At the mention of an alternative lifestyle, you may be thinking of long hair, guitars, and loud music in a Digbeth venue. However, the lifestyle discussed herein is a lot calmer and is taking the Black Country and specifically Birmingham, by storm.
Increasing numbers of younger people and professionals are now buying houseboats as a residential option and a way to see the county than ever before. This article looks at why this is the case and asks if this will just be a passing fad or if we are entering a new phase or understanding of home ownership.
Getting on the houseboat ladder is easier than the house ladder
For many young professionals, getting their own home is proving more difficult than at any other time in British history. Deposit amounts need to be larger; banks are taking less risk, and overall, it’s extremely difficult to get onto the housing ladder. Bricks and mortar have thus become a pipe dream for many, and rather than live at home with parents and siblings forever, there is this new move into canal boating or narrow boating as a home choice.
First started in the capital, where young Londoners began buying houseboats, renovating, and then moving into these narrowboats on the canals in the city and suburbs to live. The trend has now moved onto the second city, and Birmingham is seeing the results of this. More specifically, the Wolverhampton and Birmingham canal, Droitwich canal, and all the ring canals in between have seen a huge growth in boat usage as well as those now mooring to live.
Canal boat living Provides a sense of freedom
The sense of freedom and the actual ability to simply cast off and go somewhere for the weekend is a reality. The financial freedom of living and owning a houseboat, mortgage fee is also one of the main reasons that this lifestyle has taken off. The same deposit required for bricks and mortar can be used to buy a decent-sized houseboat, and after simply looking for marinas near me, you will find a place to moor while doing the renovations. Or a permanent mooring to essentially become your fixed address.
Is the perfect holiday and home in one
It’s good to get out of the house and get away to go on holiday. Having a houseboat allows you to get away and have a trip to various places for a fraction of the cost of a flight and all in the comfort of your own home.
The alternative if the houseboat is a working canal boat is to rent it out whenever you go on summer vacations and, in this way, pay for your out-of-town holiday.
As our new normal changes regularly, the way in which we live, work, and the commute is in constant flux. This movement of young Black Country professionals into the houseboat market and the innovation around design has yet to peak. It is definitely not a fad, and we see that the trend will simply grow and expand along our waterways.
There are now more boats on our Birmingham and Black country canals than there were in the 1800s. It is still considered an alternative lifestyle, but one wonders for how long as there is not expected to be any changes in the housing market, and in fact, as interest rates look to go up, even fewer young people will find buying bricks and mortar homes almost impossible.