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Old 02-04-2009, 20:52   #16
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I never owned a house until I was 59 years old. I would rather live on a boat, but only if I was going cruising. If I'm not cruising, cramming my life into a boat doesn't make much sense for me.

In the present economic climate, I'm not sure whether buying a boat or a house makes sense. Only time will tell.
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Old 02-04-2009, 23:21   #17
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I'm loving all the different advice. It's awesome to see how everyone has a different point of view.

Remember though, if I buy a boat it doesn't necessarily mean I'm going to liveaboard. The type of boat I buy will depend on what we decide to do... But, like I said...

1. We might buy a smaller boat and keep renting a house.
2. We might buy a larger boat and live-aboard.
3. We might buy the house and later when we can afford one, get a smaller boat.

etc. etc.

Plus, even if we live-aboard we don't need to cruise the world just yet. My kid could still go to a regular school if we live aboard our boat. Which also means, I can continue my present job as it is. Additionally, I'm a graphic and web designer. I can easily arrange to work from anywhere. That's always a plus.

I've got 2 additional projects in music at the moment. That means I can't simply pack my bags and cross the pacific. So, even if I'm living in my boat, I'll be sticking around land for a while, and I'll have a little studio/office on land.
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Old 02-04-2009, 23:47   #18
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::shrug:: You can buy and take care of a house. Or you can buy and take care of a boat.

One question is if you want to take care of whichever you choose to buy where you are, or somewhere else? With the boat you could do either or both. With the house you only get one option.

Just to be on the safe side, I should mention that not one of my 3 boys has my interest in sailboats, despite years of family sailing ventures and a series of boats and dinghies. I have no advice other than try not to force your kids to join you in your hobby.
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Old 03-04-2009, 00:06   #19
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Good advice, thanks! I did grow up on boats. So I owe my sailing bug to my dad. Curiously enough though, my dad's into powerboats. He did introduce to me to sailing with a windsurfing board, then a Sunfish and then a Hobie Cat. And I picked it up.

I do want my kid to have the experience, whether he chooses to sail as an adult, or not.
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Old 03-04-2009, 10:41   #20
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As a half year cruiser each year, and a Real Estate Broker, I can tell you that todays housing market is at or near the best values over the past 7 to 10 years in most locations.

With anything like a reasonable evaluation of a home's characteristics, you probably can't go wrong as an investment in your total net worth. It appears to be, by far the most sensible thing to do in your situation. Getting a smaller boat to day sail and train in will be a much better teaching media than a larger boat for a son of his age. It will allow him to get the feel what occurs when you make small changes and will make him a better sailor in the long term.

Live under your means and save for you boat. Buy only on your terms when the deal presents itself. Do not be a Motivated Buyer for the boat or the home. Make other wise investments where possible. The key is to develop passive income streams. It is most difficult to be financially sound on a pay check alone.
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Old 03-05-2009, 22:50   #21
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I chose to buy the house - and join sailing clubs - it was cheaper than owning. Now my oldest son is in college (University of Washington, Seattle) - We bought a Newport 33 that he is living on just off campus. Moorage is cheaper than local housing. He is living on our boat - We sail his dorm room! The best part is that it keeps us together. I see my son almost weekly - for a quick sail or to putter on his dorm room. He loves living aboard. The other kids (5 total, 17 to 25 yrs old) all like joining mom and dad for a sail. It's been a win-win for the family.
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Old 04-05-2009, 00:00   #22
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Old 04-05-2009, 02:01   #23
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My wife and I were on the topic again today. I just got done cleaning and organizing our rented apartment. A good 3-4 hours of work, and it still looks the same. Hmmmm, I 'd much rather clean and organize a boat! Heh heh
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Old 04-05-2009, 02:02   #24
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I'm not one for quick decision. I'm taking my time on this one. -D
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Old 04-05-2009, 08:18   #25
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I am of the go now, and go early crowd. If you want to make money, and get some security, then buy the houswe. QUIT renting as quick as possible. It's money being thrown away.

If you want to sail, then buy the boat. You've got some experience already sailing, so buiy a cruiser that will fit your family's needs. The boat is more costly, and you will lose money, but it may make you happy.

By buying the house in 10 years you can probably sell, and pay cash for a boat. Not to mention with money left over! In the meantime buy a cheap day sailor with a small cubby hole for camping on the weekends, and sailing........BEST WISHES in making a choice to make you, and yours happy.......i2f
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Old 04-05-2009, 09:36   #26
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You're in San Diego. You obviously know just how out of whack the real estate market was in large swaths of the county since 2000. Obviously now things have corrected, but the appreciation progress is likely to be VERY slow over the next decade (wages were never enough to keep up with those outrageous mortgages in the first place, and don't count on any of those strange <30 +15> (read 45 year mortgages) making there way back to the market anytime soon <THANK GOODNESS>). If I were still in San Diego, I'd take a look at buying property in areas that never experienced that out of control speculative appreciation, that still have realistically priced property that should follow more normal appreciation inclines (read: Imperial Beach / parts of National City). Find a property that needs a bit of work and is undervalued (even in today's market) - buy it, fix it, and rent it out. Use the rental income to pay your slip fees (again, in National city - good luck finding reasonable - available "legal" live aboard closer to the city.) Buy a starter boat and move the family aboard - and then as equity in the home increases - buy up to your ideal boat. This way you still end up with an asset that's appreciating - AND a boat for your son to learn on while also living the live-aboard lifestyle. I'd say this route would make it a bit more realistic to stay attached to the boating lifestyle, while also continuing on a responsible financial path that affords you more choice in the future..
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Old 04-05-2009, 10:41   #27
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i2f and Aussiesuede, thanks!! Those last 2 comments were awesome. Thanks for the insight.
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Old 04-05-2009, 11:13   #28
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If you decide to go with the boat. Go as big as you can. We all need space for our own peace of mind. If you move onto to something SMALL the desire to make it a lifestyle may wear off on one, or all of the family.

I lived for years on a 30ftr as a singleman. I had a clothes closet in my mufflershop. It never felt big, but it was never claustrophobic. With your family I would make sure there's 2 seperate berths........i2f
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Old 04-05-2009, 11:15   #29
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Owning one's home in my humble opinion is highly over rated and this is coming from someone who in one capacity or another has worked in the real estate field all of my adult life (presently a remodeling contractor). The only distinct advantage of owning one's home is the tax advantage. With the upheaval in our economy, banking, real estate and federal deficit this may change. We are one of the few countries in the world that have a tax deduction for interest charges on our residence. This may change.

As some of the posters here have observed, far too many compromise where they live because of the economics of home ownership, particularly putting up with long work commutes or poor proximity to recreational activities or both. They own their own home, well not really, as more typically they pay the bank for the right to use it and spend inordinate amounts of time getting to and from work. Local amenities consist of the anywhere USA strip malls. Instead of sailing, time is spent on home repairs and maintenance.

Enjoy your family. Your son will be a man before you can blink. Your health or that of your wife may not hold out. If you can afford to rent much nearer to the marina and buy a small boat for family outings, go for it. Instead of repairing the roof on your own house you can be off sailing and listening to the wind brushing the sails and not your gas lawn mower. As you children grow they may not wish to do the family sailing thing (trust me on this one) and you can re-evaluate your position in the future. They will always build more houses and there will always be plenty to buy. If you hate the place you rent it is much easier to move.

And before you ask the inevitable question, I am a former home owner who has rented for the last eight years. After several questionable rentals I now have a place that I love and I am five minutes from a first class marina and twenty minutes from the downtown action of Seattle that I love.

As to living aboard with children, it takes courage, endurance and just a little insanity.
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Old 04-05-2009, 11:54   #30
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Buy the boat. Don't get sucked into the game. It's so very hard to get out of once in.
Living aboard allows an independence that few men can afford today.
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