5 Types of Alternatives Housing - Quicken Loans Zing BlogWhile the majority of American homeowners occupy traditional houses, a select few opt for alternative or unique homes to better suit their personality and lifestyle.

Whereas all homeowners are free to decide what style of home they chose to live in, unfortunately mortgages or home loans are not offered for all types of homes.

Here is a list of five popular alternative homes and whether or not those homes qualify for a mortgage.

Spite home

Qualifies for a mortgage – No

Spite homes are buildings constructed (for the most part) to irritate neighbors or other individuals with stakes in a particular lot of land.

While spite homes are totally legal and livable homes, the structures often block the view or impede on the functionality of the other home that shares the lot.

The most famous example of a spite home is the Skinny House of Boston built in 1874. After two brothers inherited land from their deceased father, one brother built a large home on the inherited land (while his brother was away serving in the military) leaving his brother a small slice of land that he felt was to small to build on. When the soldier returned from the military, he was so upset that his brother left him such a small space of land, he built a 10-foot wide home that blocked his brothers sunlight and view just to spite him.

Believe it or not, spite homes are still lived in and still get constructed today.

Boat home

Qualifies for a mortgage – No

Boat homes, not to be confused with yachts, are structures typically located on open water designed to store boats and accommodate families with a passion for aquatic activities.

While late model boathouses in America have been modernized to accommodate the growing digital needs of families in the information age, boathouses in Scandinavia actually have sand floors that are a continuation of the beach.


Qualifies for a mortgage – No

While the first ‘livable caravans’ were developed in France in 1810, the ‘recreational vehicle’ (RV) was not introduced in America until the 1920s.

Today, motor homes provide owners with the ability to travel and sightsee many parts of the country, from the comforts of their own home.

These ‘fulltimers’ live in their motorhomes and often blog about their day-to-day life on the road, camping resorts or discovering new places.

Firehouse home

Qualifies for a mortgage – No

As cities looked to cut costs, laying off firefighters that in turn left fire stations abandoned, resourceful home buyers began purchasing these abandoned structures and converted them into homes.

While this practice is more popular in large cities like New York where each square foot of property costs a premium, reports reveal firehouse homes are growing in popularity all over the country.

Shipping containers

Qualifies for a mortgage – No

In the old times, people that inhabited shipping containers were called stowaways. Today these same people are applauded for their ingenuity for creating clever living spaces.

While living in a 20-foot long (7-foot wide) 7-foot tall shipping container may cramp most people’s style, the one time $1,500 cost to purchase a shipping container is actually lower than some monthly mortgage payments!

Living in a shipping container may not be ideal for many people, but this living alternative is very helpful for Americans attempting to rebound from financial ruin or simply save for a better living opportunity.

With these unique housing options available, it’s important to know if you can obtain a mortgage for them or have to find alternative financing..

Do you know of any alternative home options that are not listed above?

Leave a comment below and join the dialogue!

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