Assuming that vandwelling is no longer an option, what other options do I have? With this question in mind, I decided to check out the places for rent and for sale in the area that is close to my work place (because, really, if I have to settle for some place, it might as well shorten my commute).
But before I get into that, let me just say that of the three Android apps I tried-- Zillow, Realtor, and Trulia-- I liked Trulia the best. Zillow acted a bit buggy and sometimes won't let me select certain places, while showing me other places that are already sold. Realtor only showed me expensive houses in the area for some reason. Trulia had the mix of selection and reliability that I was looking for between the three. I digress.
Rent in the area starts out at $800 a month, which to me is way too high for just renting some place.
I also looked at plots of land that may be available, so perhaps I can build something cheap but nice on it. Land in the area is about $35k, which seemed pricey, but would be worthwhile if it was in a area. As it turns out, it was anywhere but a good area. In fact, I knew I was in trouble when I realized it ran near the drug neighborhoods, with faint graffiti and lots of broken glass bottles on the street that I had to drive around. Sooo yeah, that's out too.
Moving up, the closest condos are outside the my search area, and they are mostly college housings. These places are really packed and are generally noisy. Price is decent though, starting at $30k for one of those one bedroom one bath places for college students.
Unfortunately, the best choice available is a house at a nearby semi-decent neighborhood. Unfortunate because prices for these actual townhouses and houses start at $140k... which is exactly what I was hoping to avoid in the first place.
At this point, I am still not sure how I should handle this, but at least I have a better idea of what I am working with. What do you think?
Checked out the neighborhood