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

Lake Union, Happy 4th of July! – Here Is Some Of The Latest In Seattle Floating Homes – Both In The MLS And Not Listed

Happy 4th Of July!

There is no better place in greater Seattle to enjoy the festivities of the 4th of July than Lake Union. I first discovered this about 15 years ago on the bow of a boat in Westlake snuggled up to my college boyfriend (thanks Pete) at the time. It was raining of course and it did not matter. The fireworks over Lake Union are nothing short of magical and each year it still surprises me how beautiful they are. It is never the same experience and I never tire of it.

Seattle is a jaw dropping fantastic place to live and work – anyone can find something special in this city. Lake Union special and Lake Union homes are special, so here are the latest on Seattle houseboats – both in Lake Union and Portage Bay.

Seattle houseboats for sale: Lots going on out there – both in the MLS and not in the MLS. I know of at least four Seattle floating homes that are not listed but are available or will be available soon and two of them are at the ends of the docks. End of dock moorage is always something people are interested in so it is fun to track how fast they sell. Let us know if you are interested in any off market Seattle houseboat opportunities so we can either get you in there or keep you posted as to their availability.

In looking at Seattle houseboats in the MLS (including floating homes, vessels, and barges) there are currently 19 opportunities*** to live life afloat on Lake Union or Portage Bay plus a handful of Lake Union slips available for new houseboat moorage. “Houseboats” is a general term and refers to all three types of homes that happen to be on the water. Seattle floating homes are the houseboats I generally refer to in most of the posts I write on SeattleAfloat and elsewhere.

So here are details on the current market regarding the Seattle floating homes for sale in the MLS right now:

Westlake & Northlake Houseboats – there are 4 Westlake houseboats in the NWMLS for sale right now ranging from $325,000 for a historic Seattle houseboat to $975,000 for a new beauty near the Sleepless in Seattle houseboat. In between those ranges, there is a great Westlake floating home on a wide channel with good views into Lake Union and opportunity for boat moorage for only $489,000. In Fremont there is a great dock: Lee’s Mooring and a beautiful floating home for sale on that one for $799,950.

Portage Bay Houseboats – Two floating homes there for sale in the MLS priced at $645,000 and $739,000 (E Shelby St & E Hamlin St).

Eastlake Houseboats: One of the Roanoke Reef houseboats on the front row is for sale- gorgeous views and nice spacious home $1,720,000, There are 4 other opportunities to live on Lake Union along Fairview in an existing houseboat. They range from $575,000 to $749,000 for the four Seattle floating homes for sale***. A really great one is this charming and beautiful Eastlake houseboat for sale on the Willow Dock – it has hardwood floors, a gas fireplace, wrap around deck, moorage for two boats, and lovely radiant heated slate floors in the bath. It is a really great buy on Lake Union at $625,000.

Lake Union Moorage Slips: If you are interested in building or having built a brand new construction houseboat, then look to Ward’s Cove which is one of last brand new Lake Union Moorage slips for sale. There are four in the MLS ranging from $675,000 to $930,000 for the slips on a state of the art dock.

Email us if you want to see any of these or have questions about Seattle floating homes in general. homes@SeattleAfloat.com Have a safe holiday!

***7/3/2010  Later day update:  New Seattle houseboat listing popped up in the MLS – there is now another Fairview houseboat listed – a one bedroom on one of the Log Foundation co-op docks for $495,000***

Seattle Houseboat Open Houses This Weekend –

Time for the Seattle Open House Tour Update –

We have some great Seattle houseboats for sale right now and the floating homes market is moving – This weekend is slow for opens with all the graduation and wedding activities around Seattle – that and Toy Story 3 opens on Friday!  Oh!  And it is Father’s Day, but here are the Seattle houseboats opens anyway:

Seattle houseboats open houses:

2321 Fairview Ave E #3: Open 1-4 Beautiful 1930 Seattle floating home with 2 bedroom, great features and updates, multiple boat moorage on a co-op owned dock.  This one had hardwood floors, radiant slate bathroom floors, an extra sleeping loft, and more!   $625,000

2025 Fairview Ave E Open 1-4 Embrace a lifestyle of living on Lake Union in the ultimate Seattle waterfront home. Relax on your rooftop deck enjoying the panoramic views from Seattle to Gasworks and take a dip in the Lake off your living room! Step onto a real log float and find that decks abound in this two story home. Located on the sunny south side of the dock; tie up your boat/kayak to the moorage spot!  $749,000

Let us know if you are interested in selling your Seattle floating home – We don’t know why you would ever want to leave this paradise, but we are happy to answer any questions you might have.  If you want to have a private tour of all Seattle houseboats for sale email us : homes@SeattleAfloat.com

Seattle Houseboats For Sale: Current Floating Homes Market

Wow! A lot can happen in a week! Bring out the sun and outcome the Seattle houseboats for sale! I wanted to update you all on the new floating homes and give you an overall idea of the market. There are now 13 Seattle floating homes for sale – They range from $349,990 for a 100 year old beauty on a co-op dock in Westlake to $1,720,000 for a fee simple ownership floating home in beautiful Roanoke Reef. The median price for these Seattle floating homes for sale is $725,000.

There are currently 4 Westlake floating homes for sale – 2 in Westlake Cove, 1 on the 2420 dock, and a beauty on the dock just North of the Sleepless in Seattle houseboat. This particular one is in the same co-op as Sleepless, but on the South half of the dock just North of it and it is gorgeous! I got a chance to stop in yesterday and see it before my open house. It is listed by famed Rick Miner and he showed me all the great features of this brand new floating home listing. New construction in floating homes is rare and this one is worth seeing!

Seven of these floating homes are in Eastlake. Most Seattle houseboats in Eastlake are on Fairview Ave E, but there are a few docks that fall into other streets. The least expensive floating home on Fairview is a beautiful 1930 houseboat with hardwood floors, radiant heated slate bathroom, roof top view deck, double moorage for multiple boats, and gas on the dock. It is on the beautiful Willow Dock which gets its name from the amazing tree at it’s shore side. There is also a larger floating home on the shore end of the dock with huge spaces – listed at $650,000.

Two homes from the Log Foundation are currently for sale – This is a wonderful floating home community at the South end of Fairview and offers beautiful city views. These are great two bedrooms at $725,000 and $749,000 and happen to be a couple that I love going into. There is also one in Mallard Cove for $1,250,000 – a larger home at 2000 square feet and quite beautiful. The last in Eastlake is the Roanoke Reef home that is currently for sale – it is on the very South end of the dock and has some great spaces including a basement of sorts. In addition, there is one floating home moorage site at Ward’s Cove that offers the newest in floating homes for Seattle. It is listed at $850,000 for the slip.

Other areas of Seattle floating homes: Lee’s Moorings in Northlake aka Fremont has a floating home for sale with a wall of windows – one bedroom at $799,950. It is one of the brightest floating homes we have seen and worth the visit if you are in the market. The dock is very nice, too. Over in Portage Bay, there is a houseboat on Hamlin which just came up for $645,000 – a one bedroom with 800 square feet of living space, but unique shape and quite appealing. I know of one on Boat Street also – high $400’s, brand new, and a great location near the U-District. It is listed with a broker, but has not shown up in the MLS as of yet. I happened to see it while checking on my friend’s houseboat on that dock. The Boat Street dock is leased moorage owned by the University of Washington so the homes are lesser in price, but not as much security for your moorage as an owned dock.

Pending Houseboat Sales – Two Seattle floating homes went pending this last week – one of my favorites on the Lake Union dock in Eastlake and a jaw dropping remodel job in Westlake at the Old Boathouse dock under the Aurora Bridge (This particular one got three offers in a matter of two days). It is gorgeous, too – completely unique and the fridge was an upscale drawer model which really opened up the spaces in there. It has a stunning spiral staircase going up to its view bedrooms and a view deck plus a roof top deck – just amazing. I am sure the lucky new owner will love living there!

Happy Summer!!! That is all for now – let me know if you are interested in seeing any of these at all – I can also help you find the financing and other particular items you need to buy a floating home. courtney@seattleafloat.com

Seattle Houseboat Open Houses This Weekend

Seattle Floating Homes Sunday Open House Tour:

Sunday is supposed to be the nicest day we have had in Seattle this year so far! I am hearing 75 degrees and sunny – anyone hear any differently? We have some great Seattle houseboats for sale right now and Sunday is a perfect day to showcase all of them!

Seattle houseboats open houses:

2321 Fairview Ave E #3: Open 1-4 Beautiful Seattle floating homes with 2 bedroom, great features and updates, multiple boat moorage on a co-op owned dock. $625,000

2764 Westlake Ave N, Houseboat D: Open 1-4 Historic Seattle floating home with great affordability! This is the lowest priced Seattle floating home on the lake. Come see how wonderful it is! $349,990

2764 Westlake Ave N, Houseboat C: Open 1-4 PM! 2 bedrooms, sauna, huge deck on wide channel with great opportunity for moorage for up to a 20 foot boat! $525,000

There are a few other new Seattle floating homes on the market right now – let us know if you want a private tour or info on any of them! courtney@seattleafloat.com

Seattle Houseboats: Brand New Eastlake Floating Home Listing

Following new Seattle houseboats on the market?

This Eastlake floating home just came on! Long term owner has loved this one with upgrades throughout including beautiful hardwoods, remodeled slate bathroom with modern fixtures and radiant heated floors, larger kitchen with stainless, 2 bedrooms PLUS a sleeping loft, roof top view deck, wrap around water level decks with moorage for multiple boats! This is an opportunity and a great Seattle waterfront option!

Some of the stats on this one –

Owned moorage for your floating home on a well maintained co-op dock – Dues are low at $307/month and include water, sewer, garbage, moorage, and the taxes on the owned dock. Taxes on the home itself are also low as well – much lower than a home on land at only $1167/year. $625,000 You can get more info here: 2321 Fairview Ave E #3

Other Seattle floating homes market highlights:

Are you looking for Seattle houseboats for sale? There are some good opportunities right now to get into a true floating home starting at $349,990 for a log foundation floating home in Westlake. You can also get a 2 story Westlake floating home with one of the largest decks I have seen for $525,000.

Floating homes Open on Sunday 6/6/2010:

2321 Fairview

2025 Fairview

Floating Home Gardening: Trees on Houseboat Docks

The Willow Tree although it is so big that it is impossible for a camera to do it justice...

Seattle houseboat gardening – what about trees without containers?  It happens…

Every once in a while, I just have to stop and look at some of the most amazing things that can happen in nature. The first time I saw a full grown tree growing out of the water was at a Log Foundation dock in Eastlake and I have been amazed by it ever since. Each year it gets bigger as if it is growing on a hillside instead of in a lake.

Trees add a lot to the landscape of Seattle houseboats.  Having all the greenery somehow magically transports you right out of the city that you happened to be living in the middle of.

Tree trunk on houseboat dock...

Lake Union & Portage Bay houseboats have some fascinating trees – one example is the gigantic willow tree at the entrance to the Willow Dock in Eastlake. This tree is a thing of beauty if you ever get the chance to just walk by and take a peek (2321 Fairview Ave E).  It is actually growing out of the ground on the banks of Lake Union and not on the dock itself, but it is so incredible that I could not just omit it.

There are some other great examples, too. The Old Boathouse Dock over in Westlake near the Aurora Bridge has a whole grove of trees that are flourishing and providing great habitat and natural settings…

Lake Union Views mingle with tree tops on one Westlake Dock

 Share your great Seattle houseboat ideas, too! 

Make sure and send in some of your pictures if you have trees on your docks – I would love to see them or any of your floating garden pictures or ideas!  Seattle houseboaters are among the most creative gardeners I have ever seen!  You can email them to me at courtney@SeattleAfloat.com and thank you in advance!

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