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A Life Aquatic

First, let’s distinguish floating homes from houseboats. “A 'floating home' is a legally-permitted structure, with no means of self-propulsion, which occupies a permanent berth and is subject to property taxes,” according to the Floating Homes Association. They’re basically on concrete barges, so occupants don’t experience much movement.

So how do landlubbers come to live on the water? For Amanda Pleva, the opportunity to live in one such home came through a friend who lives in the community at Waldo Point in Sausalito, California.

Although not necessarily typical of the modern floating house lifestyle, which the Floating Homes Association says is more regulated, Pleva’s particular community was quite social and with a bohemian flair. “Many of the 'pirates' at Waldo Point had come in the late 1960s when the community formed, but there are also some younger artsy/Burning Man types who are joining them.” Pleva lived there for about six months in about a 300 square-foot space, but moved out when she needed to make more room for her son.

Click ahead to see a selection of West Coast floating homes curated by Zillow.com, and presented in order from least expensive to most.

By Colleen Kane
Posted on July 6, 2011