Model mother-of-one, 31, is living mortgage free in her dream family home after abandoning her £8,000 rental property to buy a canal boat for just £25,000 and refurbishing it herself (23 Pics)

  • Model Kimberley Marren, 31, spent thousands on renting in London, was unable to afford a house
  • With £25,000 life savings, she paid £18,000 for a barge and £7,000 on repairs and saved £1,000 a month
  • Now she and partner Maarten and their baby daughter Willow live on the barge which they named Sunshine
Mortgage Free: With an average house price in London exceeding £650,000, Kimberley Marren was able to go mortgage free while spending just 2.6% of that on an old canal boat, before rolling up her sleeves and tackling the refurbishment by herself
Smooth sailing: Tired of spending thousands each year on rent in the capital, Kimberley (pictured with her partner Maarten Ketels and their daughter Willow) dipped into her savings and embraced a whole new way of life - by living on a barge
The mother-of-one's ingenuity and have-a-go attitude allowed her to slowly but surely turn the creaking old barge into a beautiful family home with spacious kitchen and living area
Rising rent prices: After ten years of renting in London, Ms Marren, who still works part-time as a model and actress, realised that buying bricks and mortar in London was just not attainable
Mortgage Free: Ms Marren, who appeared on Sarah Beeny's How To Live Mortgage Free on Ch4, took up home in Hackney on a canal and began the mammoth job - by spending £100 on five pots of paint. But she soon got stuck into the hard graft and built herself an idyllic kitchen
Choppy waters: It wasn't all smooth sailing however, a lack of know how to begin with and not many barge electricians meant Ms Marren had to teach herself as she went along
Coming good: Despite the tough start, Ms Marren was able to bit by bit refurbish the inside of the barge while moving in early in order to save around £1,000 per month on rent costs
Mod cons:  Since the show ended she installed solar panels and will soon add a water filtering system that makes water from the canal usable in her barge. A kitchen built snugly into the the living area is perfect for cooking family meals while keeping an eye on baby Willow
Smart moves: Moving in before the work was complete, Ms Marren was able to save on average £1,000 per month on rent which she reinvested into the barge. Plus taking regular yoga classes alongside her modelling and acting work provided another income
More mod cons: Despite costing less than half the average sum for a London mortgage overall, her barge has all the mod-cons including luxury bedding, a living area and two-person shower 
Rolling up her sleeves: After the initial £18,000 outlay, Ms Marren realised there was not much room to pay tradesmen so focused on repairing small jobs while learning how to tackle the bigger ones such as plumbing and electricity
Tackling the big jobs: Thankfully, the mother-of-one's ingenuity and have-a-go attitude allowed her to slowly but surely turn the creaking old barge into a beautiful family home
Inspired choice: Before the house was a home it desperately needed some TLC
Serendipity: A chance encounter with a girl living on the river who used the freedom from rent to invest in her own business inspired Ms Marren to take up life on the canals
Mid stages: Pictures show Ms Marren's beautiful kitchen in the process of being built
More mid stages: The living area in process of being perfected as books line the ledges 
Up-cycling: Using old materials and re-purposing them proved an invaluable option for her
On the water: Now, with her hand near perfect, Ms Marren and her family can enjoy beautiful summer jaunts along the canals of Britain before docking back up in her adopted east London
Despite costing less than half the average sum for a London mortgage overall, her barge has all the mod-cons including luxury bedding, a living area and two-person shower
By now she has invested around £32,000 into the barge to really bring the home up to scratch with the newer modcons and luxuries
Family and friends: it hasn't been all smooth sailing and friends and family were quick to muck in when times were tough

Life changes: It wasn't just the boat that radically changed in the coming months, a trip to South Africa introduced her to her partner Maarten and together had Willow
Model mother-of-one, 31, is living mortgage free in her dream family home after abandoning her £8,000 rental property to buy a canal boat for just £25,000 and refurbishing it herself (23 Pics) Model mother-of-one, 31, is living mortgage free in her dream family home after abandoning her £8,000 rental property to buy a canal boat for just £25,000 and refurbishing it herself (23 Pics) Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 05:24 Rating: 5

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