Why a Houseboat?

My sweetheart, Andy, and I moved to Austin, TX on a whim. His business was coming to a close at the same time I chose to leave what I thought would be my lifetime career. Once we arrived in Austin, full of hopes, we hit the reality brick wall. It took me nearly three months to find a job and he was having a hard time settling into being an employee again. We were staying with a friend of mine and his girlfriend was making things less than comfortable for everyone involved. We searched around for an apartment or a rent home the second I had the scent of a job prospect, just to see what was available …. and we were shocked by what we found. Super cool apartments with amenities we had never heard of, rent homes that were in severe need of work, and nothing (absolutely nothing) worth living in under $1300 a month in the locations we were looking for. We needed to save more money than we planned, and situations with my friend’s girlfriend were getting worse – she straight up hated my face. We had to get out of there before my friendship of 16+ years was irreparable.

I finally landed a job, which I luckily love, and we started saving to break free. We narrowed our search down to one apartment complex, but had a difficult time agreeing on the first floor or the third. Turns out Andy has a thing against carrying groceries up three flights of stairs – who knew?

We took a trip back home to Beaumont, TX before the decision was made – and that’s when my brother and Andy had THE conversation. My brother, Steven, lived in a sailboat at the time and reveled in telling Andy all about the joys of boat life. He took Andy on a tour of his sailboat and explained that he had freedom in his own space, on the water, for a whopping $250 a month in rent fees to the marina where his boat was docked. Needless to say, Andy’s brain was working after that conversation and, by the time we made it the five hours back to Austin, he had located a houseboat for sale on Lake Travis and was working on talking me into the boat life.

I grew up around boats and the water, so he didn’t have to talk too hard to sell me on the idea, but, once we went to look at the houseboat that was up for grabs, he had to pull out all the stops to sell me on that particular boat. Lord, was she a mess! The floors were bright blue and there was trash everywhere! The bones were good but she needed a ton of work and I just wasn’t sure if we had the time or money to devote to getting her to the point where she could even be livable. Andy was adamant though (even excited) about this vision he saw. He knew that if he could just get his hands on this houseboat, he could make it into something that was more than just comfortable, he could make it into something that was our own little slice of paradise.

His excitement caught on and I jumped on-board – pun intended. We had several people try to talk us out of purchasing the boat and we had several people tell us we were crazy. We also had several people tell us what an adventure it would be and how they wish they had the nerve to do something exactly like what we were doing.

We have being living aboard for 5 months, while doing full scope renovations. I won’t say it’s been all peaches with a side of cream, but it has been more of a good time than either of us anticipated. One this is for sure, it has definitely been an adventure.

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I’m Jaimi-Lynn. My amazing husband, Andy, and I live in Austin with our beautiful daughter, Keira, and our nine-pound Shih-Tzu, Gigi. So far during our time together, we have traveled across country in a RV, lived a year aboard a houseboat on Lake Travis, flipped a house, started two business, and now we are excited to embark on the greatest adventure of all – parenthood! It is better to be busy than bored, right?

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