Worrying if you will ever be able to afford a house? It is a worry we shouldn’t have; here are some options.

With the UK being in a housing crisis and the prices of houses seeming more daunting my the minute….. it has left us millennials wondering how on earth are we ever going to afford a house? Unless you are lucky enough to have pretty cool parents, most graduates won’t want to move back home. So, we have no choice but to rent; which puts us into a vicious cycle. On top of rent to pay there are bills and student loans to pay off – oh and having enough money for some sort of social life would be good. After all these outgoings, saving enough money for a mortgage seems to say the least…. a pretty scary prospect and one that is impossible for many. Which is why, like me, you probably have avoided thinking about it too much. As a student the adult world seems a long time away…But I can tell you, it suddenly creeps up on you and before you know it BOOM you are an adult.

But, before you go and hide under your covers and cry into your pillow… there are options out there. We don’t have to get sucked into this housing crisis – we shouldn’t have to. Since when did having somewhere to live become such a big expense and something that takes almost your whole life to pay off? Well, only in the last 30 years it seems. Housing prices have shot up way faster than income rates leaving us with nothing but dept. So, you’re all thinking… where can I live then?! Well, we should do what all our ancestors did before us – build somewhere to live. If humans were able to survive long before modern infrastructure then they must have been able to build some pretty good houses for no money at all; and we can do the same. Now before you think I am a weird hippy – have a little read of the costs and effectiveness of these types of buildings – you never know, you may be off to B & Q tomorrow.

Tiny House on Wheels

Living in a tiny house is a growing movement that is spreading across the globe. Tiny houses are usually between 100 to 400 square feet with the average cost of the build being £18,000. With the average price of a house in the UK being £250,000; even with a plot of land it is a significantly cheaper option. Tiny houses can also be built on a trailer meaning they are considered a mobile home, making planning permission a lot cheaper and depending on where you live, could even be exempt.

House on Wheels 2

Just because they are small doesn’t mean they don’t have everything you need. With clever planning everything can be slotted in perfectly. If well insulated, being so tiny means very little heating costs. Many can even be completely off –grid using just solar power for heating and electricity. The great thing about these houses is that if you want to move to a new location, the house can come with you. There is no hassle of finding a new place to rent or buy, you just have to find somewhere your little house can settle. Around the UK there are more and more tiny house communities being set up where you can buy or rent a plot for a very reasonable price.

There is so much info out there about this exciting movement – this website is a good place to start: http://www.tinyhouseuk.co.uk

Cob House Made of Straw

To build this kind of house you basically use straw bales as the bricks and coat it with a mix of soil, clay and straw. A decent size house would cost just £600 for the straw compared with £10,000 using bricks and mortar. In total, a cob house would set you back a 10th of the cost of a conventional home.

Cob House

Straw is a natural insulator and has been used for thousands of years in building; in fact, they can last for thousands of years – with the oldest known cob house still standing at the ripe age of 10,000 years. They are also very healthy houses to live in. Unlike modern houses, they are breathable and there is never any damp. As well as this, this type of house requires virtually NO HEATING. Using solar principles of having cob on south facing walls along with a wood burner – no other heating source is needed to keep your house nice and toasty! So, along with a cheap build those bills are looking a lot less daunting too.

The good thing about this kind of house is that you don’t need any building experience to build one. Just go on a simple course and away you go. They are also beautiful. Because you can sculpt the walls into whatever form you wish, they become not only a building, but also a piece of art.

For courses and more information into cob houses, this website is a good one: http://www.cobcourses.com/cob-houses/

Words by : Iona Lake