When you are first looking to purchase a houseboat or even if you are going to sell, the first thing you will want to do is make sure you are getting a good price on your purchase or sale.
The main issue with that on houseboats is there isn’t a database where you can go to to try and find the current values like there are with cars or houses.
With houses you can call a realtor and ask how much they think your house will sell for based on houses near you. You can also do the research yourself and see what houses are currently on the market and get a quick estimate.
With cars you can go on Kelly Blue Book and see what they estimate the value is based on the type of sale and where you are selling your car or buying it from.
With houseboats…. there is none of that! There is no central database where you can see what recent houseboats sold for. There is no site like KBB where you can get an estimate of what a houseboat should be bought or sold for.
That makes valuing houseboats an incredibly difficult task!
The only way to value a houseboat is to compare it with other current houseboats on the market. There are a few different sites where you can see what the current prices are for houseboats. They are:
and of course there are many many more too.
If you are looking to buy or sell a houseboat these are all great places to get started looking for a houseboat’s value. If you are looking to value your current houseboat to see how much you can sell it for then these are also great places to start. Start with boats that are similar in length and age as yours and see what they are currently listed for. That should give you a range for what your boat should be listed for.
When buying a houseboat knowing if you are getting a good price is more difficult as you only have what people are asking to go off of and will have no idea what a boat actually sells for. Ideally when buying a houseboat you won’t use any of the above sites to actually purchase.
Buying a houseboat locally is far better and will often result in far cheaper pricing than buying one that is in another state and having to pay to ship it to your area. Houseboats that are local and not listed on the internet will also have less people interested in them so the prices will be lower too.
I find it is often good to check local marinas for postings on bulletin boards as well as just talking with the marina manager can yield some great deals. Checking the newspaper classifieds as well as Facebook marketplace and Craigslist can often give some good local results as well.
Armed with what you have learned on the above sites and others you will know what price range to expect for different years and sizes. If you find a good deal it will be readily apparent since you will already know what the average prices are for many different houseboats.
There are also many different things you can do to add value to a houseboat. If you live in an area where boats are quite abundant you can often find houseboats that need some work that can be picked up for a GREAT price.
Taking a problem houseboat off of someone’s hands is a great way to get a great buy. Then you can repair and replace the things that need fixed while also bringing the boat into the 21st century. Repairing and updating a houseboat is a surefire way to bring the value of a boat way up rather than it continuing to lose value. As long as it has a good hull and good bones then all the superficial things are far cheaper than buying a boat that is already updated and ready to go.
However you find your boat value always remember that the value of everything is set by whatever two people agree is a fair price. Whether buying or selling ultimately it is you and the other party that set the true value of your houseboat.