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Cost of moving: Boating paradises

These areas are great for boating enthusiasts.

These areas are great for boating enthusiasts.

For some people, there's nothing better than jumping into a boat and cruising along a lake or river. For others, just floating atop the water, perhaps with a cooler full of beer and a few friends, whiling away the hours fishing for trout is akin to paradise. If you're one of those people, call up a moving company and get yourself to one of these locations.

Boating Magazine recently highlighted several boat-friendly locations, and topping the list is Seattle. The Washington metropolis is ideal for boating enthusiasts, according to the magazine. The city is home to hundreds of miles of waterways that are protected from the tumult of the ocean by natural land barriers. Employees at some of the larger corporations based in the area commute to work by boat, and the area boasts several boating communities.

The overall cost of living in Seattle is nearly 50 percent higher than the rest of the country, according to Bert Sperling's Best Places, and the median home price in Seattle is about $424,600. Boaters will have to pay moorage fees in one of the city's harbors, as well. This can run between $7.25 and $11 per foot per month plus power costs, according to BoatManager.com.

If the rain and chill of the Pacific Northwest isn't to your liking, perhaps the 30,000 boatable acres of Benton County, Arkansas, will be more your style. Tucked away in the Ozark Mountains, Benton County is one of the fastest growing areas in the country, so if you're thinking of moving to the area, it'd be best to start packing now. According to Boating Magazine, 90-mile long Beaver Lake is the site of a residential housing boom thanks to its placid waters and year-round boating weather.

Life is less expensive in Benton County than in Seattle, according to Sperling. The overall cost of living is roughly 10 percent below the national average, while median home prices hover around $143,700.

One spot highlighted by Boating Magazine that really hit the mark is Tampa Bay, Florida. This city received a five-out-of-five rating in all the boating categories: waterfront availability, ease for boaters, strong boat-related business and number of good boating days. Two of the area's neighborhoods have 3,000 waterfront properties between them.

Tampa combines the big-city feel of Seattle with the affordability of Benton County. The median home price is $155,100, and the overall cost of living is 4.7 percent lower than the rest of the nation, according to Sperling.