Who hasn’t dreamt of getting away from it all? Living on a boat is one such way, and recent statistics show that in London alone there are 10,000 people already doing so. But if you want to do it, can you get a mortgage on a houseboat?

Yes, you can get a mortgage on a houseboat, but it won’t be with a traditional mortgage lender as they will be reluctant to lend on something that could sail off, to not be seen again. Instead you will need to use a specialist marine finance company or raise a personal loan.

Why don’t traditional mortgage lenders loan on houseboats?

You won’t be able to use a high street lender for the purchase of a houseboat intended for permanent residence, as they simply won’t take the risk.

Houseboats can’t be registered with the Land Registry, plus no traditional mortgage lender is going to lend against something that could literally sail away.

Marine mortgages are available, but in most cases, you will need to put up a deposit of at least 20% on the boat’s value. These types of finance agreements can be more expensive than traditional mortgages but are possible.

What is a houseboat mortgage?

Whilst you won’t be able to get a mortgage in the traditional sense, you can get a houseboat mortgage by using a specialist marine finance company.

A houseboat isn’t considered a home as such, but more like a recreational vehicle. Think of it like you would applying for finance to buy a car – it’s very similar.

Specialist marine finance companies will offer mortgages specifically designed for purchase of liveaboard floating homes and houseboats.

As part of the application you will also need to insure the boat properly and decide where to moor the boat.

The loan will also tend to be shorter, especially on older boats. That means you can expect to pay higher repayments monthly than you would compared to a bricks and mortar mortgage.