If you’ve always dreamed about living on a boat, a houseboat may be your dream come true! A houseboat is simply a barge or a boat that has been modified to be used primarily as a boat. Buying a houseboat can be a big decision. Here are some things to consider before making your purchase:
The Pros of Owning a Houseboat:
Relaxing Lifestyle- Imagine waking up to a serene sunrise right on the lake while enjoying a cup of coffee and reading a book! Then at night, enjoying a nice dinner while watching the beautiful sunset and being rocked to sleep by the soft lull of the waves…With a houseboat you can really enjoy the relaxing benefits the lake has to offer from the comfort of your home. An added bonus is you will never have to stress about hassle of yardwork again.
Activities and Mobility- You will never be bored with a houseboat. While most people enjoy fishing, boating, tubing only during their vacations, you can enjoy these every day! Also, a houseboat is mobile so you can relocate without having to pack or buy a new home.
The View- I mean who doesn’t enjoy watching the sunrise and sunset right on the water? Plus seeing aquatic wildlife right from your bedroom window. With a houseboat, you will always have a constant view of the water without having to worry about someone building a new home right in front of yours.
Financial Benefits- Owning a houseboat also comes with some great financial benefits! They are extremely affordable options for lakefront living. A decent quality 600-square foot houseboat starts around $50,000. The annual cost of living is significantly cheaper as well, at an estimated $6,000 annually.
Some other amazing financial benefits are there are no property taxes on houseboats, just personal property taxes like a car. Also, there are generally lower maintenance fees, potential houseboat tax breaks, and no yard to take care of or pay for landscaping.
Yet another financial benefit is the return on investment if you wish to sell later down the line. This is because the supply of houseboats is somewhat limited, compared to land housing, so the prices tend to stay high.
The Cons of Owning a Houseboat:
Less Living Space- Houseboats traditionally have less living space than a traditional single-family home. This might not be too much of an issue if you’re using it for vacation, but if you plan on a houseboat for your permanent residence you may want to consider this factor. If you have a pet, there will be no yard for them. You will have to take them off the boat to the marina regularly for bathroom breaks and exercise.
Additional Fees- On top of the cost of your houseboat, you will have additional fees to pay. Although there is no property tax, other costs include dock or slip rental, insurance, sales tax, fuel costs, and engine maintenance costs.
Adhere to Marina Rules- You will likely have to join a homeowner’s association. Most marinas that include houseboats as permanent residences require those who live there to join an association that governs the way that boats are maintained, where they are docked, and more.
So, Are Houseboats Worth It?
It depends! If you enjoy being surrounded by the water and nature, then it is a perfect fit! Also, many houseboat communities are known for the sense of hospitality and sense of community so you can enjoy making new friendships. Of course, there are always pros and cons to every residential purchase, and you should consider each of them before making a decision.
Posted by Scott Freerksen “The Lake Guy”