Houseboat Magazine

January/February 2018

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12 JANUARY | FEBRUARY 2018 WWW.HOUSEBOATMAGAZINE.COM W ith historically low rates, great loan program avail- ability and the banks more aggressively approving loans, now would appear to be the primetime to consider financing your future houseboat. Joey Gottfried, Newcoast Financial Services' regional manag- er in Clearwater, Fla., has had is eye on the houseboat industry for the past 27 years. "It's a niche I've always specialized in," said Gottfried, "and I cater to the houseboat market because houseboat buyers are great to work with." From Gottfried's point of view, the houseboat industry has been on the rise, especially in the last two years. A significant part of the industry's growing success is due to the fact that financing is now available for older boats. Getting Older After the infamous Great Recession, the banks were more on the tight-fisted side, and wouldn't allow the financing of boats older than 10 years. During the same time, houseboat produc- tion dropped to an all-time low. Manufacturers weren't making as many boats in the post-recession period because houseboat sales had dropped off significantly. As a result, a large number of houseboats available for sale today are almost exclusively over 10 years old. "Having financing for older boats going back as old as 30 years is really critical to sustain the industry and to provide a path for people to upgrade," added Gottfried. "This is because if people can't sell their older boats, it makes it much harder to upgrade." Now that financing older boats is an option, most of the sales come from boats older than 2008. Gottfried received an application today for a 1989 houseboat and he pointed out that if this same buyer had been trying to buy this boat five years ago, he wouldn't have been able to make the purchase. Now Is The Time Rates are at the lowest levels they've ever been, and what's more, they've been stable for the past 10 years. The sheer amount of loan programs and lenders make the prospect of buying your new dream boat more attractive and possible than ever. The fact that the banks started approving older house- boat financing shows their eagerness to approve loans. By Heather Magda Serrano Financing Your Dreams Now is the time to buy a houseboat

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