One of the most noteworthy features of the current great recession has been the explosive rise of home foreclosures, and subsequent homelessness. Millions, upon millions of families in the U.S. have lost their homes, and have been forced to seek other accommodations. These families are turning to a diverse range of housing solutions, ranging from downsized apartment living, to couch surfing, to living at a campsite, to sleeping in the car.Almost everyone, from top economists, to the person on the street is convinced that the worse is yet to come. It might be wise to consider strategies that will keep you, and your family, from the worse outcomes.
Everyone has a specific location that they like to call “home”, however the imperative is to ensure that you, and yours, do not become refugees in your own country. In the vast middle section of the country, the first thing that becomes evident are the many very small towns, with populations of under five thousand. In these small, agricultural communities are many small and very inexpensive houses. Typically these houses are older two bedroom cottages on large lots. Large lots perfect for gardens, chickens, perhaps a couple of goats, or rabbit hutches, an ideal setting for the small town version of an urban farm.
One of these little houses can serve as insurance against the possibility that you and your family could become homeless. This is not a financial investment, or a vacation house, but a plan “B”. It will cost as much as a used car, but it is the perfect solution for your family’s housing security because you will always have a place to go.
The opportunity to buy a very inexpensive house is one of the positive features of the current recessionary period. When selecting a location, look for certain features. First, make sure it is in a landscape where agriculture in ongoing, a place where there are still small family farms, and you can see crops, and livestock. That way the ability of the land to produce food has been proven. Another important feature is that the town has some manufacturing of some sort, so there is the possibility of some employment. A small college town would be even better.
The lifestyles of fifty years ago linger to some extent, in these small towns, preserving the DNA of the America of yesterday. Money can be lost in the stock market, or be erased by inflation, but the land remains, no matter what happens. There is much consideration given to survivalist notions of “bugging out”, and retreats, but the ultimate survival item might just be a cottage in small town America. A small town cottage might also be a good way to participate in the development of AA. Especially if several families are buying in the same area, or if family ties exist there already.
Another useful strategy is to create a dwelling in an unconventional space, like an office, or a garage. This doesn’t need to be a permanent residence, just a place to hole up for a time and rest. The goal is to create a location where you can go if things become intolerable where you live now. This would preferably be a place that is away from the big city