Rent Prices in Major U.S. Cities are Creating Alternative Living Arrangements

What would you do if rent prices in your area escalated to the point you couldn’t afford to rent a room, much less an apartment? That’s a question that residents in San Francisco and other large metropolitan cities have to answer every month when it’s time to write the rent check. Based on current data, the average rental price for an average apartment in San Francisco is about $3,500 per month.

While most people have to resort to sharing rooms or moving in with relatives, one radio station reporter found the ultimate way to save money on rent without becoming a burden on others. She simply rendered herself homeless and started living at local campsites with her boyfriend. For the price of a campsite fee, about $50 per month, the couple was able to sleep among the stars, saving lots of money on rent and utilities in the process.

For Kristin Hayes, it gave her the opportunity to pay off all her debt and save a little money in the process. During her four-month stint living under the stars in 2015, she paid off $3,700 in debt and saved more than $2,500. After she was laid-off during the first part of 2016, there was little cause for concern as she moved onto her boyfriend’s sailboat where they both currently live for the price of a boat slip.

In major cities like New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco, this is a normal reaction to rents increasing at a rate much higher than the increase in wages. Since people have to secure shelter for safety reasons, they are being forced to become creative.

The latest trend in housing is downsizing. Well-to-do professionals are renting rooms, buying tiny homes and literally living in shipping containers in order to protest rent prices. Given the growing demand for housing in large cities, this is a trend that looks to have legs as prices look to be increasing now and well into the future.