Engel & Völkers Paris > Blog > Livable barges on the Seine River

Livable barges on the Seine River

Living on a boat, listening to the sound and being rocked by the water... This is the lifestyle chosen by many barge owners. An atypical lifestyle, which brings you closer to nature, closer to the water, and is in a way like a childhood dream come true. A dream whose price can quickly climb depending on the location, the surface and the condition of the boat.

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Barges and the Seine

There are many barges on the quays of the Seine. These unusual places participate in the romanticism of the capital and the region, sometimes housing, sometimes restaurants, hotels or places of leisure, barges are intriguing and are no longer used only to move on the river. They evolve and adapt. Some stay on their sites for many years - and the sites rarely become available. To be precise, these are called stationary boats, for residential use.

In total, according to the latest annual brochure of Voies Navigables de France (VNF), there are no less than 1,800 stationary boats, 80% of which are used for residential purposes on the Seine. In Ile-de-France, the number of houseboats is 1,300. Places are often scarce and expensive (they can cost more than a million euros or more) and there are many rules related to the purchase of a barge.

What are the points of vigilance to buy a barge?

Several elements must indeed grabyour attention if you wish to buy and live on a houseboat. First of all, the price of the barge to sell. Then the other expenses related to this type of housing which are: the price of the annual ring, the amount of the maintenance, the insurance and the local taxes and taxes (like the river tax).

The maintenance of the houseboat is a point of vigilance for those who dream of buying a houseboat in Paris or on the Seine. It is necessary to check, at the time of purchase, the hull of the boat, its maintenance and to foresee the cost of the dry docking which is compulsory every 10 years (whose bill can climb to several thousands of euros). It is also better to check the quality of the thermal insulation, the watertightness, the structure and the engine.

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The temporary occupation agreement COT

Stationary boats must sign a temporary occupation agreement (generally valid for 5 years) with a public domain manager like VNF. As for a parking space, the parking of the boat is not free. An amount and an administrative step not to forget when you want to buy a barge to live on.

The cost of an atypical lifestyle

When buying a houseboat, costs are numerous, but living in front of the Eiffel Tower or in an environment inviting to travel and escape with a terrace and space, surrounded by greenery as in Boulogne-Billancourt for example, far from the tumult of traffic, is sometimes a price worth paying and that happy owners of houseboats would not trade for anything in the world.

If you are ready to take the plunge, if you feel like a "barge owner", to buy a barge, do not hesitate to ask our experts Engel&Völkers to accompany you in this project.

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