Buying a houseboat is a great investment. However, how much will you get when you sell it? Do houseboats appreciate in value?
A houseboat is a great luxury to have around. You can use it to escape your busy life for a few days at a time and just chill out on the water. If you're tired of living on land (and have a sufficiently big houseboat), you could possibly even live on one. But what about when you decide to sell these vessels? Will you be able to recover your costs?
Houseboats can appreciate in value; however, this usually depends on the supply and demand. If you have a houseboat that's in demand, you can charge a hefty sum for it – more than what you initially paid. For the most part, though, houseboats tend to depreciate in value.
Houseboats usually devalue by 20 percent in the very first year and then continue to depreciate by 5 to 10 percent each following year. However, if you manage to take care of your houseboat by maintaining it and fixing repairs every now and then, it could turn out to be a wonderful investment.
After owning different houseboats over the years, we know all about the costs involved with buying and living in a houseboat and how these vessels lose their value over the years.
What Kind of Houseboats Appreciate?
Loads of individuals believe that boats will always depreciate regardless of their condition or type. While this is a great statement to ensure that first-time houseboat buyers do not land themselves in some trouble, it is not a precise representation of the boat market.
Loads of vessels, as well as houseboats, can appreciate in value over the years. Vessels like classic boats are desirable, customized, and rare, which means that after they have been restored, they can appreciate in value. For example, Chris Craft's runabouts.
In some situations, if inflation is adjusted over a period of 50 or 60 years, this can be true. Age does not always matter when it comes to depreciation because some new boats with increased desirability will see appreciation if demand is more than supply. In recent years, this has become increasingly true.
Houseboats Do Not Appreciate like Normal Homes
Many individuals tend to compare their houseboat to a normal house and start believing that their houseboat will appreciate in value. However, it is important to understand that a houseboat or a floating boat is always going to depreciate in value. You might have to reevaluate if you think about it as an investment project.
When you buy a house, you know that it will appreciate in the future as it is a huge asset. The house can continue to fulfill your needs while increasing in value. However, houseboats do not do that. They require a huge maintenance cost. Since the boat is always in water, there will be a lot of wear and tear that it will experience.
Despite all this, there are some cases that will allow your houseboat to devalue slower than it would normally. In fact, if you manage to do this, your houseboat could end up being the best financial decision that you may have ever taken. Keep reading to figure out how to ensure that your houseboat does not lose its value.
How to Increase the Value of Houseboats
First, you need to accept that everything you buy is meant to decrease in value and eventually devalue.
However, there are some things you can do to delay this process. Even though this will not cause your houseboat to appreciate in value, it will keep it maintained for as long as possible.
Ensure that the Exterior Paint of the Boat is Being Maintained Regularly
Houseboats spend a large chunk of their time in the water. Due to this, the boat's exterior becomes vulnerable to rust, algae, mold, and is in contact with other impurities.
By maintaining the exterior paint once in four months, you can keep corrosion at bay. Moreover, this will cause your boat to become more stable while maintaining its outward appearance and keeping it attractive.
Use Quality and Classic Pieces to Remodel and Refurnish the Boat's Interior
If you want to refurbish your boat's interior or are looking to remodel it, try finding classic pieces. Look for pieces made from leather upholstery or good-quality wood. The key is to choose pieces that are not overly trendy as they will go out of style eventually.
By choosing timeless pieces, you do not have to keep remodeling the interior of your boat as times change.
You also need to keep in mind why you bought a houseboat in the first place. Did you purchase it for relaxation purposes and to get away from people when things got too overwhelming? If you did, you must find furniture pieces that make you feel at peace. Maybe look for something that is easy to maintain with clean lines.
Get Your Houseboat Professionally Cleaned Every Now and Then
Even though you should clean your houseboat from time to time to ensure that it does not become too dirty, we would recommend that you also hire a professional cleaner. Professional cleaners can get into the nooks, corners, and crannies of your boat that you may not even notice.
Focus on getting your houseboat cleaned every two months, depending on how often you use it. Clear out any personal belongings and let the cleaners do their job.
Before Getting the Houseboat Appraised, Look for Repairs that Need to be Done
If you are thinking about getting your houseboat appraised, make sure you check your boat for repairs. Check for areas of your boat that need to be repainted, if any paint is chipped, or if there are any creaky floors.
Before anything, search for signs of flooding or leaking. These must be taken care of before you get your agent to come over and inspect your boat. Moreover, keep an eye out for mold.
We would recommend getting all repairs checked in advance as the better the condition your boat is in, the higher the price you can charge.
Opt for Top-Quality Updates Without Breaking the Bank
Before you get overwhelmed, keep in mind that not all updates will break your bank. In fact, you can get your houseboat updated while sticking to your budget.
If your budget is extremely tight, you can make small upgrades on your boat yourself. However, if you have a bit to spare, we would recommend hiring a professional who can install things for you.
For instance, consider changing up the bathroom tiles or kitchen counters by adding new tiles. You can also upgrade some door frames and doors, especially if you see that they are rusting. Keep changing tiny pieces of hardware around the boat every now and then, including the handles and knobs, so that they do not develop rust.
Think about changing up the cupboards so that they can look more organized and store essentials more neatly.
Start Thinking Like an Interior Decorator
If you are confused about the style you want your houseboat to have, you can always get in touch with an interior designer. This will help you gain a sense of clarity and cohesion. Sometimes, all you need to do is pick up your favorite pieces of furniture while keeping a color scheme in mind and bringing it abroad.
Do you like minimalistic interiors? One with clean lines, where everything is kept in place, and there is no clutter? Or do you like brighter, more cluttered spaces? You can even choose the kind of wood you want to include, along with the paint you want the walls of your houseboat to have.
Discuss your ideas with an interior designer who can help you piece together classic and minimalistic designs so that you do not mess up the interior of your houseboat.
One of the best advantages of an interior decorator is that you can tell them what you are looking for, and they will get you the best deals possible so that you can save some serious bucks.
When looking for a decorator, make sure to find one who can be honest with you and tell you if an idea of yours will not turn out nice. After all, you want your houseboat to look aesthetic.
You can never predict when disaster is meant to strike. This is why we strongly recommend getting your houseboat insured at your earliest convenience.
In the last few months, the intensity of earthquakes in California has increased. If your houseboat is not insured in such a situation, you might have to face serious damages. With insurance, your agents would cover a large sum of the damages.
If you want to sell your houseboat soon, you might have a higher chance of doing so if your houseboat is insured. Potential buyers will feel more confident buying the boat knowing that the boat is covered, and in case of a catastrophe, the damages will be minimal. Hence, insurance helps appreciate the value of your houseboat.
Exception – What Other Kinds of Houseboats Appreciate in Value?
Now that we have answered your question- do houseboats appreciate in value- we need to point out one exception.
Floating boats are also houseboats. However, the value of these rises by 10 percent every year. If you are looking to make an investment, you should definitely think about getting a floating home.
Examples of Houseboat Depreciation and Appreciation
Converted Commercial Barge
If you are thinking about purchasing a converted barge, there are a few options you need to be aware of.
A commercial barge can be found for approximately $3,000,000 after it has been converted. For instance, SFR Harlingen built a beautiful houseboat in 2003. The value of the boat is $336,129, with a couple of living rooms, double-glazed windows, double bedrooms, central heating, a kitchen, and a pellet wood burner.
Once this boat has been converted, it will be at its best price. However, the boat will soon depreciate by 20 percent, which means that it will be sold at $268,903, only a year after it was at its best price.
A large chunk of houseboats is covered by trailerable boats. The main distinction is that a trailerable boat can be used to live on, but you can also place it on a trailer.
The following fall under the category of trailerable houseboats:
- Big cabin pontoon boats
If you are wondering if these houseboats depreciate in value, we have to tell you that they do. If you buy a new houseboat, it will definitely depreciate. For example, the Bravada Yacht Axiom 1665 was purchased for $39,000 when brand-new. When purchased, her value went down to $31,200.
We mentioned before that a floating home does not depreciate in value. Are you wondering how a floating home is different from other kinds of houseboats? A floating home cannot be self-propelled. This is because the floating home does not come with an attached motor.
The floating home will remain in a dock unless the owner decides to move it with a tugboat. A floating home with two bathrooms and two bedrooms, which was 900 square feet, was bought for $749,000. After a year, its value rose to $823,900 without any major maintenance work. This shows that floating homes do not depreciate in value as time goes on.
About THE AUTHOR
I have a deep love of houseboating and the life-changing experiences houseboating has brought into my life. I’ve been going to Lake Powell on our family’s houseboat for over 30 years and have made many great memories, first as a child and now as a parent. My family has a passion for helping others have similar fun, safe experiences on their houseboat.Read More About Brian Samson