Charming as it may be to live on or rent a houseboat in the Amsterdam canal, it is certainly not cheap.
Houseboats in Amsterdam are generally not motorized, but moored to a fixed spot in the city. Of the older and probably more charming kind are the old metal ships that have been transformed into a houseboat. Though it’s more practical to live on a ark, the Amsterdam city council prefers the old ships in the centre of the city, because of their historic charm. The ships were used to transport goods while the owner and his family lived in the small quarters below deck. After the second world war, these old transport vessels became the answer for the housing shortage in Amsterdam. The biggest problem of trying to live on a houseboat nowadays is not the houseboat itself, which generally has all the luxury of a normal house, but trying to find a place to permanently stay.

In total there are 100.000 legally placed houseboats in The Netherlands, of which 2400 in Amsterdam. Because of the shortage of these permits, a houseboat with a legal permit for Amsterdam is very costly. In Amsterdam, there are also hotels built on the water, restaurants Sea Palace and even a flower market.
Many rental companies rent out Amsterdam houseboats to tourists for an original short or long stay. Creative contemporary domestic designs, from unique home architecture to custom interior, furniture & DIY design ideas.Find inspiration via plans & pictures of compact modular mini-houses, small-space apartments, all-in-one bathroom & bedroom projects & more.Upcycled cargo shipping container houses, to space-saving furniture, ultra-modern interiors & futuristic homes!
The ceilings were low, the air moist, the living quarters small and electricity would have to come from the ship itself by burning wood, oil or gas.
Living on a boat might have been uncomfortable, it was still cheap and you’d at least have an detached house which you could place anywhere you liked.

Even wrecks with a permit sell well, while a luxury houseboat without a legal place to put the boat is worth little.
This mini-city-on-the-water development is drifting into place house by house to form a new kind of contemporary community on the water.
All in all, a prefab neighborhood from start to finish, yet nothing like the manufactured American suburb.

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