Instead of Renting, this San Francisco Couple Bought a Boat

updated May 3, 2019
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(Image credit: Refinery29)

Here’s an alternative to renting you may not have thought of: buying a houseboat. When model and designer Kyleigh Kuhn moved to the Bay Area from New York, she was discouraged by the prohibitive pricing of the apartments she found. But then she came across a listing for a houseboat rental on Craigslist — and then she had the idea of buying her own boat.

She purchased her houseboat, Whim, on well, a whim, figuring that buying the boat and fixing it up would be cheaper than paying a year’s worth of rent in San Francisco. The renovation costs, as it turned out, greatly exceeded her expectations, but now she has a beautiful home to show for it — and a place to live for many years to come.

(Image credit: Refinery29)

The houseboat is a bit smaller than your typical apartment, but what it lacks in space it makes up in charm. Kyleigh and her boyfriend built a loft bed, with room for lounging underneath, and added storage underneath the stairs.

(Image credit: Refinery29)

And, of course, unlike most apartments, there are windows on every side — and the view is pretty incredible. And there’s plenty of outdoor space, where Kyleigh and her boyfriend and their two pups can soak up the California sunshine. Not bad for a purchase made on a whim.

To read more about the remodel and see more photos, check out the full tour on Refinery29.

And if you’re intrigued by the idea of boat living, check this tour of a 200 foot sailboat that two New Yorkers call home.