Sail Away with Some Simple Tips to Affording Your Dream Boat

Posted on May 16, 2012

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Nearly everyone has a wish list, and some of the most popular dream items are quite large. Whether you long for a lakeside cabin, a sporty convertible or a  boat in which to sail the seas, most big dreams come with even bigger price tags. Financing a wish can be a daunting challenge, but there are a few ways to help you make your dreams a reality.

Start Simply: Evaluate Your Current Budget

Clearly, few people need a vacation home, a flashy car or their own yacht, but knowing how to budget your day to day needs versus wants can help make saving for a grand purchase much easier. Yes, the brand new iPad looks like a must-have, but how far will the $800 purchase price set you back from owning the classic motorcycle you’ve had your eye on? Putting money that you might otherwise spend frivolously into savings helps you earn interest. You may be able to save enough for a down payment or be able to buy your wish outright by cutting down on extras.

Add Maintenance Costs to Your Current Budget

If you are going to make the leap from wishing to purchasing, ensure that your budget can withstand the blow. Even if you’ve saved some cash, you will have to keep routine costs, including taxes on a home, licensing and registering a boat or vehicle, storage or docking fees and other considerations. If you are considering taking out a new mortgage on a vacation home, ensure that you have the means to  pay for both your current and your new loans. A good percentage of your income for mortgage payments is around 28 percent. Keep your costs under this mark to stay financially healthy while still enjoying your dreams. Experts advise not to finance large vacations, boats or recreational vehicles. These, unlike homes, do not hold their value, so the extra costs associated with financing – are undesirable: Your best bet is to save and pay in cash.

Is It All It’s Supposed to Be?

Some dreams are able to be test driven. Take advantage of this option if it presents itself to see what lies ahead for your purchase. Join a boating club and spend the season on the water. You may find that sailing is not as you expected, or you may cement your desires for ownership. Either way, you have not wasted any time by giving your dream a trial period. Renting a vacation home in the area where you would like to purchase is similarly effective.

Share Your Way into Your Dream Boat

If you have your heart set on a dream that is out of your reach, you may still be in luck. Ownership of a property does not have to be an exclusive endeavor. You may find that some of your friends share interests. You can split the cost of a cabin, boat, recreational vehicle or nearly anything among friends and share ownership. Moreover, locating a pre-owned version of your wish can save you thousands of dollars on showroom prices. Use the newspaper and Internet sources, such as Craig’s List, to locate owners who are interested in selling their property.

Jaye Ryan is a freelance writer who loves writing about financial planning and affordable dreams for Octopus Loans.

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