With the focus on more affordable and versatile living solutions, mobile homes emerge as favorites, whether their mobility is on land or on water. Floating homes are, as noted above, somewhat of a halfway solution but still preferable for those looking to switch it up.
For many, floating houses are halfway between living on a boat full-time and living on land in a brick-and-mortar home, but with extra advantages that range from the lack of neighbors (boats don't count) to the possibility of living more connected with nature. The fact that these floating houses are limited in number by local regulations and/or the very low number of docking spots adds to their appeal. After all, we all want what we can't have.
Aptly, if perhaps unimaginatively, it's called Floating House and is a passion project of a father-and-son duo that took four years to complete. It's a custom project described as a "masterpiece," handcrafted from the ground up. It's docked at the Santa Barbara Harbor in the U.S., and it's listed for sale, though the description doesn't say whether mooring is part of the deal. For what it's worth, with such units, it usually is.
The Floating House sits on pontoons and presents as a timber-clad cabin or retreat that's perfectly able to double as a couple's permanent residence and workshop. It offers a total of 1,290 square feet (120 square meters) of living space divided across two floors, allowing for privacy and a clear separation between private and public life.
But don't let the "cabin” descriptor fool you, though. This "cabin” is very luxurious too. The home has a chef's kitchen with marble countertops, the bathroom is done in beautiful white tiling with gold accents, and living areas are furnished in a combination of white oak, burlwood, mahogany, brass, and wool for a very playful, sunny, and welcoming space.
The entire ground floor is currently set up as a shop, with plenty of space for work and just as much for displaying said work. Also here is a storage area where several paddleboards are on display. Should the next owner choose it, the space could serve any other purpose.
Wraparound walkways expand living space outside. The workshop on the ground floor, for example, can open to the exterior by means of large sliding doors. But when privacy is needed, tinted glazing shuts the interior out and protects it from prying eyes.
The Floating House can't move under its own power, and that sets it apart from a barge or narrowboat conversion, or even houseboats. If you're a glass-half-full type, this isn't a disadvantage as it makes the house ideal as a home for someone (or a couple of someones) who would love to live on the water but without actually living out at sea, cut off from the world for months on end.
The listing is asking $4.9 million, so forget what we said before about reduced living costs when you downsize from a brick-and-mortar home to a floating one. The only way in which it could bring about reduced living costs is if this was downsizing for millionaires – and the Floating House probably is just that.