Could you move into a caravan to save a deposit?
If you’re on a mission to save a deposit, you’ll know expensive rent is the enemy. It’s gotta go. Finding affordable housing can speed up the saving process. We love the idea of borrowing some land from a mate (or your folks) and putting a caravan on it. And it doesn’t have to be a shitty experience. Treat it like a DIY opportunity. You can get a caravan on Gumtree for a few thousand, do it up and perhaps even sell it for a profit when you’re ready.
Take former Block contestants Carlene and Michael. They restore old caravans and make them enviable homes. Their latest project, Bumblebee, will go under the hammer next week as part of Ray White New Farm’s bi-annual auction under the stars.
‘Bumblebee is a vintage Franklin. Like all of our vintage van renovations, we pay homage to the era of the van and create a retro holiday feel,’ Carlene explains.
To people renovating a caravan on a budget, Carlene says: ‘If it can be done, do it yourself.’ Michael lays the couple’s floors, paints the interior and does the carpentry. The only thing they outsource is the exterior paint, which has a professional, hardwearing finish.
‘With the right skills, you can possibly do your own upholstery recovering and sew your own curtains,” Carlene suggests.
You can get an original Franklin on Gumtree for a few thousand dollars, and make it totally liveable. If you follow Carlene and Michael’s lead, paying homage to your caravan’s origins, you might even add value. For the Bumblebee project, they explored colours and textures that were popular in the van’s early days. ‘The pattern of the fabric is vintage-inspired and the rattan cabinetry suggests a 70's vibe,’ Carlene says.
Not only does living in a caravan cut your costs dramatically, restoring one can be a great way to make cash. This renovated 1930s van is up for sale with an asking price of $25,000. There’s a stack of your house deposit right there. New to van renos? Carlene shares some handy hints and tips on her blog. It doesn’t have to be fancy. Ikea cabinetry will do the trick.
It is possible to maintain a lifestyle you value and save simultaneously. In fact, we’d happily trade a sharehouse for a vintage rent-free van.
Source your own vintage caravan to fix up or bid on Carlene and Michael’s latest restoration, Bumblebee. It goes to auction on March 26, 2019.