Best Used Houseboats | LakeWizard

With summer in full swing, people want to be around and in the water to escape the summer heat. A used houseboat is a great way to enjoy the water in style.

As a result, some people might be looking into more permanent options through cheap second-hand houseboats. A few houseboats, such as Gibson, Patio Cruisers, or Chinampa houseboats, can be worthwhile contenders for the best-used houseboats.

If you’re looking to learn more about possible affordable alternatives to a brand new houseboat, you’ve come to the right place. After scouring the internet for the best offers, we've compiled this list of the best-used houseboats with a good resale value for their features and amenities.

We'll be going over the details of some great houseboats from all over the world to help make sure you don’t get left out on any summer fun. Continue reading to learn more!

Looking into the statistics, you'd find that 108,542 households within America were on the road or in the water in 2012. Many people opt for these housing options because they have the freedom to move from place to place within a moment's notice.

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How common are used houseboats?

But, this isn't all houseboats are known for. Many people like to use their houseboats as "stationary floating homes." These are houses that have underwater foundations within the marina communities. Their residents enjoy a simple and merry lifestyle with no yard and less stuff to manage.

Likewise, there's also the fact that mobile houseboats can depreciate by 20% within the first year alone. And this is usually followed by a further depreciation of 5-10% within consecutive years. This is because water has a somewhat corrosive nature that entails replacing various houseboat systems.

On the same note, when considering floating homes, these can appreciate at rates similar to (or even faster than) traditional homes. For example, in Portland Ore, one of the largest-known floating home communities, these structures can appreciate at a rate of 21.7% per year. This is considerably higher than land homes which were only 10.2% during the same period.

Best Used Houseboats

With reasons and statistics out of the way, it’s about time we jump into our sampling of the most affordable houseboats and floating homes for sale. These would usually have at least one bedroom, kitchen, and bathroom. However, you need to recall that these prices do not account for the maintenance of these homes.

A Chinampa Houseboat

First, on our list, we have a home with a timeless design fitted with various reclaimed furniture. This can be found in Regent Canal, London. It is a beautiful one-bedroomed 58ft wide beam canal boat designed by its current owners working in fashion and landscaping. They’ve carefully curated this space by collecting reclaimed furniture with retro pieces that fit perfectly into the environment. Every aspect of the houseboat has been given meticulous consideration to help maintain it as a clutter-free, open, and clean home.

Even the gallery kitchen was assembled with a reclaimed pine chest and iroko hardwood worktop from Retrovirus. This comes with bespoke cupboard doors made from western red cedar, Hotpoint stainless steel gas, antique brass taps, a fridge freezer, and a butler sink.

The bathroom has a Georgian townhouse feel to it. It comes with the comfort of a full-sized roll top cast iron bath, reclaimed antique brass taps, claw feet, and shower fittings. Meanwhile, the bedroom is home to a fitted double bed and wardrobe with large integrated stainless steel and an insulated fresh water tank.

You can even access the bow through a double opening. Between the bedroom and living room, you'd find a large, timber-framed opening with a double-pitched skylight bathing the space in sunlight to create the perfect place for growing plants.

All of this is heated with a Webastro high-performance calorifier and water heating system. There are also four 130W solar panels to allow for sustainable and off-grid living all year round. These power the radiators and Morso ‘squirrel’ multi-fuel stove.

With all that being said, the asking price for these state-of-art features is only $211,200.


This houseboat has an updated kitchen with stainless steel appliances. Outside, you'd find a third-level deck with a dedicated sunbathing area and hot tub.

This is all located within the Lake Union Waterfront Community of Seattle. It has a condo-style slip for the less-traveled end of the dock. It also has an unobstructed view of downtown Seattle with lookouts from the Gas Works Park and Space Needle.

The boat's 1,650 square footage can be available at a listed price of only $876,000. However, this isn't a completely self-sustainable home. So, maintenance costs should also be considered, such as the monthly $272 HOA fee for garbage, water, maintenance, community service, and electricity.

The home does have a designated garage parking space and gym membership. Not to mention, pets are allowed.

An off-grid minimalist interior

Going back to the examples of off-grid minimalist designs, we have a beautiful Dusky Parakeet found in London's St. Katharine Docks.

This is an award-winning London-based firm that has outfitted a brand-new 60'x 12' wide beam canal boat with bespoke interiors to give off a soothing Scandinavian vibe. This is coupled with handmade flooring and joinery crafted from tulipwood, Douglas fir, and charcoal gray Valchromat.

It has an uncluttered interior and an open storage space cleverly tucked away underneath benches and the staircase. In fact, according to the description, it is "impossible" to find a similar apartment within this location at this affordable price. This makes this Dusky Parakeet a one-of-a-kind offer at $378,000 only.

A River Redux

This is a remodeled two-story floating home with a balcony and a second-floor running the whole length of the houseboat.

It is found in a homely gated community known as West Hayden Island Moorage on Portland's Columbia River. It has recently been updated with a kitchen with granite countertops and a fireplace in the second-level family room. You can also find multiple outdoor decks at the rear and front ends of the house.

All of this can be found in the home's 1,815 square footage. You and your guest would have plenty of freedom with its three bedrooms and two bathrooms. Want to know the best part? You can get all of this for only $449,000.

Eco-friendly home with cottage vibes

This vacation houseboat has one-of-a-kind views, a comfortable living area, and a contemporary design. It's the perfect place for enjoying evenings on Lake Union during a weekend getaway adventure.

Like many other houses on this list, it's an example of a houseboat in the cozy city of Seattle. It floats on Westlake Avenue with a 728 square footage property and an aesthetically designed master-bedroom, kitchen, and sleeping loft.

This is the ultimate retreat for anyone who wants convenience and comfort with the occasional panoramic views. Within this location, you can watch the Duck Dodge, a local boat regatta held every Tuesday evening. Or, if you're not the sports type, you can also just watch geese waddle on any fine day.

You can have classic boats, lake union living, or seaplanes at your front door. Not to mention, this can be called home at a reasonable price of $425,000. And though this may seem steep, it's worth considering the comfort in a gated community like Seattle's Lake Union.

A redesigned home with low maintenance costs

If you're fantasizing about a minimalist lifestyle on tiny houseboats with tons of appeal and a homely feel, this is the right choice for you.

Just like our last houseboat, this is a houseboat found in Lake Union within Seattle. It is officially known as Orca. It is docked more towards the downtown end of the district. Despite being available at a reasonable $275,000, this houseboat has recently been remodeled with reclaimed butcher-block kitchen counters and bamboo flooring. There's also a brand new steel hull, and this means you'd have relatively low maintenance for the first few years.

The boat's living space is open to fresh air and natural light. As a result, you’d be able to enjoy the view from all over the boat’s astounding 1,020 square feet of living space. And with only two decks, the house is always move-in ready and has everything you’d need to live comfortably on water.

Star Struck

Found in Andersonville, Star Struck is a beautiful 6-bedroom home with two bathrooms. It has a sleeper sofa in its living room. The kitchen has multiple full-sized appliances, a double sink, and even a small pantry for food storage.

You'd find that its second level is partially covered with a twisting water slide, hot tub, and gas grill. It even comes with a clothes dryer. However, new owners would have to buy a new dryer.

The best part is that all this house's 80 x 16 feet can be found at the Sequoyah Marina on Norris Lake for a reasonable $119,900.

A two-bedroom houseboat with exposed wooden beams

Known as the Pied-A-Mer, this is an ideal houseboat for any vacation or weekend getaway.

Located in Seattle, it's no surprise that it's found right in the heart of Lake Union. This makes it the perfect place for enjoying water activities, bike trails, and meals at fabulous restaurants.

You can use the place as a vacation spot, a part-time liveaboard slip, or move into your liveaboard with a lease of only $560 per month. This pricing includes garbage, electricity, and water.

Other features also include a 542-square-foot charming interior space. And unlike other floating homes, this is even packed with a recently remodeled kitchen with a full-sized fridge. There’s also a cozy built-in dinette that converts to a double bed. All of this is available at the fair asking price of $330,000.

A two-story with a spacious top deck

Named the Andante, this is an antique houseboat from 1984 that was recently renovated a year ago. It measures around 812 square feet and features two bedrooms, a large top deck, and a well-equipped kitchen.

This is a master stateroom with an En-suite ¾ bath, a remodeled kitchen with Corian countertops, and multiple stainless steel appliances. The main salon has windows facing Lake Union in all its aesthetic glory. From the large rooftop deck, you can get views of the city and lake skyline.

With its proximity to the water, you can take advantage of all the aspects of Lake Union living. These entail taking your paddle boards or kayaks on tour in the lake. Or, you could just watch seagulls, geese, ducks, herons, or the occasional eagle from your front windows. On your rooftop deck, you'd always have front-row seats to the Seattle Fireworks show, Duck Dodge, the Christmas Ship parade, and more.

In short, Andante has numerous aspects that define its charm and features. These are bound to fill your heart with love for the sounds and sights of Lake Union, making you value each day of your vacation.

How will this houseboat be used?

If you're buying a houseboat, it's worth asking what it'd be used for. For example, will this be your primary residence now? Or is it going to be a fun addition to annual lake vacations?

Depending on its purpose, you might have to opt for daily living features, such as bathrooms, kitchen space, and similar practical considerations. But, if it's just used for fun, you can focus more on optimizing the design for comfort. Prices can vary according to these intended purposes and design considerations.

Can you get these houseboats on a mortgage?

Well, it can vary. If you’re just wondering whether you can finance the purchase of your houseboat or not, the short answer is that it is definitely possible. However, as stated earlier, there are few differences between a houseboat and a floating home.

A floating home would be like a barge tethered to a dock. It is possible to get a mortgage on it. But, houseboats are a bit more complex. Since they have an engine and move, they are considered more like RVs. As a result, you could get an RV loan with shorter terms instead. In rare cases, if you're lucky, you can get some lenders offering a 20-year range for the houseboat.