Mary’s Musings

Different strokes for different folks

Posted:  Wednesday, July 26, 2017 - 8:30am

It’s always refreshing to read about folks who think outside the box, and while they’re certainly not the first to do it, we found ourselves intrigued by a San Francisco couple’s decision on living arrangements.

Real estate is high in the city, and an “average’’ home can reportedly cost close to a million dollars. After looking at a number of properties, they decided to consider another option: A houseboat. They chose carefully, and ended up with an outlay in the $300,000 range. They designed the available space to best meet their needs and ended up with an open, roomy layout which they felt would serve them well month after month, year after year. They then chose a marina accessible to public transportation, stores and other amenities.

While we’re not sure year-round houseboat living would be ideal here on the Maine coast, it certainly could be a viable option for summer residents who might normally purchase a cottage. Some folks have already chosen boats for their seasonal headquarters and spend the bulk of their time here from late spring to early fall, while others are weekenders. They have the option of keeping their boat on a mooring or anchor or spending the extra money for the convenience of being dockside at a marina. They can easily get to the grocery store, restaurants, and often have laundry facilities and showers readily at hand. Like the San Francisco couple, they’ve probably done the math and decided it financially makes sense for them.

If they so choose, they can haul out their summer home and put it in storage for the winter, safe until their return in the spring. As with a cottage, they’ll be saddled with maintenance depending upon their choices when they made their initial investment.

We liked some of the plus factors in a houseboat. On the weekends (or any other time, for that matter) they can untie the lines or hoist the anchor and go anywhere they choose, rendezvousing with friends  or finding an out-of-the way cove to drop anchor. By the same token, if they don’t like the harbor where they “live’’ every summer, they can always move on to someplace more to their liking and can do that as often as they want. And how can you beat the view? Most waterfront cottages would find it hard to compete.

We don’t know how many people locally have opted for a summer home afloat, but we’re sure there are a number of them here on the Maine coast. We also don’t know if we have any ‘year-rounders’ who have chosen to make their home on the water. Certainly it would be a lot more challenging than in San Francisco.

It’s nice to see folks decide that there are always more options than the obvious ones.