Hong Kong Living: Family Chooses Life on Houseboat

Can you imagine moving to Hong Kong and giving up your flat to live on a houseboat? That’s just what David and Karen DiDonato did with they’re family. And, until now, hadn’t looked back.

The DiDonatos both grew up in the United States, but went to college in Asia where they met. They dated and decided to get married. But, after years of living in crammed urban living spaces in both New York and Hong Kong, they decided to buy a boat.  A houseboat, that is.

The DiDonatos had lived in the US and in China for many years, but it wasn't until their family started to grow and they began looking at their finances that they decided to purchase a floating home. "We got tired of paying rent. It just felt right." David said that initially the decision to live on the water was about finances, but then it became a life choice.

Their 5-bedroom, 3-bathroom houseboat is equipped with all of the modern-day necessities and amenities. At 72 feet long, this floating fortress has a family/living area, an office, three bedrooms for their three kids, a bedroom for their caretaker, a master bedroom for themselves with en-suite bathroom, a gym, several outdoor patio spaces with built in seating, and a built-in barbeque.

The 2400 square feet of indoor living space is fittingly called "Perfectly Chilled" and cost $490,000 in 2006. Along with a berthing fee of around $33,000 and a monthly dock rental of about $2000 a month, the DiDonatos much prefer liquid living to that of the city or in a flat.

Now, though, the family will be forced to make a tough decision, as David has been offered a job in San Francisco.

David and Karen would like to raise their kids in the United States, but also have grown accustomed to a lifestyle surrounded by water. They have looked into moving the boat to a permanent berth in Thailand, making visits to the house, or selling the fiberglass abode for a surprisingly appreciated value of around $760,000. Either way, this family has found peace on the Perfectly Chilled.

Would you ever buy a houseboat, instead of living in a flat?  Would you raise a family in a floating home?  Leave your answers in the comment section below.

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