I went to a San Francisco Giants Game baseball game today and while walking from BART to the stadium, there were several harbors with a large number of sailboats docked there. My dad loves sailboats, so of course we had to go and take a closer look at some of the betters ones. That’s when I found a secret about how some people are getting the best rental rates in the San Francisco Bay Area (which can easily be duplicated in any city with high housing costs on a coast or by a large body of water).
Boat dock slips cost between $300 and $400 a month. There is a group of people who purchase sailboats (they run from $50,000 on up), dock them on the water in front of prime real estate often costing millions of dollars and pay rent of about $400 a month. Some don’t even pay rent or purchase the boat. They have traded upkeep on the boat to live there and then vacate for one weekend a month when the owner of the boat wants to take it out sailing.
This is a variation on the long term house sitting idea, but there are a lot more opportunities available. Of course, you have to be willing to live on a boat and that means a pretty minimalist lifestyle when it comes to “things,” but considering that San Francisco is least affordable rental metro area in the US and one bedrooms are renting for between $1000 and $1500, the price of a boat can’t be beat.
Much like the commute helper, this is another example of how a bit of creativity can go a long way to keeping a lot more money in your own pockets while living in a prime real estate location.