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Ecks sold the condo for $235,000, and the couple rented a house for a while before buying an old houseboat for $3,100. They had it towed to a marina in south San Francisco where Ecks could also moor his 30-year-old, 27-foot sailboat. Berth rent and a live-aboard fee set the couple back $600 a month. Ecks figures his total monthly expenses run about $1,500

I'm completely surprised by this - is living on a houseboat really so much cheaper than renting an apartment? Aren't boats expensive to maintain?

Boats can be very expensive to maintain... but a big part of that expense is acquiring the thing and keep it up to date with the neatest new toys (and keeping those new toys operational). Motors are also a big part of the expense.

Note that Ecks apparently isn't even keeping the motor operational on his houseboat, and he acquired it cheap. So what would you guess he sinks into equipping it with all the neatest new toys for boaters?
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