Woman lives in $46,000 'house on wheels' to dodge housing crisis

Alice Bleathman, 27, had to make a drastic change in order to have a space of her own.

Like many Aussies Alice Bleathman desperately wanted a home of her own but the housing market just wouldn't allow for it. She decided to take an unconventional approach instead.

"My original plan was to get a house and I had a house deposit but I just wouldn't have been able to afford the repayments," the Tasmanian woman told Yahoo News Australia. "I was like, I'm not waiting another 20 years to be able to afford a house, so I'm just going to go and have my little house on wheels."

Left, Alice and her dog Ziggy inside her 'house on wheels' and (right) she cooks for herself with the van door open.
Alice Bleathman, 27, says living in a 'house on wheels' is much more affordable than renting a property. Source: Supplied

The 27-year-old now lives in a van she renovated herself — with her 'home' costing the grand sum of $46,000, along with a "couple hundred dollars" for maintenance every week.

"The housing market is scary, the whole concept of the Australian dream is no longer a thing because people in our generation can't afford it... and living in my van is definitely cheaper than rent," she said.

She lives with her dog Ziggy and believes her current accommodation is helping her to save for her future.

Aussie makes sacrifices just to have a place of her own

Bleathman admits she is fortunate that her job as an online dietician allows her to adopt the "van life" and enjoy endless travel, but the decision to have an affordable space to call her own doesn't come without difficulties.

"It's not all easy, at times I'm not able to have a shower for ages, I live off cold showers, I do my laundry at a laundrette... I miss having people around me," she said. "But I'm so much happier to have my own space, I just have less stuff."

Bleathman floats around the country and lives in different states, with some easier to find a parking spot for her van in than others. She said she has to "be smart" in order to park her van legally without copping the camp site fees which can cost up to $60 per night.

Left, cutlery drying on her kitchen top beside a shoe and wires. Right, Alice smiles on her bed while on her phone, showing how small the space is.
The Aussie got rid of the majority of her possessions so she can enjoy her own space at an affordable price. Source: Supplied

Her accommodation also forces her to spend less money and Bleathman explained she used to go out for "nice dinners and a couple of cocktails" when she lived in the city, but now in comparison only has two pairs of shoes, making her appreciate simplicity when prices continue to rise.

She does plan to eventually settle back into a fixed location and find a property but is daunted by the prospect given the housing crisis.

"The van life gives me an extremely good lifestyle and I'll be doing it for the foreseeable," she said.

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