Aging Successfully: Six creative housing ideas

We all know how the housing market has drastically changed over the last few years. We also know how COVID-19 has changed everything in our lives, including housing. Do not despair, in this column I share six out-of-the-box creative ideas for affordable housing options for everyone.

Please note: I strongly recommend doing through research and asking many questions. We do not know to what degree the pandemic might have altered some of the dynamics for these options.

House income

If you own your own home, use it as a money maker. There are several options for doing this.

The entire house can be rented out or individual rooms may be rented. If you are young enough and ambitious enough you can convert your home into a Bed & Breakfast. Then there is the option of converting a portion of your home into an AirBNB. One friend converted her garage into an AirBNB. When I asked her about it she said it is one of the best decisions she ever made.

It would be wise to use a professional property manager. It is worth the price and the fees are tax-deductible. Also, check with your accountant to discuss home appreciation and taxes. Then when you are ready to rent make sure all house rules are written out.

Live in a hotel

If you live in a large hotel room, or suite it can be cheaper than senior housing. House-cleaning, laundry, some toiletries, exercise centers and breakfasts are included in the price. Several hotel chains have looked into providing an evening meal for guests.

Live on a cruise ship

Living on a cruise ship can provide it all. In addition to house-cleaning and laundry, there is food, entertainment, and traveling the world; along with exercise rooms and basic medical care. Depending on the cruise line, living aboard can be cheaper than senior housing. If you are younger, or young at heart living on your own boat, be it a yacht or a sailboat, is an option. Then there is the option of living on a houseboat.

Live in your motorhome

This option appears to becoming more popular. You can travel wherever and whenever you want, and still have your own home with you.

Purchase a tiny house

Tiny houses are very affordable, and can be built in one permanent location or built on wheels, like a motor-home. If you are a nature-lover living in a Yurt is a one of the least expensive option available. One concern to living in a tiny house or yurt is to make sure the land you place your dwelling on is zoned appropriately.

Expatriate living

Expatriate is a Medieval Latin word meaning to go out from one’s country.

Today it means living in a foreign country. Many Americans settle in Mexico because it is cheaper and is just south of America making it easier to travel between the two countries. While researching for this column I learned Taiwan is one of the most affordable countries to live in.

Living abroad may sound glamorous, yet it is important to do serious research. Taiwan cities have wild monkeys roaming their streets, like we might have a pack of stray dogs roaming around.

The beauty of these creative housing ideas is they are flexible and are viable options for everyone, not just for senior citizens.

Email and share your own creative housing ideas at I reply to every email.

Crystal Linn is a multi-published author and an award winning poet. When not writing, or teaching workshops, Crystal enjoys reading a good mystery, hiking, and sailing with friends and family. See