With the housing market in a slump, nothing sounds better than having someone else cover the tab for your living expenses. By taking a job that offers free housing as a perk, you can contribute your saved cash to a fund that will enable you to buy a home of your own in the future.

Watching MTV Cribs might be a fun way to experience the domestic lives of rich people, but it's not going to put a roof over your head. If you're tired of your current living arrangement, but can't afford a way out, try looking into these careers that offer you free or low-cost housing.

Property caretaker/Apartment manager

If you don't mind a little landscaping and cleaning, you could look for a job as a property caretaker. The opportunities in this area vary widely, from managing a wealthy owner's vacation estate to running an apartment complex. You might even find some opportunities that entail management responsibilities, such as overseeing a staff of gardeners or housekeepers. Generally, employers will need you to be trustworthy and flexible enough to handle whatever challenges arise. To find these opportunities, run nationwide searches on online job boards.


Elderly folks often employ on-site help to assist them with daily tasks, such as grocery shopping, running errands, cleaning house, and cooking meals. Employers who are in relatively good health may not require you to have any specialized medical training, but a nursing background would definitely be an advantage. You also may find similar opportunities with busy families that have children-working parents may need a reliable adult to run the kids around town, prepare meals, and tidy up around the house. Look for a placement agency that specializes in filling these positions. And expect the agency to call your references and run a complete background check. You may also find opportunities advertised in your local newspaper.

English teacher abroad

If you're ready for an adventure, consider teaching English abroad. There are many opportunities in Eastern Europe, Latin America, and Asia. According to English-international.com, the highest paying jobs in this field are located in Korea, Taiwan, and Japan. These jobs don't necessarily require any specialized training, but you may wish to get some anyway. Completion of a short certification program will set you apart from many other applicants. For further information, click to TransitionsAbroad.com; the site lists several resources, including job boards, that relate specifically to English teaching opportunities overseas.

Resort worker

Out-of-the-way resorts often provide free or discounted housing to employees. Jobs can range from maintenance, which entails trash pick-up and handyman-type repairs, all the way up to management. Try searching online for these positions, using resort-oriented keyword phrases such as ski resort and RV resort.

Once you land your free housing job, start stashing away a little cash every month. Eventually, you'll have saved enough to fund a stylish crib you can call your own.

Published on August 6, 2008