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Boston Houseboat Needs a New Owner!

(Boston, MA)

Boston Houseboat Barge - house barge  needs a new owner

Boston Houseboat Barge - house barge needs a new owner

I currently own a houseboat (technically a housebarge) in Boston, MA and I have been trying to sell it but people keep backing out due to cold feet, financing, and now the marine inspector we had complete a survey last year reached out to a potential buyer and said that it was in bad shape the day before the closing!

Meanwhile the report I received from him said that it was in good condition, and he verbally told me it was in "great shape" so I don't know what to do! We are also up against that fact that most marinas here (but luckily not mine) are getting away from allowing houseboats in general, so that is a whole other issue.

I guess what I am wondering is:

How can I sell it? I'm afraid if I list it for less money it'll look tainted, but I really don't want to go through another season of owning it and paying marina fees when we don't use it at all (not to mention that one of the buyers backed out after we removed and donated all of the furniture at his request so we can't even use it if we wanted to)...

Do you know of anywhere in Boston where I could have it pulled out of the water for a hull inspection (since that is the #1 issue with most potential buyers). It's approximately 20'x40' but on a fiberglass over plywood hull built circa 1984, and has two stories, so too big for the marinas I've spoken to.

Do you know what I could do with it if I can't sell it? I was considering charity, but that brings back the crane question. And junking it would be equally as complicated, plus it's a decent house so that would be a shame... Do they make reefs out of things like this?

Any help would be appreciated, Boston, MA

New Listing in Boston, MA

UPDATE: There's a new listing for a floating home houseboat for sale in Boston, MA.

Reply - Answer

Well those are some very good questions and I will try my best to help you.

First of all, sorry to hear about the problems that you are having with your marine surveyor. Sounds like there is some type of conflict of interest. The written survey says one thing, yet he verbally says something else? hmmmm.... ? Maybe you could speak to someone at the SAMS Marine Surveyors Association.

As to trying to sell it, I would highly recommend listing it on our houseboat classified ads section as it receives thousands of targeted visitors looking for boats.

As you mentioned about the lack of furniture, well it does not help for the cosmetic appearance, however I don't see that as a real deal breaker since you are in a prime location and furniture can easily be brought in.

If I was in your shoes, I would use the telephone to call the local marinas and shipyards in the area. There has to be a business in the neighborhood that is equipped to haul this out for a hull inspection. If you don't want to go that route, why not have divers do a visual underwater verification of the hull condition?

In regards to giving it to a charitable organization, I remember seeing some charitable organizations on eBay that were involved in selling boats that were donated to them. This could be another alternative for you.

Lastly, hopefully some of our readers and visitors will share and post comments about their houseboat or house barge experiences and tips.

Feel free to use the "Click here to post comments." link found near the bottom of this page.

Thanks again for sharing, IAN from all-about-houseboats

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Comments for Boston Houseboat Needs a New Owner!

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How can you be reached?
by: Alex

Would love to see it

Call me
by: Eugene kelley

Email me I am interested. I am a marine contractor and can pick that out of the water. For the right price I will buy. 339-237-7835

by: P-J


Would like to see it asap
by: Patrick Elms

Can you please tell me if you have sold this. the girl and i are looking for exactly what you have listed and would be willing to talk. and we wont back out if we make a deal. lol.
Thank you,
Patrick Elms

Let's Make A Deal!
by: Richard

I am considering returning to Boston after 30 years away. I have been in California where houseboats are very popular. I am willing to discuss buying your houseboat if the price is right.

I don't know how you would go about contacting me, since no phones or addresses are allowed here. Post something, and I will be watching.

Good luck,

Have you sold?
by: B Resendez

It sounds like you have had some challenges. If you have not sold or disposed of at this point I would love to talk to you and see if we can help each other.


Want to rent
by: Emily

I have a HUD voucher for two bedroom rental but I can rent to buy it. I'd love to.

My fiancé has worked as a fisherman and I saw drop dead Fred I love it. Saw this on the news on the voucher I have you'd get two checks one federal.

I think they'd pay up to 1650 for a two bedroom. Either way I'd sign papers immediately to take it. Sounds like you really want an option.

For me my dream was light housekeeper. Houseboat is just our speed. We were looking to move soon. Even if you left it furnished we work hard have a four month old. Would be great for us. Let me know.

PS the mister is crippled and retired but very cool. I'd love it for our family and that's how I could pay you! That voucher is available to me as soon as I find a place.

I like yours let me know please hope you can OK thanks! Slip fee is OK.

Sell it to me in Rhode Island
by: Bret

Hi, I'm in Providence and looking for a houseboat, how much are you selling it for?

Try Admirals Hill for the haul-out
by: Anonymous

Admirals Hill hauled out our 65 foot Sumerset houseboat and also facilitated survey of hull.

How much do you want?
by: Dennis

I'm interested. How much do you want for it and where is it docked specifically?

You scratch my back, I'll scratch yours
by: Pirate WAY over 40

Hi Buddy, both my kids are gone out of the house, as are 3 ex-husbands. My son graduated college two years ago, and the other one is in college.

I just sold my much too big house, and don't know what's next. I'm a Boston girl and would not dream of leaving. I work in both Boston and in Salem and love each city dearly. IDEA!!

How's about I rent it while you do your thing and I do mine. I always wanted to live on a houseboat. What a way to find out if it's all that I dream about (I can hear you laughing now).

I would need nothing from you but instructions. (oh, and what to do if the British are coming) Please take this as seriously as I am as I'm typing it.

In friendship,
Kelly M. Dutcher

Rent to own?
by: Melissa

Perhaps you can finance it and we can come take it over for you. We are looking into this lifestyle in Boston!

Houseboat in Boston
by: Anonymous

I'm Larry in Texas, how much are you asking and how is it powered? Would it make it down the river to Vicksburg Miss?

Boston Houseboaters
by: Anonymous

You've got a suspicious situation there. It appears that the prospective buyer, and the inspector that queered the deal just may be in cahoots. He asked you to remove furniture, probably to save him money. Yet this action kills most if not all of your other prospects.

Then and this part is actionable, the inspector tells you in print? That the boat is great! Then tells the buyer it's a bad Idea, boat or hull. Just who is paying for this inspection anyway?

My brother does home inspections, for Banks and Realtors. If he got caught telling a buyer or just someone standing around, anything at all about his findings, it would cost him his job.

Integrity for the inspection firm, means business earned or lost. Personally, I don't see why you couldn't paint the hull, you said was fiberglass over plywood.

Paint with a marine grade paint or black mastic Tar or whatever waterproof coating be painted without even coming out of the water.

by: Anonymous

Can you tell me what you are asking for the houseboat and where it can be seen. I live in the Northshore and available every day.

Status update?
by: Colin

Does anyone know what the outcome was for this housebarge?

Do you still have houseboat?
by: Anonymous

Do you still have your house boat or barge? I am interested in learning more. Tell me more info about houseboat with pics and all costs, marina slip fee, asking price, etc.

Also, what amenities are there with marina, does it include secure parking, gym, grocery service, etc.? Are pets and dogs allowed, or what are the restrictions for pets, etc., at the marina?

What marina is it located at? How many square feet and what appliances are included? Does it have gas or propane cooking? I would prefer that instead of electric cooking.

I've never lived on a houseboat so please include anything I need to know or be aware of. Can you live year-round on it? Is there room to park a boat if you have one or get one, next to it? Thanks.

Re: Boston houseboat
by: Anonymous

I would have to agree with Ian. I'm a Diver and would do hulls in Florida canals. Unless you saw some one get in the water. There can't be judgements there.

I can't tell where it's docked. I've been looking at houseboats for a while. I live in Alaska, partially disabled from DV. Getting a divorce from my husband of over 20 years and waiting on disability.

My family would like it if I came home. I want to live on the water. If it's still available, please contact me.

Slip fees and other extra
Also do you have an agreement (length) to keep in current location.
Anything else you can think of.

Thanks, Rj

Tell me more!
by: Chelsea

I don't know how old this thread is, but I'm looking into buying a houseboat in the Boston area! I would love some information if it's still available.

What a dream
by: Anonymous

If it weren't so far from Mobile Al., I would come get it. I want one really bad.

Love to see Boston houseboat
by: Anonymous

Would love to see your houseboat have been looking for a while. Please reply and I will give you my number.

Thank you, Kelley

Boston eh...
by: Tess

I would consider renting to own that thing but I'm so not moving to boston to try it out.
Now... If that thing were in Florida, I would totally rent it out for a year or two to see if something like that is for me.

I'm on eastern coast of FL below Jacksonville & while we get some storms the hurricanes hit the other side of FL and miss our little spot.

Sounds like advertising rent to own (KUDOS on that suggestion) on that may be the way to buy yourself some time to consider more options.

Good luck dear, Tess.

Houseboat Live-aboard - rent with an option
by: Anonymous

If it were rented out wouldn't that help you by not being a financial drain? Maybe putting some extra cash in your pocket?

Rent it with an option to buy and maybe they'd bite. Can one liveaboard all year? Throw some used furniture like from a moving sale and list it!

You could give the tenants a year or two lease but tell them it will be on the market again after that time.

Best wishes, Rob

Financing for floating home
by: Anonymous

Getting financing for a floating home was once very easy. Not so much now. For one thing, banks are leary about loaning money to livaboards.

Seems that under new banking regulations, it is much more difficult to foreclose on a boat that is a primary residence.
A floating home is neither a boat nor a house.

Many banks will not give a loan on a house that is not sitting on a piece of land. Other banks will not loan money on a 'boat' that does not have an engine.

We have been trying to get a loan for a new-build house on pontoons. We can put down over 50% cash and have excellent credit. However, no bank or credit union will consider a loan.

Northern Ontario Houseboaters
by: Joanne

If you can't sell it, maybe remove it with a hydraulic flat bed trailer to a local trailer park and rent it out. This is just another option for you.

I hope this helps, Joanne.

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