Houseboat living - a life less ordinary

June 2010 News Rebecca Marston - BBC News

There's the usual scurry round, the divesting of work accoutrements and snippets of talk about what the day has brought.

The morning's coffee cups sit on the drainer as the evening meal is started. All in all another regular evening at home.

The difference here is that Matthew and Rose don't walk to theirs via a pavement, but a towpath ending in a gangplank.

They live on a boat.

"The housing market was such a nightmare last year we didn't want to get involved - the length of time it takes to get anything done, the cost and the way it ties you down. So we went for a boat," says Matt.

They call it "Tigger".

Licence to cruise

The average house price is £207,000, according to the Department for Communities and Local Government, putting conventional property ownership out of the reach of millions.

A residential boat is a far cheaper outlay.

The average price of a canal boat - the most common form of floating home - is anything between £60,000-£100,000, according to the National Association of Boat Owners (NABO).

But there are, of course, other costs involved.

You need a boat safety certificate - think of it as an MoT. You also need a licence to be on the waterways - think of this as Road Tax.

Also, like a car, insurance is necessary.

And you need the right to "park" - a mooring permit - and that can be a hefty cost.

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