Do Houseboats Appreciate?

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If you have purchased a houseboat or are looking to buy one you have probably wondered whether houseboat appreciate. In this article I will help answer that question. 

Houseboats, like other recreation vehicles do not appreciate over time. They will actually lose their value long term. If you purchase a houseboat at a great price you could sell it for more than you paid short term but over many years your houseboat will lose value. 

There are some ways that you can help your houseboat appreciate short term which I will mention in this article but over 5-10 years a houseboat will lose value almost every single time. 

So how could you have a houseboat appreciate? 

1. Buy Low & Sell High

This is the easiest but also the hardest way to help your houseboat appreciate. Everyone knows that buying low and selling high is the best way to buy or sell everything so that is what makes it easy. The hard part is actually being able to do it! 

One of the only ways to have a houseboat appreciate is to purchase at a great price. Often this means waiting a long period of time to buy a boat (houseboats aren’t cheap all the time). 

To buy at a great price you also have to be ready to act on a moments notice. If you are the type of person that likes to take your time, have a professional do an inspection, etc. then you will have a hard time getting a great deal. 

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To get a great deal you have to be ready to act and be a competent inspector or willing to take a risk when you find a deal. Buying quickly is a must if you are going to secure a smoking deal. 

Another way that you can buy low is to buy out of season. Finding someone who has to sell fast in the middle of winter is a good way to secure a discount. 

Most people will wait until the new season starts to sell if at all possible so these deals don’t come up very often. 

The last way to buy low I will mention is to buy a houseboat that is off the beaten path. If you live or often visit the back roads of America you can sometimes find some great deals by simply driving around and looking. 

Visit those small lakes where not many people visit. Find a storage lot where all the locals store their boats but that other people normally wouldn’t visit. 

Those are the sort of places where you can discover good deals from people who don’t advertise online and only sell via a sign in their boat window or a flyer on a bulletin board. 

2. Buy A Houseboat In Need Of Repair

Unless you’ve been living under a rock you have probably seen the house flipping shows on TV. They are all of the rage with shows following people from coast to coast flipping houses for profit. 

Now obviously flipping houses isn’t as easy as they show it on TV or everyone would do it but buying a houseboat that needs repaired and doing the work yourself is a great way to build in some appreciation to your purchase. 

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If you can find a houseboat for ten thousand dollars that repaired would be worth 40-50k and you can do the repairs yourself for 10-15k then you have a built in $20-25,000 in appreciation because of your work. 

Of course this is far from a flawless plan as you certainly could spend more than that on repairs but if you know what you are doing with construction and do a good inspection on the purchase it is certainly possible to have that kind of appreciation built in to your purchase. 

If you are going to go this route it is important to make sure that you not only know what you are getting yourself in to but also that you have the time and knowledge to make the repairs and updates to the boat. 

If you aren’t a very handy person and are going to have to hire out everything then this route is not only quite a bit more expensive but it will also be more frustrating. Sure, hiring people out is easier in theory but having to line up the right people and keep up on them and the work they do is a part time job in and of itself. 

Even with all of the work done in part one or two it will only allow your houseboat to appreciate in the short term. Even if you are able to get an amazing deal on a houseboat it will only take 5-10 years before you will start to lose money on your purchase. 

The same is true with repairing a dilapidated houseboat. You will have 5-10 years before you start to lose money on the amount you spent purchasing and repairing the boat. 

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Unfortunately houseboats just simply don’t appreciate on their own accord. Because they are slowly deteriorating they also slowly lose their value. 

You can stem the tide a bit by doing regular maintenance and updating but a houseboat that is 15 years old is always going to be worth less than a brand new boat. 

Just like an RV, travel trailers, boats, cars, ATVs and more, recreational vehicles don’t appreciate over time. Houseboats are a recreational vehicle and unfortunately they also won’t appreciate long term. 

If you are interested in learning more about if a houseboat is a good investment you can read an article that I wrote by clicking here. 

As Always, 

Happy Boating 

Matthew Robbs

I love the outdoors and especially spending time with my family. Whether on a boat or at the beach, my happy place is near the water.

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