Life at sea and homeownership

For a time, I solved that problem by living on my sailboat in a marina slip when not at sea and saved the extra money it would have cost me to rent an apartment.


I remember driving around south Texas looking at RV’s. My logic was, if I was going to pay for a storage unit for my junk, why not pay for RV storage parking instead? I would have a place to crash in the US or travel around MX. I didn’t get the RV though. I thought that would be too weird & would be going off the grid too much. Nothing against loner RV people but I’m glad I didn’t go that route.

Maybe your house is a dump :rofl:.

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I thoroughly enjoyed having coffee in the cockpit of my boat in the morning and watching dolphins chasing their breakfast and leaving the seagulls to fight over the scraps.


How long of hitches were you working? I had a coworker on the opposite rotation of me who lived on a sailboat but we worked 21&21 & she had fellow live-aboarders take care of her place while away. I think she loved it for the first few years but grew disenchanted with it. She was in her early/mid 30’s & always had stories about her elderly retiree & eccentric neighbors from the marina. I’m sure the people looking after her boat were nice but if she worked MSC hitches I bet they wouldn’t have been so willing to help.

Starting out, had a roommate that worked equal time with the same company. We were on opposite shifts, house was never vacant more than 2-3 days. My first house at age 22 was a newbuild 3&1, with jets flying over it. Working on a noisy tug didn’t bother me either. Just damn glad I wasn’t paying rent.

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I’d totally get it if that were the case :laughing: Honestly, I would care about the price discrepancy a lot more if I were trying to sell it. In the meantime, I give Zestimates about as much trust as I do for day 7 of a 7 day weather forecast :slight_smile:

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Zillow is one of many tools that can be useful but not the only tool. Quality ,well built and maintained homes in our area are selling rather briskly. If I listened to zillow regarding rental value, and acted on that, and that alone, I would lose tenants whom I put great value in. I’d rather be steady and fair. Ain’t worth chasing new tenants every 6 months or year to squeeze them for an extra few coins.

Under those conditions she would have the boat hauled and wrapped for the duration.

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Houses are selling very well right now if they don’t need much work. Houses that need renovation are hard to sell because there is no labor available to do the work.

It use to be that you could buy a fixer upper and do the work at your own pace, but now banks demand that a lot of things either be fixed before closing, or that you have bids from contractors and the cost built into the financing for prompt completion of the work. Everything is over regulated now.


I waited till I was out of the Navy before we bought our home. When I went back to sea again, I put the bulk of our bills on Autopay. You have to monitor it, though, to ensure the payments go out. My mortgage payment hiccuped when our mortgage was sold to a new company. I changed the address but for some reason, it went from recurring to single payment. Fixed that after I got a late notice. Husband is not e-banking savvy unfortunately. Fortunately have okay wifi on the ships to take a peek at the bank account periodically.

If you are looking to work for MSC you may not be home much for a good long while. I’d recommend saving $$ and investing some wisely and maybe make a cash purchase or mostly cash purchase but that’s up to you.


I do mostly online banking with everything possible on autopay. I still have to make phone calls to my banker to pay somethings. I sometimes pay tradesmen by having the bank prepare a check for them to pick up.

Personally, I greatly prefer owning a single family home on a few acres of land to renting. I can do what I want in my own home with plenty of elbow room between me and the neighbors. For someone living in an apartment in a city, with a homeowners association, I don’t see much advantage to owning.

For a young single guy going to sea eight months a year, it’s makes more sense to stay with relatives. Travel, broaden your horizons, and have some fun for a few years. Think about what you want to do and where you want to live. If you have lots of friends and relatives in your hometown, in a no tax or low tax state, that may be the place. If your friends and relatives are scattered all over, you don’t need to rush on buying.

The three most important factors in real estate are location, location, location. Buy in the right location and take your time figuring that out.

Don’t waste money on expensive cars that just sit around rusting and depreciating while your at sea making big payments. I’ve never had a car payment. Buy 5-10 year old cars for under $10,000 cash. Don’t pay dealer profit, finance charges, sales tax, excise tax, or full coverage insurance, but have at least $1 million in liability coverage.


I wasn’t working regular hitches but was away for a variety of things like boat deliveries and movie work. A girl friend had a key and would look after it when I was gone. That ended badly but I ended up moving in with a different GF and sold the boat a short time later when we moved east.

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Zillow might be great in certain markets, like a subdivision with 1000 identical houses, but Zillow is completely meaningless in a small market with a wide variety of housing.

I look at Zillow maybe twice a year. There is lots of better info available.

If one wants to invest in real estate beyond your home my advice is pay cash for the first property or two.Borrowing to buy real estate is no different in my thinking than borrowing to buy stock or bit coin or gold, silver etc

I agree. I look at it mostly because it shows a lot more of what’s available than any single real estate website. I don’t trust their estimates, but they’re not usually wrong on when a house sold and what it sold for. Plus lots of people tend to leave the listing pictures up from the last time it was sold. I’ve saved quite a few of those pictures to use for ideas.

Except its called real estate for a reason. Unlike stocks or even gold it has inherent value in its use. Plots of land can be use for farming, a home can provide shelter and security. Essentially, in a SHTF situation I’d rather have a home or land than a pile of gold or stocks. And if the banking system collapses no ones going to come around looking to collect on mortgages.

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Earlier I mentioned that stocks have averaged 11% return over the last 150 years, and real estate has averaged about 8%.

While I agree that people should avoid taking on debt for consumables (consumer spending), I disagree about borrowing for appreciating assets, like real estate.

With interest rates at only 2.5% (that’s pretty close to 0% when adjusted for inflation) borrow as much as possible. It’s free money. Yes, you will have to pay it back, but you don’t have to pay any inflation adjusted interest (money rent) to use it.

If you are a student, studying something that leads to a good occupation, engineering, nursing, math, hard sciences, accounting, finance, etc. at a good school, and you apply yourself and do well, education is a very good investment, borrow all that you need.

One poster mentioned a familiar saying my folks used to say who were heavily involved in real estate since I was a teenager. “Location.Location,Location.” Couldn’t be more true. Another poster said “They don’t make land anymore”. Also true. I had some decent mentors. My folks were scared to death of the stock market, but in spite of that did invest and did ok. I do have a victory garden in my back yard and a decent diversified portfolio. Up,down, and all around over many years… Money is cheap as it’s gonna get right now, invest wisely. No regrets


True. Paying cash for the first property I bought allowed me to learn the landlord routine without as much pressure. Once I learned a few lessons it was easy to leverage that first property into two more and so on.