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Columns | Go Far With Kovar

Affordable Housing Hacks

by Taylor Kovar

August 8, 2023

Hi Taylor - The housing market has me feeling a little stuck. My wife and I live in a city, and rent is out of control, but houses in more rural areas don't feel affordable either. Are there alternatives I don't know about, or is this just how it is?

Hi Octavio - For a lot of Americans, this is just the way it is. Rent prices have increased at an unbelievable pace, and the housing market hasn't really cooled despite years of predictions that prices would fall. There isn't an easy fix to these issues, but there are alternatives if you're willing to explore some nontraditional options.

1. Buy to rent. You can't afford taxes and a mortgage and a downpayment on your own, but can you afford two out of the three? If you're able to find a place that either has a granny unit or is close to another place you can stay (ie, your parents' basement), you can spend a few years being a landlord and letting a tenant help cover your costs. Before you go nuts and decide to start a high-traffic Airbnb, think about what you can legitimately handle when it comes to property management. If your schedule allows it, a busy rental is a great side hustle. If your plate is already full, you're not going to want more than one tenant.

2. Tiny house.
I thought these were nothing more than a novelty until I went to a tiny house dinner party with three couples and four kids. Believe it or not, you can live a pretty normal life in these mini modular homes. It's a lifestyle commitment, without question, so it's not for everyone. However, if you have friends or family who would let you live on their property, you can install a completely functional home for less than $100,000. For people moving from a city apartment, the size might actually feel comparable. If escaping the bustle of urban living is a priority, this could be just the change of pace you're looking for. It's nothing like owning a traditional home, but that's not always a bad thing.

3. RV.
A tiny house will feel a little more permanent than living out of an RV, but maybe the freedom of a house on wheels is what you're looking for. A lot of people took to this type of living during the pandemic and didn't look back. Of course, the work you do and area where you live will dictate whether or not you can live in a vehicle. If you work remotely or seasonally, you can invest in an RV and stop paying rent money while taking your home on vacation whenever you want. If it's just you and your wife with no kids yet, this might be the window when RV-living makes sense.

It's hard when the thing you want feels outside your price range. To the best of your ability, consider what you want that's within your means. A tiny house or running a rental might sound crazy at first, but when you think about the change you actually want to see in your life, those options might have a little more appeal. Good luck, Octavio!
Taylor Kovar

"Go Far With Kovar" August 8, 2023 Column
Legal Disclaimer: Information presented is for educational purposes only and is not an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of any specific securities, investments, or investment strategies. Investments involve risk and, unless otherwise stated, are not guaranteed. Be sure to first consult with a qualified financial adviser and/or tax professional before implementing any strategy discussed herein. To submit a question to be answered in this column, please send it via email to Question@GoFarWithKovar.com, or via USPS to Taylor Kovar, 415 S 1st St, Suite 300, Lufkin, TX 75901.


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