Re: Housing... (rant)
Back when we first moved to Chattanooga, we discovered we could buy a house cheaper than we could get into a rental. We looked at rentals in places that we were afraid to get our of the car in the daylight. Then there were the folks who wanted us to pay for a credit check when we put in a rental app... $75 non-refundable. David ran credit checks all day long (he worked for a home security company at the time). We knew it didn't cost that for a credit check. To get into a rental with a dog ($1000 non-refundable deposit), a cat ($1000 non-refundable deposit) and two kids ($2000 non-refundable deposit) plus first and last on a DUMP ($2000 to $3000) was ridiculous, so we bought a house (owner held the mortgage... he was a lawyer, later a judge) with $5000 down. Our house payments were way cheaper than renting and we had space to park the pop-up in the back yard (2 acres). For some idiot reason, we have always been able to buy a house cheaper than renting and in better shape than the rental. While I do like having a garden and home orchard (planted both at every place we owned), I really don't care for the house part of home ownership and I dislike mowing yards (our smallest place was just under two acres, largest was over two acres).
Best part of living in a vintage/cheap RV... we park in a campground/mobile home park, no lease, no contracts. Utilities includes in the lot rent. If we don't like it, we can move somewhere else. Downside of living like this... we can't keep the bus here and work on it. It's parked at my daughter house.
Kid (mid 20's) who lives in the site next to us.. apparently goes to the local mining tech college here. Shortly after he moved his trailer in (looks more like a cross between trailer and park model), I overheard him bragging to a few of his buddies about how cheap it was for him to live in the campground... said it cost him $1K per month. I'm assuming that includes the price of his new trailer along with his rent ($350/mo). His buddies were impressed.
So what I'm trying to point out is.... perhaps you should look into how much it costs to rent a spot in a campground/mobile home park. Then look at how much it would cost you or rather what you ware willing to spend to get into a house/apartment. Can you take those $$ and subtract 1 months site rent and buy a cheap RV and park it? It's not ideal, but it may be a solution you can live with. Plus it will give you practice for living in a small space and will help you to shed unneeded personal stuff. Buy a cheapie, seal the roof (just seal the roof, what ever you buy, it will leak) and when the time comes, sell it cheap to get rid of it. You just want an oldie with every thing working (make them show you it works) and tanks that don't leak.