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10 Most Popular Lakes in America to Live on a Home Boat

Living in a Houseboat at a Lake in The USA

In many countries, including the USA, living on houseboats or yachts has become more and more of a tendency as waterfront properties increase in price

 While some say houseboats are the new cottage and will continue to rise in demand others believe it’s just a trend. Yet, the truth is, this trend is likely to grow as it continues to become the next property boom. Even the term live aboards, more commonly written as: “liveaboards,” has increased in popularity over the past years. This term which used to refer to the ships used for scuba diving trips with overnight stays is now also a popular term used to refer to those who choose to make their yacht or water home their primary residency.

In recent years boats and ships of all types have been on the rise to meet the increasing demand of  a life on a boat. Adventurous souls who are ready to live both on the water and on their own terms chose houseboats as a solution. Living the lifestyle you want is now more accessible with houseboats, minimalist luxury water homes, yachts, and even small ships that allow you to work remotely (or retire) and enjoy a floating home. 

The rising interest to live along shorelines and rivers has especially peaked following the pandemic and living near a body of water such as a river is not just more popular but possible: Build Your Dream Life at an Affordable Price. With that in mind, we want to share some of the most sought-after destinations for water homes so you can start looking into your dream life by the water without the huge price tag. 

Top Lakes to Live on a Houseboat in the USA and Which You Can’t

1. Living in a Houseboat at Big Bear Lake: Among the Mountains.

Big Bear Lake is a widely popular location, many visit to spend time away from the city as they enjoy the mountain lakes. This makes their cabins and rental properties skyrocket in price depending on the season. Others take advantage of the water vehicles and boats that are rented on-site while others have tried this destination as a houseboat location but although it is a popular lake, it is still unclear as to whether you can live on a houseboat for long terms here.

 There are many secrets that this beautiful mountain and lake destination holds, among them is the fact that this is an actual man-made lake and not a naturally occurring water location. In the late 1800s plans started to construct a large dam that would hold water for the Redlands farms and fields. The dam began to undergo reconstruction in 1910 then in 1924, a road was constructed to connect the town road from Big Bear to the Highway. Due to all these factors and the fluctuation of water levels, it is important to verify and stay updated with new policies regarding houseboats in the lake. 

It is not a certain that their marina policies allow you to live on these waters year-round. The water levels can vary from season to season making it a bit more complex to be able to move larger boats as needed. The snow and winters can also affect the lake and transportation to and from this location. It is not far from towns and other places to go to for supplies but it is always best to verify the information with local authorities. The following website is updated with the Big Bear Lake rules and water regulations.

2. Living in a Houseboat at Lake Havasu: City Golf Course and Year Long Boating. 

Lake Havasu is the center of Lake Havasu City, a city amid the Mohave County in Arizona. This community started as an Army Air Corps rest camp during World War II. It is now a city with many houseboat living opportunities and quite favorable conditions for doing so. Contrary to Big Bear this lake’s water levels are always pretty high making it ideal for houseboats and larger vessels. You will find many houseboat rentals and even water home getaway plans. The beautiful Lake Havasu golf course is also a great plus for those who enjoy golfing and they even have adaptive golf programs and other sports initiatives.

3. Living in a Houseboat at Lake of the Ozarks: Miles and Miles of Magic.

Lake of the Ozarks is located in the center of Missouri and is the largest lake of this state, with 85 miles of shoreline. This beautiful lake is one of the most famous for its wide range of activities and is considered a premier lake location due to many high-end resorts and fun destination spots. It has been known to be more of an upbeat, more active water destination. You can rent a houseboat for a few days and try it out before you decide if this destination is right for your living lifestyle. Since there are many recreational areas it is less calm and a bit on the hyped side compared to other lake locations. On the upside, it does provide a larger variety of all-around entertainment. Learn more at: Fun Lake Ozarks

4. Living in a Houseboat at Lake Shasta: At the Mountain’s Base.

Similar to Big Bear Lake, Lake Shasta is also a manufactured lake. However, Lake Shasta is much larger, it is the largest reservoir in the United States. This lake is among California’s great lakes and is 35 miles long. Built between the 1930s and 1940s Shasta Lake was created as the Shasta dam was built. At the time it was completed, it became the second-largest dam in the world, the Hoover dam was the first. Today this Northern California lake is one of the most popular houseboat living areas of the United States. This lake location is also recognized by many as “the houseboat capital of the world.” For information on houseboat rentals and other fun activities in the surrounding areas visit their website.

5. Living in a Houseboat at Lake Powell: Lounging on the Lake. 

This man-made reservoir on the Colorado River in Utah and Arizona is another great houseboat living destination. Combining the majestic view of canyons, water, and sun, you will find all sorts of natural trails, water adventures, and sights to delight your eyes. Lake Powell Resorts and Marinas offer a large variety of houseboat rentals and houseboat living opportunities that allow you to have the kind of experience you want. From glamping spaces to scenic boat routes, you can take advantage and take in all the beauty around you while enjoying the comfort of being at home. For more information on houseboats in this area, houseboat rentals, and nearby resorts, click here.

6. Living in a Houseboat at Caddo Lake: Under the Cypress Trees.

Caddo Lake is truly a blend of beauty in the wetlands between Texas and Louisiana. This sublime lake contains the United State’s largest area of flooded cypress forest which is an internationally protected wetland. The lake is named after the Caddoan Native Americans who originally lived in these areas. Texas has some very flexible houseboat living laws and liveaboard restrictions are usually not as strict as in other places. However, with Caddo lake being a protected space expect additional requirements that you should research beforehand.

Although it is a naturally made lake, it was man-altered in the 1900s when a dam was constructed and is still in place. This means that water levels can vary more drastically in certain seasons and so houseboat living is more complex. If you would like to learn more about the lake and the regulations be sure to check out the official page, as the information in other sources may not be as updated. 

7. Living in a Houseboat at Table Rock Lake: Family-Themed Fun.

Swim, relax, fish, and have fun with your family at this Missouri lake location. With something for just about everyone in the family, this lake is surrounded by nature-driven fun and opportunities. Known to be less busy and less loud than Lake Ozarks, Table Rock Lake has become the preferred spot for just the right blend of fun and relaxing downtime. The fact that it is less crowded than Lake Ozarks also makes it a plus for many who are looking to live aboard a water home and prefer a less bustling lifestyle. Living on a houseboat here is possible but make sure that you verify regulations and new policies that are ongoingly being adjusted and adapted. You can request the most updated information at the Tablerock Lake website. 

8. Living in a Houseboat at Crater Lake: A Volcanic Hole

This breathtaking lake made the list because it is a very popular lake, it is the deepest lake in the United States, but no, you cannot live in a houseboat here. Counted among the deepest and most interesting lakes in the world, Crater Lake has been around for around 7,700 years. This lake was formed by the eruption of a volcano that collapsed the peak of the mountain and created this crater shape. The lake is fed by snow and rain and is now a National Park in the Cascade Mountain Range in Oregon. Although private boats are not allowed during certain seasons you can still enjoy fishing. To find out more and receive updated information please visit the Crater Lake webpage.

9. Living in a Houseboat at Lake Champlain: Quiet Island Paradise

Located on the east coast, Lake Champlain runs for 120 miles long crossing both the United States and Canada. It is among the top 12 largest freshwater lakes in the USA and is a drinking water source to around 200,000 people. Due to its location, it is not always ideal for living in during the harsh cold winters. However, those who choose to live there seasonally have great things to say and prefer to tow their houseboat into a different location in the winter. Fishing is quite popular in this lake and the communities around it are great. This lake is also famously known as the location for the oldest known fossil reef in the world! Legend has it that there remains a dinosaur in the lake. Many visit the lake to see if they can hunt this mystery. To learn more about this and other adventures in this lake visit their official website.

10. Living in a Houseboat at Lake Tahoe

One of the most popular lakes in California is Lake Tahoe. Known for its full surrounding of mountains and a common destination for both California and Nevada. Lake Tahoe is the second deepest lake in the United States and is the largest Alpine Lake in North America. 

 This lake does allow boating and even houseboats to a certain extent (be sure to check updated guidelines: Lake Tahoe Water Trail ). However, this destination is also more seasonal for liveaboards and conditions may become unfavorable for houseboats in the winter. There are several resorts nearby as well as a whole community and supplies stores. Some choose to live in a houseboat and tow it nearby in the winter, either way, it is always best to do your in-depth research. To learn more about this awesome lake and the nearby attractions, as well as policies and ask about boating regulations visit: Lake Tahoe.

Tips and Things to Consider For Living in a Boat Home at a Lake 

  • Living on a boat by your favorite lake can be amazing and there are many perks to it. However, there are also many things to consider, such as boat maintenance, regulations, marina taxes etc. Just like anything you want to fully prepare for the challenges and obstacles as well. 
  • Make sure you always do your research. Consider the weather conditions. Lakes located in areas where the winters are harsh should also be visited and experienced before the decision to be there long term is made.
  • Some lakes that people enjoy and that you can live on a houseboat are:  Lake Michigan, Lake Superior, Lake Winnipesaukee and Flathead Lake in Montana, etc.  These lakes among others that have very cold temperatures in the winter are beautiful and can seasonally be lived on at times. However, once the harsh winters arrive it can get quite tricky to maintain the boat safe in the weather conditions and snow.
  • Don’t base all your research online, be sure to visit the site beforehand. Talk to those currently living there as well as other boaters from the area to get a more objective perspective. 
  • No matter the lake you want to visit or live on, make sure that you make a note of their ships and boat size guidelines as their boat ramp for getting your boat into the water may be limited to certain sized houseboats or vessels. 
  • Getting a PO BOX or having a fixed mailing address is also something to consider, especially nowadays when most things are delivered. Amazon packages and Amazon Services LLC are not always forced to deliver to a PO BOX. 
  • This blog shares more information on how mail delivery works for many who are living on a houseboat: Just Houseboats Blog
  • You can also make some side income by sharing your own experiences and travel adventures as well as tips and valuable information through a website, or social media channels like YouTube. You can even participate in the amazon affiliate link program to suggest boating gear and other helpful products that you personally would recommend. Learn more about it in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. 

Luxury Living Water Homes For The Lake of Your Choice

Living on a houseboat is not just about the lake you live on and the scenery outside. A huge part of it is having a comfortable space and enjoyable environment inside as well. With this in mind, Navisyo Homes has combined state-of-the-art equipment and technology to create a motorized water home with a sophisticated look that does not sacrifice comfort. Learn more about the Navisyo V.08 model and fall in love with your water home boat as much as with the lake you choose to live on.

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