Everyone has had one of those dreams, you know – the one where you trip and are endlessly falling until you suddenly wake up only to find yourself comfortably tucked beneath the sheets of your bed with your heart thumping wildly in your chest?
The internet (dreammoods.com, specifically) describes the reasons for these dreams as, “an indication of insecurities, instabilities, and anxieties.” Whatever the true scientific cause may be, this is the sensation many have as they struggle to plan the next big decision of their life. For some that decision may be whether to purchase a houseboat timeshare.
How do you make the commitment to own a share on a houseboat without all of the stress? Fred Dickerson, co-owner of Sunrise Peak, and Belinda Hunter, office assistant at Laketime on Lake Powell, give advice on shared ownerships so you don’t spend endless nights with the anxiety of falling into the unknown.
Shared Ownership! What’s That?
Shared ownership is basically another name for a timeshare, a term that most people who have had any contact with real estate are familiar with. A timeshare is when a group of people divide ownership for a piece of property. This is something that takes place on Lake Powell with houseboats under the similar name of “shared ownership.”
“Shared ownership is kind of in between owning your own houseboat and renting a houseboat,” explained Dickerson. “It allows you to have access to a much nicer boat with more features and you get access to owning a boat a couple of times a year without all of the hassles of owning a boat, which are paying for a slip, paying for insurance, dealing with maintenance, all of those things that you’ve got to deal with if it’s your own houseboat. You share all of those costs and the management of the boat with a group.”
Some people worry about the logistics of sharing a houseboat with other people, such as coordinating schedules and ensuring that the houseboat is well cared for. And others wonder if it will cause extra stress to have to share their boat with unknown people or if they should avoid the whole thing by trying to coerce their friends, even the ones who have never left land before, to get in on the game. However, shared ownership programs on Lake Powell seem to offer a number of solutions to these typical stressors.
“It depends on the type of shared management program that you have as to whether you know the people with whom you’re sharing the boat,” Hunter explained. “Our owners don’t have a lot of communication with the other owners, but with many shared ownership houseboats, those owners will work together and know each other very well.”
In other words, finding a shared ownership that best suits your needs, including the amount of communication you wish to have with those whom you share, is an essential part of purchasing a shared ownership, but companies such as Laketime and Sunrise Peak offer a variety of options to make sure you remain as cool as a cucumber.
Why Shared Ownership
The cost of renting can far outweigh that of a shared ownership, especially if done frequently.
“If you’ve rented more than twice, then you’re not really paying attention,” Dickerson asserted. “Because if you’re going to continue to rent over and over again then that’s just a really big waste of money.”
However, there are always exceptions to the general rules of houseboating. For example, those who have never houseboated before might want to rent a houseboat instead of purchasing a shared ownership so they can get their feet wet without wading knee-deep in commitment.
“When you purchase your houseboat, it depends on the time of year as to whether you’d really want to do a purchase versus a rental,” Hunter countered. “First of all, if you do it every year, a shared ownership is probably better. Your cost is going to be a little less expensive and you’re more familiar with the boat that you’re using. You’re not getting on a different boat every year. You use the same boat every time.”
What Are My Options?
There is truly something available for anyone looking to get in on a shared ownership at Lake Powell – the large family looking for a good time over the summer or the independent traveler searching for a place to escape and re-coop for the week.
Laketime has about 37 boats with life-long Lake Powell attendees. Generally when people purchase a shared ownership they’re buying the boat for a particular time of year. Laketime’s prime season is July, but the cost of July is much higher than September or early June.
Sunrise Peak is also prepared to offer customers a variety of options with a fleet of around 240 boats and four or five boats added yearly.
“The oldest boat we have on our website is a 2001. So we’ve got everything from 2001 to shares in 2019 boats,” stated Dickerson. “So there’s a very broad range of options. Sizes of boats go from 75 by 16 feet on some of the older boats to 75 by 22 feet through 2019 and we’re actually going to build a boat in 2020 that looks like it's going to be 120 by 24 feet.”
Is It Worth It?
Overall, the decision to purchase the shared ownership of a houseboat shouldn’t be a process that causes you to lose countless hours of sleep or pull your hair out. Owners of companies who run shared ownership programs will expertly guide you toward the correct decision for your own specific array of needs.
The real question you should be asking yourself is, “Am I ready to have some fun?”