Alternative Living: Shipping Container Homes

This one from Jeston Green starts at $39,000

When I sat down last year with my financial planner brother, we were discussing retirement plans and my fear that I wouldn’t have enough. He told me that 75% of Baby Boomers only have $25,000 in savings. And I have several friends – most of us single – who are worried about having enough to retire comfortably. We joke about just working until we die, but I know that we don’t want to. I know I’ve still got 10 years or so left to work, and I plan to really be saving and making headway during that time.

Interior of one on

I told him I was worried about some of my friends who did not have the luxury of working for companies with 401Ks and having enough salary to chunk away 8-12% from an early age like I did. Apparently, the key was to start saving early, and I did. I don’t know how I did because I’m not much of a planner when it comes to money, but my Dad’s fear about money and insurance kept me scared enough to listen to my HR folks when they said I’d be throwing away money from the company if I didn’t participate in a 401K. Now, I’m seeing how smart that was.


One piece I still have missing though, is equity in a home. I will need to buy a condo or something soon with a 15 year mortgage in order to get it paid off. A 30-year mortgage would get me to 84, so I’m not sure how helpful that would be, although it would be better than what I have now. Time will tell what I can do. So, when my brother and I were talking about me and my friends, and I was talking about housing, he said I’d just have to get creative. Creative? I was thinking Golden Girls, and that certainly may be the ticket. But he told me about these container homes that people are building. He showed me some pictures of these sustainable, durable and cost-effective homes built from shipping containers like those on trains.

Beautiful Homes Made Out of Shipping Containers

I was blown away by the creativity of these homes. They could be tiny houses or you could use several containers and make really big houses. They are affordable and adaptable. And they are definitely environmentally sustainable. All of those are on my list. It’s got me thinking about finding a pretty spot somewhere in the mountains and creating a commune with my girlfriends. We could build a common area from a shipping container or two with kitchen and living room and then maybe surround it with our separate domiciles for sleeping and a kitchenette or studio. We’d have our privacy, but we could also hang out and be a family when we wanted to. Plus, if we wanted to have a yoga studio in a shipping container, it would be a great fit.

Watch Tim Steele Design build one onsite.

I can’t wait to see what other trends happen by the time I retire. It gives me hope that I won’t be living in a hovel or in an area of town that sucks just because I’m not loaded. Who would have ever thought of a shipping container? Perhaps being trailer trash won’t be such a bad way to go out!

Here’s a link to more spectacular container homes!

4 Comments on “Alternative Living: Shipping Container Homes

  1. I am so glad to see this. William has been talking about this for years and I just could not picture it. I think many boomers will do exactly what you are talking about living together but having some space of their on. It makes such sense. I have always thought this.

    • Very cool! Can’t wait to wake up in our wooded commune and chat over coffee! When Terry mentioned it, I thought it sounded like living in a box – which it is- but small spaces can be nice and have their advantages. Love hearing from you!

  2. I’ve seen these on TV before. I think there is a development in NYC made with these. If the outsides are galvanized steel, they should last a long time.
    My house has one room on the first floor that is basically a large hallway and a dinning room that we use 5-6 times each year.
    Now that my girls are off to college, one about to graduate, we have two bedrooms and a bath that rarely get used.
    The idea of downsizing becomes more and more appealing.

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