Whether out of a passion for life on the water or as an investment object: Floating apartments are finding more and more fans. With the floating penthouse "Rev House Sea II", the innovative living concept has also reached the Côte d'Azur this autumn - for purchase, rent or as an original event location.
The first houseboat of the German company "Rev House" was spectacularly launched from a container ship in September with a Giga crane off the coast of Nice. Since then, the penthouse, available in two sizes (15 and 20 metres long), has been attracting attention, regardless of whether it moves independently across the sea or enjoys a front-row spot in the marinas of Cannes or Saint-Raphaël.
The first private individuals and investors have already signalled their interest in the original domiciles; hotels have also turned a blind eye to the angular boat. The region's congress centres are asking to use the penthouse as VIP accommodation during major trade fairs or local events.
"We offer the floating penthouses for sale and rent," explains Philippe Urbin, who markets the boats on the Côte d'Azur together with his wife Martina. The penthouse is just as suitable for a private wedding celebration as it is for corporate events of all kinds, such as manager conferences - and even as a floating restaurant it is conceivable. It would also look great as an on-site office for major events such as Cannes or as a hip location during the Formula 1 race in Monaco. In addition, it can of course also be rented as an original holiday home. The boat is approved for a maximum of 100 persons (at anchor), twelve of them can be accommodated in six bedrooms.
No less interesting is the floating penthouse as an investment object. It is also possible to invest two or three people in a floating penthouse and share the proceeds from the rental, says Philippe Urbin. The profitability per year for a property like this is between 12 and 15 percent.
The highlight when buying a floating penthouse is - despite all the originality of the residential property - its classification as a sports boat: "Neither the housing taxe d'habitation nor the property taxe foncière are due, nor are notary fees or inheritance taxes," Urbin explains. Anyone who buys a houseboat on behalf of their company also saves VAT, which is almost 20 percent of the gross purchase price.
The smaller floating penthouse "Rev House Sea II", 15 metres long, is available in the standard version from 387,000 euros. Depending on the equipment, the price rises to up to 497,000 euros, plus further options such as a whirlpool or sauna. The 20-metre model costs between 679,000 and 870,000 euros (plus extras).
The first "Rev House Sea II" model on the Côte d'Azur is 20 metres long, offers 125 square metres of living space and 156 square metres of terrace space. The penthouse can be self-sufficient for several weeks thanks to large fresh and wastewater tanks and its own biological sewage treatment plant.
Each floating penthouse of the German company "Rev House" that leaves the shipyard is completely individually equipped. The number of bedrooms, the interior design, whether with or without Jacuzzi, sauna or not - the customer decides on the details.
"Such a floating luxury apartment is a mobile water property and a valuable investment, especially in times of scarce and expensive living space," says Philippe Urbin. He is looking forward to the new challenge as the representative for France for the German company - an ideal complement to his international consulting activities. The Frenchman benefits from the fact that he speaks fluent German in addition to English after years of working in his neighbouring country. And with his wife Martina, he has a business partner on board who specializes in rental properties and concierge services.
Harbour feeling, closeness to nature and maximum freedom
What are people looking for when they choose a floating residence? According to Lars Voigt, co-founder in 2011 and current sole managing director of the development company Rev House in Berlin, it is a question of mentality: his customers long for being close to nature and enjoy the freedom of being able to anchor where they want to be.
Tired of a location? If you want to go further away: Hop on a container ship with the penthouse and head for Thailand or the Caribbean for the next two years. On the Côte d'Azur, the mobile house can cover the distance from one port to the next on its own.
The penthouse "Rev House Sea II" is a boat of the latest generation. Sophisticated technology, modern environmental standards and the highest functionality of the floating houses made in Germany reflect many years of continuous tinkering.
"Such a construction, which can hold up to 100 people on the top of the terrace and which must be stable enough, is more complicated than you think," says Urbin.
Depending on size and equipment, a "Rev-House" penthouse is available from 497,000 euros (standard model) or 870,000 euros (20-metre version). "A comparable house or apartment in the centre of Saint-Raphaël or Cannes costs several times as much," emphasises Philippe Urbin. The delivery time for a tailor-made penthouse boat is about ten to twelve months.
Speed records cannot be broken with the angular vessel - the steering wheel is located at the front of the surrounding terrace. At a leisurely 12 km/h, it sails from one port to the next. On the other hand, its price is only a fraction of the price of a comparable yacht and scores accordingly with much lower fuel consumption.
Philippe Urbin is currently in contact with the mayors of the coastal towns between Toulon and Menton to discuss possible moorings with them. He is more than satisfied with the response to date from the penthouse on the Côte d'Azur: "People are approaching us with interest and enthusiasm for this original, unusual alternative to living space!