The prices of Amsterdam's unique floating homes also called houseboats have gone upmarket. The current owners of these houseboats are considered to be very rich, interested in the newest designs, the best of comforts available and sustainability. According to reports, these boats or the places where they are docked have become costly with prices increasing to a total of 30% to 40% in the last 5 years.
A resident of Amsterdam, Karen Bosma, moved her houseboat for the first time to the Borneokade, an area northeast of Amsterdam's city centre in the year 1999. When she moved, her neighbourhood just had a couple of commercial docks and warehouses not being used that much. Karen and her husband have two sons who they raised on the 82-foot ship made in 1912. After the ship was stripped of its engine, fuel tanks, and the cargo hold is considered to be one of Amsterdam's iconic households.
Bosma's neighbour, Gijs Haverkate, who lives three boats down, lives on the B18, a 131-foot, luxury yacht that almost looks like a two and a half story mansion with an open space living. Gijs who also built the yacht said that it has to look like a ship on the outside and like a house on the inside.
In another example, a man, Bib van Wely's, lives on a 115-foot houseboat that has been completely redesigned from an old working fishing trawler. In order to make full use of the pier, he extended the original hull's length to 30 feet. Bib went on to turn the wheelhouse into his office and the cargo holds into a living room with a lot of space.
The bow, where fishermen usually tie their nets, was converted to a guest room. The temperature is maintained due to a heat pump and solar panels. Also, the stove used for cooking keeps the rooms warm with a comfortable temperature in the winter season and also heats the water that ultimately heats the floor of the houseboat.
(With inputs from agencies)