Chinese Couple Have Been Living in a Cave for the Past 54 Years

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Unable to afford a proper home after getting married, a Chinese couple moved into a mountain cave near the city Nanchong, and have been living there for the past 54 years.

81-year-old Liang Zifu and 77-year-old Li Suying found the cave three years after their wedding, and since they couldn’t afford to buy a real house, decided to make it their home and start a family there. In the beginning, they shared the unusual abode with three other families, who have since moved out, as have the couple’s four children, but the two elderly cave-dwellers won’t even consider leaving. After their story went viral in Chinese media, local authorities tried to persuade them to move out and even offered to provide them with a more comfortable house, but they flat-out refused.

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San Francisco Man Pays $500 a Month to Live in a Wooden Box

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Unable to afford the soaring apartment prices in San Francisco, 25-year-old illustrator Peter Berkowitz built himself a box to serve as his bedroom. Living in the 8×3.5×4.5-foot ‘bedroom pod’ now costs him less than $500 a month.

Berkowitz had originally planned to share a two-bedroom apartment with a friend in the city, but later realised that he wasn’t going to be able to afford it. “I was far too optimistic at first that we could find a place that wouldn’t cost a fortune,” he told Business Insider. “It didn’t take long to realise that that wasn’t a feasible plan though.”

After a bit of brainstorming, Berkowitz recalled his experience of climbing into a model of a Japanese ‘capsule’ hotel at the Smithsonian’s Cooper Hewitt Museum in New York. That memory led him to a unique solution to his housing problem – he decided to share a one-bedroom apartment with his friend instead, and build a wooden box in the living room to be used as the second bedroom. “Two people looking for a one-bedroom apartment makes the city a lot less scary,” he explained.

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Dutch Family Is Living in Giant Greenhouse for Three Years as Environmental Experiment

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Since June last year, a Dutch family has been living in a wooden cabin in Rotterdam that’s built inside of a large greenhouse. Inhabited by botanical stylist Helly Scholten, her husband, their two teenage daughters, and their pet dog, ‘Concept House’ presents the perfect example of sustainability in the modern world. Not only does it reduce energy costs by trapping heat, it also allows the Scholtens to grow their own food in a rooftop vegetable garden.

Helly, who decorates photo shoots and events with plants and flowers, had always dreamed of living off-grid in an environmentally friendly home. But she wanted the home to be located in Rotterdam, the second-largest city in the Netherlands. That was next to impossible, given that the city has long since embraced modern architecture.

She had almost given up on her dream, but in an incredible stroke of luck, Helly found out that a group of students at Rotterdam University were building experimental houses, one of which was inside a greenhouse. This was exactly what Helly wanted, so she didn’t waste any time contacting the head of the project. “We met a professor at the university’s Sustainable Building Technology program and he said he was looking for a ‘test family’ for a new sustainable home,” she said, speaking to NY Times. “We applied on the spot.”

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IKEA-Style Home Can Be Built in 4 Days Using Only a Screwdriver

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French architecture firm Multipod Studio has come up with a revolutionary housing prototype – the PopUp House. This unique dwelling comes in the form of stackable blocks that anyone can put together IKEA style, using only a screwdriver. It’s supposedly as easy as building with Legos.

The company unveiled their PopUp House design in 2014, but was once again picked up by several media outlets last month, and since we missed the initial launch two years ago, we decided it was a good opportunity to include this amazing concept in our Architecture collection.

The PopUp House prototype, located in Aix-in-Provence, is a 1,614-square foot structure with an open layout – the living room is connected to a kitchen, dining area, and terrace. It also includes two bathrooms, an office, a master bedroom, and two smaller bedrooms. It doesn’t sound any different than a conventional house, but what really makes the PopUp House special is the construction process, which only takes four days and only requires an electric screwdriver.

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Texas Family Has Ordinary-Looking Barns Converted Into Epic Country Houses

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‘Barndominiums’ are becoming a major home improvement trend in North Texas, thanks to Morton Buildings, a construction company that specializes in converting ordinary barns into luxurious dwellings. They started in the year 2000, and they have since transformed thousands of barns and sheds across the US into beautiful mansions.

Paul and Judy Pogue, from McKinney, Texas, are the proud owners of two of the most amazing barndominiums made by Morton – one in their hometown and a 10-bedroom one in Oklahoma. The one in McKinney, a 6,600 square-foot steel structure, looks rather boring from the outside, but the inside is simply breathtaking. The old barn is finished with hard wood walls and floors, leather furnishings, chandeliers, a bar, kitchen, and all the other comforts of a luxury home.

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Guy Gives Up Lucrative Career to Build Whimsical Treehouse in the Middle of Nature

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Unhappy with his high flying career in fashion, New Yorker Foster Huntington gave it all up to live life on his own terms. He is now in the news for building ‘Bro-topia’, an outlandish dwelling made up of two treehouses connected by a swinging rope bridge, on a grassy hilltop in southwest Washington state. 

It all started in 2011, when Foster quit his job at Ralph Lauren, sold all his belongings, and lived in a mobile van for months. He was working as a men’s fashion designer and although he initially found the job exciting and challenging, Huntington realized he didn’t care that much about clothing. “I remember looking at photos of bush pilots in Alaska and their ruggedly stylish world and thinking: ‘I can take photos. I don’t want to live my life in the city. I want to go do something else,’” he told New York Times.

So he pursued photography for a while, making money creating photo books, but in 2014 he decided that he wanted to spend his time fulfilling his childhood dream of building an epic tree house. So he pooled his life savings, got a few friends on board, and started working on the project on his family’s property in Skamania, Washington.

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This Ordinary-Looking House Is Actually a Renaissance Palace in Disguise

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From the outside, this house in Newport, Oregon, looks pretty ordinary, with yellowed brick walls, white cladding, and a two-car garage. But you’ll be surprised to learn that inside it’s actually an opulent Renaissance-era palace complete with hand-carved doors, stained-glass windows, and centuries-old antique decor.

The unique house belongs to a member of the British nobility – the Right and Honorable Dowager Countess of Shannon, Almine Barton – apparently has excellent reason for maintaining the striking contrast between the spectacular interior and rather drab exterior – taxes.

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Family Builds Glass Greenhouse around Their Home to Warm It Naturally

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Even though the average temperature in Stockholm, Sweden, is at a frigid 27 degrees Fahrenheit, Marie Granmar, Charles Sacilotto and their young son enjoy a cozy atmosphre all year round. The young couple have managed to harness the power of the sun by encasing their home in a giant glass greenhouse.

Aptly named ‘Naturhus’ (Nature House), the unique abode is located on the Stockholm archipelago and consists of an old summer house encased in glass. Marie and Charles were originally looking for an empty lot to build a house from scratch, but they eventually settled on repurposing this old summer house for year-round living, by building a greenhouse around it.

“This is a summer house,” Marie explained. “It was not really made for year-round living, but that was part of the idea, that you could actually put the greenhouse around the summer house and actually live in it with nice comfort all year round.” Charles, an engineer by profession, designed and made the necessary modifications himself, drawing inspiration from the work of Swedish eco-architect Bengt Warne, who just happens to be his mentor.

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Millionaire Lends His Luxurious Mansions for $1 a Month to People Left Homeless by Tornadoes

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A benevolent businessman from Texas has opened up two of his mansions to help house and rehabilitate the victims of the recent tornadoes that devastated the state. Ron Sturgeon, who is reportedly worth $75million, told affected families that they could live in his mansions for three months, at a meagre rent of $1 a month.

The two houses, reportedly worth $3.5million, are currently unoccupied and up for sale. Sturgeon himself was in Jamaica on vacation when the tornadoes struck north Texas last week. When he returned, he decided to put the mansions to good use.

“Does anyone have friends or relatives that lost their home in Garland or other city that needs housing?” he wrote on his Facebook page. “I have a 10,000sf home in Colleyville (empty for sale) that I will loan to someone to stay in for up to three months. And an extra car they can use. No charge. The home is big enough for two families. The home is pet friendly with a 10 car garage to store belongings in.”

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Architect Turns Old Grain Silo into Amazing-Looking Home

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It doesn’t look like much from the outside, but this cylindrical structure is an architectural marvel. It actually used to be an old grain silo from the 1950s, but it’s been transformed a cozy, well-equipped one-bedroom by architect Christoph Kaiser. He now lives in the silo-house – located in Phoenix, Arizona – with his wife.

The quirky 340-square-foot home has a very small carbon footprint, but not at the cost of modern comforts. Kaiser, who purchased the silo from a Kansas farmer and transported it to Arizona on a pickup truck, made all sorts of modifications to make it habitable. He added a ten-inch spray foam insulation between the silo walls and the interior walls, and painted the corrugated shell sheet white to reflect the heat of the desert sun.

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Google Engineer Saves 90% of His Salary by Living Out of a Truck in the Company’s Parking Lot

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In a bid to save money, Google employee Brandon S. has made the company’s vast parking lot his home. The 23-year-old software engineer lives out of a box truck parked near the search engine giant’s campus in Mountain View, California.

Brandon started work at Google as a summer intern in 2014 – he rented a two-bedroom apartment with three roommates at the time. It cost him about $65 a night, or roughly $2,000 a month, to live there. “I realised I was paying an exorbitant amount of money for the apartment I was staying in – and I was almost never home,” he told Business Insider.

So when he signed on as a full-time employee, he decided to opt out of spending on sky-high rents in the Bay Area. Inspired by the story of software programmer Ben Discoe, who lived for 13 months out of a conversion van in the Google parking lot, he bought a $10,000 used Ford E350 and started living in it. It’s now less of a home and more like a place to sleep and store his stuff – he showers, bathes, charges his gadgets, and eats all his meals in the Google buildings. All he spends is $121 a month on insurance for the truck.

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Rents in San Francisco Are So Outrageous That Young Professionals Prefer Living in Shipping Containers

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Unable to afford ridiculously expensive rental housing in San Francisco, young professionals are trying to find interesting alternative living arrangements. One of them literally involves living in a box – there’s a whole village in Oakland where shipping containers are doubling up as tiny apartments!

At ‘Containercopia’, you can rent a 160-square-foot metal container complete with glass windows, electricity, and private bathroom for just $600 a month . The whole package is considered a steal when compared to skyrocketing rents in the city, which went up by 20 percent in the last year.

The idea for Containercopia belongs to 32-year-old Luke Iseman and his ex-partner Heather Stewart. They were fed up of spending huge amounts on rent, so they bought a shipping container for $2,300 from the Port of Oakland, rented half an acre of land, and moved in. Then they spent about $12,000 converting the box into a home – with a small toilet, custom-built shower, queen-size bed, glass windows, and solar panels.

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This Transforming Castle Truck Is the Most Amazing Mobile Home Ever

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Justin and Jola Siezen are an unconventional family.  They have adopted a traveling lifestyle and are constantly on the move with their baby son Piko, in a mobile home. But that’s no ordinary mobile home – it’s a magical truck that transforms into a fantasy castle, complete with a kitchen, bedroom, turret bathrooms, and a rooftop bathtub!

The couple used to spend a lot of their time on the road, because of Jola’s job as an acrobat. “We were traveling around overseas and thought about coming back to New Zealand and where we were going to live,” Justin said. “I remembered living in a bus and I was thinking ‘that’s actually not a bad idea, that would be a good start when we get back until we decide on something else.”

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Man Spends Six Years Carving Cave Home in the Side of a Hill

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After his divorce, Chinese farmer Xu Wenyi longed for a means to escape reality. So he set out on an epic challenge – to dig his own cave dwelling in the side of a hill. It was back-breaking work, but he kept at it for six long years, until his cave home was finally ready.

Xu, now 57, has been living in his cave for over a decade. Located in a mountain in Xiangtan County, in China’s Hunan Province, it measures 100 ft deep and 13 ft wide. In fact, it’s more like a tiny apartment, complete with concrete-reinforced walls and a front door. The interiors are pretty neat too, with an 85-square foot living room and a stone kitchen. Xu has even dug out alcoves in the walls, to use as shelves for his belongings. He has a chicken coop inside, and he’s made himself a garden of pine and cypress trees outside.

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Couple Rent Out Their Home on Airbnb for a Weekend, Find It Completely Trashed after Monster Party

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When this young Canadian couple got the chance to make a few extra dollars by renting out their three-bedroom home on Airbnb, they took it immediately. Little did they know that two days later, they would find their beautiful home wrecked beyond imagination.

Mark and Star King bought their house in 2010, in Calgary’s fashionable Sage Hill, for a little over US $300,000 and lived in it with their two sons – five-year-old Vincent and one-year-old Oliver. When a local man offered them about $650 to have the house for a weekend, the Kings, being mortgage-payers, couldn’t refuse. The man told the Kings that he needed the house to accommodate four of his relatives who were in town for a wedding. He was well-dressed, well-mannered, and told them, “You have a beautiful home. God bless you.”

“We use Airbnb when we travel, we love it, it’s a great website, vacation rental by owner type website and my parents are out of town so we were going to go and stay at their house and we get an offer to rent out our house for three days for a family coming for a wedding, it’s going to be four older adults, go through the house rules, they shook my hand,” Mark said.

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