I was on a swing mooring about 200 meters from shore, close to a public wharf, and my 'rent' was only several hundred dollars a year.
A membership at a local yacht club provided me with access to services and fast WiFi in the bay.
It was bliss in the summer months, but rowing to shore on a rainy winter morning was not so much fun.
It is not legal to live on a vessel in this manner but it only strictly enforced on major waterways like Sydney Harbour.
I was never hassled by water police, but I did get a letter from Ports Authorities from time to time. I ignored them, and there was never any repercussion.
It is a similar situation for walk-on moorings with shore power and water in Sydney. The marina in the bay I linked charges thousands per month for large vessels, but does allow live-aboard tenants.
But seriously, I was forever fixing things, pumping bilges and doing maintenance on generators and battery setups, etc.
I was lucky enough to be able to slip my vessel in the same bay for free each year in exchange for helping out other people and club members with their boats from time to time.
It's a hassle, and moreso than a regular old house.
But there are plenty 50+ year old houseboats doing just fine, if you take care of them. I've played around with the idea, but spots for houseboats here in Copenhagen are super expensive and in high demand.
He lives in Wales now.