…only in Florida!
You would think that after the past two hurricane seasons in Florida, with Hurricanes Irma and Michael, that the last place you’d want to be, let alone live, would be in the water on a houseboat. Yet necessity being the mother of invention, with an added dose of luxury, comes the hurricane-resistant houseboat – built right here in the Sunshine State.
This 550 square foot houseboat is the brainchild of Cynthia and Warren Billings of Sanford. Think “tiny house” but with the luxury of living on the water on the relative cheap, especially considering waterfront real estate prices. So the couple not only had one built for their retirement but started a company manufacturing them. Today, their company, Floating Bungalows, has sold four homes with two more under construction at their warehouse in nearby DeBary.
The homes go for about $225,000, not including the slip rental at a marina. Their hurricane-resistant features certainly sound impressive. The hull is 1-inch thick copolymer plastic. The metal roof is double screwed and able to withstand 165-mph winds and the windows are hurricane-rated impact glass. In an impending storm, the holding tanks fill to 300 gallons of water as additional ballast from winds and storm surge.
They are legally considered boats, but no word on insurance costs involved in these domiciles.
But wait, this is Florida. Around the corner is always something even spiffier (and perhaps even more hurricane-resistant). If 550 square feet is too small, the ARKUP Next Generation Floating House may be more your style. It was shown off this past weekend at the Miami Yacht Festival.
Built by ARKUP of Miami, this Dutch-designed 75 foot craft is a more spacious 2,600 square feet inside, navigable, and lets you literally rise above the storm. Hit a switch and hydraulic pilings go down through water up to 25 feet deep, allowing the houseboat to be raised above the water line. The company advertises it’s as “stable as a home on land” even amid Category 4 winds.
This houseboat is fully sustainable and meant to live off the grid. It’s powered by solar energy, including the electric engines which generate 7 knots of speed, and harvests rainwater for its purifications systems aboard. The price is $5.9 million.
Is Florida a great state, or what?!
LMA Newsletter of 2-18-19