Home Australia I couldn’t afford to buy my own home so I decided to live in a van – I have never felt more stable in my life

I couldn’t afford to buy my own home so I decided to live in a van – I have never felt more stable in my life

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Nicole was eager to settle into her own home, however, with rising interest rates and the looming cost of living crisis, she found saving for a home of her own an impossible task (pictured with her dog McCartney).

A young woman struggling to save for her first home opted to live full-time in a van in a bid to become independent.

Nicole, 28, from the North East was eager to strike a deal with her furry friend McCartney, but with rising interest rates and a looming cost of living crisis, she found saving for a home of her own an impossible task.

Having had the desire to buy a Volkswagen, she had always been attracted to living in a van but had never taken the risk,

However, after an accident left her car totaled, the 28-year-old finally threw herself into the nomadic lifestyle and has never looked back since.

“I had moved back in with my mother to try to save for a mortgage, because doing so while renting was almost impossible,” Nicole said.

“But I’ve never looked back since I moved into my truck.”

Nicole was eager to settle into her own home, however, with rising interest rates and the looming cost of living crisis, she found saving for a home of her own an impossible task (pictured with her dog McCartney).

After her car was totaled in a collision, the 28-year-old threw herself into the nomadic lifestyle and bought a converted Ford Transit van (pictured).

After her car was totaled in a collision, the 28-year-old threw herself into the nomadic lifestyle and bought a converted Ford Transit van (pictured).

“I’ve moved around a lot and haven’t really stayed in the same place for long. My mom’s house was my eighth.

“I wanted to settle down and would have bought it if I could, but I was starting to find it quite overwhelming.”

By then Nicole had graduated with a college degree and had worked full-time for three years; she felt that she had played “the game for very little benefit.”

“I was still a long way from being in a financial position to afford anything on my own,” he said.

“When I finally bought a house, I knew my quality of life would really suffer.”

Inspired by TikTokers already living the van lifestyle, the 26-year-old knew the van life was calling and kept saving.

But when her car was totaled in a collision, Nicole was faced with a life-changing decision: leave her savings behind and get a new car or take the plunge and finally embark on a nomadic lifestyle.

“I was at a point where I needed a vehicle, so I thought, ‘I might as well commit to this.'”

Desperate to regain her independence, Nicole bought the converted solar panel-powered van for £9,000 (pictured: interior)

Desperate to regain her independence, Nicole bought the converted solar panel-powered van for £9,000 (pictured: interior)

I just thought, "Why not do it now?" I was desperate to regain my independence.

“I just thought, ‘Why not do it now?’ “I was desperate to get my independence back,” she said (pictured: McCartney with beagle cross)

“I just thought, ‘Why not do it now? I was desperate to get my independence back.'”

She added: “After having to move back home after years of renting, I was really looking forward to doing it while he (her dog) was still young.”

Although Nicole is technically always on the go, she revealed that van life has given her a “sense of stability.”

She said: ‘(My quality of life) has improved massively, which probably sounds a bit crazy.

‘I’ve always had to live with other people and depend on them to a certain extent, even for something as small as housework.

‘It’s so nice to have my independence. Yes I have had to make concessions to have it, but it doesn’t bother me because it’s mine,’ he continued.

‘No one can take this away from me. It’s all mine. I can do what I want. I can go wherever I want. It’s wonderful to finally be able to live alone with my dog.’

His Ford Transit van has not only given him a new sense of dependency, but it is also much cheaper than living in a normal house.

The young woman from the northeast said that living in her truck was much cheaper and that she had never felt so stable in her life.

The young woman from the northeast said that living in her truck was much cheaper and that she had never felt so stable in her life.

Nicole does not pay for electricity thanks to her solar panels. She spends £200 a month borrowing her van, plus the occasional £20 to keep the car warm during the winter months.

Nicole does not pay for electricity thanks to her solar panels. She spends £200 a month borrowing her van, plus the occasional £20 to keep the car warm during the winter months.

Nicole opted to buy a van that had already been renovated, with solar panels as well, and shelled out £9,000 for the vehicle.

However, he used his home savings and a loan to cover the price of the newly renovated van, so he now pays £200 for the borrowed money.

His electricity is completely free thanks to the solar panel on his roof, and during the cold winter months he pays £20 a month for a can of diesel to keep warm.

According to Nicole, she barely pays for water because she showers at work or the gym, thanks to her £25-a-month membership.

He also decided to pay insurance and taxes in advance throughout the year and use his phone’s hotspot to connect to the Internet.

“It’s definitely a lot cheaper, especially in this economy right now,” he said.

“You forget a lot that I’m in a Ford Transit van on the side of the road when you’re there,” he said.

“It’s very welcoming and I feel like they’ve really tried to make an effort to make me feel at home.”

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“You forget a lot that I’m in a Ford Transit van on the side of the road when you’re there,” he said.

Although Nicole has had to get rid of a lot of clothes and furniture to live in the van, she says her quality of life has never been better

Although Nicole has had to get rid of a lot of clothes and furniture to live in the van, she says her quality of life has never been better

Not only has the 26-year-old cut 20 miles off her daily commute, but she also won't have to pack for a weekend away for the foreseeable future.

Not only has the 26-year-old cut 20 miles off her daily commute, but she also won’t have to pack for a weekend away for the foreseeable future.

“So I think when people come and see the photographs, they start to understand it.”

Another advantage of Nicole’s life on the road is that she has the freedom to park wherever she wants.

He often misses the usual parking ticket window from 9am to 6pm when he’s at work, which means it’s often free.

Sometimes he ventures to different cities and treats himself to a £20 or £30 stay at a caravan park for one night.

Also joking that he has cut 20 eye-watering miles from his commute, he added: ‘It (living in a van) means I don’t have to pack for holidays.

“Paying for a parking space is considerably cheaper than at a hotel and thanks to my gym pass I can go to shower at their branches in different cities.”

He added: “We can really improvise.” Any drawbacks I may have are outweighed by everything I love about this lifestyle.’

Although there are many advantages to your nomadic lifestyle, living in a van has some disadvantages.

From getting rid of your clothes and furniture to factoring in showers at the gym, you should also remember to fill your water tank.

But, according to Nicole, these have become ingrained habits in her daily life.

The cold winter months can also be arduous: last year you had trouble keeping your solar panels charged.

“In the winter I would try to make sure my solar panels were charged all the time and stay on top of that,” he said.

Although his van lifestyle has some slight drawbacks, his six-year-old beagle cross, McCartney, loves van life.

He stays at a daycare while Nicole is at work, but always loves coming home in the van.

McCartney, who attends daycare while Nicole is at work, loves coming home with the van.

McCartney, who attends daycare while Nicole is at work, loves coming home with the van.

Nicole isn't sure when or if she will move back into a traditional home and

Nicole isn’t sure when or if she’ll move back into a traditional home and “takes each day as it comes”

‘I really appreciate that not all dogs are suited to this lifestyle. “I’m in a really lucky position as McCartney just goes with the flow,” he said.

“He’s very happy all the time and he loves the van even though he has a big dog. I think he likes the cozy space which I think he likes. It feels like a little home.”

Adding that he always has a fan on hand to make sure his best friend is cool, he said: “He always comes first.” Everything I do is thinking about him.’

Reflecting on whether he will ever live in a house made of cast bricks again, he revealed: “I don’t know if it will be forever.” I have no idea because I’m not in a hurry.

‘I’m really looking forward to summer and my solo and being able to enjoy it. I’m just taking each day as it comes.’

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