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Discussion Starter #1
I am planning on Living aboard in the near future (slip availability seeming to be the biggest challenge in San Diego). As I have been getting back up to speed with this 20 year old Idea, I was taking care of my house this weekend (rental, sold my house during my divorce). For all the work I hear about boats being, and I am not dismissing it, how many people forget how much work and maintenance a house can me. I am in a 2800 square foot house. Two air conditioning units, yard work, cleaning three bathrooms, cleaning the floors (2800 sqft!!), termites, other critters, fences and gates, two car garage full of.... then there are the toys you accumulate in all that space, Jeep, Motorcycle, bikes...

Guess what I wonder, my house is a ton of work, as I start to downsize and get rid of everything life is much more organized and easier. I have to think this will make up for a lot of the work I will encounter maintaining the boat.
 

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My wife and I hate house work. A week after we moved into our first house, after an hour of yard work, we both looked at each other with the exact same thought in our heads: we should've bought a bigger boat instead.

I much prefer and am more motivated by boat work and projects. Both are a lot of work, but I won't miss the house or what it entails when we're gone on our sabbatical in 2020, onboard the boat full time.
 

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2,800 in SanDiego Ca ? What are the comps. ? Did the wife get the house ? Well OK you sold it . So what is your budget for your live aboard boat and what boats interest you . I'm in Long Beach Ca. and live aboard slips are tight here too . But not impossible . We are sneak a boards in the summer time . Would like to hear moor of your story .
 

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I fully agree with the premise that home ownership is both a ton of work and it's very expensive. The point about a garage full of toys is one of the reasons. The other can be all the upgrades, decorating, big screen TVs, etc that just can't happen aboard.

Admittedly, we have both. However, our boat is essentially our waterfront summer home. It is remarkably less expensive that it would have been to buy and maintain a waterfront house. Not to mention, our view changes at will.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I am adding the bills up. I am actually Temecula area now. $2200 for rent. Estimating another $600 for all my other bills. Electric, Gas, internet... I already ditched direct TV, switched to YouTube TV for local programing. Starting to sell the toys in the garage. Have a few finances to deal with in the next couple months. (Taxes that got messed up during divorce)

I was hoping to finance a boat up to $50K. Looks like that could cost me up to $500 a month. I have my name on a waiting list at Fiddlers Cove in San Diego right now. Going to go down and check out another marina or two this weekend. Fiddlers Cove is a military marina so its about half the cost of everyone else. Hopefully that works out but will look at other options as well. If I could keep my Monthly cost for the boat and the slip under $1500 a month I would be happy.

My goal is to have something and at least living onboard on weekends by next fourth of July. Gave myself a year. Fiddlers cove gives you 12 days a month to be on the boat in non-live aboard status. If I have to go rent a room from someone for a while I will do that during the week. I am thinking it will all still be under what I am paying monthly now.
 

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I am planning on Living aboard in the near future (slip availability seeming to be the biggest challenge in San Diego). As I have been getting back up to speed with this 20 year old Idea, I was taking care of my house this weekend (rental, sold my house during my divorce). For all the work I hear about boats being, and I am not dismissing it, how many people forget how much work and maintenance a house can me. I am in a 2800 square foot house. Two air conditioning units, yard work, cleaning three bathrooms, cleaning the floors (2800 sqft!!), termites, other critters, fences and gates, two car garage full of.... then there are the toys you accumulate in all that space, Jeep, Motorcycle, bikes...

Guess what I wonder, my house is a ton of work, as I start to downsize and get rid of everything life is much more organized and easier. I have to think this will make up for a lot of the work I will encounter maintaining the boat.
Some key differences that I’ve noticed mostly revolve around the fact that most house work, barring roof failures or storm damage, can be “postponed” until convenient. On my sailboat there are many things that are “must do now” due to safety and seamanship concerns. It becomes a job in itself creating the “boat lists” outlining what needs to happen now and what are comfort and convenience items. Throw in two additional factors as well, you’re in the most corrosive environment on earth and everything is constantly being worked due to wind and waves. Additionally, whatever boat you buy will no doubt be encumbered by years of “owner modifications” that must be attended to.

As far as the basics, once you’ve went through the below the waterline stuff, as long as you keep the bottom clean, did the job right in the first place and work your seacocks monthly, the basic “keep the water out” premise isn’t that expensive. Properly done wiring kept off the bilge floor will last; bilge pumps tend to fail often but again, not that expensive. Deck leaks need to be properly attended to or they can and do lead to expensive repairs however if you ignore them the short term biggest downside is you’ll be wet all the time. Rigging must be inspected and maintained. I check my stays and cotter pins during my pre departure inspections. Keep on top of things and it’s not that expensive. “Deferred maintenance” from previous owners seems to jack prices up exponentially.

Keep the water out and structural safety should always get $$ first. Everything else can usually be worked on as you can. Don’t forget certifications for safety equipment as well.

While my home did cost a lot to maintain, the biggest difference is in time. I work/check/fix/inspect things on my boat daily. My house generally got attention when something broke or I noticed paint peeling etc.

It’s generally not maintaining the boat that costs so much. It’s getting it up to standard in the first place whilst keeping it safe and functional because you’re living on it/ using it.

I do all my own work and am a stickler for ABYC standards so for me, the cost difference is mostly in time, not as much $. My “minor refit” this spring on my 34’ cost me $9500 and three months of 12 hour days. Added up, if I had paid for labor, the labor alone would have been $32k. You do the math.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
"...encumbered by years of “owner modifications” that must be attended to."

I have been looking at this a lot. What's the worth of boats advertising upgrades, vs. not being sure of the quality of the upgrade.

I bought a foreclosed house and had to deal with the same hassle.

I do understand what you are saying about the timeframe required for a boat vs. a home.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
My “minor refit” this spring on my 34’ cost me $9500 and three months of 12 hour days. Added up, if I had paid for labor, the labor alone would have been $32k. You do the math.
What kind of timeline does this support? Not sure if it can all be quantified in time. When you say refit, was this correcting previous owners modifications or a, "It's been three years and I should do some preventative maintenance thing?"
 

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Home ownership is a luxury and a burden!

When I retired I sold the condo and almost everything in it.....in the last two years I’ve lived on my boat about 8 months each year and lived in my VW bus or out of my backpack the other 4. Bouncing between Florida & the Bahamas on the boat, North Carolina & West Virginia in the summers.

Much more freedom and adventure, much less expense.
 

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Admittedly, we have both. However, our boat is essentially our waterfront summer home. It is remarkably less expensive that it would have been to buy and maintain a waterfront house.
This is no more true anywhere than San Diego. For weather purposes, I can't think of a better place to live or own a second home. So many of the boats in the marina were second homes for people that lives all over the country. I compared slip prices in the bay area where real estate prices are some of the highest in the country and prices are much cheaper in the Bay Area than San Diego.
 

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Home ownership is what you make of it. My wife’s parents bought a bunch of acres outside Ossippee NH. He got several Quonset huts for free when local military downsize. Put in a well,, a wood stove and built an outhouse (been moved several times). For the last 30 years once a year all the kids and spouses work on it for a weekend. Once a year each couple spend a weekend doing chores ( cutting trees, splitting, etc.) that’s a total of 12 days a year between the 6 of us. Rest is hunting,fishing, skiing, snowmobiles etc.).
We just built a house. Entire outside is plastic except exotic woods for decks, no gutters rather French drains, nearly no grass, lifetime or 30 year warranties on everything even on appliances. Geo and thermal. Other than than using the central vacuum and an occasional dusting (rare due to filtered air from geo) not much housework.
Boat is a constant work in progress. Always a hit list. Always scheduled maintenance to do.

Leaving a house for a boat in hopes that there be less work seems backwards to me. For houses at any end of the spectrum you decide how it’s set up and how much maintance you will put up with. For any cruising boat you don’t and the work will always be there.
 

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Maintenance demands of the house and boat have ebbs and flows. Each have a routine, each have surprises. Each have lulls. House projects have a propensity to hear from the wife........ "while we're doing that, why not add this, expand that, etc" Those don't/can't happen aboard.

The bottom line for me is I enjoy doing maintenance on the boat and hate doing it on the house.

I just put new sails on the boat and was very excited to use them. Years ago, I put a new roof on the house and it did nothing for me.
 

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As a kid, my dad made me mow his darn lawn with one of those old hand push mowers even though he could afford better. I swore I'd never own a home with a lawn.
When it came time to retire about 10 years ago, I started looking around for a place to actually live and a home to buy, but quickly realized that since I'd not lived in a dirt dwelling since 1969 I didn't know anything about them. Also, it was kinda my thought I'd spend much of my retirement traveling. Did it make any sense to invest in a home that was empty for a good part of the year?
So, I gave up that silly idea and bought another boat.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Haha! When I was in highschool my parents bought a 22 acre farm. I had to use the push mower for the acre and a half around the house. When I went back home after basic training, before I went to my first duty station, they had a riding mower! :|
 

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Capta feel your pain. Conservation just left the house as we are inside a park and inside the”do not disturb zone”. He suggested instead of grass plant wild flowers. They now sell wild flower mixes just like grass seed. Once a year you cut it down with a weedwacker. No mowing. Lots of birds, bees and bunnies. Anyone want to buy a lawnmower?

Houses have much more maintenance because people have pre conceived ideas of what should be. Using local plants and with some planning you can eliminate a lot of yard work and have more beauty. The highly tended to grass lawn is relatively new occurrence in the US. Imported from the wealthy landed nobles of Britain.
 

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......The highly tended to grass lawn is relatively new occurrence in the US. Imported from the wealthy landed nobles of Britain.
Not to mention, the toxic impact of all the chemical fertilizer and insecticide that followed in prolific amounts.
 

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I wonder how many of those casting aspersions at home ownership will fare in their twilight years. Let’s face it, my parents (and likely many of yours) sold their dirt-planted homes for more than 20x their original purchase price, after raising a family there. Heck, I sold my own first home for 2x the purchase price, after just a few short years in the place. Meanwhile, new sailboats depreciate at almost a similar rate to housing appreciation.

For those of my parents generation, this is the difference of growing $20k to $600k, or $50k to $1M... versus watching the same investment depreciate to nearly nothing, on a boat over the course of 30 years.

Good for you if you can afford that sort of hit, and not worry about you finances lasting you through your twilight years, but it’s not a factor to be ignored in this conversation.
 

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I wish what DR said was currently true. Unfortunately ROI for residential real estate is not the investment it once was. I just completed building our “last house”. Wife wants no nursing home so built with that in mind. Financial advisor gave us the cold shower. Given it was built with cash on hand and no mortgage (no interest credit) we would have done better with a rental and have left capital in investments.
 

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One significant thing that a house can provide is equity....buy at a good point in the right market and a home can be a great investment.

Boats are obviously the exact opposite.

I have friends that kept their homes when they moved aboard and use them for rental income....not a bad gig if you set things up well. And they have their homes to move back into when they get too old to sail.

YMMV
 

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I wonder how many of those casting aspersions at home ownership will fare in their twilight years. Let’s face it, my parents (and likely many of yours) sold their dirt-planted homes for more than 20x their original purchase price, after raising a family there. Heck, I sold my own first home for 2x the purchase price, after just a few short years in the place. Meanwhile, new sailboats depreciate at almost a similar rate to housing appreciation.

For those of my parents generation, this is the difference of growing $20k to $600k, or $50k to $1M... versus watching the same investment depreciate to nearly nothing, on a boat over the course of 30 years.

Good for you if you can afford that sort of hit, and not worry about you finances lasting you through your twilight years, but it’s not a factor to be ignored in this conversation.
I'd sure like to know what you consider one's twilight years. At 72 I kinda figured I was there or beyond.
However, one thing that does pass through my mind now & then while I'm doing some chore or going on an adventure ashore (grocery shopping) is what I'd be doing instead if I lived ashore.
Out the door into some fancy car/SUV direct to where I want to go. Buy just what I need, not scramble around trying to cobble together meals from whatever is actually available on that day at the shops that sometimes stock what we need. For dirt dwellers it's hey, no worry if there's a bit of inclement weather, the car's only 30 feet away, or even in the garage and what weather? No jumping in and out of a dinghy between squalls, riding a bus full of locals, who all say good morning (or whatever), to get where we need to be. I find the shock on the faces of strangers here in the US (I'm in the Boston/Providence area for a bit) a little sad when I say good morning or good day, even though most do recover and respond.
I often wonder what I'd actually be doing if I wasn't doing this and have pretty much concluded I probably wouldn't have lived this long.
As for finances, I chose an annuity and I've never looked back. We have a regular income we can count on no matter what (repeat; no matter what), and money going into an emergency fund. Of course, since I've been a liveaboard most of my life, there aren't too many surprises that the boat presents that I haven't experienced before.
I'm certainly not putting down anybody's choices, but for me, I think this life works out well.
 

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