7 Alternatives Types Of Property For First-Time Buyers

Looking to become a homeowner, but can’t afford a house or a condo? It could be worth looking into a few alternative forms of property. From kit homes to houseboats, there are all kinds of unusual properties that can make a great home without having to take out such a huge mortgage. Below are just a few alternative options to consider. 

Kit homes

Kit homes are essentially flat-pack homes that you can build yourself. They’re made from prefabricated wood and metal that you can easily screw together without construction knowledge. They’re the most affordable form of self-build. That said, you will still need to acquire land to build on. 

If you get stressed putting together flat-pack furniture, then this is clearly not the right alternative property for you. Otherwise, it could be a very rewarding and affordable way to own a home. 

Barn conversions

Buying an old unused building and converting it into a home can be cheaper than building a house in many cases. The most common building to convert into a home is a barn. Many old farms and rural properties were built with barns that are now unused – buying one of these could be a chance to sculpt your own home.

While buying a barn may not always cost a lot, renovation costs may push the price up. Make sure that you budget ahead for conversion costs.

Container homes

Container homes are homes built out of disused storage containers. You can buy storage containers very cheaply and there are companies that can help to convert these into homes. You’ll need to acquire land to put your container home on, but otherwise costs are very low.

It’s important to use containers that are in good condition and to make sure that they are converted properly. A container used to store toxic materials will need to be thoroughly decontaminated first. Once converted, container homes can be very cozy.


Buying a houseboat could allow you to live on a river or a canal. Houseboats can be a lot cheaper than condos, plus you have the option of moving around waterways and mooring up in different locations (they’re a great way to afford accommodation in a city center). 

You’ll need to factor licence fees and mooring fees into your monthly costs. Houseboats also require a lot of maintenance, including task like emptying the toilet and refilling the water tank. However, overall, you’ll likely save money compared to owning a condo. 


Living out of an RV could be another option. Some RVs are kitted out with everything you need including kitchen facilities, a toilet and shower. You meanwhile have the flexibility to drive anywhere and park up in different locations (it’s essentially a home on wheels).

Of course, RVs come with limited space and there’s a lot of maintenance required including servicing the vehicle and emptying the toilet. It’s a fairly rugged way to live. That said, a good quality RV is a fraction of the cost of a condo, and it can serve as a vehicle and a home. 


Yurts are, pretty much, glamorous tents. They can be portable, however most people who live in yurts tend to opt for fixed yurts. Unlike your standard tent, a yurt can be fitted out with all manner of home comforts including electricity, running water and kitchen/bathroom facilities. They’re much cheaper to build or buy than standard property, making them a good budget option. You will need to buy land to build your yurt on, but the cost of erecting your yurt is likely to be very low. 

Yurts are still made of fabric so they don’t offer much sound insulation and may even amplify the sound of wind and rain. Some yurts can also get very cold in winter. That said, they are very easy to clean and maintain and can be fun homes to decorate. 

Underground homes

An underground home is a home built underground. In areas where planning permission is difficult to obtain, underground homes can be a great option. They’re also not too expensive to build, although you will need to acquire land to build on. 

Underground homes can be built so that they still have lots of light pouring in from above and they are very good at providing heat and sound insulation. Perhaps the biggest drawback of underground homes is that they are quite prone to flooding. You also cannot build them in areas that are prone to earthquakes as they will easily shift and crack. 



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