$300 A Month Rent In San Francisco!

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.

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7 Responses to $300 A Month Rent In San Francisco!

  1. mapgirl says:

    It’s not that easy actually. My family was looking into marina slips in Half Moon Bay and other places in the area and there is often a waiting list. This was at a time when 1 bedrooms were renting for $1700-2200 a month. If you actually own the boat, maintaining it can be an expensive pain. Some boats are really spacious, but lots of folks get tired of showering at their gym.

    I guess if you rented from someone who did all the boat upkeep for you, then it could be worthwhile like you suggest, but I don’t know anyone who’s done it for more than a year or two. It’s more of a desperation maneuver to keep from having to leave altogether.

  2. nick says:

    so what will my mailing address be?

  3. Anano says:

    My grandmas cousin has a dock slip on the dock right outside the stadium. So for parking, they park in the parking spots then walk to the game.

    They said there is a 10 year waiting list for that dock.

  4. Morfydd says:

    Nick, when I used to own a slip in a nearby marina, there was a wall of mailboxes, like in an apartment building, on the street frontage. My address was “XXX Northlake Ave, #YY,” etc. where YY was the slip #.

    I wanted to live on a houseboat and kayak to work at a nearby company. I now work at that company, but never at the same time as owning the boatslip – sigh.

    Also sigh: If I’d used the cash for my house down payment for buying a slip & boat, I’d have no mortgage by now. (I’d also have a lot less stuff and no place for my parents to move to when they become inform. Sigh.)

  5. Morfydd says:

    Um, infirm.

  6. Everysec says:

    As chance would have it, I was discussing a similar subject in work recently. One of my colleagues has bought a boat to do up as a hobby, while thinking about this I mentioned that I was surprised, given the cost of property here in Ireland, that someone hadn’t begun selling boats and berthing slips as an alternative to over priced (similarly sized 🙂 ) apartments. Maybe a business opportunity for someone there but I’m thinking that the pull of the land would be far to great for most.

  7. VicktheChick says:

    I know a San Francisco fireman who does this and loves it. You aren’t supposed to however and yes there is a waiting list and yes, he has to live in what is basically smaller than a studio apartment. He showers at the firehouse of course.

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