Let’s face it, for most of us, our mortgage (or rent) is likely the most expensive thing that we pay for every month.
Finding a way to live mortgage free is a dream for most of us chipping away at balances well into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Just think about the opportunities that would open up for you if you didn’t have to shovel over hundreds or thousands of dollars per month for a mortgage payment.
It is possible, and many people are doing it. I decided to research some of the best ways to live mortgage free or at a reduced cost, and compile my findings into one great resource.
The thing is, you don’t necessarily need to sell your home or pay it off to get rid of a mortgage payment, you could create the same financial freedom by finding another way to cover your payments. I’ve included some ideas for how to accomplish this below.
6 Simple Strategies For Mortgage Free Living
Rent Out A Room On Airbnb
If you live in a home with extra rooms, you can rent them out on Airbnb to make some extra money to cover your expenses. We have friends who built a suite in their basement just for this purpose, and it has been very lucrative. They earn more with AirBNB than they ever did with a regular monthly rental. And if your tenant sucks, they’ll be gone in a couple of days!
A few things to be aware of before using Airbnb:
- Make sure that renting your home via Airbnb is legal in your area
- If you’re renting a condo or townhome, check with the strata to make sure that short-term rentals are allowed
- Make sure that you have appropriate insurance for short-term rentals
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Take In Roommates
This is one of the simplest ways to live mortgage free, or at least reduce your cost dramatically. If you have the available space, and somebody that you’re willing to live with, taking in roommates can be a great option. Just one roommate can cut hundreds off of your housing expenses each month.
I have a friend who has lived like this for almost ten years. He started with roommates when he was dating his girlfriend, and after they were married, they kept the roommates. They now have two children and they still live with a roommate.
Live In Your Suite
If you own a home with an in-law suite, you’ve probably either rented it out or considered it. Have you thought about moving in yourself? If your family can fit in the suite you might want to consider living in the smaller space and renting out the house. The house could potentially rent out for enough money to cover your mortgage.
If you don’t want to deal with long-term renters, you can also rent out your place on VRBO or Airbnb as mentioned above. We have friends who have done both successfully and you can earn even more with short-term rentals. It comes with different challenges but it’s worth considering.
Live In Your Van Or Trailer
Ah, trailer living. My wife and I did this for 4 years when we were first married. It can actually be really comfortable. If you own a trailer or camper or have the means to purchase one, you could even live in your own driveway and rent your house out. It’s a great way to save money! If you don’t have room on your own property, you could arrange with a friend of family member to park it at their place. If this isn’t an option, there are lots of parks around that offer reasonable rates. Typically they’re much less expensive for long-term pad rentals.
Here are some things to consider when moving into your trailer or van:
- Will you have access to a bathroom or be able to dump your trailer’s black tank?
- Is your trailer appropriate for winter living?
- Is it legal to live in a trailer in your area?
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Rent Out Extra Space For Storage
Have you looked into how much storage costs? If you have a bit of land you might be able to rent some space out for people to store their boats/trailers/vehicles. This can be really lucrative but requires some management.
If you’re considering renting out your extra space for storage, here are some things to consider before taking the leap:
- What is the average monthly storage fee for a boat or RV in your area?
- Is this a legal use of your property, or will you require some kind of permit?
- What services can you offer to make your place a more attractive storage option? You might offer access to power, water or some other incentive to pull business away from other lots.
Pay Off Your Mortgage
Wow, the secret to mortgage free living is to pay off your mortgage, thanks Mike….
Hear me out on this one!
You might not have the cash on-hand to pay off your mortgage today, but have you looked at how long it would take if you were actively working towards it? If you could offload your car payment, take on extra work or use some savings maybe you could pay your home off in less time than you think. Even a modest extra payment monthly can cut years off of your mortgage.
Check out this simple mortgage calculator to see how much earlier you could pay off your home by making extra payments each month.
I hope this list has provided you with some good ideas for how you could live mortgage free or even pay of your home earlier than you thought.
Have you lived legit mortgage-free? How did you pull it off? Let us know in the comments below!
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8 thoughts on “6 Simple Strategies For Mortgage Free Living”
Yesssss. Our plan is to pay off our mortgage early, but I love that you’ve included these other options, too. Not everyone wants to take on a mortgage, but it’s an effective way to have low living costs (whether you pay it off or get extra cash to put towards it). A $1,000+ monthly mortgage can cripple early retirement dreams in my opinion, so a mortgage-free FIRE life is essential.
There’s really no limit to what you can accomplish if you’re willing to sacrifice and think creatively. My wife and I lived in a 36′ 5th wheel for 4 years and we loved it. They’re actually really comfortable, and we live in Canada! The winters get pretty cold up here.
Some great ideas here. I have yet to buy a home and we’re thinking of moving to Silicon Valley for my other half’s job. That would mean we’re subjected to the highest rent prices in the country. I’m still undecided whether I want to get myself into a mortgage and be beholden to one area for a long time. I always feel like home ownership means instant debt and a monthly payment to worry about. Thanks for reminding me that’s not always the case.
Hi Elsie! Silicon Valley is crazy! You might be able to get into a more flexible mortgage with a short amortization to keep your options open if you’re not sure you want to stay. I felt the heavy burden of debt when we first bought our place, I remember it well. It doesn’t take long for it to just become the new normal though. You’ve got to live somewhere right? 😀 Thanks for reading!
So, it’s not exactly living mortgage free…BUT for anyone who wants to harness the power of their mortgage and collect a couple of income generating real estate assets but doesn’t know where to begin, I’m a huge fan of moving out of your first home and turning it into a rental. If you’ve built up equity in the first home, use a home equity loan or HELOC to take money and put toward the second home that you’ll be moving into. Then turn first home into a rental (while keeping better mortgage rates that you’ve already established so that you have a better opportunity for cashflow). Mortgage, Move, Repeat. I know a lot of people in the personal finance world hate debt, even mortgage debt, but it really can be powerful to help build long term wealth. Of course, you have to be cool with moving a few times to perform this house hack, so, it’s not for everyone. Just another route to financial freedom 🙂
Great thoughts Kat! We have a couple of friends that are in that cycle now. We’re also thinking of keeping our current home as a rental and moving somewhere else when our mortgage term is up. With the kids we could use a little more space!
This is a creative list. It seems that unless you have a bunch of extra cash laying around, you might have to get a little uncomfortable to pay it off early. Taking on roommates or living in a camper isn’t comfortable, but it’s effective.
A little discomfort often pays big dividends! Great stuff!
Thank you Jamie!