A Scottish couple bought a houseboat after abandoning their plans to buy a new apartment. Take a look inside the 12-foot-wide space, which is so unique it earned them Airbnb Plus superhost status.

houseboat couple scotland
Michael and Claire outside Gerda of Glasgow, their houseboat which they rent out on Airbnb.Graeme MacDonald/Gerda of Glasgow
  • Michael and Claire, a married couple living in Scotland, bought a houseboat in 2018.

  • They originally intended to buy an apartment, but couldn't come to an agreement.

  • The couple are now considered superhosts on Airbnb Plus.

Meet Michael and Claire, a married couple who bought a houseboat in Glasgow, Scotland, after they couldn't agree on an apartment.

houseboat family gerda of glasgow
Michael, Claire, and their daughter Nuala inside the Gerda of Glasgow houseboat.Gerda of Glasgow

Michael, a user-experience design consultant, and his wife Claire, a professional folk singer, were living in a one-bedroom apartment in Glasgow, Scotland's largest city, when they decided they wanted to upgrade in 2018.

Speaking to Insider, Michael said they wanted to buy a larger apartment with a spare bedroom for when family and friends came to visit. But they couldn't agree on what to buy. Then, they noticed Gerda of Glasgow, a houseboat on the city's Forth and Clyde canal, was up for sale.

"We didn't have any intention of buying a boat, but we saw the 'for sale' sign was up for a couple of months. So we thought, let's go for it," Michael said.

Michael said buying the houseboat meant they were able to keep their apartment while having an extra space for family and friends to come and visit.

But in order to make it worthwhile, Michael said, they had to put the houseboat on Airbnb.

gerda of glasgow
The Gerda of Glasgow outside Speirs Wharf, Glasgow.Mikhaila Friel/Insider

While Michael and Claire don't want to publicly disclose how much they bought the houseboat for, Michael said they used the budget they originally had to buy an apartment for the boat purchase as well as renovations. He said they added a couple of new windows in the living room, added new furniture, and painted the hallway.

But in order for the purchase to be worthwhile, Michael said, they decided to put it on Airbnb.

Michael and Claire were recognized as superhosts just a few months after putting the houseboat on Airbnb.

gerda of glasgow houseboat
An exterior shot of the houseboat.Mikhaila Friel/Insider

The couple purchased the houseboat in November 2018 and started taking Airbnb bookings in January 2019, Michael said.

The Gerda of Glasgow earned Airbnb Plus status in February 2019, according to an Instagram post on the houseboat's official account. Airbnb Plus is an exclusive program that recognizes listings of exceptional quality, comfort, and style, according to Airbnb's online guidelines.

Airbnb Plus homes are also known for their one-of-a-kind details, according to a short blurb on the Gerda of Glasgow Airbnb listing. The unique factor is certainly something guests should consider, according to Michael, who said "there's nothing else like this in Glasgow."

Michael and Claire were then awarded superhost status in April 2019, according to an Instagram post, which is a badge that recognizes listings that meet specific criteria, including having a 4.8 overall rating from guests, according to Airbnb's guidelines.

The houseboat has a permanent mooring outside Glasgow's city center.

Speirs Wharf in Glasgow, Scotland.
Speirs Wharf in Glasgow, Scotland.Mikhaila Friel/Insider

The houseboat has a permanent mooring next to Speirs Wharf, an apartment building on a hilltop that's approximately a 10-minute walk to the city center with beautiful views of the West End skyline.

The houseboat is 12 feet wide and has two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a living room, and a kitchen.

gerda of glasgow houseboat
The outer area of the houseboat.Mikhaila Friel/Insider

The houseboat can take up to four guests, and the price for a three-night minimum stay costs a total of £520, or around $620, which includes a cleaning fee and service fee, according to Airbnb.

Gerda of Glasgow has been publicly endorsed by Irn Bru, a popular soda brand in Scotland.

irn bru houseboat
The houseboat has been endorsed by Irn Bru, a popular Scottish drink.Mikhaila Friel/Insider

The boathouse was built in Liverpool, England, in 2017, and the original owner took a three-day trip to Scotland before arriving at the permanent mooring in the Forth and Clyde canal, according to an informative poster that hangs in the hallway of the houseboat.

The poster states that the original owner loved Irn Bru, which is a popular soft drink in Scotland. They named the boat Gerda of Glasgow after an old Irn Bru TV commercial, which used the slogan: "Made in Scotland from girders," a reference to the type of steel and the rusty color of the drink. Since the owner didn't understand the Glaswegian accent, they mistakenly thought the slogan said "gerdas," and hence the name was created.

Irn Bru gave its seal of approval to the houseboat after one of Claire's social media post's caught the company's attention, Michael told Insider. The company then allowed the couple to use its signature orange-and-blue logo on the boat's exterior.

The entrance to the houseboat has several steps, with a sign overhead that reads: "Mind Yer Heid."

houseboat entrance
The entrance to the houseboat.Mikhaila Friel/Insider

"Yer" is a Scots term for the word "your," while "heid" is a Scots term for head.

The entrance leads into the open-plan kitchen and living room area.

The kitchen has all the appliances that you would find in a regular apartment, including an oven, microwave, and sink.

houseboat kitchen
The open-plan kitchen leads into the living room.Mikhaila Friel/Insider

There's also a washing machine and a table with a kettle.

The kitchen leads into the living room, which has two couches, a fireplace, a desk, and a bookshelf.

houseboat living room
The living room.Mikhaila Friel/Insider

Michael said many guests are surprised by how "homey" the houseboat is when they see the inside for the first time.

Here's a closer look at the desk, which is accompanied by a small TV and a bookshelf with books for guests to read.

houseboat desk
The desk in the living room.Mikhaila Friel/Insider

Michael said they've had guests from all over the world, including Texas, Pennsylvania, Australia, and other cities in Scotland. He said they always like to greet guests in person upon their arrival, and they've even become friends with a couple who came to stay in the houseboat a handful of times through the years.

The houseboat has circular windows that look out onto the canal, with glimpses of the city skyline.

houseboat window
The window in the houseboat living room.Mikhaila Friel/Insider

There's a community of houseboats on the canal, and Michael said some people live in them while others use them for leisure.

The boathouse has two bedrooms: a master bedroom ensuite (pictured), and another bedroom with two single beds.

master bedroom houseboat
The master bedroom in the houseboat.Mikhaila Friel/Insider

The beds were all neatly made with folded towels on them.

The main bathroom has a bathtub, a toilet, and a sink.

houseboat bathroom
A bathroom with a bath in the houseboat.Mikhaila Friel/Insider

The main bathroom (photographed) has a bathtub, while the ensuite bathroom has a shower.

Michael and Claire eventually moved to a larger apartment after welcoming their daughter, Nuala.

Michael, Claire, and their daughter Nuala.
Michael, Claire, and their daughter Nuala.Graeme MacDonald/Gerda of Glasgow

Michael told Insider that he and Claire eventually fulfilled their original plans and moved to a larger apartment in Glasgow after welcoming their daughter, Nuala, who was born in May 2021, according to Claire's Instagram account.

But if they didn't need the extra space, Michael said, he could imagine living in the houseboat full-time.

"It's just like an apartment," Michael said.

"I think it would be difficult with one of the narrower boats, but I could live here happily," he said, adding that most houseboats are around 10 feet wide, as opposed to their 12-foot-wide boat.

Read the original article on Insider