On the subject of house boats vs. float homes and why single ladies might be drawn to them. While it does seem that house boats in Portland are referred to as float homes in real estate listings the fact is that in all of my 10 years of living in Portland I only, ever, heard them referred to as house boats. When I was looking for a place to live after liberating myself from an unhappy marriage I seriously considered renting a HOUSE BOAT. Rent was often cheaper for a place floating on the river than comparable houses on land, a big plus for one surviving on restaurant wages such as I was. Also, I dreamt it would be freeing to feel the rush of the river beneath me, bringing the promise of strength and boundless possibility. But, alas, it wasn't to be because I was not childless and decided it would be too stressful to live in a house surrounded by water with a young child. So, I get you single ladies of the 80's and 90's.