I own a house and I own a boat. Take out the mortgage, as I don't have on on the boat, and still the maintenance fees
on the boat are less than on the house. Of course, I am one that enjoys doing much of the work myself
....on both. Is an engine
replace/rebuild that much different that a HVAC
replace/rebuild? Is the cost of painting a boat that much different than painting a house? A marine paint
will usually cost more by volume, but I have found that it take a whole lot less of it!
.....like housing developments....some are more expensive than others.
Stuff (aka...upgrades) are the same. Can you handle the plain white Kenworth stove that will cook your food
just as well as the stainless steel
one that 'looks' better? Everything from sailing gloves to winches can be put into this category. If you go blue water
, like using your home for a catering business, then things will start to change and then you will have to pay more for better equipment
And don't worry about being a 'noob'. Everyone on this forum was once a 'noob'. Either it was at 6 years old when they started family
sailing...or it was anytime later in life during an 'adult' life. As sort of a 'noob' myself, I can say that I have enjoyed the learning
curve of owning a boat much more than that of a house!
If you are planning to live aboard while you do the repairs/upgrades. I think you will find that it will cost you less than living in a house/apartment. Even more so if you are in the SF area!