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Can you live on a houseboat in the Chicago area? Many people have done so throughout history. Throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, people retreated to these floating houses. Even during the Great Depression, some residents of Chicago opted to live on a houseboat.
But what about today? Can you still live on a houseboat in Chicago now?
Although not many people do it you can live on a houseboat in Chicago. Because of its harsh winters living on a houseboat is rarely done year around in Chicago but if you can get a well insulated houseboat that can handle the bitter winds you could live in a houseboat there all year long.
This unique experience is both affordable and appealing to many people. Here’s how to get started. In this article, you’ll learn about the legalities of living on a houseboat in the city of Chicago.
Claude Sonday lives on a houseboat
Claude Sonday, a car mechanic and instructor at a Chicago Vocational High School, bought a houseboat at Diversey ave. bridge and plans to sail it down the Mississippi river. The biggest problem he faces is carrying water. The boat’s builder didn’t attach the pipes, so they have to carry water from the river. They also use gas for cooking.
There’s no place for moving furniture on a houseboat, so the furniture has to balance on one side of the boat. The floors slant, which can be dangerous when cooking and sometimes useful when dropping something. The houseboat has no basement, and stone steps wash away when the river rises. In winter, the river stays above freezing with the help of industrial chemicals. Inside, the Sondays rely on an oil heater to warm the houseboat.
A gangplank and veranda are common features of houseboats on the north branch of the Chicago river. Their view of the city is spectacular, as are the skyscrapers. A few old river men and women live on houseboats south of the Irving Park rd. bridge. However, many of the houseboat owners admit there are some drawbacks to living on a houseboat, such as plumbing problems, odorous water, and court battles to maintain docking privileges.
Cost of living on a houseboat
Renting a houseboat in Chicago is much cheaper than buying one. This is especially good for people on a budget, as it allows them to sample the lifestyle before committing. Here is a look at the typical cost of living on a houseboat in Chicago. It ranges from $955 to $1,850 per month, but the largest expense will likely be the houseboat itself. The average cost is $22,200 per year.
The cost of marina slips in Chicago is quite high – the River City marina in Chicago is the most expensive. But marinas in other cities are considerably cheaper – a marina slip in San Diego, for example, costs just under $500, and includes electricity, water, and a free bar on the dock. Whether you want to live on a houseboat in Chicago or another city, you can find one that meets your budget.
Docking costs can vary wildly, depending on the location of the houseboat. The cost of docking a houseboat in Chicago can be anywhere from $1,500 to over $15 million. Chicago-based Misa Gidding-Chatfield and Mike Kraft paid $77,000 for their 42-foot cabin motor yacht and spent $25,000 renovating it. In addition to the cost of mooring fees, they paid $1300 per month for their slip. This included electricity, water, and internet.
The cost of living on a houseboat in Chicago is considerably higher than living in a regular home in the city. A houseboat is essentially a floating home. While it’s still cheaper than renting a regular house, the costs are higher. If you’re considering living on a houseboat in Chicago, here are some things you should know about renting a houseboat in Chicago. You can also live aboard a cruise ship.
Legality of living on a houseboat in Chicago
In the early twentieth century, houseboats were common sights on the rivers and streams surrounding Chicago. The Chicago Sanitary District completed a channelization project along the north branch of the river in 1927. In the early 1930s, houseboats lined the shoreline of Belmont, where the roller coaster Riverview could be seen today. Houseboats were a popular way for people to escape taxes, but many people still chose to live on them.
Houseboats are any boat that is seaworthy. In Chicago, a shipwrecked on a sandbar in 1886 was considered a houseboat. The streeters’ family lived on the ship, which later turned into a small landed structure. The Streeters’ claims were eventually settled through litigation, but they were ultimately evicted from their home during World War I. The houseboat’s owner’s wife died on it in 1922.
A houseboat is not for everyone. Depending on your personal circumstances, living on a houseboat in Chicago may be a good choice for some. Many people enjoy the old-fashioned feeling of community that houseboat communities offer. If you’re wondering if living on a houseboat is legal, consider what you love about land. If you’re looking for a fun and unique lifestyle, a houseboat may be the perfect choice.
Life on a houseboat evokes a certain lifestyle
A life on a houseboat evokes distinctly Chicagoan memories. A few decades ago, there were few residents on the river, and some chose to live on houseboats instead of in brick-and-mortar homes. During the Depression, houseboats offered an inexpensive alternative to high rents and real estate taxes. One newspaper article cited residents paying just $1 a month to moor their houseboat. But houseboats lacked the comforts of land-based living. Some had electricity, while others relied on generators. During winter, many were heated by oil stoves. A few federal agents even raided a Chicago houseboat bar.
The cost of housing in many cities has reached such a high level that some urbanites are opting to live on a houseboat instead. This lifestyle offers many benefits, including a relaxing getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city. Not only is houseboat living more affordable, but it brings the resident close to nature. It’s definitely worth looking into. And if you’re in Chicago, a houseboat may be just the ticket.
While there are a few traditional Chicago houses on land, the majority of Chicago’s houseboats are small, wooden cabins or “scows”—old motor boats. The houses themselves are squalid, but the boats’ inhabitants are not. These wooden cabins and scows evoke a certain lifestyle in Chicago. And the smell of rotting sewage is a reminder of a life on a houseboat.