Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Britain’s canals and waterways are thriving and not just with wildlife. There has been a steady rise in the amount of people living on houseboats.

Houseboats have a wide appeal from young students,entrepreneurs, business professionals to young families and retirees. This strong community of like minded people has grown over the past decade with moorings in London being highly sought after. With many young people struggling to get on the property ladder with rising costs and all the fees that buying incurs from lawyers to mortgage advisors and conveyance fees. Buying a home can now seem like an unrealistic dream for many people.

Sometimes you need to think outside the box and have a wider prospective of the property market and what homes are available within your price range.

Over the past few years the idea of living on a houseboat has really taken off and is an interesting option for many potential buyers.After all a houseboat offers just as much space as a flat can and you get the added benefits of the water side location, wildlife closer to hand and a strong community feel of like minded houseboat enthusiasts who have chosen to move away from terra- firma and now call a houseboat home.

Currently in London alone there is around 10,000 houseboats with people living on-board. You can see the advantages to people living up and down the country who have made the decision to live on a houseboat. You don’t have to worry about extra fees when purchasing like conveyance and lawyers. Council tax is usually in the lowest tax band; therefore, it is affordable and many people buy their houseboats without the aid of a loan, so they can then say they really do own their own home in full. This can be one of the few drawbacks, as it can be hard to get a loan or mortgage on a houseboat. If you do require to get a loan out to purchase your houseboat look at the marine lenders, they may well be more favourable. There is also the bonus that if you decide to move location, you can take your home with you and find a more suitable mooring, how many other people can say when they move they can literally take their home with them…not very many!

If you do plan on being a regular cruiser on your houseboat,you will need to be licensed by the waterway authority. For most on the British waterways this is the CRT, but there are independent owners, for instance for the Thames it is the Environment Agency or the Port of London Authority, while the Broads Authority presides over East Anglia. You will need a Boat Safety Certificate, which roughly costs about £150 and insurance which varies from£100 for a small river cruiser to £500. There will also be certain restrictions that you need to abide by on how long you can moor in one place.

Moorings in Suffolk the East and South East are still seen as reasonable in comparison with purchasing a flat and paying ground rent and it is an affordable way to live. You might not think a life on the water is one for you, but how will you know if you don’t give it a go.

Take a look at our website for a great example of a houseboat which would be a great project and home for any aspiring houseboat owner or someone who is looking for their next project/houseboat: http://suffolk.boatshed.com/