Renting and buying have been the only real options for getting a place to live in the US. With the 2008 housing bubble these limited options scared about everyone, but didn't shake many people to think that the problem needed some imagination. I came across thinktrio which does just that – thinks about living in homes from a new perspective and allows you to buy into ownership of a home while still allowing you to move to another city (into a ThinkTrio property). They don’t exactly describe it this way, but it looks a lot like a time share for permanent residences. You own the right to live there; however, you aren’t stuck in a single location, don’t own the underlying real property, and pay a price in between renting and buying.
I am surprised that we didn't see this sooner or didn't see the existing time share firms enter this market with their vast pools of condos. I am excited by the prospect that this would provide, allowing people to keep from getting under-water in real estate when they end up in a situation where they need to move cities or states for their career or for family reasons. The unfortunate part is that home builders, banks, etc. will certainly not be doing anything to push potential buyers down this path even if it makes more sense.