It's Cheaper to Live on a Boat Than Rent an Apartment in These U.S. Cities

Maybe it's time for your own personal floating oasis.

<p>Hal Bergman/Getty Images</p>

Hal Bergman/Getty Images

If you feel like rent prices are getting out of control, you’re right. According to data from NerdWallet, the average 2023 rent in America is $2,052, which is a 3.3 percent increase compared to last year. It may feel so expensive that you’d be willing to move right off dry land to find somewhere cheaper. In fact, according to Rightboat, a digital boat marketplace, living on a boat could save someone thousands of dollars a month.

“We often associate living on a boat with wealth and prestige. But the reality is that living on a boat is often more affordable than land-based accommodation,” the website shared with Travel + Leisure in a new report. “In the world’s big cities, with housing prices skyrocketing, more and more people are taking to the water as a more affordable option.”

Rightboat isn’t just speaking in theory. The company took data from the most expensive cities to rent across the nation to compare it with how much a boat slip costs in the same spot.

It found the biggest savings in New York City, where the average apartment (rent plus utilities) runs around $4,082.36. In contrast, someone can pick up the average slip (plus utilities) for $1,800, marking a $2,282.36 potential savings.

Seattle came in second, with the average apartment rent going for $2,856.70 and the average slip going for $1,350, coming in with a massive $1,506.70 savings.

Austin had the third-largest savings at $1,488.79, followed by Nashville with a savings of $1,446.78, and San Francisco rounded out the top five with $943.85 in potential savings.

Beyond saving cash, the website added in its findings that living on a houseboat could make you happier too.

“An extensive study on happiness in certain environments found that when people were near marine or coastal locations, they scored six points higher for happiness than in an urban environment,” the team said. “Perhaps the rhythmic ebb and flow of the tides, the soothing sounds of the water, or just the fact the water is naturally beautiful makes us feel calm and happier.”

And, as the team added, it could make you a better traveler, too.

“Living on a boat grants you the freedom to explore not just one place but an entire network of waterways, coasts, and even distant shores,” it said. “Your floating home becomes a gateway to endless adventures.” See more about living on a houseboat, and maybe find your next waterside home, at

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