Buying a House for Four Figures

If you have been reading this blog long then you probably already know that I am interested in the subject of cheap housing. Thus this Money magazine article about a $6900 home in Detroit caught my attention. The article describes the availability of cheap houses in Detroit and gives tips on how to find a good deal.

Detroit isn’t the only place you can find houses for four figures though. With a little searching I was able to find plenty of cheap houses here in Kansas City as well. A quick browse through the listings shows that none of the houses are in neighborhoods that I would want to live in. That isn’t too surprising considering the price. From just looking at the listings it isn’t easy to tell how much work would need to be done on the houses either although some are in obvious states of disrepair. I suppose these could make decent rental houses but I suspect it would be difficult to find quality tenants in these neighborhoods. I am going to pass on buying any four figure houses here in Kansas City.

Buying a cheap house in small town Missouri is still a possibility. I’ve never seen a house as cheap as four figures there other than mobile homes. The small town seems like a better option to me though because the worst neighborhood still isn’t too bad. I actually looked at some property earlier this month but decided to pass on it due to the extremely junky neighbors. I’m still looking and I’m hoping I will eventually find a place that I like.

On a side note my mom happened to find out that the buyer of the $15,000 small house I wanted to buy is an acquaintance of hers. He did very little work to the house and promptly rented it out. I don’t know what he is renting the house for but considering the extremely low purchase price I have to assume it is making a nice bit of cash flow each month. If only I would have found the house earlier it could have been me making that money. Oh well, I will get mine soon.

Extreme Frugal Housing Options

The number one expense for most people is housing.  If you can make a significant cut in your housing expenses than you will most likely have a significant reduction in your overall expenses.  There are several extremely frugal housing options that I am considering for the future.

The first would be to live in a van.  I’ve done quite a bit of research on this and it would be possible for me and I think I would actually enjoy it.  I don’t think I could convince my GF to move in a van with me though.  Living in  a van probably works better for one person.  There are other possible problems with living in a van such as having to worry about breakdowns, finding a place to park, going to the bathroom, etc.  There are solutions for all of those problems though and the advantages of reduced housing expenses and freedom of living in a van would more than offset the problems for me.  It isn’t likely to happen for now though.

Another option would be to live in an RV.  It seems to be working pretty well for Jacob.   It would provide more room than a van but I still don’t think my GF would go for the idea.  Especially since she has two dogs that would take up a lot of room.  I’m not sure that there would be nearly as much savings here in KC when comparing renting a house or apartment to renting an RV space as there is in Jacob’s area.  I don’t really like driving large vehicles either.  It could just stay parked but I would prefer to be more mobile.  Living in an RV is a possibility but not one of my favorite options.

Living off the grid in a place like this simple cabin is yet another possibility.  As long as I had Internet it would work for me.  I don’t like the idea of staying one place all the time but I do like the idea of having a home to come back to after traveling.  Depending on the location of the cabin I would travel to avoid the worst cold of winter or heat of summer.  Then enjoy the cabin and the outdoors the rest of the year.  This option would take a little more planning than the first two options but it would provide a permanent home.  It would possibly be even cheaper than the first two options and provide a better quality of living.  This is my favorite option right now.

There are some more extreme frugal housing options but I have to go and this post is long enough already.  I will write about the other options later.