I am in the same boat, so to speak. I currently live aboard my sailboat-first, house-second, '78 Catalina 27 and am also lucky enough to have a little something for a good down payment on a home. The idea I'm hoping to materialize is to buy a rental property locally and make a large enough down payment that the rental income more than pays for the mortgage and upkeep, thereby providing something of an income, albeit small.
Meanwhile I'll continue to live on the cheap and simple, possibly upgrading to an older seaworthy 30 footer for a little extra space while still keeping the amount of systems to maintain to a manageable level.
I don't want to live in a house, nor do I really want to own one. Way too much materials getting in the way for my tastes. The live aboard life is definitely for me. However, I can't pass up the option, should it even exist, to have a steady small income and some equity should I decided to finally set sail for distant shores.
Has anyone done this? Seems like, if ever, the time to buy is now.