Young Couple Trades Rent for Van Life, Reaping Savings and Adventures


In a quest to achieve future financial security, a young couple decided to swap their rented living conditions for life on the road. Twenty-three-year-olds Flavia Catavitello and Luke Norris from Crawley, West Sussex, traded their monthly rent for a one-time payment towards a van that could serve as their movable shelter

Having chosen a more unconventional route towards home ownership, Flavia and Luke made a £13,000 investment towards purchasing and transforming a previous roofer’s van into a livable space. The result is not only a drastic cut on rent, but in their own words, also “an affordable means to take holidays”.

Reflecting on their decision, Ms. Catavitello reflects, “Roughly, one of our salaries was consumed by a rented flat. It was a wonderful place, but after 20 years, we realized, we’d have nothing to show for it.”

In line with this sentiment, Mr. Norris added, “Renting felt akin to throwing money away. Today, one of our salaries remains untouched, kept secure in savings.”

Their modest investment gave them a £6,000 van which required an additional £7,000 to transform into a livable space. Passionate commitment and sixteen labor-intensive weekends later, the van was equipped with amenities such as an air cooker, bed, and shower. It currently sits parked at Mr. Norris’ family home.

Having a mechanic as a father proved beneficial for Luke Norris, who mentioned, “The readiness of tools saved us that additional cost. However, it demanded all our weekends for close to four months, with no distractions.”

Unsurprisingly, the couple has been quick to put their newly transformed home onto wheels to good use. This past August, they embarked on an adventurous travel from their town Crawley to the city of Pescara in Italy. The 2,500-mile journey covered six countries, including an overnight layover in the picturesque land of Switzerland.

Expounding on one of the perks of their unique lifestyle, Ms Catavitello shared, “Had we traversed the same journey in an ordinary car, we would have had to shell out money for a hotel. Instead, we spent two Euros to park by a breathtakingly beautiful lake. Waking up to such view felt like emergence in a dream.”

In their current situation, Flavia and Luke have discovered a way to merge life, work, and vacation seamlessly into their journey towards owning a home. A testament to innovative living, the couple continues to redefine the traditional roadmap towards property ownership.


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