Author Topic: Alternative Living Arrangements Discussion  (Read 5635 times)

MrsWolfeRN

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Re: Alternative Living Arrangements Discussion
« Reply #50 on: October 14, 2018, 04:19:52 PM »
I don't know if this counts as alternative, but we bought a commercial building downtown in a small town. The main floor is a coffee shop (our tenant) and we live upstairs in the apartment. It's a very small building, that's all there is to it - just one storefront and one apartment.

That sounds lovely.

My mom grew up in a building like that but they were renting: my grandparents ran a deli on the main floor, they lived on the second floor, and the landlady lived on the third floor.

I'm not sure if this counts as alternative but my SIL and three of her kids are staying with us for a while, so we have eight people in a three bedroom house. We are not charging them rent because the intention is for them to find a place of their own. 

Shane

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Re: Alternative Living Arrangements Discussion
« Reply #51 on: October 14, 2018, 05:35:23 PM »
Friend bought 3 acres in Hawaii and got permitted to build a nice house and a small garage with a little room upstairs. She built the garage first and lived in it for several years. I don't think she ever intended to build the house.

Apparently at least two people have done this:

http://www.snugshack.com/housekeeper-builds-tiny-home-big-island-hawaii-spoiler-alert-two-car-garage/

In 2016 we sold our primary residence on the Big Island of Hawaii and spent 2 years traveling around the world. Since August 1, 2018, we're back in our old neighborhood on the BI, basically housesitting for a landlord who travels a lot for work and family obligations and therefore doesn't have the time to maintain the property. The big house we're living in has three completely separate units with separate entrances, kitchens, bathrooms, etc. In exchange for ~15 hours of work/week cutting grass, pulling weeds, etc, we've got a free small apartment in a great location.

On the Kona (west) side of the island we've got two adjacent 1 acre parcels in a remote, off-grid subdivision. We've joked about building a tiny home and living on our land, but that's not very practical for us at this point in our lives. Pretty sure the one acre lots we've got are selling for only ~$6500 each, right now. For somebody who was into living in a tiny home, and didn't mind having to set up an off grid power system and accessing the internet by a satellite or cellular connection, it might be a good option...

We love the Big Island. Except for the vog, which was far worse Kona side than in Hilo when we went this year. Paid for almost the entire trip on churned points (big exceptions being food and gas.) We've discussed it as a possible retirement location, though we would need to figure out affordable housing.

If you don't mind me asking - how far upslope are your Kona plots?

@TomTX Our lots are near the very top of the HOVE subdivision at around 4K' elevation. HOVE is about 50 miles south of Kailua-Kona. Apparently, there are many people who commute from there to work in Kailua Kona and the South Kohala resorts, further to the north. It's a long drive, though.

Compared to when we first arrived back on the island in August, the Kona Side had beautiful clear blue skies when we visited just a few days ago. The difference in vog levels was dramatic, compared to just a couple of months ago.

Like you, we prefer Hilo Side to Kona. The only reason we've got those lots in HOVE is because they were given to us by a friend. If I didn't think it would hurt our friend's feelings, I'd sell the lots today, as we're probably never going to use them, and it's not worth it to me to pay the taxes and road maintenance fees to keep them...

TomTX

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Re: Alternative Living Arrangements Discussion
« Reply #52 on: October 14, 2018, 06:42:48 PM »
@TomTX Our lots are near the very top of the HOVE subdivision at around 4K' elevation. HOVE is about 50 miles south of Kailua-Kona. Apparently, there are many people who commute from there to work in Kailua Kona and the South Kohala resorts, further to the north. It's a long drive, though.

Compared to when we first arrived back on the island in August, the Kona Side had beautiful clear blue skies when we visited just a few days ago. The difference in vog levels was dramatic, compared to just a couple of months ago.

Like you, we prefer Hilo Side to Kona. The only reason we've got those lots in HOVE is because they were given to us by a friend. If I didn't think it would hurt our friend's feelings, I'd sell the lots today, as we're probably never going to use them, and it's not worth it to me to pay the taxes and road maintenance fees to keep them...

Well, I did some poking around - I see several 1 acre lots for sale in HOVE around 4k feet for around $4k. Some of them even have trees ;)

Best of luck with that - unless you expect to use them someday, I suggest gifting them forward.

Anyway - yes, we prefer Hilo side. I miss the Keaau farmer's market - especially the little food truck/restaurants. Fabulous banana lumpia. I know that the actual fruit/vegetable stalls moved a few blocks over.

JanetJackson

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Re: Alternative Living Arrangements Discussion
« Reply #53 on: October 16, 2018, 08:47:10 AM »
Well heck, I really thought I had posted on this thread before, but I guess I haven't.

I've moved a lot, and had some unique living situations, not all of which were pleasant, but all of which have bolstered me ahead in life in one way or another... whether that meant keeping me from having to go to a shelter, learning to save more money, or on to eventually saving 50% of my income... it's been a journey, that's for sure.


So, now that I got that run-on sentence out of the way:


> $500 camper in the rear of a friends property. 
No plumbing, only electric, so I'd access the basement woodshop bathroom for toileting needs (disturbed the house the least) and I'd shower at the gym every morning after my workout and before the workday.  This worked ok, but there was mold in my camper and it eventually made me pretty sick.  Sold it after about 6 months for $800.

> Unfinished basement:

 ...while working on the finishing for the homeowner to keep my rent at $200/month.  This was exhausting while working full time +, but helped me save some money for about 6 months.

> A very large laundry room in what I would call a 'nerd frat house': 
It was six 20-something dudes living in a two bedroom apartment. They had the two bedrooms split into twos with accordion rolling walls, they had someone living on the enclosed porch, and someone who slept on the couch in the living room.  I lived in the laundry room and they let me hang a bunch of shelves and racks to make it functional.  I rolled my bed up each morning and used a pulley to lift it up to the high ceilings for storage.  I paid $200/mo (maybe it was $150?  Hard to remember) all inclusive and they came in ONLY while I was at work on Tuesdays or Thursdays to do their laundry.  I lasted about 4 months.

> Split level house on a small horse farm that was separated into an upper home and a bottom home- both honestly really gorgeous. 
I lived in the bottom with a roommate.  He and I alternated mucking the stalls, since I was an early bird, I did the 5am and he'd do the afternoon, we'd alternate evenings depending on weather.  We'd do other work on the farm in exchange for a rent of $900 split for the bottom level.  Honestly, it was worth that much, but I found after about a year that I didn't need that level of luxury and I looked for another place.  I still keep in touch with that roommate, he was a CHARACTER.  Lol.

> Barn apartment: 
This was on a small compound in the countryside about 30 minutes outside of the city.  It was an unfinished apartment above an old red barn on the property.  He offered me a cheap rate in exchange for some work and for being able to work on the apartment a weekend or so a month so that he could make some money while he was finishing it.  Once it was finished he wanted to charge a lot more for it.  It was a great place, but he was just a little too doomsday prepper-ish while also a bit crunchy and flakey for me and was always doing some kind of WEIRD project that blocked the driveway when I needed to get to work, or randomly cut the heat to work on something without warning me in late Feb., etc. etc. I think I was there for a year?

> The Garden Shed:
I lived for almost two years in a shed that had been converted into a 'Party Shack' by a former homeowner... the new homeowners had no idea what to do with it, but it had plumbing, and an ok bathroom, so they put it on Craigslist with a horrible description and no photo.  I went anyways and brought some mace while doing the "in" text that I do with my friends when I'm going into a sketchy situation.  They know if I haven't texted "Out" indicating that I'm done.. to call the police or someone else to help me.
...Anyway, it was pretty ok!  It was a small suburban yard, but it was in the back of the property and had all the things I needed.  The kitchen was in a closet, and I worked on it a lot to make it work- lots of high shelves, ceiling racks, and a single burner electric range.  After a month or so, I got the owners to spring for a big convection toaster oven, which made the kitchen complete.  It had an ungodly huge fridge in the apartment, so I used the extra space to store things... I had socks in the fridge in the summer- it felt so good to put them on!  After about 6 months I started walking their dog for a $50 discount in rent.  I think I paid $400 for that place, and it was my own structure/no roommates.  I even grew some tomatoes in pots around the shed.  I eventually moved to a farm that would offer me a room for $200.

> Another farm:
I lived in a converted den with a fold down bed at another small farm outside of the city.  She offered me $200 all included, but I eventually got pretty weird vibes from her and moved out after about 6 months. 

> A studio apartment with a dude who was really into marksmanship and did weird unloaded gun drills all the time.  LOL. 
This was in a great location, and we split the studio, as it was a loft.  He kept most of his weird stuff in his upstairs area and I slept on a futon that doubled as the living room sofa.  About a year there.

> Current:
A modified garage apartment on a farm on the OTHER end of the city limits (but closer to downtown, where I work most).  I run a pet sitting/dog walking company and I had been referred to this family to care for their farm (goats, pigs, sheep, a horse, chickens, barn cats, dogs, etc) a few times over the holidays.  One time they offered to put me up during my farm sitting (I had previously just commuted out to their place 2-3x/day) and showed me that they had a mother-in-law apartment in what had looked like their garage.  It was nice.  A mostly normal sized bathroom, windows, a real stove.
After that stay, and at my next visit to care for their farm while they were on a weekend trip, I asked if they'd ever considered renting it.  They said they'd thought about Air BnB, but didn't want the 'job' of turning over guests, etc.  I offered to move in for a month, as a trial, to see if they minded someone living on their property... I offered a background check to them (I have one on file anyways for pet sitting, since I go into peoples homes), showed them my credit score, and gave them a few references.  I've been there 10 months now.  I don't help with the farm unless I want to.  I pay $400 all included.

------------------------------------

.... I know there are quite a few odd living situations I am forgetting here, and some that weren't odd at all (govt. housing, general cheap apartments, general rooms for rent that weren't that weird, but also not great financial deals, etc. etc.).


I am looking forward to someday soon-ish having a fairly normal living situation.  Ha. <3

magnet18

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Re: Alternative Living Arrangements Discussion
« Reply #54 on: October 16, 2018, 11:18:25 AM »
DW and I currently live tinyhouse/RV

It's a 31' 1983 Airstream Motorhome, we love it
I'm having a blast fixing it up and getting it ready for winter. Installing a woodstove soon.

The moeny spent fixing it up is currently (more than) offsetting the rent savings, but it wasnt that way over the summer and I'm hopeful that once the winter mods are done, we'll be back to taking advantage of the COL savings