Floating houses and houseboats have become popular in recent years, and now that more people have the freedom to work remotely wherever they want, it’s possible that these housing units will see an increase in demand.
Thinking of owning a floating house or houseboat? Want to know what’s the difference and which one is right for you? Here’s what you need to know about floating houses and houseboats before you make your purchase.
What is a floating house?
A floating house is a type of housing that is attached to a dock on the water, which could be a river or lake. The building is an actual house — not a boat at all — and is connected to the local sewer and utility lines. Floating houses cannot move, but they are right on the water.
Designs of floating houses tend to lean very modern with sleek lines and repurposed materials. Some have two stories with lots of big windows to take in the view while others devote a little more space to the deck and patio.
What is a houseboat?
A houseboat is a boat that can allow owners to live aboard them permanently. They do not need to be connected to the local sewer or utility lines. Houseboats have motors, which means owners can move their homes around the lakes or rivers at their discretion.
Difference between floating home and houseboat
The biggest difference between a floating home and a houseboat is movement. While houseboats can move freely, floating houses cannot. They rely on local sewer and utility lines, and they do not have motors built into them. While it is possible to move a floating house, it would be far more difficult than moving a houseboat.
Houseboats also tend to be less expensive than floating homes and a bit smaller, but that, of course, depends on the houseboat. Yachts can be houseboats if they’re big enough, and they’re better equipped to handle rough waters, which regular houseboats are not.
Benefits of owning a houseboat or a floating home
What houseboat and floating house owners love most about their homes is the ability to live on the water and close to nature. For those that love fishing, swimming and nature watching, you can beat the accessibility of a houseboat or floating home. When it’s time for dinner, many owners simply throw a line out their window.
The serenity of nature also draws many to the houseboat or floating house lifestyle. The docks where these owners live are usually away from city noise and traffic, which means they’re quieter and less developed. Much of the natural beauty of the land and water remains intact, so it’s much easier to appreciate wildlife.
Owning either a houseboat or floating house also gives you potential rental income. If you have a permanent home elsewhere, then you can rent out your floating property for bachelor and bachelorette parties, reunions or honeymooning couples. There’s a great market for floating properties, so if you’re worrying about paying for a second mortgage, renting out your new property can help you make up the difference.
Living in a boat: pros & cons
When it comes to living on a houseboat, there’s no denying that the ability to pick and move your home to a new city or town is a major plus. If you’re retired and want to see Virginia or Maryland from a new angle, then owning a houseboat will grant you the freedom to move as you please and see the area from a perspective that you’d otherwise miss.
Unlike floating houses, houseboats need to pay a rental fee when docked in a marina. While some own a slip on their home base docks, it does mean that houseboat owners will have to pay rent when in a new area.
When it comes to rocking, houseboats owners usually feel much more movement than floating house owners. This is because floating houses have a much larger base, so the rocking is more evenly distributed and far less noticeable.
From those looking to downsize, a houseboat will be a better fit than a floating house. Most houseboats can have about two bedrooms at max (unless it’s a yacht), but floating houses can have more bedrooms and bathrooms. That space, however, does come at a premium, so expect to pay much more for a floating house than a houseboat.
Want to rent out your houseboat or floating house near Washington, DC? Contact Atlas Lane to learn how to get started.