Today’s real estate market is very hot, and the housing crash of 2008 is fading into memory. In many larger cities, the average citizen is becoming priced out of his or her neighborhood and is increasingly looking for affordable housing alternatives. At the same time, consumers as a group are becoming more economically and environmentally conscious and are making life choices that minimize materialism and overall consumption of resources.
These factors are converging in areas such as housing, and people are finding innovative and practical ways to satisfy their housing needs and to be responsible consumers. One way of achieving these combined goals that is gaining momentum is the use of shipping containers as the basis for new home construction. Along with being compatible with economic and environmental impact reduction goals, there is an added benefit of ease of mobility.
The median house price for mid-year 2018 was $302,000. Median prices in many cities on both coasts are much higher, with median selling prices in the $500,000 range and higher. With these numbers, even taking into account higher wages in the area, the reality is that more and more people are being priced out of the housing market and cannot afford to buy a house in their area of residency. This is where having the option to purchase a so-called “tiny home” can be a practical and affordable alternative. Using a shipping container has many advantages because of an average cost of $1,500-$4,500 for recycled containers and a cost of $15,000 for prefabricated houses made from shipping containers.
A Mobile Society
These days, having the ability to be able to uproot and relocate quickly can be an attractive factor in home ownership. A home that is a shipping container is fairly simple to transport from one location to another. This has the advantage of being able to relocate at a minimal moving cost, and it also relieves some of the pressure of having to find a new place to live immediately in the new location. Finding an empty lot to rent or buy that meets housing codes is all that is required.
Today’s consumer is more apt to be conscious of the impact of their economic choices on the environment and on the global economy. Owning a smaller home naturally means that less energy will be consumed on a day-to-day basis, which translates to a lesser environmental impact. In addition, a shipping container that has been repurposed into a domicile reduces environmental impact as there is less production of new materials for a house. The money saved on housing and energy costs can be redirected toward more useful economic goals as well.
No matter the personal reasons for choosing new and alternative types of housing, more and more people in numerous countries will continue to explore and expand their living arrangement choices. Being able to own a comfortable and safe home is the goal for most people, and by acquiring a shipping container home, they can become a homeowner on their own terms. Affordable, environmentally-friendly and mobile, shipping container homes are on the cusp of innovative housing.
Davenport Laroche is a shipping container investment agency.