For less than $200k, would you live in a shipping container?

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With the economy the way it is, it seems unlikely many of us Gen Xers, Millennials or any generation after are going to own homes, at least not on the scale and style the Baby Boomers did.

But aside from eternal apartment living, which may feel like a grim destiny for all of us, creative alternatives abound.  Some have embarked on the so-called “tiny house” movement. These are itty-bitty, off-grid houses you can squeeze into if you are an environmentalist and want to live like an oversized hobbit (see video below). If that’s not your thing, another innovative alternative is purchasing a shipping container for roughly $2,000 a pop and decking it out.

And we mean it when we say “decking it out.” Those big boxes you see being hauled on the backs of tractor trailers can be posh homes with enough creativity and know-how.

They can be absolutely beautiful, depending on what you want to do with them. They’re cheaper and quicker than many similarly-sized houses across the country, and the containers themselves were made to withstand harsh elements.

It’s not simply a matter of buying a container, plopping it down somewhere and putting your stuff in it though. Architect Adam Kalkin told CNN Money one of his “Quik Houses” comes at a base price of $119,000 for the containers plus building equipment – but Kalkin uses “modified” containers for his projects. To make it habitable, the total runs at $184,000, and new home owners have to secure land, permits and hook-ups to local utilities. But the bulk of the building and materials price comes from the containers themselves, and you can go as big or small as you want. Those suckers were meant to survive cross-country hauling so they’re sturdy. And you can make them environmentally friendly with solar panels and whatever custom design features you choose.

And just in case you thought shipping container homes sound boring, check out these impressive examples:

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Image source: Trueactivist

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Image source: Homeinabox.blogspot.com

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Image source: Collective Evolution

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Image source: Inhabitat

About Author

Bethania Palma Markus is famous for one thing: having a really, really long name. If you can pronounce it, you are a superior pronouncer of words. She's also a long-time journalist and freelance writer for a variety of news outlets. Follow her on Twitter if you like Twitter @BPalmaMarkus

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