatives

41. Join The Peace Corps

Upon joining the Peace Corps, housing is supplied for two years, and when you depart, you receive $10,000 compensation.

42. Rent A Room

One of the cheapest living options is to rent a room at someone’s home.

If you’re on a tight budget, this is a great alternative because your utilities are frequently included in the rental payment.

43. Fixer Upper

Investing in a home that needs work but is less expensive can be one of the cheap housing solutions. Many people purchase affordable homes with the intention of selling them for a profit.

Although you may eventually sell your home for a profit, why not stay in your fixer-upper for the long run?

44. Live Under A City

Even though this might sound like the making of the next horror movie, there are plenty of people who live under a city.  Read these articles below to know for yourself

45. Van Home

Consider a van home if you’re seeking cheap housing alternatives that won’t cost too much. Nevertheless, if you really want to live in a van for a long time, there are a tonne of resources that offer guidance on it such as the ones below

cheap housing alternatives

46. Coliving

Coliving is when a group of neighbors lives together. They frequently have similar views, beliefs, and hobbies. People in some coliving spaces not only share the property but also their goods and in some circumstances even their jobs.

This may result in low housing costs. As a result, coliving typically costs far less than renting an apartment or paying a mortgage.

Here are some coliving guides in various countries for you to check out

47. Buy A Cooperative Housing Unit

Similar to condominiums, cooperative housing allows residents to purchase shares in the corporation in exchange for the opportunity to live in a unit. The agreement typically makes financing the transaction impractical, which is excellent because it lowers prices.

48. Camping

If you were seeking an adventurous housing alternative, then this is the one for you. 

Spend the night in a friend’s backyard or at a public campground nearby. Though, bear in mind that this is not a permanent living situation, and it’s definitely not suitable for everyone.

Nonetheless, it is significantly less expensive than forking out a sum for mortgage payments or rent.

cheap housing alternatives

49. Hostels

I’ve lived in hostels before and I can confidently say that this is a cheaper housing alternative. 

In a hostel, you normally rent a bed in a shared room with other guests, although at certain pricey hostels, you can pay extra to stay in a separate room. Yet, you would still need to share other areas of the house, such as the kitchen and possibly the toilet.

50. Silo House

If you are into quirky and out-of-the-box houses, then a silo house would be the one for you. 

A house constructed with a grain silo is known as a silo house. Depending on the size of the silo, you can have them designed and constructed to your liking. 

Read all about creating a silo house in this detailed article. 

cheap housing alternatives

51. Modular Igloo

A modular igloo is essentially an igloo made of styrofoam. They are constructed of robust, strong weather-resistant thick styrofoam.

Thinking about putting a fun twist to housing alternatives? A modular igloo might just be the answer for you. 

52. Tipi

You might want to stay in a tipi if activities like camping are something you enjoy.

The majority of people don’t choose to live in tipis as their primary residence. Nonetheless, it does provide you with a cheap location to stay for a bit.

cheap housing alternatives

53. Move To A Cheaper City

It is true that housing costs in some cities are higher than in others, so the best option for you may be to relocate to a city with less expensive housing if you’re looking for cheap living solutions.

I understand that moving across the country can be difficult, but when you consider the benefits, I am confident that they will be worth the inconvenience.

54. Relocate Overseas

Granted, it’s not as easy as it sounds, but if you work remotely, this can be a very beneficial affordable housing options for you.

Compare the housing costs of different countries and then plan your relocation. Keep in mind that shipping your belongings internationally can be expensive.

55. Rent A Guest House

If you’re looking for cheaper living options, you can rent a guest house for short-term accommodation. Guest houses are pre-furnished, so your housing costs will be lower.

Rental listings in your city may be available online or you can ask for references from friends and family.

56. Prefab Homes

Alternative living spaces for rent is getting a prefab home.

Prefab homes are a convenient and popular cheap house alternatives because they are designed off-site, can be easily shipped, and assembled at the client’s location.

This is less expensive than building a home traditionally, and you can move in quickly!

57. Barndos

Barndominiums are essentially barns that have been converted into condos for residential purposes and are cheaper housing options.

When comparing the cost of building a house from scratch to constructing a barndo, the latter is clearly the more cost-effective option.

58. 3D Printed Homes

If you’re looking for cheapest housing alternatives, this is one of your best options. 3-D printed homes take much less time (around 24 hours!) to build, are much more affordable than traditional homes and are also sustainable.

You can check out this 3D printing construction company for housing options.

59. CrossMod Homes

CrossMod homes are also an attractive option if you’re looking for cheap housing alternatives because they’re less expensive and more convenient, and the designs can be customized similarly to traditionally built homes.

One such business is Clayton Homes, which constructs CrossMod homes that are tailored to the needs of the customer.

60. Bamboo Homes

One way to cut costs associated with building is to build a home out of bamboo. Accessible and reasonably priced, bamboo can be found easily and bamboo houses are affordable housing ideas.

You can check out the range of reasonably priced bamboo-based housing options at Bamboo Living.

cheap housing alternatives

61. Capsule Houses

An alternative cheap housing option, capsule apartments are one-room, typically small apartments.

Capsule apartments are becoming more and more popular because their rental costs are significantly lower than those of traditional houses.

62. Aircrete Domes

Aircrete domes, another cheap home options, are made of aerated concrete, making the structure strong, resilient, and sustainable, all while being reasonably priced.

You don’t need to be concerned about these domes being a temporary home because they are built to last more than 100 years.

63. Bunker Houses

It may not be common knowledge, but former military bunkers have also been transformed into shelters where individuals looking for cheap ways to live can reside either temporarily or permanently.

The military bunkers were converted into low cost housing options as part of the Vivos xPoint project.

64. Condominium

Condos are an excellent choice as well if you’re searching for cost-effective housing options. Because they don’t include land, condos are far less expensive than standard homes or townhouses.

Although there are monthly costs involved, condo maintenance and property taxes are generally less expensive.

65. Earthships

Building or purchasing an Earthship is not a particularly cheap housing option, but it will help you save money on energy and electricity bills because it runs on solar power or rainwater, making it cheaper in the long run than conventional houses.

66. Naturhus

Naturhus” is a greenhouse that has been transformed into a home, with a portion used to grow food crops.

Greenhouse homes are less expensive than apartments or traditional homes and you can try this if you’re looking for cheap living accommodation. They use solar panels for electricity, and you can grow your own food, lowering your living costs.

67. Converted Churches

Some places have converted old churches into homes to provide cheapest form of housing.

These old churches are de-sanctified and then renovated to preserve their architectural integrity while allowing them to function as residential spaces.

68. Pit Houses

One of the least expensive housing options are pit houses, which are often constructed entirely or partially below ground. Pit houses take advantage of the natural insulating qualities of the earth, so the interior doesn’t get too hot.

69. Cordwood Houses

The cost of residential buildings constructed with cordwood is typically lower than that of conventional homes and these are alternatives to renting.

These houses are built using a combination of debarked and fallen wood and insulating materials. This option for housing reduces waste and is sustainable.

70. Water Towers

Relocating into a water tower is another unique housing option. Affordable residential dwellings are constructed in some locations using the old water towers.

71. Sod Houses

All throughout the prairies, native settlers lived in sod houses. In the USA, sod houses are still present on some ranches and are cheap housing alternatives. They are constructed from grass sods combined with stone and wood.

cheap housing alternatives

72. Quonset Huts

Quonset huts, which are semi-cylindrical buildings made of galvanized steel, are another inexpensive housing option. They cost only a few thousand dollars.

You can check out the types of Quonset huts on this website.

73. Grain Bin Houses

Grain bins can be repurposed to create residential homes, which are cheap housing alternatives to traditional houses.

When an old, used bin is no longer useful to its owners, it is usually scrapped, but you can get one modified to be a home for a very low cost.

cheap housing alternatives

74. Recycled PET Bottles

If you’re looking for inexpensive housing options, you can build a house out of plastic bottles, even though it’s unconventional.

If you want to live sustainably and want to try this out, you can check out how this business used plastic bottles to make structures.

75. Adobe Houses

In contrast to traditional houses, which are built with brick and mortar, adobe houses are made of a combination of mud, straw, sand, and clay, all of which are relatively inexpensive building materials and are low cost housing ideas.

It also uses a lot less labor and energy in comparison.

i need a place to live asap what are my options?

I am aware that there are terrible, unanticipated situations in which you lose your house and need to find temporary apartment alternatives right away. So I’ve listed below what you can do in these situations.

Homeless Shelters

If you need a place to live but can’t find or afford a house, homeless shelters are an easy and affordable solution.

Shelters operated by non-profits and the government are both available. While some shelters only offer temporary housing, others assist you in finding permanent housing that meets your needs and is within your means.

You can also get assistance from housing organizations in your area in finding a cheap place or a shelter to live.

Share Housing

Minorities and vulnerable individuals who might not be able to obtain housing due to a lack of resources can apply for the Share Housing Program, which offers shared rooms as affordable, permanent housing.

To get housing here, you have to be willing to attend self-help support groups and have SSI or another source of income.

HUD Housing

The US government’s HUD Housing program aims to give low-income families access to safe and affordable housing. Although there are wait lists, it is advised to apply as soon as possible if you think you might lose your housing. You might also be able to get a house faster by applying to several lists.

Religious/Non-Religious Communities

Some religious communities like the Catholic Worker provide shelter for the homeless and you don’t have to be a catholic to get a shelter. Several other communities also provide temporary housing solutions in exchange if you work or volunteer there.

Permanent Supportive Housing

Long-term leasing options and support are offered by Permanent Supportive Housing to individuals or families who have at least one member with a chronic disability.


There are government-run homeless programs that offer rental assistance or housing options if you or anyone in your family is a veteran. Veterans who are homeless or at risk of becoming so can receive rent assistance for a maximum of two years.

FAQs On Cheap Housing Alternatives

What Town Has The Cheapest Rent? (In The USA)

The World Population Review deemed Mississippi to be the cheapest state to live in in the United States but according to this article Toledo, Ohio is actually the most affordable city in the U.S. to rent in. 

The average rent price in Toledo is $550, making it one of the three of the top five most affordable cities in the Midwest.

What Is The Cheapest Building Material For A House?

If you’re stumped on cheap alternative living solutions maybe you should have a look at cheap building materials. 

That way you can build your dream home with the best and cheapest materials -that’s another way to ensure you get the most out of your cheap housing alternative.

Keep costs low and by using a mixture of these materials and you’re well on your way to frugal living

Not sure if it can be done? Here’s an article that shows you how to build a house for dirt cheap using earth bags.

Earth Bag

Did you have a look at that home they built in the instructables article above? 

When you think of building a home, cloth isn’t the first material that comes to mind -unless you’re building a blanket fort. 

Earth bags are essentially feed, rice or cement bags that are filled with soil, dirt and yup you guessed it -earth.  

The appeal with earthbags and reason for its growing popularity is its low cost. You can build homes for $1k to $5k and have a lovely home that will outlast conventional wood-framed homes.

Traditional Brick

Brick houses are popular because they last long and they are affordable. 

Wait, just a side note -brick houses will last long if you do not live in an area susceptible to earthquakes. 

Other than that drawback, bricks are great building materials to use because they are fire and water resistant. 

They also make for a very quiet home, plus have you seen those exposed brick walls in some houses? So rustic, count me in!

cheap housing alternatives

Fresh Concrete

Raw cement is a good building material to consider if you’re looking for a cheap home alternative.

Much like brick, concrete walls are water and fire-proof and because they are not made from organic-matter, you won’t have to worry about maintenance -say bye-bye to mold or mildew. 

Aesthetically, raw concrete is very versatile -it can give that simple clean industrial look or you could paint over it and change the vibe altogether.

cheap housing alternatives

Industrial Steel And Iron

Why not build on that industrial aesthetic with industrial steel and iron? Contrary to popular belief, industrial steel and iron are inexpensive building materials – neither materials melt, warp, break, crack or creep and they last long, are cost-effective, and completely recyclable. 

Reclaimed Timber

Trendy, cheap, eco-friendly, what more do you want?

 Recycled timber is a popular low-cost construction material that has seen an increase in use these past few years in the building industry.

It’s popularity means that reclaimed timber has become one of the most common cheap and trendy building materials for alternative living solutions. 

Wood can be susceptible to things like warping or splitting -old timber is more durable and dried out meaning you won’t run into this problem when using this material to construct your home.

cheap housing alternatives

Corrugated Metal Sheets

Once upon a time, corrugated metal sheets were used for purely industrial purposes but with the industrial themed aesthetic picking up among the youth, corrugated metal sheets have gained popularity.  

Besides their low-cost, steel is a very durable material and can withstand harsh weather conditions like fire or rot.

 It’s easy to maintain, it’s recyclable and you can give it a fresh coat of paint or zinc to keep it from rusting (if that’s not the look you’re going for).

What Is The Cheapest Housing Option?

One of the cheapest alternative living solutions is a manufactured house, where the average square per foot in the US is $55.

Another one of the cheapest housing options is a shipping container home, where you can buy prefabricated and designed ready homes for $15,000.

Where Can I Live Instead Of House?

There are many alternative housing options, some of the cheapest and most innovative are: 

  • RV and Motorhomes
  • Boat homes
  • Tiny Houses
  • Ship Container Homes
  • Yurts

What Is The Most Inexpensive Way To Live?

Currently, these are the best alternative living solutions to save money: 

  • Living a minimalist life 
  • Sharing home expenses with roommates, family, or friends
  • Living in cheap housing options like tiny homes, houseboats, or shipping containers homes
  • Work as a full-time live-in caregiver
  • Live on the road in a motorhome
  • Rent one of your extra spaces 
  • Live in as an Airbnb property manager 

What Is The Cheapest And Safest State To Live In?

According to the most recent study made by WalletHub, the cheapest and safest state to live in the US is Arkansas, being the top 3 cheapest city, and having a safety score of 46 out of 50.

This information is very useful for those who are looking for alternative living solutions but are also concerned about the most affordable states to live in as well as their security.

Also, if you are curious about a sweet spot between affordability and security, I checked the data and found the top 5 safest and cheapest cities  in the US are:

  1. Alabama
  2. Arkansas
  3. Missouri
  4. Oklahoma
  5. South Carolina

Now, in more detail at the present moment in the United States, these are the top 11 cheapest states you could live in:

  1. Alabama
  2. West Virginia
  3. Arkansas
  4. Indiana
  5. Missouri
  6. Utah
  7. Mississippi
  8. Tennessee
  9. Minnesota
  10. Kentucky
  11. Oklahoma

On the other hand, the safest 11 states to live in the US are:

  1. Maine
  2. New Hampshire
  3. Alaska
  4. Hawaii
  5. Utah
  6. Nevada
  7. Washington
  8. Arizona
  9. Vermont
  10. Massachusetts
  11. Rhode Island

This information is according to the WalletHub study which you can read in more detail here: Best States to Live in

And, for more detail about the safest states, WalletHub also made a specific study , which you can check here: Safest states to live in US. 

What Can Be Used As A House?

  • Straw-Bale House
  • Shipping Container House
  • Cob House
  • Tiny House
  • Hemp Concrete Homes

Straw-Bale House

Straw bales are a great insulator and this makes building with straw bales a cost-effective green building technique. 

Straw is a waste product from grain production, therefore using it in buildings is a fantastic method to recycle it.

The structure of the home can be designed any way you like because straw bales are either used to build the frame or as insulators, associated with a timber frame.

Shipping Container House

Container homes are becoming more and more common. They may require fewer raw materials and less labor than traditional dwellings, and the end product might have a sleek, industrial appearance.

One shipping container can be used to construct a relatively small home, or several containers can be combined to build larger homes or even larger facilities, such as apartment complexes.

Its one of the house house alternatives I have considered!

Cob House

You might think that this house is made of corn cobs but that is far from the truth. 

Cob, a term used to describe a mixture of soil and straw used in green buildings, is equivalent to the mud homes found in the American southwest.

Cob is a cheap, adaptable material that lets builders create any shape they choose for their walls. Unlike adobe, which is often shaped into bricks or blocks, cob is applied in huge handfuls to create the building.

Tiny House

One major benefit of those little homes is that they are very eco-friendly. 

You can construct a tiny house using repurposed or green construction materials. These tiny homes are made to minimise our carbon footprint because they don’t need complex heating and cooling systems, are portable, and can be quickly transported to a new area.

Hemp Concrete Homes

The carbon footprint of hemp concrete is lower than that of conventional home construction materials since it is energy-saving and low-impact. 

Hemp concrete is an energy-efficient alternative to concrete, which is frequently used in the construction of homes.

It only requires a small amount of energy to keep its residents warm during the colder months and cool in the summer.

Why Are Homes So Cheap In Texas?

  • No State Income Tax
  • Low Cost Of Living
  • Abundance Of Land
  • Permits Are Easy To Obtain
  • Availability Of Construction Materials

No State Income Tax

Texas has no income tax, which helps to cut living expenses and make housing more accessible.

The Texas constitution prohibits the collection of income taxes. However, the state is reliant upon sales taxes and hefty property taxes. As a result, Texas allows you to keep more of your money. Hence, if you start looking for your dream home, you may budget for reduced taxes and buy a bigger home for less.

Low Cost Of Living

Texas often has a lower cost of living average when compared to other states. You will discover that groceries, housing rentals, and other everyday expenses are affordable.

Abundance Of Land

While Texas’ landscape varies from region to region, the majority of the state is made up of rural, agricultural land.

There are no coveted mountain views to raise the cost of homes. Instead, there are many options to expand out at a reasonable cost because of the vast, rolling countryside.

Permits Are Easy To Obtain

In Texas, obtaining a building permit is simpler and quicker than in other states. Hence, it is quicker to build houses because of the streamlined permitting procedure.

Also, there are fewer regulations and construction practices.

As a result, developers can complete the construction more quickly.

Availability Of Construction Materials

Texas is renowned for having a large supply of equipment and supplies. Construction teams can readily get their hands on supplies like sand and lumber thanks to the rising home industry.

As a result, despite recent increases in construction costs, Texas’ abundant supply of building supplies has kept costs in check.

How To Live Cheap?

  • Reduce Monthly Subscriptions
  • Buy High-Quality Products
  • Have Frugal Meals
  • Have More Low-Cost Experiences

Reduce Monthly Subscriptions

Subscriptions are frequently set up for auto-pay, which can be useful to prevent missed payments but will be a higher expense for you if it has been forgotten.

Review your money periodically to make sure you aren’t spending on something you don’t need or use.

Reviewing your monthly subscriptions will allow you to determine how frequently you use each and everyone and whether it overlaps with other services. Choose only the services you need to use and cancel the others.

Buy High-Quality Products

Be careful with your spending in addition to timing your purchases. Investing in high-quality products will be a smart choice in the long run.

Purchasing a pricey item that you will use regularly may end up costing less overall than purchasing a number of less expensive items that aren’t used as frequently. Also, you’re more likely to utilize a product that is effective or wear apparel that is the proper size for you.

Have Frugal Meals

Eating delicious food does not have to come at an expense. You do not have to spend hundred of dollars to get groceries and whip up a hearty meal for your family. Cut out from going out to eat often and start meal planning. 

Here are resources to help you out. 

Have More Low-Cost Experiences

You don’t need to spend a lot of money to produce an enjoyable and memorable experience. Here are 13 ways to have fun without spending money!

Why do we need low cost housing?

In order to enhance the general standard of living and well-being of the populace, we require affordable housing. Especially for low-income households, ensuring convenience, security, stability in their finances, better work prospects, and better health is crucial. 

Communities that are more robust and sustainable are also fostered by inexpensive housing.

What Is The Best Housing Option For Single People?

One of the greatest places for single people to live is a one-bedroom apartment or studio because they are independent, more cost-effective than larger apartments or houses, secure, and offer much-needed privacy. They are also in prime locations that are easily accessible from populated areas that offer amenities.

Cheap Living Ideas and Alternative Places to Live are a Real Thing!

From tiny houses to houses on wheels, on water, in the ground and even suspended from trees, there are a plethora of cheap alternative living solutions out there for you to explore. 

Take a little risk, follow the path less travelled and who knows? You may come out of it with cheap housing alternatives that you never thought was a possibility and extra money in your bank.

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