If you’re tired of the same old cookie-cutter house and are dreaming of an unconventional place to call home, kudos for wanting to break out of the box. But before you take the plunge into a tiny home, geodesic dome, houseboat or renovated silo, there are a few things you should consider.
For starters, are you really cut out for an alternative lifestyle that may involve downsizing your belongings, dealing with permitting issues or living off the grid?
If you crave adventure and don’t mind the challenges that come with a unique home, it may be a rewarding move — as long as you go into it with your eyes open.
What Counts as a Unique Home?
Whether it’s an architectural gem, a tiny home or a water-based residence, unique homes come in many shapes and sizes.
Tiny homes are typically under 400 square feet and they focus on minimalism and efficiency. Mobile and eco-friendly, they also require compromise since you’ll likely need to pare down your belongings to the essentials.
From domes to cubes to converted silos, unusual architecture provides an out-of-the-box home owning experience. These quirky abodes attract those seeking a one-of-a-kind space. However, they often come with higher costs and may require special permits. An open mind and patience are must-haves.
RVs and Campers
For the nomadic spirit, an RV or camper offers a home on wheels. You can explore new places while enjoying the comforts of home. Of course, life on the road isn’t for everyone. You’ll need to handle vehicle maintenance, storage challenges and potential loneliness. A strong sense of independence and adaptability are essential.
For those wanting a vacation home without huge costs, a timeshare provides shared ownership. You get a luxury space for a fraction of the price. However, timeshares often come with annual fees, scheduling conflicts and the risk of property mismanagement since you’re sharing the residence with other people. However, if you’re open to compromise, a timeshare could provide an affordable getaway.
In the end, choosing a unique home comes down to knowing yourself. Evaluate what really matters — freedom, mobility, design or affordability. A home that fits who you are will make all the difference. The rewards of the road less traveled can be well worth it.
Pros of Living in an Atypical Residence
Living in an unusual home isn’t for everyone. But if you’re an adventurous spirit who values freedom, flexibility, and originality, it could be the perfect move. Depending on what type of residence you choose, there are pluses and minuses.
You’ll gain independence. Tiny homes, RVs and the like encourage you to downsize and declutter. You’ll only keep what really matters, freeing you from the burden of excess stuff.
You can go wherever the road takes you. Feel like mountain vistas today and beach breezes tomorrow? Just hitch up and head out. Traveling in your own movable mini home gives you ultimate mobility and spontaneity.
It’s better for the environment. Smaller spaces mean fewer resources used for heating, cooling and maintenance. You’ll also generate less waste. For those concerned about sustainability, alternative housing is an eco-friendly choice.
You can save money. Tiny homes and RVs are often much more affordable than traditional houses. And because spaces are compact, utility bills and general upkeep costs less too. The savings can really add up over time.
Adventure awaits. Non-traditional housing leads to a non-traditional lifestyle filled with excitement and new experiences. You might meet interesting people, discover hidden gems, and go places you never imagined. An open road and endless possibilities—what could be better?
Unconventional living often comes with challenges like cramped quarters, difficulty securing loans and – if your home is on wheels — potential parking challenges.
Potential Drawbacks to Consider
While an atypical home can be an exciting adventure, there are some potential downsides to consider before taking the plunge.
Tiny homes, RVs and unusual properties are often very small in square footage. Can you handle living in a confined space long-term? Make sure each person will have their own area for privacy and storage for necessities. Think about how you’ll organize and arrange furnishings to make the most of the limited space.
What’s more, unique homes can be challenging to sell when you’re ready to move on. The pool of interested buyers is smaller, and you may have to accept a lower selling price. If possible, choose a design and features, like lots of natural light, that will appeal to a wide range of buyers. You’ll also want to research the specific regulations in your area regarding non-traditional homes to ensure the property will be legal to sell.
While tiny homes and RVs can be cheaper to maintain, unusual homes often require specialized equipment, custom builds and non-standard utilities, all of which can drive up costs. Be prepared for potentially higher heating/cooling bills, insurance premiums and repair expenses, too. If living off-grid, you’ll need to budget for alternative energy sources and storage systems.
If you choose to live in a secluded location, you may feel isolated from community resources and social connections. So, look for properties within a reasonable distance of things like grocery stores, healthcare facilities, entertainment and social groups. Other considerations include accessibility, especially important as you age, and how nearby emergency responders can access the home in the event of an emergency.
Questions to Ask Yourself Before Moving into a Unique Property
Before moving into a unique home, ask yourself some important questions to make sure it’s the right choice for you.
Am I okay with less space? Tiny homes, RVs and some architectural dwellings often sacrifice square footage for novelty. Are you comfortable living in a small space with few possessions? Do you value experiences over material goods? If less is more for you, a unique abode could be perfect.
How adventurous am I? Unusual homes often require an intrepid spirit. Are you excited by quirkiness and willing to deal with potential challenges like off-grid living, composting toilets or climbing ladders to sleep? If seeking out the road less traveled appeals to your sense of adventure, an atypical house could be your dream home.
Do I want freedom or stability? Mobile dwellings like RVs, houseboats and some tiny homes offer flexibility and mobility at the cost of permanence. Are you craving freedom from rent or mortgages, with the ability to move whenever you’d like? Or do you prefer putting down roots in one community? Consider if you’re ready to trade stability for liberty.
Am I handy or willing to learn? Some unique abodes may require maintenance, repairs or upgrades beyond a typical residence. Are you reasonably handy or eager to pick up new skills like solar panel installation, composting toilet care or tiny house building? If you’re willing to get your hands dirty, an unconventional home could be satisfying. But if you prefer leaving housing issues to professionals, choose a unique home that doesn’t need a lot of work.
How much do I value privacy? Certain unique properties like tiny homes, RVs, houseboats or vacation rentals may offer little solitude or sound privacy. Are you social and enjoy interacting with neighbors and strangers? Or do you prefer your own secluded sanctuary? Make sure any unusual housing aligns with your need for privacy before moving in.
If after reflection, you find yourself craving adventure, prizing experiences over space, and willing to trade some stability for freedom, a unique abode could be the perfect place to call home. But go in with realistic expectations, as any home — whether typical or atypical — will have its challenges along with rewards. The key is finding what fits your values and needs.
Tips for Transitioning to a Non-Traditional Home
Transitioning to an unconventional home can be an adventure, but it does take adjustment. Here are some tips to help you adapt to your new unique abode:
Do your research. Learn all you can about the specifics of your new home, whether it’s an RV, tiny house, yurt or other property type. The more you understand how the space functions, the fewer surprises you’ll meet. Talk to others currently living in a similar set-up. Their experiences and advice can be invaluable.
Downsize and declutter. Get rid of anything you don’t need or use. Less space means less room for excess stuff. Pare down to the essentials and you’ll feel more at ease in close quarters. Ask yourself if each item sparks joy or serves a purpose. If not, donate or throw it out.
Design multifunctional spaces. In a small home, https://www.unitedvanlines.com/moving-tips/blog/ways-to-maximize-your-storage-space. A living room may also be an office or guest room. Get furniture, decor and storage solutions that serve double duty. Murphy beds, nesting tables, and collapsible furniture are good options. Keep things flexible and reconfigure as needed.
Establish routines and storage spots. Develop habits that maximize your space like designating spots for keys, charging cables, and daily items. Stick to a routine for chores like doing dishes and laundry. In an RV or tiny house, consistency helps prevent clutter buildup and frustration.
Spend time outside. Make the most of any outdoor space like a patio, deck or yard. Adding seating, lighting, greenery and decor can turn an exterior area into another livable space. Getting outside also prevents feelings of being cooped up in a small interior.
The keys to adapting to an unconventional home are flexibility, minimalism and learning to live with less. While the transition may be challenging at first, the rewards of simpler living and freedom from excess far outweigh any difficulties. With time, you’ll feel right at home in your unique space.
The bottom line? An atypical home isn’t just about four walls and a roof over your head. It’s a chance to reimagine what home means to you. If you’re feeling brave, open your mind to the possibilities, and take that first step towards a home as unique as you are. The rewards of living boldly may be worth it.
Want some more ideas before, during and after making your move? Be sure to check out our blog. And don’t forget to request a quote — our full-service movers are here to help.