Many people dream of living near the water or on the beach, but what if you could actually live on the water itself? That’s exactly what floating homes allow you to do.
Unlike houseboats, which can travel freely, floating homes are docked permanently and connected to sewage, electric, and water, just like a regular home. However, they do float on top of the water, and you have to pay for the privilege of living in a slip at a dock. Most are designed with one of two types of floating platforms.
Pontoon platforms feature a solid platform that is lighter than water and filled with air. The house is then built on top of this. The other option is a ship design, which uses a hollow box made of concrete. This one is open on top for building and is ideal for building deeper in the water, while the pontoon option is best for shallow water since it sits on top of the water.
Why Floating Homes Are Becoming More Popular
More and more people are looking to live in smaller communities, and docks are the perfect place to find that small-town feel. Everyone is so close to each other that they can’t help but feel closer. It also helps that cities have become so big and impersonal now that people are looking for alternatives without going too far away.
Most floating homes in the US are usually found in Seattle and Portland, but they’re picking up popularity all up and down the coasts. There’s also the possibility of staying on a lake if you prefer calmer winds. These are areas where there are a lot of people in a small area, but having a home on the water feels like you’re on an exotic vacation, even when you’re not.
How to Buy a Floating Home
Buying a floating home is very much like purchasing a regular home. You can find them on real estate sites, and it’s possible to take a look at the house before you purchase. Real estate agents list the homes on their marketplace and owners may sell off their homes, too.
Unlike land-based homes, floating homes don’t meet the requirements for a regular mortgage. If you need a loan, you’ll have to figure out a different way to get it. There are specific credit unions and banks that offer loans for purchasing a home on the water, so you can look into this type of loan if you aren’t able to purchase outright. That being said, floating homes tend to be a little cheaper than land-based ones.
Pros and Cons of Floating Homes
While floating houses may sound like a dream come true, there are definitely some pros and cons to them. For example, pros include:
Moveable: While not designed to putter around, these homes can be moved when necessary and leave no trace on the environment.
Resilient: During Hurricane Sandy, 54 floating houses in Sea Village Marina suffered damages to the sidewalk decks, but the homes were fine. Earthquakes also don’t affect floating homes.
Full services: Since they’re connected to sewage and electric, there’s no worry about waste disposal, and they can be lived in just like any regular home.
Swimming and fishing: If you love to swim, you can literally dive off your back porch. The same goes for fishing or any number of aquatic adventures.
No property taxes: Depending on the state you live in, you may not have taxes to pay on your home since it’s technically not on any property. This is not the case in every single state, so check before you buy.
Of course, there are downsides, too. These include:
Hard to find: These types of floating homes are popular, so it can be tough to find what you’re looking for.
Monthly fees: You’ll pay mooring fees, as well as all utilities, which can really add up fairly quickly. It’s similar to parking an RV long-term.
No yard: You don’t get a pretty garden, though you can plant in pots and raised beds on your porch or patio. For some, this is not worth all the pros, so consider it carefully.
There are certainly pros and cons to living in a floating home, but for those who love this lifestyle, there’s no better way to go about it. The closeness of nature, the natural beauty all around them, and the close-knit communities that form around a cluster of homes floating together, it all draws people together.
If you enjoy life on the water and would like to make it a permanent lifestyle, why not consider a floating home? Join the thousands of families across the US who have made the water their home and enjoy every day with a view.