Deciding to live on a houseboat is a great idea. This is a cheap way to live in or near some of the major metro cities in the USA. For example, Seattle or Sacramento are great locations to consider living in a house boat.

You will save money living in a house boat compared to living in an apartment or a home in a major metropolis. However, there are both common and unique costs to living in a house boat you should be aware of.


House boat residents must pay for their house boat. This cost is similar to a mortgage payment for a home. You must pay a monthly payment plus interest on a house boat until it is paid off. The payment varies based on the initial loan for the boat and interest fees associated with the loan.


Slip rental for a house boat is the same as monthly rent for an apartment. You have to pay to dock your boat somewhere each month. The cost of a slip rental is often between $250-550 per month depending on the location and what is included. Some docks will include laundry service nearby or Wi-Fi and other amenities in their monthly fee.


Similar to home insurance, you will need insurance for your house boat should it incur any damages from severe weather or other incidents. The cost of boat insurance ranges between $150-250 per month.


Your house boat will need electricity which is a separate charge from the slip rental. This depends on how much electricity and energy you use in your boat but the average cost is around $150 per month for electrical utility fees.


This cost is unique to living in a house boat. If you dock on a holding tank lake you will need to pay for pumping or pump-outs each month. This costs around $50 per month or $500 per year.

You can see that you can save a lot of money if you choose to live on a house boat compared to the high costs of living in urban environments in or around major cities in the USA.