Why pay rent? Top tips for cheaper liv­ing

Whitsunday Times - - REAL ESTATE -

BUY­ING a house in Aus­tralia is be­com­ing in­creas­ingly dif­fi­cult for many peo­ple with the steady rise of prop­erty prices, par­tic­u­larly in our cap­i­tal cities.

Un­for­tu­nately rent­ing doesn’t seem to be get­ting any cheaper ei­ther.

There are a few clever peo­ple in Aus­tralia not pay­ing as much rent as you’d think and here’s their ad­vice on al­ter­na­tive hous­ing op­tions that may suit you.

1. Ac­cept a tem­po­rary lease

Most land­lords are look­ing for long-term and re­li­able renters but ex­ten­u­at­ing cir­cum­stances can leave some land­lords look­ing for short-term renters at re­duced prices. Lyn­dal Jones, from Mel­bourne, is cur­rently pay­ing just $120 per week for a one bed­room flat in Wind­sor.

“The land­lady had just moved out, but her daugh­ter wouldn’t be mov­ing in for an­other three months. She just wanted the apart­ment oc­cu­pied and the basic ex­penses cov­ered for a few months.”

2. Live ‘out the back’

Some dwellings in Aus­tralia have le­gal struc­tures in their back­yards that are per­fectly live­able. Paula Dres­den, from Thorn­bury, is pay­ing $50 a week to live in a mo­bile home in her sis­ter’s back­yard.

“It’s cheap, cosy and re­ally private,” she says. Paula has to go in­side the house to use the bath­room and kitchen, but she says she got used to that very quickly.

If you’re look­ing to rent an un­usual struc­ture in some­one’s back­yard make sure you do your re­search. All states and ter­ri­to­ries have dif­fer­ent rules, but the gen­eral rule is that the struc­ture should be de­mount­able or move­able (like a mo­bile home) or the struc­ture must be at­tached to the main house.

3. House-sit­ting

This is an ex­cel­lent op­tion for pro­fes­sional adults. Some­times peo­ple are happy for house sit­ters to live rent free in exchange for prop­erty up­keep and some­times they re­quire min­i­mal rent to be paid.

4. Pro­fes­sional op­tions

If you’re flex­i­ble with the type of em­ploy­ment you do, there are plenty of pro­fes­sions that pro­vide ac­com­mo­da­tion for em­ploy­ees. Groundskeep­ers at schools and uni­ver­si­ties may be pro­vided with an apart­ment on cam­pus.

Sea­son-spe­cific skilled teach­ers like ski­ing or surf­ing in­struc­tors can of­ten find em­ploy­ment that in­cludes ac­com­mo­da­tion for the du­ra­tion of the sea­son. There are of­ten live-in au pair and nan­ny­ing jobs avail­able too, some in ex­cel­lent lo­ca­tions.

5. Mi­cro-liv­ing

Many renters can over­look a prop­erty be­cause of its size but there are some ab­so­lute bar­gains to be had in the mi­cro­liv­ing mar­ket. Mi­cro-liv­ing usu­ally con­sti­tutes an area of less than 40sq m which most renters won’t con­sider.

This op­tion will re­quire a down­siz­ing of pos­ses­sions and a sim­pli­fi­ca­tion of your life.

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