Living on a Barge
Many of us are dreaming of living in an unusual place, an old shop, a mill, a yurt… Even a barge! Sailing, living close to Nature, enjoying the calm and the relaxing movement of the water… Seducing isn’t it?
But be careful: if you are planning to go for this exciting experience, living on a barge comes with obligations, paper work and…costs! Let’s look at the most frequent questions on this subject.
How much does a barge cost?
Many transport barges have been converted into boat houses, and as for any other houses, their costs will depend on their layout, potential terrace, location… Prices are higher in Paris but you can still find barges from 90,000 Euros to a Million. A very attractive element about barges is that there are no notary fees! Nevertheless, its location is subject to notary fees.
A location…If anything!
As nice as it is to purchase a barge, you still need to find a good river port. These types of contract are delivered by the public domain manager. You need a specific contract for a barge and these are quite rare.
The price of a river spot varies a lot, depending on the communes, but it will be approximately between 120 and 700 Euros. In certain French cities, you will even have to wait for around 5 years to obtain a spot.
What about the taxes?
You will have to pay the river tax; it is similar to a Tax Fonciere. It covers the services in charge of maintaining the canal bank and the river. The tax fonciere does not apply when the barge is able to sail, nevertheless, many owners pay the tax fonciere to communes, in compensation of communal services. There is a lack of Law on this point; the best way to know how it will work in your particular case is to talk with your neighbors and to ask for information in your “Mairie” (town council).
How to maintain your barge?
Maintaining a barge has a substantial cost. You have a legal obligation to dry dock your barge every 10 years. It allows the inspection of your barge condition, fairing clean background, paint the entire hull, and check the strength of rivets, in order to check its safety and comfort. It will cost between 1000 and 5000 Euros for the drying and the transport, depending on the type of barge, and 1000 Euros for the painting and for each operation seen above.
Enjoy your sail!