Over the past couple of years, living on a houseboat has become more and more popular. Bachelors have found these homes fit their lifestyle perfectly. Young couples trying to make ends meet in a big city have found financial happiness living on houseboats. Families have found living on one is the adventure of a lifetime. What is it about these floating houses that has everyone ready to drop their old lifestyle for a new one?

Product FAQ

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What Is a Houseboat?

This is a boat that has been constructed to act as a home. The skill it takes to build one is admirable. Architects have found building this home is one of the most challenging but rewarding things to build. These houses provide nearly all the accommodations a normal home would provide like a kitchen, bathroom, separate living spaces, and laundry room; however, most of the time you are working with considerably less space.

What Does a Houseboat Do?

Houseboats provide an alternative permanent residence or vacation spot to those who like to try something new or are on a tight budget. When traveling, people have founding renting one of these floating buildings can be over 50 percent cheaper than renting a home or condo or staying in a hotel. Although you should always do your research when booking a rental property, many boast more character than some rental homes available.Houseboats have found much recognition thanks to millennials living in riverfront cities. To rent an apartment in some cities like London, Amsterdam, and even Austin, Texas costs way more than is imaginable to many individuals. Houseboats have given individuals a chance to live in cities they love without selling everything you have to do so.

How Does a Houseboat Work?

They are often confused with boathouses, but these are not interchangeable terms. A boathouse is a building that covers your boat. A houseboat is a floating house with all or most of the amenities that a normal house contains. Houseboats are not typically meant for recreational boating use. They are extremely top-heavy and normally have furniture and accessories that are not secure enough for quick movements.

Houseboats are often kept stationary and tied to land, which provides residents or renters sewage and utility hookups. Although they are a boat, houseboats often do not have motors attached. Since they are often moored to land, there is no reason for a motor because they normally do not leave their dock.

Where Do You Buy a Houseboat?

Various companies have capitalized on building these boats. The market for them is booming, and there are more designs available than ever before; we have reviewed these designs below. Another option that DIY driven individuals can try is buying a run-down houseboat and completely revamping it to fit their personal aesthetic. Although this is more challenging and time-consuming, the finished product is always rewarding.

How We Reviewed

Houseboat

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The following houseboats were expertly reviewed based on specific features, positives and negatives of each style, price, access, and ease of buying. In order to provide the most accurate reviews, extensive research and comparisons have been made. Each one is unique in its own way with different amenities and characteristics to fit your wants and needs.

Overall Price Range of This Product (and Similar Products)

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Houseboats can be purchased for as little as a couple of thousand dollars or as much as hundreds of millions of dollars. More expensive models offer living quarters for staff, hot tubs, and top of the line amenities. More affordable models offer a blank canvas for you to put your own stamp on. It all depends on how much money and time you are willing to put into it.

What We Reviewed

Product

Image

The Floatwing

The Floatwing

Karala

Karala

Traincar

Traincar

Concrete

Concrete

Port X

Port X

Piet Boon House

Piet Boon House

Grass-topped

Grass-topped

The Exbury Egg

The Exbury Egg

WallyPower 118

WallyPower 118

Watervilla de Omval

Watervilla de Omval

Three-story

Three-story

The Owl

The Owl

The Floatwing

The Floatwing

Features

The Floatwing is a sleek modern designed houseboat created by a Portuguese design group. The group focuses on creating recreational houseboats with up to three bedrooms. Floatwing houseboats have mostly glass walls that can slide open allowing for a seamless indoor/outdoor living area.

These are available without motors which means they must be tied up to land in order to access utilities. However, you can also purchase a Floatwing with twin outboard motors that can reach speeds up to 3 knots. The Floatwing is constructed from sustainable materials so has a low environmental impact. The most extreme Floatwing offers a completely solar powered energy source for those who would like to be 100 percent off-grid.

Pr

This house starts at around $80,000 and can go all the way up to $300,000 depending on the amenities and size you choose. There is also a 20 percent assembly fee.

PROS

  • Modular design
  • Available in multiple sizes
  • Virtually all glass walls
  • Solar powered
  • Great indoor/outdoor living space

CONS

  • Only larger styles are designed for off-grid living

Karala

Karala

Features

The Karala has a very unique armadillo design to it. It can reach speeds of up to three knots, which means it is able to sail, but is much better suited to being tied up and hooked up to utilities on land. The home offers optimal privacy due to being round and its lack of huge windows. Porthole windows are its main source of external light.

Price

This boat costs around $50,000.

PROS

  • Very private
  • Quiet sleeping quarters
  • Can sail across water or be docked

CONS

  • No large windows for views
  • Slow speed

Train Car

Traincar

Features

The train car boat is constructed from old railway cars. It has a unique geometrical look that makes up various rooms inside. Various characteristics of the train cars can still be seen throughout the boat. It is about 50 feet long and is suitable for a family.

Price

This home costs around $200,000.

PROS

  • Unique design
  • Historical relevance

CONS

  • Some rooms are small and awkwardly shaped
  • Not the best choice for sailing

Concrete

Concrete

Features

The concrete boat is a two-story home built out of concrete. It has a very Scandinavian architectural feel to it, which is perfect for minimalists. This home is perfect for a family of four to live in comfortably. It can move across water, but it is not an ideal choice if you would like to move often. Many individuals who have this home prefer to keep a small boat moored to the side.

Price

This home costs around $150,000.

PROS

  • Minimal details perfect for adding your own touch
  • Big enough for a family to live comfortably

CONS

  • Harder to heat due to the concrete exterior
  • Must be moored in order for utilities to work

Port X

Port X

Features

The Port X is an ingenious and relatively new floating home on the market. Many refer to it as a “floating house”, because it does not need to be moored most of the time and can be moved across the water. Port X is a flexible and independent boat home giving you endless living options. You never have to buy a new house again as long as you are living in a town with water. The various parts of the Port X are made off-site and are assembled in the water once completed. The building is c-shaped, meaning the intersection of the walls, ceiling, and floors are curved. This gives it a very nautical feel.

Price

This house costs around $400,000.

PROS

  • Can add as many modules as you want
  • Extremely customizable
  • Walking porches along the outside of the boat

CONS

  • Not suitable for recreational use
  • Single story does not allow for a lot of high views

Piet Boon House

Piet Boon House

Features

The Piet Boon Houseboat is a home that must be moored. It boasts a rustic design using natural materials that make it blend in with the landscape. It has three large sleeping quarters and bathrooms located in the basement partially below the waterline. This home has amazing doors that you can keep closed to resemble a shelter or open up to give you an incredible indoor/outdoor living area.

Price

This home is available for around $100,000.

PROS

  • Rustic/earthy design
  • Large sleeping space
  • Can support a built-on dock

CONS

  • Must be moored
  • The square design does not have much character

Grass-Topped

Grass-topped

Features

Grass-topped boats offer the best of both worlds. You are able to live on top of the water while simultaneously being able to enjoy greenery and landscape on the flat roof. While this is extremely aesthetically pleasing, it is also economically friendly. Houseboats with grass on the roof are typically four to five degrees cooler during the summer months.

Price

This home costs around $30,000.

PROS

  • Great if you love landscaping
  • Keeps home cooler
  • Offers an outdoor space for pets

CONS

  • Requires maintenance
  • Takes a couple years for grass to grow completely

The Exbury Egg

The Exbury Egg

Features

Unlike some houseboats that are most suitable for stationary living, The Exbury Egg was built to float. The name is derived from the shape of the boat which is very similar to the shape of an egg. While this boat is considered by some to be the most homely of houseboats, it holds all the basic necessities.

Price

This house costs around $50,000.

PROS

  • Great for minimal living
  • Unique shape

CONS

  • Only suits one occupant comfortably
  • Not ideal for long-term living

WallyPower 118

WallyPower 118

Features

The WallyPower 118 is best described as a superyacht. This massive ship can reach speeds of up to 60 knots and can hold 6 guests and 6-person crew comfortably. This boat is typically purchased if you wish to spend your life at sea. It is not ideal for tying up and living in a community of houseboats due to its massive size. This is a home for those with plenty of money to spend and a lavish lifestyle to keep up with.

Price

This home costs between $20 million and $30 million.

PROS

  • Luxury finishes
  • Huge front deck
  • Able to sail

CONS

  • Not suitable for tying up and living on land
  • Out of most seekers’ price range

Watervilla de Omval

Watervilla de Omval

Features

The Watervilla de Omval is the most modern design out there for floating homes. These incredible vessels are created by a company based in the Netherlands called +31 Architects. These boats are becoming increasingly popular in Amsterdam among individuals who like the idea of living on a floating home but do not like the traditional design. Watervilla de Omval has an open floor plan and windows stretching the full length of both sides.

Price

This boat costs around $300,000

PROS

  • Open floor plan
  • All glass sides
  • Modern look
  • Solar panels

CONS

  • Not a traditional boat design
  • Not big enough for a large family
  • Not made to sail

Three-Story

Three-story

Features

The three-story houseboat is larger than most single-family homes. It’s around 4,000 square feet and has multiple different decks. It is immobile and is not the home for you if you wish to sail away. Most three-story houseboats are built with planks for additional support due to their massive size.

Price

This boat costs around $500,000.

PROS

  • Great for a large family
  • Perfect if you don’t want to fully dedicate yourself to extreme houseboat living
  • Standard size accessories can fit easily

CONS

  • Not movable
  • More expensive than others

The Owl

The Owl

Features

The Owl was first constructed in the 1960s. Once you see the owl, you will know why that’s its name. This boat is constructed using mostly wooden beams. The front of the boat has two large circular windows. Altogether, the structure of the boat resembles an owl.

Price

You can purchase this boat for around $150,000.

PROS

  • Tall ceilings
  • Multiple lookout spots

CONS

  • Not suitable for sailing distances
  • Shape is not appealing to all people

The Verdict

fountain house

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Houseboats are gaining popularity among all walks of life. There are endless opportunities to live a traveling lifestyle with one. Although many of these houseboats must be moored in order for it to be functional, most of them can travel across water. Whether you are interested in a superyacht style or a fixer-upper, of all the houseboats, there’s the perfect one for you. Personally, we like the Owl for its unique look, tall ceilings, and classic wooden architecture.

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