Is living on a boat cheaper than living in a home?

California rents are on the rise, and locals are taking notice. In Sacramento, the average rent is jumping up to $1,300. In Stockton, rents have increased 11.2 percent in the past year. Even Modesto has seen its average rent hit over $1,000 this year.

There are alternatives, however. That is if you don’t mind downsizing and don’t get seasick.

ABC10’s John Bartell recently checked out a few local marinas to talk to some people who have opted out of high rents and are instead living on boats. But just how affordable is it to stay on a houseboat?

The answer varies on where you choose to dock, but in many cases, it can be cheaper to call a marina home.

At the Village West Marina in Stockton, one of the higher end marinas in the area, rates can get pricey.

For two liveaboards, monthly fees can cost up to $725, and that’s not including utilities, renters insurance or repairs. Factor in that, and the cost could can reach $1,000, nearly the same as Stockton’s average rent for a home.

It’s just about the same in Sacramento County, too.

There are several marina options in Sacramento County, each with different fees and different rules on being a liveaboard. But not all allow people to live on the boat permanently.

The state allows up to 2 percent of what’s docked at a marina to be used for liveaboards.

The Sacramento Marina, which sits at the end of Front Street, is one of those places that doesn’t allow residents to live on the boat permanently. It does, however, allow people to stay on their boats up to three days a week.

Depending on the size of the boat, docking slips there can cost up to $624 and as little as $243, which is certainly cheaper than most rent in the area. But, again, there’s still utilities, renters insurance, gas and any repairs the boat may need.

At the liveaboard-friendly Brannan Island, which sits on the outer edge of Sacramento County near the San Joaquin Delta, prices are much cheaper. Docking fees can cost up to $338 for a 50-foot boat, nearly $300 cheaper than at the Sacramento Marina.

The downside to Brannan Island, however, is the amenities offered. Unlike Sacramento Marina, Village West Marina, and some others in the area, Brannan Island has more of a campground feel. That is, there aren’t any surrounding restaurants, but there is fishing, barbecuing and fire pits.

Regardless, living on a boat, like living in a home, can get costly.

© 2017 KXTV-TV


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