Home Buying in Seattle>Question Details

Pat, Home Buyer in Seattle, WA

Is it true that a loan for a houseboat requires 30% down?

Asked by Pat, Seattle, WA Tue Feb 17, 2009

Help the community by answering this question:


I am looking to buy a houseboat on the same flamenco river. I have no say ings and poor credit from my first land house I lost. I do have s.s.I. stable monthly income, so I am searching for a trusting and reliable lender. Can you help me find one? Also, I do not drive because of my hearing loss. Thanks
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 23, 2013
Hey Pat,

I have a great lender for you to call on Houseboats. Tell him Linda Bagley sent you--- He is a good guy! Banner Bank Gary Olson 1420 Madison Street, Seattle, 98104 206-709-8314 golson@bannerbank.com.

I also have an awesome house boat going on the market in two weeks, in addition to the one I have posted http://www.LakeUnionLiving.com.

There are lot's on the lake that are on the market, all sizes, all prices to look at.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 27, 2009

I have some lender names and contacts for you who specialize in houseboat and floating home loans. Let me know and I will send you there contact info. Having lunch Thursday with one lender and will have more info for you too.

Lending for Houseboats versus Floating homes will be quite different. As I mentioned, lending for rental slips versus deeded slips will on a case by case basis with most lenders.

A new web site that will have everything on and around Lake Union is just about ready. It will have many resources for you including lender contacts and will be ready soon.

Check it out at http://www.LakeUnionLiving.com.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 24, 2009
The truth is, every lender has a different standard right now. They're all trying to be very safe with their lending and not make any more questionable loans. Call each of the lenders seen below and ask some specific questions about loans. When you're done, check the waterfront homes link below for houseboats.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 24, 2009
Hi Pat,

I live aboard a houseboat (dual stern paddlewheel) in a Marina and sell housboats on Lake Union, that being said I have obtained tons of info over the past few years helpful to potiential buyers of houseboats.

As John says, Houseboat are a challange to finance, however their are lenders, such as Frontier and will add another not mentioned Alaska Federal Credit Union where I was recently quoted 6.3% int. rate, 20% to 25% down at most, on 20 year mortgages.

This is for houseboat style liveaboards in either a month to month rental slip at a marina, or a condo style where you own the dock space. Depending on the length of your houseboat, dock rental and condo space fees can be similar.

Insurance can really vary from provider to provider, so you really need to research them. Insurance can be very expensive. It is usually offset by the fact you aren't paying property tax in rental spaces.

A really usefull site - http://www.seattle.gov/dpd Look for CAM Client Assistant Memo 229. This will help you with Floating Home, House Barge or Vessel info. Good info!

An inspection for a houseboat is called a Survey which is the inspection and appraisal all in one. Very extensive and requires a haul out to drydock. This expense is to the buyer and sometimes can be negotiated. The haul out fee is by the foot $14.00 to $16.00, the survey can cost $450. to $700 depending on the size. Getting the home to the haul out site is an additional fee and can vary. Your lender and insurance will require a copy of this and can require all critical items be repaired to insure, or loan.

The biggy, that you will want to negotiate is the Sales Tax, paid by the buyer, 9% and is not rolled into the loan. When BECU was doing these loans a couple years ago they would roll it in, they no longer do them.

I am not trying to discourage you, it is a wonderful lifestyle. Just be prepared.

Floating homes are considered residential loans.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 18, 2009

It's true that a loan for a houseboat is definitely going to cost you more down then a home. How much depends from bank to bank and with the current state of the banking industry, could change day to day. 30% is reasonable.

A boat is viewed by the bank as a depreciating asset not like a home. In today's climate they would just assume avoid lending on them.

The good news is that with the current economy, houseboats are fantastically unpopular. The time on market for them is actually longer then for condos. What that means for you if you are in the market for one is that you can be really picky. You have all kinds of leverage with regard to terms and price.

They are also a boat load of fun to shop for (pun intended)

Have fun.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 18, 2009
Hi Pat,
The last time I researched this, about a year and a half ago, my understanding was that you needed at least 20% down to purchase a floating home. The requirements have probably changed since then. Few banks handle these types of loans. Peoples Bank down on Westlake Ave. http://www.peoplesbank-wa.com/index.cfm?pageID=188&parentID=5 is one, and Frontier Bank is another you might want to contact. There are other things to be aware of such as the distinction between a “floating home” and a “house barge,” condo dues, inspections, etc. Feel free to contact me if you’d like to hear about some of the other issues related to a floating home purchase.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 18, 2009
Obtaining a boat loan has different requirements than a home mortgage .

Trulia is a real estate website for professionals regarding other issues best confer experts in that trade, however based on friends who are luxury boat owners you are probably correct.
Web Reference: http://www.lynn911.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 17, 2009
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