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How much does it cost to buy a houseboat?

The cost of houseboats vary hugely, from under £10,000 all the way up to millions! It all depends what type of boat you would like!
However a solicitor is not required so there are no additional costs in buying a houseboat other than the cost of a survey.

How long does it take to buy a houseboat?

When you find the houseboat and you are very sure it is what you want, we will ask you to sign a contract and require a non returnable deposit of 10% of the value of the boat. Normally there is a 10 day period after putting down a deposit and completion on a houseboat (this is to allow you to gather the remaining funds). Although you can buy a houseboat immediately if you wish and of course you can extend the 10 days period should circumstances demand, as long as its agreed by both vendor and purchaser.

Do I need a survey?

There’s no law that says you must have a survey, however most buyers like to have their new purchase surveyed just for their own peace of mind. An up to date survey also helps with insurance. Of course we advise that you get your new houseboat surveyed and we can put you in touch with surveyors whom can complete surveys for houseboats at competitive rates

Do I need to insurance my houseboat?

Just like you would with a car, if you own any kind of boat you definitely need some kind of watercraft insurance. The extent of the coverage will probably be determined by the value of the boat. Whatever type of boat you have you should take out some form of insurance policy for it.

Do I to employ a Solicitor?

No, you do not need a solicitor to purchase a houseboat. Premier Houseboats will disburse funds accordingly and provide the relevant documentation to the purchaser. So there is no need to employee a solicitor when buying a houseboat!

What about old debt on the houseboat?

Unfortunately debts do go with boats and not the owners. Premier Houseboats is in an ideal position to check if any debts exist on a houseboat and advise accordingly or ensure they are paid by the existing owner before the ownership is transfer to you!

How much will you charge me to buy a houseboat via you?

Absolutely nothing! All fees are paid by the vendor. You just pay the purchase price agreed between you and the vendor.

How do I actually pay for the houseboat?

You can pay for your houseboat by cash, standard bank transfer or CHAPS payment. We can’t accept any cheques. We have a client account where we keep all the payments until you pay the full price of the houseboat agreed between you and the vendor.

How much does it cost to live on a boat?

The cost of living aboard can be less, Obviously prices vary but to give you some idea; Mooring fees tend to be £1-£1.75 per foot of length per week for a residential mooring. Other than that bills are the same as house living, I.e. Water, electric, gas or diesel for diesel (although diesel is currently tax free for residential boats) BT and Sky etc. You will all need to pay council tax which is always the lowest band – A.

Can I get a mortgage on a houseboat?

Yes you can! You can buy your houseboat via finance however marine finance companies will only lend up to a maximum of 75% over a 10-15 year period only and will only provide mortgages on certain types of houseboats . We work closely with Pegasus Marine Finance who are the main providers of marine finance for houseboats so contact us today for the latest advice on marine finance.

Can I part exchange my house or other boat?

Yes! Provided all parties are in agreement to such deals.

Why should I buy from Premier Houseboats?

Since we started business we have made many customers happy and made their dreams come true. We understand this is a big purchase and well help you along the way! Naturally we hope to be in a position to sell your boat when this time happens!

Will you still be around to help me once I’ve brought from you?

Of course! We pride ourselves on our customer service and will always be happy to assist you in any way we can, before, during and after you have purchased your houseboat . We are just one phone call or email away. Of course you can also pop in to our office at any time for a coffee or tea!

Can I rent a houseboat?

Most marinas are very secure sites and do not allow sub letting as this impairs the security of the marina. However there are moorings that do allow this, in particular along the Thames. At times we do have houseboats on a rental basis, see our listings for our current rentals or contact us for details.

I have a houseboat, which I’d like to rent, can Premier Houseboats help?

Yes, we are in a ideal position to market houseboats to let and we do have a high demand for both short and long term lets

Why do I need a Residential Mooring?

With a proper residential mooring you get the security of status. You can use your houseboat mooring address as your home address, you have the same rights as others to use local services and schools and include your permanent address on legal documents such as your passport and driving license.
If you buy a cruising houseboat we mean that you move your boat to different moorings often so you are not classed as a residential boat because you do not stay permanently moored in one location. This is an alternative but you will need to keep a permanent address somewhere such as a family members or friends address.
These are real alternatives to a residential mooring but as you may have guessed you really need to live on a boat that can move under its own power. If you have a static houseboat with no engine to move it you really do need a permanent residential mooring. Having said that most static houseboats will be sold with a permanent mooring.
One thing that never changes when you live on a boat is that you will always need to moor your boat somewhere. 95% of the time you will need to pay for your mooring so this is always going to be an ongoing cost for any liveaboard boater. The cost of moorings vary widely depending on the location and type of mooring. The most expensive moorings are generally in popular boating/sailing areas and are mostly marina pontoon moorings that are permanently afloat allowing you to move your boat at any state of tide.

Where can I moor my houseboat?

Potentially anywhere where there is water. There are a number of residential marines all around the UK. Contact us today to see how we can help you find your nearest!

How do I find a Residential Mooring?

Unfortunately residential moorings are rare and difficult to find, the easiest way to get a residential mooring is to buy a houseboat that is already on one and agree with the marina involved to transfer the mooring to you on completion of the deal to buy the houseboat .

We may be able to help find your new mooring, contact us today to see how!

Can I buy a mooring?

Yes you can buy your mooring, although these are very hard to come by and of course very expensive! You may need to apply for planning permission if you choose to by a plot of land to use as a residential, although in many places in the UK there are places where you can buy the mooring. We also have a number of boats which include the freehold mooring as part of the purchase!

So contact us today for more details!

If I buy a houseboat from Premier Houseboats is my mooring guaranteed?

Any agreement on the mooring is between you and the marina, we will introduce you to the marina owner who will, provided you reach an agreement, let you have the mooring with the houseboat you are buying. In order to keep the mooring you will of course need to abide by the marina rules.

Can I have a cruising houseboat in residential marina?

Yes you can. Even though you may be permanently moored make sure that you run your engine frequently to keep it in good condition and that you check the oil level. If you’re using your boat every day both of these things will become part of your daily routine anyway.

What's it like living on a houseboat?

Facilities available mean that with regards to utilities there is no difference between living on a residential mooring and living in a house. The biggest single difference between the house and houseboat is your interaction with the community around you. Marinas tend to be secure areas where everyone knows everybody else, they are friendly by nature and people look out for each other!

Where do I park my car?

Most marinas have a secure parking and normally a parking space comes with a residential mooring. However if the car parks at a particular marina have enough space you may well be able to have 2 spaces, however the second space will normally come at a premium of around £10 per week.

How do I get fresh water?

Most residential marinas provide mains water which is piped to your houseboat in the same way it is to your house. The cost of the mains fresh water tends to be £3.50 per week. 

How do I get gas or fuel?

Gas is provided by bottles and is often used for cooking or heating. Some boats may have diesel heating which is typically delivered by the barrel, or alternatively there is usually a local bargeman who will deliver diesel direct to your boat by water.

Do I have to pay council tax?

For a secure residential mooring you will have to pay council tax. However, council tax on houseboat is always band A, the lowest band. Single occupants can also benefit from the 25% reduction the same as for house owners.

Can I get 240v electricity?

Yes, 240v electric is provided direct to your boat, so you can use household appliances just as you can in the house. Although the amperage on some marina’s may be limited to 16 amps, which means that you can’t have every light and every appliance running at the same time, but you wouldn’t do this anyway therefore this typically isn't a problem.

Where does my toilet waste go?

If you are on a tidal mooring toilets tend to be fitted with macerators. These will turn the human waste into relatively clear, odourless liquid which will go out into the water and be washed away by the tide. This is environmentally friendly. On inland waterways you will need to have a black water tank, which can be pumped out at any pumping station when needed, or removed by barge.

Can I get a landline telephone?

Yes you can. A landline phone line is generally routed direct to your mooring.

Can I get an internet connection?

Yes, you can get a internet connection with your phone line, obviously connection speeds vary by locations, we can of course advise what the connection speeds for your chosen marina.

Do I still get post?

Yes as long you are on a residential mooring you will be able to receive post, this may often be delivered to your boat or held at the marina office.

Can I receive cable/Sky TV?

Yes, Sky TV can be received from most marinas. Cable TV may only be available on inner city moorings.

Do I need a TV license?

Yes, you still need to obtain a TV license for your houseboat.

Can I still vote?

Provided you have a residential mooring and pay council tax you should be on the electoral register and therefore eligible to vote.

Can I sign up with doctors and dentist?

Yes, you can sign up with the doctors or dentist just like house owners

Can my children use local schools?

Yes of course your children can attend local schools.

Can I have pets?

This depends on the marina, although there are not many that would not allow pets.

Can I still get bank accounts and passports etc?

Yes of course, your address is fully recognised and can be used for official purposes.

Will the boat rot of rust?

As long as you keep on top of the painting and ensure your sacrificial anodes are replaced frequently and other general maintenance is completed the boat shouldn’t rot or rust.

Will it leak when it rains?

No, boats are generally designed to be completely watertight considering at sea they need to keep all that water out! So they shouldn’t leak! Obviously you will need to keep your boat maintained the same you would with a house.

Will the houseboat sink?

No, your houseboat shouldn’t sink, obviously you need to keep your boat maintained just like you would with a house but as a general rule a well maintained boat won't sink!

Do people who live on boats suffer from negative views or discrimination?

Gone are the days of working boat people whom unfortunately did suffer from discrimination. Living on boats these days is seen as an exclusive and premier means to live, people will be surprised and impressed when you tell them you live on a boat and often ask when can they come and visit!

It is cold in the winter?

Most houseboats are very well insulated and can have full combo boilers which provide heating via radiators and hot water the same as a house. Heating can also be provided using special marine heaters which run off diesel again make them very effective but extremely economical and of course heating can be provide from a traditional log burning stoves (some even are used like combo boiler to provide heating via radiators and hot water).

Where do I put my household rubbish?

Most marinas provide large bins that you can put your waste in and will then arrange for council/contractor to empty. This service will invariably be included in your mooring fees.

If your question is not listed here then please don't hesitate to contact us! We've heard them all before and if we don't know the answer we will find someone that does!


Steve and Bianca Sutton

Premier Houseboats.

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