Modern Homes: Why I Bought A Houseboat In Berlin

From DIY houseboats on the River Spree to high end luxury ‘floating apartments’ on Humboldt Island, a 30-minute commute from Berlin city centre, a growing number of people are looking for a more relaxed lifestyle in the city. New houseboat owner Wolfgang Grobe explains how the buying process works. 

Why did you buy a houseboat?

Many reasons. It is spectacular to live and work on the water and to be able to see far over the lake. You can also cruise through the countryside and stay overnight on the lakes near Berlin. 

What type did you choose? 

It is an individually planned house on a boat. With several additional features it cost me approximately 500,000 euros.

How do you plan to use it? 

I live on the boat all year round. We use it for business meetings and socialising with friends too. 

Where is it moored? 

In Berlin on the Great Wannsee, the most attractive region near to Berlin. 

What kind of mooring do you have? Is there a long waiting list as in London?

We searched intensively to find a good mooring and were lucky as ours is one of the best! I have a perfect view over the lake.

Is there a community atmosphere amongst houseboat owners?

Wannsee is like a beautiful small town. It is free of problems and most people there have a high level of income. My neighbours are well settled and very friendly so there are lots of warm contacts. 

By car it is only 20 minutes to the famous Kurfürstendamm in Berlin. There’s lots of beautiful countryside like the Grunewald, on the western side of the city, a huge forest with several small lakes and lots of fine restaurants. 

How did you finance it? 

The boat was financed by Tektis GmbH as a real estate investment. They build luxurious flats and houses. 

What’s included in your mooring fees?

I get free parking, Wi-Fi, a secured estate, fresh water and energy. On the boat we have our own TV, internet, energy and water. 

Did you choose any special features for the houseboat?

The design is excellent and there are a lot of luxury features in the kitchen and bathroom, a sauna, bidet, electric blinds, a walk-in closet, underfloor heating, and a huge roof deck. 

The electrical equipment allows you to be independent (energy, high speed internet, Satellite TV). If there’s not enough water in the tanks it can be taken from the lake. It can be cleaned through a water treatment plant so is suitable for drinking. 

Can you transport it around the city’s waterways?

Yes! The powerful engine and the four bow thruster makes it easy to drive.

Is buying a houseboat a good investment opportunity for overseas buyers?

This houseboat is the latest of three high class houseboats in Berlin and surrounding areas.

To own a boat is popular here and there are a lot of small houseboats for tourists to rent. However, this level and quality of houseboat is very new here in Germany, and there are a growing number of well settled people in the capital who want a high quality living, working, networking and relaxing lifestyle in a luxury houseboat on the water. 

The value of our houseboat will increase. New comparable houseboats will be sold for a higher price than ours too, so it is a good investment for private buyers and there are tax advantages for companies. 

Any tips for prospective boat buyers based on your experiences?

This boat is constructed like a house for a very long life expectancy. It has very good design and its luxurious features make it different to other houseboats here. If you want high quality there is no alternative. Come and take a look at my houseboat if you would like to see how it works!