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What Are Some Alternatives to Renting an Apartment or Buying a House

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Homeownership isn’t for everyone and even renting an apartment might make you feel uncomfortable. So, what are some alternatives to renting an apartment or buying a house? You’ll be surprised but there are quite a few if you’re willing to step outside the norm.

What Are Some Alternative to Renting an Apartment or Buying a House

Here are 11 alternatives for you if you are willing to be a little unconventional or step off the beaten path.

You never know, you might just love your new home.

1. Working at a Resort

If living in an apartment complex or being a property owner isn’t for you, then maybe you should consider working at a resort.

Depending on where the resort is, it may have live-in options.

Free-rent will be part of your benefits package and make up some of your income.

This means your paycheck won’t be as high as it would be otherwise, but it should still be enough to pay for your other monthly payments and expenses.

And depending on your position, you might also receive tips.

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2. Working on a Cruise Ship

This is similar to working in a resort, but not only do you get free rent, but you also get your meals free as well.

Working on a cruise isn’t as easy as you might think. 

You can expect long days and plan on sharing a room with another co-worker.

Even so, it is free, and it’s better than signing a lease agreement and then wishing you hadn’t.

Besides, you will be able to enjoy seeing other parts of the world without ever leaving your home.

Now that’s kind of cool.

3. House Sitting

Speaking of seeing the world, you might want to consider house sitting.

You can do it in the United States or travel around the world from one house-sitting job to the next.

You get to enjoy the perks of living in a house without having to worry about closing costs or property taxes. 

You would be surprised just how many opportunities there are out there and the quality of the homes.

You will be living the high life without having to worry about your credit score or a security deposit or real estate taxes.

It’s kind of a win-win.

Keep in mind that many house-sitting gigs include watching pets.

But if you’re an animal lover you should enjoy it.

Also, house sitting typically doesn’t pay anything, but you do get to live for free, so that’s nice.

And there are plenty of house-sitting opportunities that last 2 to 4 weeks or longer, so you wouldn’t have to move around too often.

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4. Trade Work for Rent

One housing option is to trade work for rent.

Many apartment complexes, large and small, will provide you with a free apartment, and sometimes a small salary, to manage or live onsite in case of issues.

I know someone who did this.

The apartment building had about 10 apartments.

He was just there to keep an eye on things and take care of small issues.

He received a free apartment and a small salary.

As he was retired and receiving social security it was a great situation for him.

Not to mention it was right on a lake, so he had a great place to call home without having to worry about mortgage payments or rent payments.

5. Become a Caretaker for a Senior Adult

More and more seniors want to stay in their homes as they age instead of going to a nursing home or assisted living facility.

You can’t blame them. Home is always a better option.

However, some find that they can’t take care of themselves or their home like they could when they were younger.

They need a little help.

Here is where you come in.

In return for a free place to live, and maybe even a small salary, you can move in and be their caretaker.

Your duties would depend on the situation.

You might do some cooking or clean the house.

You might even mow the lawn.

You would need to get everything in writing, so both of you are on the same page.

If you go this route, it wouldn’t hurt to take a CPR class, so you would know what to do if there was an emergency.

Tent in the Cedars Forest in Tannourine Mountains
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6. Camp

Okay, this one is certainly left of center for most folks.

But if you enjoy the great outdoors, camping is a cheap or even free way to live.

If you know someone that has a piece of ground you can camp on for free, go for it.

Or you may be able to find some government land where you can camp out.

This is truly off the grid, so you want to make sure you are okay with roughing it a bit.

However, it would certainly cut down on your living expenses.

7. Cemetery Caretaker

If you’re a fan of haunted houses and other things that go boo in the night, then being a cemetery caretaker might be right up your alley.

You will get to live in a small, but nice house on the cemetery grounds.

Your job will be to help maintain the cemetery and kind of keep an eye on things.

If this doesn’t freak you out and you don’t get scared by bumps in the night, then it might be an attractive option.

It beats the heck out of paying monthly rent.

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8. Live the RV Lifestyle

Similar to camping but more comfortable is the RV life. 

There are places you can park your RV for free, so this will save you all the money you would normally be spending on your rental payment.

Lots of people do this.

Just keep in mind that you do have to pay for the RV and the gas you’re going to put into it, so it isn’t a free option.

9. Live on a Sailboat

If sailing is your jam, then living on a sailboat is a great option.

There’s nothing like being able to pick up on a whim and sail the high seas.

I’ve known people that do this and they love it.

If you’ve never sailed before, you will want to take a few sailing classes before you set sail.

You don’t want to get out too far off the shore and have issues and not know how to deal with them.

Also, be careful of pirates. They are out there.

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10. Become a Merchant Marine

I had a neighbor who was a merchant marine.

He would be gone for months at a time.

I was always happy when he went because he lived in the apartment above me and when he was home it sounded like he was dragging a dead elephant behind him when he walked around his apartment.

I have a feeling you could do this job and not have an apartment as well.

He wasn’t home very often.

11. Join the Armed Services

In a similar idea, you could join the armed services instead of renting or buying a home.

You would get a salary as well as food, clothing, and living accommodations.

There’s no rental agreement here, but you will have to sign up for a number of years.

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To Sum it All Up:

You do have options if you don’t want to rent or buy a home. Some of them are a bit extreme, but others might make a lot of sense for you. 

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