Why pay rent? Top tips for cheaper living
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.
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.
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.