How About a Houseboat?

Added on November 10th 2018

Buying or renting a houseboat is not just a dream to lots of people, it’s a good, cheap way to get onto the property ladder. Living on a boat is an ideal solution for people who live in an expensive city and who are trying to save up for a deposit, as it costs much less per month than most rents or mortgages.

An increasingly popular option

The number of boats that have moorings on the UK’s canals and waterways has risen in the last few years, with London in particular seeing a 60% rise since 2013.

What are the pros and cons

Whatever you decide to live in (or on) there are upsides and downsides and boats are no different.

The downsides

Permanent moorings are very rare at the moment, as well as expensive, so you could find yourself having to move between temporary moorings once or twice a month. This could be a huge problem if you have a tight commute.

Temporary mooring boat licences cost between £500 and £1,000 a year, depending on the length of your boat.

Permanent moorings, on the other hand, start at £4,000 for a suburban or semi-rural area and up to £8,000 for London. You also have to think about the running and maintenance costs of living on a residential boat.

The upsides

The upsides are that buying a houseboat can be much cheaper than buying a house; not just because of the price of the boat, but because you don’t usually pay stamp duty.

It’s also amazing to live on the water or by a waterfront. There’s often a great sense of community and if you get bored of the view from your kitchen, you can just spark up the engine and move!

It’s a smaller space than most houses or flats, of course, but this needn’t be restrictive. You’ll need to be very well organised and make the most of any spare space. Many boaters have a mid or high-rise bed and use the space underneath for storage, for example. It can be fun, if you’ve bought your boat outright, to devise ways around the challenge of living in a small space!

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