Waterworld – Struggling to get a foot on the property ladder? Perhaps the answer lies on the water...
London's Little Venice – As real estate prices continue to rise in London, an increasing number of people are turning to the city's waterways. Here, narrowboats line north London's desirable "Little Venice" area of Regent's Canal.
Float your boat – A houseboat in the English capital will set you back anywhere between $3,000 and $250,000. "A good, mid-price range for a decent-size narrowboat to live on, second-hand, would be around £50,000 ($80,000)," says Alan Wildman of the Residential Boat Owners' Association.
Cheap thrills? – While houseboats are generally a cheaper option than real estate, there are hidden costs. Long-term moorings in London can be over £20,000 ($30,000) a year.
Close quarters – There are around 30,000-40,000 people living on boats in the UK, estimates Wildman. He describes it as a tight-knit floating community where neighbors look out for each other.
Streamlined – Confined quarters means boat owners must be prepared to live lightly and utilize space.
River romance... – "If you were to see us sitting on the front deck of a narrowboat on a sunny day with a glass of wine, a cheeseboard, nice music in the background, the sun going down and the mist coming up, yes that's romantic and lovely," says Wildman.
And realities – "At the same time, imagine you're out on the canal and you're iced in, and your toilet tank is getting full, and you've got to cruise half a mile to get to a pumping-out point," he adds.
Historic vessels – Centuries ago, London's canals were primarily used to transport cargo -- a floating highway bustling with barges, connecting towns across the country.
The good life? – Now many narrowboats are converted homes, offering an unusual oasis in the heart of the city. "I like the idea of being in a town but still moving around," says Sandra Reddin, who bought a $124,000 houseboat earlier this year.
Sneak peek – A boat owner offers a sneak peek inside his floating home as part of a three-day Waterway Festival held between the British cities of Leeds and Liverpool.
Sweet surprise – Narrowboats don't just offer a home, but a unique retail opportunity, as this British ice-cream vendor happily shows.