On the pragmatic side of the quest for freedom from full time employment, property had become the key to success. Time was money, and with so much important work to do, or to think about doing, collecting a rent check required a fraction of the time that it took to collect a paycheck. Housing was still cheap in the early seventies. Jobs were still analog. Grassroots landlords sprang up like invasive non-natives weeds. The difference between paying a mortgage and having a tenant pay it for you was just a matter of a little weekend plumbing behind an immobilized garage door. Housing went underground. An illegal unit functioned like a trust fund, and created similar, subtle social distinctions.
A black market in affordable housing proliferated. In a progressively expensive community, illegal units carried the legitimacy and status of an inflated under-the-counter culture.