Are Houseboats Drifting Away?

2143 North Northlake Way #18

2143 North Northlake Way

Are Seattle Houseboats Drifting Away?

I’ve been hearing a lot of talk about Seattle houseboats in the news lately.  And if you receive your news from just one source, it might sound like Seattle houseboats are drifting away.

So what’s really going on? What is the dispute over?  One could argue it’s really about should private people be taking over public space.

In broad terms, the dispute is about freeing up the shorelines on parts of Lake Union.  According to the state law, water dependent (vs water oriented) businesses and industries, shoreline restoration and public access are all given priority.  With this in mind, some city council members say shorelines should be preserved for recreational and water-dependent uses (aka not houseboats).  Yet other city committee representatives say they want to protect the Seattle lifestyle of houseboats.  Yep, definitely confusing.  But one thing is crystal clear:  current houseboat owners and liveaboards say they’re tired of battling for their chosen lifestyle, investment, and freedom to live and just want to be left alone after years of this with the city.

Big agencies like The Planning Land Use and Sustainability Committee, State Department of Ecology, Coast Guard, and Lake Union Liveaboard Association are all trying to come to an agreement about what defines a houseboat.  The due date of January 14th is fast approaching to make this distinction and it’s complex to say the least.  By current standards, a houseboat is treated as a water oriented vessel.  Most should have propulsion, safety equipment, steering and navigational lights, and all already have a black water holding tank, also title and registration. One must beg the question: How is this standard different than say a sailboat, yacht or ferry which are all legal and not up for debate.

Some LULU members (Lake Union Liveaboard Association) remind city officials that houseboats have been around Seattle waters even before it was a city.  Naturally, anger and resentment have come to an all time high for the liveaboards, houseboat builders, marina owners, local vendors and businesses.

I want to be clear there is a difference between houseboats and floating homes in Seattle.  The 500 floating homes in Lake Union and Portage Bay are completely void of these litigation’s.  Floating homes, unlike houseboats, are floating structures usually consisting of logs or concrete which are connected to city water/sewer and are considered “real property” and remain in place by a very heavy moorage arm and do not move from their location.

I understand with the growing population and the fascination of such an intriguing lifestyle, the state/city would want certain regulations intact.  There are essentially two arguments going on simultaneously:  preserving the shoreline for recreational and “water-dependent” use and the defining a houseboat.  The houseboat community is no stranger to reinforcing their lifestyle to the city.  These are folks who care deeply about their lake and go to great lengths to pacify others in order to remain there.  This will not change and it will not change without a fight.

If you’d like more information about houseboats or floating homes please feel free to contact me via email at molly@cooperjacobs.com

 

 

 

Fairview Ave Houseboat Highlight

Dockside from the Willow Dock, you can see the roof top and all the beautiful surroundings here...

This has to be the best Seattle floating homes buy on Fairview Ave E in Eastlake.

This peaceful floating home has 1930 characteristics, but modern sensibilities – look no further than the gleaming hardwoods and modern slate bathroom for comfortable touches, but also don’t miss the fact that this particular houseboat has gas on the dock. The gas is on the dock and also in the home itself! There is a cozy gas fireplace in the living room to warm up on those gray days with.

We get a lot of calls for Lake Union moorage and this special floating home does have moorage with room for a couple boats depending on size.  One of the biggest surprises to people looking for houseboats is that they don’t all have moorage attached to them or even available. Not only does hti sone have it abundantly, but the slip for the house itself is also owned with low dues and a pet friendly dock.  It really has all the items on most people’s list for Seattle floating homes (even the roof top deck!)

We have had many people say this is the best priced Seattle houseboat on Lake Union and we agree – let us know if you want a private tour of what life afloat could be like here.

  • 2 Bedrooms Plus Sleeping Loft
  • Room to go up
  • Lake Union Moorage
  • gas fireplace
  • remodeled slate bath with modern fixtures
  • walk around deck
  • special customized ramp to adjust for differences in Lake level throughout the year.
  • co-op owned dock
  • low taxes and low dues

2321 Fairview Ave E flyer

$595,000

For more info –

Courtney Cooper 206-850-8841 or Molly Cartwright 206-841-6800

Seattle Floating Homes Houseboat Market Wrap Up

Seattle Floating Homes Houseboat Market Wrap Up –

A lot can happen in a week or two!  The Seattle housbeoat market seems to be heating up a bit –

Recent Seattle Houseboats moving from Active status in the MLS –

Charles Buell During A Seattle Floating Homes Inspection

Pending Properties range from a Portage Bay Houseboat on Hamlin Street listed for $645,000 to a beautiful end of dock Eastlake Seattle floating home with huge sweeping views of the city priced at $2,250,000.  In between there are two other pending sales in both Westlake and Portage Bay.  The median price of these Seattle Houseboats for sale in the MLS is $845,000.  In addition to these pending houseboats, there is one that has sold and closed in the last month.  2031 Fairview Ave E #E was listed at $749,000 and sold for $676,500 in 62 days on market which is much lower than the current average days on market of 143 days.

Seattle Houseboats for Sale in the MLS right now –

Lots to choose from in EVERY price range and style.  Current offerings range from $325,000 for a 100 year old historical beauty to $3,800,000 for a newer concrete floating architectural wonder complete with underwater porthole windows.  Although there is a big range, the median list price of the current offerings is at $622,475.  You can find Seattle floating homes for sale right now in Westlake, University District, Northlake, Eastlake, and Portage Bay – both owned and leased dock moorage is attached to various properties so make sure and get the details about each type.

Want to see more info on what is out there including listing photos and virtual tours?

A view across to Eastlake Houseboats from the Sleepless in Seattle Dock

Here are some useful links, but make sure and call me if you want to see something or just have questions.  You can also text or email me if that is easier.  (courtney@SeattleAfloat.com / 206-850-8841)

Seattle Houseboats for Sale (all current listings no matter who lists them)

2321 Fairview Ave E – Really great 2 bedroom with loft and rooftop deck available right now $595,000

Eastlake Houseboat – check out this state of the art modern houseboat featured in upcoming issue of Coastal Living

Historical Houseboat For Sale – $325,000  – and amazing buy and the most affordable Seattle floating home on the market in some time.

Almost Sleepless in Seattle Houseboat – often mistaken for the movie icon, this Seattle houseboat is a great buy!

Some fun sites with Seattle Houseboat Docks Pictures –

2369 Fairview (Fairview Landing)   Roanoke Reef Houseboats Mallard Cove Houseboats (2600 Fairview)

Seattle Houseboats Real Estate Market Update

Seattle Houseboats Real Estate Market Update

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Seattle houseboats for sale

There are pretty amazing choices right now and there are some once in a lifetime opportunities available as far as properties, price, location, and more.  In all, there are 13 Seattle floating homes for sale that are currently marked as Active listings in the Seattle MLS.  In addition to those, there is also a once in a lifetime custom houseboat at 11 E Allison and Lake Union floating home moorage at Ward’s Cove.

Westlake & Northlake Floating Homes For Sale:

There are five Seattle floating homes in Westlake & Northlake for sale right now in the MLS which range in price from $325,000 to $975,000.  The most affordable of these is priced at $325,000 for  a charming 100 year old historic houseboat which also happens to be a bargain condo alternative for anyone thinking about moving to Seattle or South Lake Union.  Another great Westlake houseboat is priced at $450,000 and offers two bedrooms, a sauna, available Lake Union moorage for up to 20 feet and one of the bigger decks on the lake.

Eastlake Floating Homes For Sale:

There are five Eastlake Houseboats for sale that are marked as Active in the MLS right now. These range in price from $$495,000 to $1,720,000 and include many  choices on wonderful docks like The Log Foundation, Roanoke Reef, Willow Dock, and more (Look for great Seattle houseboats on these Eastlake docks during the upcoming Seattle Floating Homes Tour).

A nice houseboat option which has lots of space and excellent upgrades is the 1930’s 2 bedroom home on the Willow Dock.

This dock is a co-op which means your moorage is owned not leased. It is a nice dock and has extras like gas plumbed.  This Eastlake floating home has a gas fireplace and cooking which is pretty special.  It also is two bedrooms plus a sleeping loft, a roof top deck, and remodeled bath.  There are hardwood and slate floors, and it is bestowed with a  Lake Union moorage slip for a companion boat!  You can see it if you are coming to the Seattle Floating Homes Association Tour because it will be open in addition to others on tour and is on the same dock as another houseboat on tour.  It is priced at $595,000 and dues/taxes are LOW.

Portage Bay Floating Homes For Sale:

There are two Portage Bay floating homes for sale marked as Active in the MLS right now – these range from $715,000 to $795,000.  Portage Bay offers some nice amenities and is a little quieter than Eastlake, but just a hop over the hill to all the action.

Recent Seattle Houseboat Real Estate Activity:

There are two Seattle floating homes that are marked as Pending Inspection in the MLS right now.  One of these is on E Hamlin in Portage Bay and the other is on The Dox dock in Eastlake.  They are priced at $645,000 and $2,250,000.

Recent Houseboat MLS Sales Include 3 Seattle Floating Homes:

A Mallard Cove floating home listed for $1,250,000 sold  on 7/15/2010 at $1,242,500 (99.4% SP /LP).  A beautiful custom remodel sold on The Old Boathouse Dock in Westlake on 7/15/2010 – it was listed for $749,950 and sold at 98.67% of list for $740,ooo with multiple offers.  A nice Lake Union floating home in Eastlake was listed for $749,000 and closed on 8/27/2010 after selling for 90.32% of list for $676,500.

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Written By Courtney Cooper, Designated Broker of Cooper Jacobs Real Estate Services, Founder of SeattleAfloat.com.

We are proud sponsors and volunteers of this year’s Seattle Floating Homes Tour.  Please call if you are interested in a Seattle houseboat – we are happy to walk you through the process and show you all the houseboats available – no matter who they are listed with! 206-850-8841  courtney@SeattleAfloat.com

Seattle Houseboats Open Houses: Sunday August 15th

Seattle Houseboats Open Houses:  Sunday August 15th – Come beat the heat on a Lake Union floating home!

Seattle Houseboat Open House Info Provided by Courtney Cooper, Designated Broker for Cooper Jacobs Real Estate Services and Founder of SeattleAfloat.com

There are 14 Seattle floating homes on the market right now with a wide range of afford ability from $325,000 for a great Westlake houseboat to $1,720,000 for one of the Roanoke Reef floating homes.

We happen to know of three of our favorite picks being held open on Sunday August 15th from 1-4 PM. If you are interested in seeing them or learning more about purchasing a Seattle houseboat,  make sure and stop in to see our faves:

Eastlake floating home open:

2321Fairview Ave E #3:  Absolutely charming Seattle floating home has vintage 1930s appeal coupled with modern touches like newly remodeled upscale bath with radiant stone floors and beautiful fixtures.  Hardwoods, gas fireplace and cooking, wrap around deck, roof top deck, double Lake Union boat moorage, 2 bedrooms plus a sleeping loft and room to go up if you want to take in more of the lovely Lake Union views this houseboat offers.  A steal at $595,000!  Co-op owned dock with low dues and low taxes on home.  You have to see this one! **This dock will be featured on the upcoming 2010 Seattle Floating Homes Association Floating Homes Tour.

Westlake Floating Homes Open:

Westlake Cove: Come down to Westlake Cove just steps from the Fremont Bridge (2764 Westlake Ave N) – there are two wonderful Seattle houseboats open here on Sunday from 1-4:

Houseboat C with two bedrooms and wide open channel and large deck.  $489,000

Houseboat D is a historic Gem and also happens to be the most affordable Seattle floating home in years.  $325,000

Don’t miss the opportunity to dip your feet into Lake Union real estate and enjoy life on the West side of the lake.  Co-op owned dock, low dues and low taxes on both!  Much cheaper living than an in city condo!

Want more info about Seattle houseboats or a private tour?

If you want a private tour of available Seattle floating homes for sale – both on and off the market, please feel free to get in touch with Courtney Cooper at Courtney@SeattleAfloat.com