Westlake Floating Home For Sale – Close to Downtown and South Lake Union

Gorgeous Westlake:  Your Haven From Work – and Traffic

Live the Seattle houseboats lifestyle and play in the water! Easy commute – Close enough to Downtown and South Lake Union to bike or walk or use public transit, this Westlake floating home is a perfect place to live if you work at Amazon! Waterfront living at it’s very best and quintessential Seattle living on Lake Union!

 2420 Westlake Ave N #13

This is THE Westlake floating home listing you have been waiting for. It’s a large two bed/two bath home with expansive views. Deep water moorage and can tie up about a 32′ boat.  You own the slip and your views are outstanding! Let us know if you’d like to see it.  Westlake floating homes are few and far between as anyone who has been on the hunt for one knows.  They are highly coveted on Lake Union.  This one has open spaces and lives large. $1,700,000

Listing Remarks of this floating home…Westlake floating homes for sale on Lake Union

“Front and center on Lake Union! This stand out home is the epitome of Pacific NW comfort and design. Warm interior wood, open floor plan, custom built ins everywhere, large kitchen island for those social gatherings. Hints of style everywhere you look. Fabulous walk in pantry, and durable paperstone countertops. Storage galore inside and out. Two large custom decks with massive unobstructed views of Gas Works Park, 4th of July fireworks & more! Tie up your boat along side and have some fun!”

Floating home features

Bath Off Master, Ceiling Fan(s), Double Pane Storm Windows, French Doors, Skylights

Call/Text Molly Cartwright 206-841-6800 or Courtney Cooper 206-850-8841 for your own private showing or email us: houseboats@CooperJacobs.com.  We are happy to help you buy or sell your Seattle floating home. 

seattle floating homes

Large Historical Portage Bay Floating Home With Big Up Potential

seattle floating homesLarge Spaces in this Seattle floating homes for sale

This 2 bedroom 1269 square foot Seattle floating home built in 1920 has 1.75 baths and checks all the boxes you have been looking for plus it comes in well under a million dollars which is difficult to find these days.  Looking for an affordable Seattle waterfront living situation in city with parking? Seattle houseboats are a great option and this is the spot!  And what an amazing spot it is anyway – gorgeous lapping water on the shores of peaceful Portage Bay, but also really close to all you need to be close to – easy walk around Northern Capitol Hill, Eastlake,  University District and more or do the Portage Bay Loop which is comparable to walking around Green Lake, but has even more interesting things to see.

As far as the list of must haves for Seattle houseboats, this beautiful floating home at 3146 Portage Bay Pl E checks all the boxes: 

  • two stories
  • decks
  • secure condo moorage
  • moorage for your boat
  • deeded parking
  • storage
  • historical charm
  • vaulted ceilings
  • sturdy home with well maintained float

This classic condo owned floating home in Peaceful Portage Bay is an amazing opportunity to create your own vision.

seattle afloat

Gardens welcome you to the front door and a large vaulted entry creates an abundant of light and texture as you enter. Fantastic french

doors spill out to a large deck so you can hop into your boat and cruise around the lake or hang out with friends and fire up the grill! Enjoy upper level en-suite with a deck. This home includes one deeded parking space and a storage unit on site.  $785,000

 

Please let us know if you are interested in seeing this fabulous Seattle floating home for sale!

email: houseboats@cooperjacobs.com  call/text 206-841-6800  Molly Cartwright/ Courtney Cooper

seattle houseboats interiors

Eastlake Floating Home Offers Perfect Place To Enjoy Seattle Waterfront Living

Seattle Floating Home For Sale – The Cutest Eastlake Houseboat Fr Sale On Lake Union Is Available!seattle houseboats interiors

2207 Fairview Ave E:  The iconic Lake Union lifestyle you have only dreamed about!

Located in Eastlake’s enclave of Seattle floating homes, this mid-dock light and bright Lake Union beauty is completely remodeled with an open floor plan featuring 2 bedrooms, vaulted ceilings, bamboo floors & new kitchen! Enjoy cozy extras like heated bathroom floor, new electrical, plumbing, windows & insulation.

Enhanced further only by the timeless willow tree that also resides here in harmony, this floating home has a great relationship with Lake Union and is the perfect place to write your novel or relax and get some much needed water therapy. $735,000

  • 2 bedrooms
  • 1 bath (with heated floors!)
  • 832 square feet
  • All New Remodeled
  • Boat Moorage with dock permission
  • Owned slip

Live The Lake Union Dream In Eastlake

Lake UNionThis charming Eastlake floating home has upscale character and open living with beautiful vaulted ceilings and lots of room for storage.  The surfaces are desirable and you will be delighted at every turn.  IN addition,, it has one of the largest back decks that we have seen in a while.  It’s a perfect place to launch your SUP or kayak! Imagine not having to lug it down to the lake every time you want to use it!  Imagine friends on Fourth Of July! This is the dream.  Taxes on the home are only $1042 a year and dues are $371 a month. Enjoy living close to Downtown Seattle, Amazon, and more, but still in the peaceful serenity of nature on Lake Union.

If you want to learn more about living on Seattle houseboats and why you should buy one now, then please check out our list about the 29 reasons you want to live on a Seattle Houseboat now.   Number 4 is a big one:  “Alternative In City Living/Location:  Want to be close to it all, but not live in a condo or a townhome or a stand alone house?  A Seattle floating home offers the best of all worlds and also is highly oriented to the water so it is a perfect alternative lifestyle in Seattle – and desirable as well.

Want to Learn More About This beautiful home and Seattle Floating Homes?

Please let us know if you would like to see this beauty or other Seattle Houseboats (although we think this one is AWESOME).  We know Seattle floating homes and it has a ton of attention on it currently. 2207 Fairview Ave E won’t last long!  Call/Text/Email Seattle Waterfront Homes Specialists and Seattle Houseboats Experts:

Molly Cartwright:  206-841-6800 Molly@CooperJacobs.com 

Courtney Cooper 206-850-8841 Courtney@CooperJacobs.com

We are happy to tell you about Seattle floating homes and the Lake Union lifestyle.  We are excited to show you this Seattle Waterfront Living experience!

Seattle Afloat ®

 

Seattle Floating Homes For Sale: Just Listed

Just Listed In Eastlake:  One Of The More Desireable Seattle Floating Homes

Molly Cartwright and I just listed an incredible Seattle Floating Home on the Flo Villa dock! If you have been looking at Seattle houseboats, then you should know that this one has been completely remodeled! $775,000

Seattle floating homes2207 Fairview Ave E #11

It’s your time! Live the iconic lifestyle you have only dreamed about!  Located in Eastlake’s enclave of floating homes on Lake Union, this mid-dock beauty is completely remodeled with an open one bedroom plus flex space  floor plan. Boasting vaulted ceilings and hardwoods, this home is incredibly light and bright and has a new kitchen!  Enjoy cozy extras like the heated bathroom floor plus it has new electrical, plumbing, windows & insulation throughout. With an actual growing willow tree and a fabulous relationship to the water, this is home is a great place to live Life Afloat In Seattle.

During the last six month remodel:

  • new barrels / flotation
  • Windows
  • 6″ deep insulation in the new windows and walls
  • 10″ deep insulation in ceilings
  • Stripped down to logs and stringers to replace old joists with 4″ rigid foam on new joists
  • New subflooring and bamboo click in floors
  • Bathroom floor electrical heated floors

Additional Information on this Seattle Floating Home For Sale:

  • Full size water heater
  • New electric and plumbing
  • Quartz counter tops and contemporary cabinets
  • Under mounted sink
  • Metal roof – low maintenance
  • Wrap around deck
  • 10.5 high vaulted ceilings
  • Italian stone tile in bathroom
  • Stone sink in bathroom

Want to see it?

Molly Cartwright 206-841-6800
Courtney Cooper 206-850-8841
We can immediately answer your Seattle waterfront homes or Seattle floating homes questions.  If you prefer, you can also email us at houseboats@CooperJacobs.com.
Seattle houseboats for sale

Seattle Houseboats For Sale: Just SOLD

Seattle Houseboats For Sale:  Just SOLD in Eastlake!Seattle houseboats for sale

Seattle houseboats for sale in Eastlake

Seattle Houseboats Just Sold: Let’s look at 2019 Fairview Ave E in Lake Union’s Eastlake neighborhood

This particular Seattle floating home has a special place in our hearts due to its sentimental background.  Though not as famous as its Sleepless in Seattle cousin across Lake Union, this Seattle houseboat is perhaps just as iconic! Located on one of Eastlake’s longest running and most organized cooperative dock, The Log Foundation,  this 1930 floating home has had lots and lots of action – even as it was moored in one place and not moving.  It was owned by a very longtime  and loved Seattle houseboats resident and the home was practically a floating dance hall in its day. We have recently nicknamed the home “Art” after its previous owner and look forward to seeing the new owners enjoy it as much as he reportedly did. There are lots of stories across the lake about the parties that almost always broke out into full on dance soirees and you can tell just by walking into this houseboat that it has had a happy life.  We are so thrilled to see it have a loving new chapter.

seattle houseboats officeA little more about this special home…..

So back to the sale itself – Seattle houseboats for sale always are exciting, but closing one is also a cause for celebration. Congratulations to Molly and LeAnne for doing such a great job getting it sold. It closed in escrow on 10/13/2015 at a final sales price of $677,500.  The floating home has two bedrooms and is 1300 square feet. It has a rather large float for its size and great dock position.  It also is well oriented to the lake which is something you don’t always get. Moorage for a recreational boat is possible alongside the home with the permission of the co-op.  It also had extra spaces which could function as an office or another nonconforming bedroom.  The home is all one level and has the most charming curved ceilings.  I was always very taken in with the large open living space and the beautiful spaces throughout. It  never felt like a two bedroom home – more like a home with all kinds of possibilities in every corner. As I write this, I personally regret not buying it myself – such a wonderful place with great energy, but alas, there will be other Seattle houseboats for sale and each one is unique and special.


Please call us if you are interested in learning more about Seattle houseboats for sale – We look forward to helping you buy or sell your next Seattle houseboat, whether it is a Seattle floating home, a house barge, or a floating on-water residence.  We are excited to help you learn about the lovely Lake Union as well as Seattle Houseboat Living℠.

Molly or Courtney 206-841-6800/206-850-8841 | houseboats@cooperjacobs.com

©Cooper Jacobs Real Estate ©Seattle Afloat™

colorful Seattle houseboats

A Little “Dirt” On Seattle Houseboats History You May Not Know

Seattle houseboats

Colorful Seattle Houseboats History on The Log Foundation docks of Eastlake in 2014. Image courtesy of Cooper Jacobs Real Estate.

Seattle Houseboats History Has A “Colorful” Background & Entrepreneurial Spirit Transcends Time…

To look at all the colorful and cheery Lake Union floating homes today is to never know how truly Seattle houseboats history is. Seattle floating homes are a living and evolving part of Seattle’s history.  From their humble beginnings over a hundred years ago as floating shanties compiled of pillaged lumber, it is amazing to see that some sell for over $3 Million dollars in today’s real estate market.

Seattle houseboats were originally built in two different ways.  Either the worker would utilize his commuting work boat and build living quarters above it, or they would gather “loose” logs and raft them together to build a completely free floating structure.  It was an inexpensive way of living and was tax free on top of it.

Madison Park Seattle houseboats

Map of Seattle houseboats along shores of Madison Park. Image Courtesy of Seattle Municipal Archives Item #944

At the peak, the Seattle floating homes community was as large as two thousand houseboats lining the shores of the city in various locations which even included Madison Park in Lake Washington.  The residents of the surrounding Seattle neighborhoods reportedly snubbed them and looked down at this way of life.  They apparently felt that it was beneath their standards and so began the struggle of Seattle houseboats to Stay Afloat In Seattle™.  Today there are around 500 Seattle floating homes and probably another two or three hundred liveaboards that are officially newly categorized as Seattle Floating On-Water Residences (final count once all have registered themselves in the latest legislation). The latest Seattle floating home dock was a new construction floating home development called Ward’s Cove.  Very specific requirements need to be in place in order to develop new construction Seattle floating homes, so it is next to impossible to do so.

If The City Historically Wanted Them Gone, Why Did They Allow Docks To Begin With?

Denny Hill View

Here is a view towards Downtown from the South slope of Denny Hill in 1886 (photo courtesy of Seattle Municipal Archives Item # 2869)

The short answer is The University of Washington. Wait.  What? The long answer is that Seattle has a very long history of making some incredibly hairbrained decisions as far as infrastructure goes. A perfect example (and my apologies for going off subject here for a minute, but….) The Denny Regrade: The hill is too big?  Scrape it into the Puget Sound. In 1900, the city decided to basically eliminate a whole hill which covered 62 city blocks.  Denny Hill was a significantly beautiful hill in Seattle.  It had a gorgeous crowned jewel of a hotel atop it that was so grand that even President Theodore Roosevelt stayed there! It had an old cemetery and a beautiful park on it with expansivel views in all directions.  In all, they removed a reported six million cubic yards of earth.

Connecting the dots:  What does this all have to do with Seattle houseboats and The University of Washington? Let’s go backwards.  The modern day campus of The University of Washington was largely laid out and shaped by The Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition of 1909.   In 1907 the city of Seattle platted and sold the submerged “parcels” in Lake Union to the adjacent waterfront property land owners.  This enabled docks to be built and Seattle houseboats to be moored to them.  According to The Lake Union Mail on an article about Submerged Parcels Park on the Cheshiahud Loop, “The “Lake Union Shore Lands” were created in 1907 as a funding mechanism for the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition (S.B. #101). Water extending from shore approximately one block (roughly 400 feet) was platted as buildable land, then sold. These parcels didn’t sink, they started sunk. And they were considered valuable.” Now you know how a World’s Fair, Denny Hill, The University of Washington, and Seattle Houseboats are related.

Seattle houseboats booze hatch

While replacing the carpet for one of our Seattle historic houseboat listings in 2010, we found an old booze hatch left over from Prohibition days. Image Courtesy of Courtney Cooper.

More Shady Past on The Lake: Life Afloat In Seattle℠: You Want To Stay Dry, Except When It Comes To Your Drink…..

Creativity has always been a strong characteristic of the Seattle floating homes community.  This was never so true as during the prohibition era. According to the 1996 article by Sharon Boswell in The Seattle Times, “But for those who couldn’t afford the pleasures of Doc’s or one of the hundreds of other boozy night spots and music clubs along Jackson Street, in Belltown or even on Lake Union houseboats, there was always a bottle of locally produced bootleg available to consume in the privacy of home.”  If floating homes seem like an unlikely place to get your alcohol fix then consider that In his highly acclaimed book, “Seattle’s Unsinkable Houseboats”, Howard Droker tells the story of a very enterprising entrepreneur who along with the cedar bark he sold off his boat, also sold smuggled Canadian liquor.

It’s absolutely true.  If you take a peek under carpets of older floating homes you will see the leftover evidence of the Prohibition era and how crafty houseboaters were able to not stay dry.  Many of them have hidden trap doors under the floor that were used for storing alcohol.  At one point in time there were regular “rum run” routes such as the one Droker writes about which would make their rounds delivering to Lake Union floating homes. These booze hatches were ingenious and stored between the floating logs with a wire cage so that the waters of the lake itself could keep the liquor cold and well hidden.  According to HistoryLink.org, The Seattle Times noted at one point that in regard to those wild times, “Some of the stories behind the houseboat population are as colorful as anything that ever came out of Seattle’s history, but respect for another’s privacy and past is an unspoken code on the lake.”

Seattle houseboats for sale in Eastlake

This historic Seattle houseboat was once used as a floating dance hall. It is for sale today for $697,000. Listed by Cooper Jacobs Real Estate. Molly Cartwright 206-841-6800

Seattle Houseboats Are Still Afloat & Strong Today

Go experience their magic – Take a kayak tour through Lake Union and Portage Bay where you will find what is left of the Seattle floating homes community.  Take a walk around Lake Union on the Cheshiahud Loop. Lake Union is the very heart of the city. Try and imagine the colorful past as you look at the beauty and creativeness which is so abundant today.  This is a living and breathing Seattle neighborhood, but also a significant part of Northwest history.  It is as vibrant as the wonderful people who live in it.  I am so thankful to have known so many of them and appreciate how they have enriched my life so far.  Please also take a minute and donate to the Seattle Floating Homes Association if you can.

Want more information on Seattle houseboats?

seattle houseboats expertsWe are happy to help!  Please call Courtney or Molly.  We are Seattle Houseboats Experts ℠, and have been Seattle Realtors specializing in floating homes and waterfront for many years. We look forward to helping you find your piece of Lake Union.

Molly Cartwright 206-841-6800   Courtney Cooper 206-850-8841
We can immediately answer your questions or email us at houseboats@CooperJacobs.com
Seattle Afloat ® We want to help you live your life Afloat In Seattle Cooper Jacobs Real Estate
seattle houseboats

Seattle Houseboats History Resource

Curious about Seattle houseboats and their history on Lake Union?seattle houseboats

You have to go back over a hundred years and look beyond Lake Union to see the roots of Seattle houseboats.  Beth Means and Bill Keasler  wrote a great piece about Seattle houseboats history on The Seattle Floating Homes Association website.  Seattle Floating homes have played a significant part in shaping the city’s history and landscape.  We at Seattle Afloat have a whole category on this site dedicated to it: Seattle houseboats history on Seattle Afloat.

There is also a great spot to see amazing pictures and get more information on HistoryLink where the site describes various houseboats around Seattle and their origins:

“Some of these communities — especially those off the Madison Park and Leschi neighborhoods on Lake Washington —  were formed by the well-to-do who enjoyed summering aboard their fancy abodes. Others — along the Elliott Bay waterfront, the Duwamish River, Harbor Island, Salmon Bay, Lake Union, Portage Bay, and Union Bay — were mainly inhabited by workers struggling to stay financially afloat.. “

Howard Droker wrote the fascinating book Seattle’s Unsinkable Houseboats in 1977 and there is a great video about Seattle houseboats featuring him on the http://www.lakeunionhistory.org/ website.  I have embedded it here because it is worth a watch:


Vannessa Ho at the Seattle PI wrote an interesting piece about Seattle houseboats  – it was a cool slide show of houseboats then and now.  Here is a link to that slideshow: http://www.seattlepi.com/local/slideshow/Seattle-houseboats-Then-and-now-64448.php

seattle houseboatsIf you are curious about Seattle houseboats and interested in purchasing a Seattle floating home, then please let us know.  These are special homes and the ultimate in Seattle waterfront living.  You should work with real estate agents who understand the ins and outs of Seattle houseboats.  Molly and I understand all of the unique intricacies of the Seattle floating home world and we are happy to help you.  We can also help you with the various FSBO floating homes available across the lake.

You can reach Molly at 206-841-6800 or Molly@CooperJacobs.com or me at 206-850-8841 or Courtney@cooperjacobs.com

Cooper Jacobs Real Estate for all your realty needs – we have brokers who specialize in all Seattle neighborhoods and suburbs.

Seattle houseboats

Seattle Houseboats Happenings: Lake Union Ramblings

seattle floating homesA few random Lake Union thoughts –  Would love to hear some of your thoughts, too….

Seattle Floating Homes Association Website – One word: Gorgeous.  The updated Floating Homes Association website is fresh and beautiful.. I am jealous I didn’t make it myself.  Love it.  Kudos! You can see it here: www.seattlefloatinghomes.org Jann, I know you had a hand in that and it’s amazing!  You can see all the newsletters, updates, tour info, etc.  I particularly am fond of the Seattle houseboats history page.

Reality TV and Seattle houseboats.  It’s been overdone already. Have you watched  those shows on HGTV and other channels?  Molly and I get phone calls almost every other week from producers hoping to film the next reality TV show featuring  Seattle houseboats and us.  They ask us to be on these shows, but we say NO.  We STRONGLY believe that protecting the Seattle houseboat community’s privacy is far more important than cheap fame for ourselves.  We appreciate all that the Seattle floating home community has given to us and we would never ever cross what we feel is a strong trust boundary.

FSBO Seattle floating homes – dining room 2Word on the docks is lots of private sales going on.  Last night it was the talk of the Seattle Floating Homes Association meeting.  Molly verified it with Krista Todd at Sound Community and I verified it with Phil Miller who is a local legend and closes most of the floating homes in escrow.  Of course being real estate agents, we are partial to the idea of listing your home in the NWMLS (with Cooper Jacobs Real Estate preferably), but putting that aside, why aren’t you listing your floating home with a Realtor (please also make sure they are actual dues paying Realtors who abide by a code of ethics)? The Realtor’s commissions aren’t that high in comparison with how much more money the open real estate market would bring you in the form of a higher sales price.  I know news travels fast on the docks when someone is ready to sell, but even that can’t compare to the global exposure the MLS and the internet offer. I would love to hear some feedback on this.   Many FSBO buyers have the false misconception that if they go around the listing agent then they will be able to get the home for a discount to the tune of that full listing broker and selling broker commission.  That simply isn’t true.  While the seller may be willing to give you somewhat of a discount, in most cases they will more likely want to pocket the savings of not listing it themselves.  Any discount you could have gotten would easily be beaten by a skilled real estate agent in a negotiation.

seattle houseboats


 

That’s it for now – as always, thank you for your business.  Molly and I love serving this community and look forward to doing it for a long time.  please email us or call us if you need anything at all  – Molly Cartwright 206-841-6800  Molly@CooperJacobs.com  Courtney Cooper 206-850-8841  Courtney@CooperJacobs.com  We are Seattle Houseboats Realtors.

Seattle houseboats

Seattle Houseboats: Annie “O” Is In The House

Seattle Houseboats for sale: this ONESeattle Houseboats: Enduring Over 100 Years And Still Floating.  This particular one hasn’t been around quite that long, but long enough for it to be a site!

 Yes.  It floats.

Seattle houseboats have been afloat for over one hundred years now.  It all started when a few resourceful and down on their luck people decided to basically start tying loose logs up and forming rafts. A little time before 1909 Seattle came up with an ingenious way to raise money for the Alaska Yukon Pacific Exposition. This world’s fair eventually shaped the campus of The University Of Washington! And it was financed largely by the beginnings of Seattle houseboats:

Over one hundred years ago the city of Seattle platted and sold the submerged “parcels” in Lake Union to the adjacent waterfront property land owners.  This enabled docks to be built and Seattle houseboats to be moored to them.  It was quite a popular and thrifty idea!  The city now regulates them heavily and as a result of this regulation, Seattle houseboats have dwindled down considerably  from well over two thousand Seattle houseboats at one time to just around five hundred or so of the floating home variety. They are scattered throughout Lake Union and in Portage Bay.

Speaking of dwindling.seattle houseboats

The Seattle houseboats market has had a dwindling inventory and we are down to just a couple options right now in the floating homes world. This particular home is my favorite.  “Annie O” is her nick name.  She is houseboat “O” because the slips on the dock are lettered according to the alphabet, but I like her nick name personally.  She is a jewel and is priced perfectly at $599,000.  Two bedrooms are not always easy to come by in the land of Seattle houseboats, but this is a beautiful two bedroom and it has been lovingly restored by the famous Sid McFarland and also upgraded and improved by its current owner who has a real artist’s eye.  If this doesn’t make you want to go buy a boat or a kayak to tie up to it, then that is okay because there is lots to do in this community.  Annie O happens to be on one of the very best docks in one of the very best co-ops on Lake Union.  You will own the slip you and your home are in so there is security of knowing that this log pack is not going anywhere.  Let us know if you would like more information on this perfect little Lake Union gem!  Molly: 206.841.6800 or Courtney 206.850.8841  Please call or text for more info. 

Still Afloat: Seattle Floating Homes – Wonder Where That Name Came From?

Still Afloat:  Seattle Floating HomesStill Afloat:  A Contemporary History Of Seattle’s Floating Homes  is a temporary exhibit at MOHAI which showcases what else?  Seattle’s floating homes. It started yesterday and runs through November 3rd.

The Still Afloat exhibit is sure to entertain and educate you on all the aspects of Life Afloat on Lake Union and Portage Bay.  If you want to explore the history and current events of one of Seattle’s most iconic neighborhoods, then this is a great place to start.

You can also learn more about Seattle floating homes here:

  • SeattleAfloat.com : Seattle’s first and most read Seattle houseboats blog.  This is a great place to find pictures and current information about happenings in the houseboat community as well as some of the highlighted floating homes which are for sale.  If you are interested in getting your Seattle floating home highlighted on the site, please email homes@seattleafloat.com
  • CooperJacobs.com/seattle-houseboats :  Cooper Jacobs Real Estate is a premiere seller of Seattle floating homes with Realtors in the office that specifically focus on the neighborhood and uniquness of this real estate product.  You can find all Seattle floating homes for sale on this site.
  • The Seattle Floating Homes Association:  Want to see current and past newsletters form the houseboats community?  This is a great place to read up!  Support FHA so that they can continue to do all of the great work they do and keep Seattle floating homes afloat.  The FHA is why Seattle’s houseboats are still afloat.

Here is another screen shot from my phone on the MOHAI exhibit.  Please support this exhibit and support MOHAI.  

still afloat

If you want a tour of Seattle floating homes for sale, please let us know.  Molly and I are two of the premiere Lake Union floating home Realtors and we can show you our favorites.  We also are pretty creative when it comes to marketing your Seattle floating home is you are interested in selling.

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

 

 

 

Seattle Houseboats Are Exceptional!

Seattle floating homesSeattle Houseboats Are Exceptional!

It is said that the “houseboat capital of the world” is in British Columbia on Shuswap Lake. This may or may not be true but worth exploring. Seattle houseboat culture began back even before 1905 with the earliest recordings of property and in the 1930’s the number of Seattle houseboats peaked at approximately 2,000. Now there are only about 500 left and this is why sale prices are breaking historic records.

Think about it, Canada has stunning waterways which form lakes and rivers that are ideal for houseboats. Cities like Ontario, British Columbia and Quebec have some of the most scenic bodies of water one can find in the world. Houseboats in Canada are typically motorized and moved around for recreation in contrast to the Lake Union houseboats that are more often moored as permanent dwellings. That’s OK Canada because I personally find it difficult to stay in one place for very long. this all being said, there are some beautiful floating homes in Vancouver.

You may be asking why I’m referencing Shuswap Lake in my blog…consider how close of a neighbor these folks are and a relatively short distance for a friendly visit. They should not be threatened by visitors because it’s not like our Seattle houseboats are going to take the place of their boats. They’re far to difficult to move. We simply have something in common to share and it’s fun exploring.

It’s neat that our houseboat cultures are similar in that residing over water and having access to Seattle Waterfront Living℠ is an option for home buyers and vacationers. Many houseboats are available to rent in waterways outside of Lake Union and Portage Bay. Lake Shasta or Shasta Dam as it’s called in California is an example of where recreational house boating thrives and Lake Cumberland, Kentucky is considered to be the birthplace of house boating in the United States. The Columbia River and the Willamette River showcasing the neighborhood of Hayden Island in Portland, Oregon has many Portland houseboats. Many of the Portland Floating homes moorages are perfectly located for relatively short commutes to downtown Portland and also the recreational offerings of fishing, water skiing and kayaking. Houseboats are also available for rent in Central Oregon on Lake Billy Chinook. There are many coves to anchor the houseboat and water skiing is popular here.

Houseboats on Lake Union and Portage Bay are here to stay and what a life!

Exceptional living for folks who love being near water.  It is important to know that “Seattle houseboats” is a general term which refers to Seattle floating homes, vessels, and barges.  Seattle floating homes are the closest to true real estate versus the other types of houseboats.
If you have questions about Seattle houseboats for sale call my friend Courtney Cooper 206-850-8841 or email courtney@cooperjacobs.com

Seattle Floating Homes: Why You Need The Security Of OWNED Moorage Vs. A Rented Slip

Why You Need The Security Of OWNED Moorage Vs. A Rented Slip

Don’t buy a floating home in a rented slip when there are Seattle floating homes for sale with the security of an owned slip!!!  Why on Earth would you want your investment to not be secure?  The city of Seattle has been dwindling down the Seattle floating community for a hundred years with regular new ordinances and it is more important now than ever to make sure that you are purchasing a floating home that is either on a fee simple dock, a condominium dock, or a co-op dock.  Leased slips are not secure and when you go to sell it, you will have trouble finding buyers who can obtain financing.  The few lenders who lend on Seattle floating homes don’t like to do it on leased docks unless there is a long term lease in place.  
 
Can the seller obtain owned moorage from their landlord?  Ask them!  
 

Here is an example of a Seattle floating home for sale that is in its secure OWNED slip: (UPDATE: THIS SEATTLE HOUSEBOAT IS NOT FOR SALE ANYMORE)

Enjoy life afloat in Seattle in one of the most private spots along Westlake: Large kitchen & wonderful sleeping loft, plus a great office. Newer roof and deck – Great access to Downtown, Queen Anne & Fremont, walking/cycling trails (including the Cheshiahud Loop) w/ all the perks of living on Lake Union!  If you are looking for Amazon Housing or other Housing near South Lake Union, then this is a GREAT Choice!

2764 Westlake Ave N Houseboat # D

seattle floating homesOffered at just $255,000

  •   (Co-op owned moorage is a very secure way to own the land that your  is in) Owned Lake Union Moorage Seattle floating home
  • LOW Taxes and dues (you will be shocked at the affordability compared to the warnings some might give you as to the affordability of a Seattle floating home)
  • LOW Mortgage Interest rates available (ask me for referrals for your Seattle Houseboat financing needs because it is different than a traditional mortgage in requirements and terms)
  • Sleeping loft with room to go up below city height restrictions.
  • extra room for office or second sleeping room
  • large bathroom can accomodate a full laundry suite
  • ridiculously large entertaining kitchen
  • Very friendly dock from my experiences there
  • Westlake Cove is quite protected from rougher waters in parts of Lake Union

This is a great Seattle floating home for sale – you can compare it to other Seattle houseboats for sale right now and see that this one is a GREAT BUY!  It is the most affordable Seattle floating home on the market with owned moorage.

Reminded Of Seattle Floating Homes Uniqueness

Reminded Of Seattle Floating Homes Uniqueness :

It is always interesting when I come across communities that seem to have the same unique feel or humble beginnings of our Seattle floating homes community. Of course there are floating homes elsewhere – Portland Houseboats and Sausilito to specifically name a couple closer neighbors, but nationally and globally as well. One of my favorite Miami Beach Realtors, Ines has a great real estate site and introduced me to one of Miami’s unique communities of the past. Although Stiltsville is not an active community today, it’s colorful and interesting past reminds me of the the Seattle floating homes community and the backstory that has spanned over a 100 years in our community.

Check out her great write up on Stiltsville and read about the history of this cool community: http://www.miamism.com/stiltsville-a-miami-landmark/ and definitely check out Ines Hegedus-Garcia if you are interested in Miami Beach Real Estate.

If you are interested in Seattle Houseboats for sale, we have some great ones about to come on the market and some cool ones listed currently. Let us know what type of Lake Union home or Portage Bay floating home you are interested in living in.

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Lake Union Moorage Slips In Demand

Lake Union Moorage Slips In Demand

Spring in Seattle has sprung and the Cooper Jacobs office is ringing with inqueries for space on Lake Union. Recent sales of moorage slips are in the range of $75,000 to $125,000 for slips around the lake excluding Wards Cove.  Due to the lack of inventory prices have remained strong and even appear to be increasing from the data we look at.

Wards Cove Listings  are the newest slips available on Lake Union and could be some of the last to ever be developed. There are only a few out of the original twelve available.  A slip at Wards Cove sold on December 28, 2011 which was listed for $885,000 and SOLD for $850,000.  Another was listed for $850,000 and SOLD for $682,000 in July 2011. One listed for sale at $735,000 SOLD for $685,000 on October 25, 2011. Houseboats on Lake Union and Portage Bay are two of Seattle’s strongest real estate markets. More houseboats are being designed and built for Wards Cove and the remaining slips are going quickly so don’t miss the boat! I personally see more and more Seattle houseboats around Lake Union being completely renovated. This is not only good for the local economy like the contractors, suppliers and banks lending the money but also a significant indication that these property values are holding strong.

Cooper Jacobs has a Westlake floating home coming on the market soon and if you want a sneak peak email Courtney at courtney@cooperjacobs.com or conatct her at 206/850-8841 to schedule a tour. It’s a great time to be in the know so if you want an evaluation of your property call Courtney Cooper. Recently, across ‘the pond’ from Wards Cove there was a slip at Gas Works Park Marina that was listed for sale by another real estate agency at $75,000 and sold for $70,000 in 16 days which in our opinion was underpriced. Don’t miss out!

Check out listings for Seattle houseboats at  Seattle Houseboats For Sale.

Can You Move A Floating Home?

The Big Move: Moving A Seattle Dilapidated Houseboat And Bringing In A New One…

The old Houseboat # O on the 2017 Dock

Seattle floating homes are moored “permanently” to the docks they are on, but from time to time, it is necessary to move out dilapidated houseboats and bring in new ones or a recycled one in this case.  This is an amazing set of pictures from an event that doesn’t happen very often.

The Tug boat doing all the moving

Jann McFarland wrote a great article in the Floating Homes Association Spring 2010 Newsletter about this particular move and one of the floating homes owner on the dock was kind enough to share her photos and give me permission to publish them here (Thank you Carole!).  Both Carole and I thought it was a nice piece of houseboat history and worth sharing.

This particular houseboat move took place on 2017 Fairview Ave E on one of the Log Foundation co-op docks. It was in October of 2009 and according to Jann’s article it took almost two years to get the proper permits in place to make this feat happen.

Houseboat O’s Lake Union moorage slip is not at the end of the dock or even near the end of the dock.  In addition, the channel between that dock and the next dock over isn’t wide enough to bring an entire houseboat in or out so how do they do it?

Moving the houseboats out to the lake

Very carefully with lots of planning and cooperation from many involved.

Tugboat pushing in the replacement houseboat

Last one to be moved out before Houseboat O

It is more than just moving the floating homes in or out.  There are permits, contracts, utilities, insurance, and more, plus you have to get all of the owners on board on the same day for the move.

One by one, the floating homes on the dock are moved out to make a wide channel to bring the old home out and the new one in.  It was an all day event and involved many people coordinating their efforts.

The tug boat moved each of the floating homes on the North side of the 2017 dock out to the lake and rafted them together while the replacement houseboat was brought in.  The dock got a recycled Portage Bay floating home and brought it in place of the older houseboat being taken out.

The newer houseboat O was brought in and fixed up and it sold in less than a month for full price at $475,000 – quite a bargain actually for the size, condition, and location.  The Log Foundation Co-op is a group of Seattle floating homes owners that cooperatively own the three South most docks on Fairview Ave E in Eastlake.  It is a great houseboat community  and worth a look if you are interested in living on a Seattle houseboat.  Currently there are three Seattle houseboats for sale on the Log Foundation docks – they range in price from $495,000 to $749,000.

*Thanks to Carole Nielson for the photographs and permission to use.

More Out in the Lake

The Seattle Floating Homes Association Houseboat Tour 9/12

Save the date: September 12th: The Seattle Floating Homes Association Houseboat Tour

We are getting so excited about this year’s Seattle Floating Homes Association Houseboats Tour – The selections are almost complete and this year’s houseboat tour is shaping up to be one of the most memorable. Stay tuned for tickets to go on sale to the public very soon. This is your exclusive peek at houseboat life behind the walls and it only happens once every two years.

This year the theme is all about looking at Seattle floating homes through the years and there will be great representations for all types of floating home life – historical to modern, funky to sleek, and more. Go ahead and save the date: September 12th! Email me if you want more details: Courtney@SeattleAfloat.com

Sleepless in Seattle Houseboat

The Sleepless in Seattle houseboat – I guess we can’t very well have a Seattle houseboats and floating homes blog without having at least one story or post about the Sleepless in Seattle Houseboat!

It is a gorgeous home, but the fact of the matter is I heard that Tom Hanks didn’t film many of the scenes inside the actual floating home in Seattle. The exterior shots of him, though, are pretty unforgettable, and it brings many people out in droves as one of the must see items in Seattle. (ps – I took this picture a long time ago before a paint job)

Spotting the Sleepless in Seattle Houseboat: Unless you are on a boat, though, or across the lake with a telephoto lens, you are going to have a tough time getting a peek at this iconic Hollywood Seattle floating home. The dock is privately owned. Your best shot actually at seeing the Sleepless in Seattle houseboat if you are in town and don’t have a boat of your own to tool around Lake Union is to take the Ride The Ducks Tour by the Seattle Center. Try and sit on the right side of the bus/boat and wait for the tour guide to point it out along the way. The Sleepless in Seattle Houseboat is on the end of its Westlake dock and pretty significant in size compared to other floating homes.

Larger and not typical of Seattle floating homes – Keep in mind if you are thinking about buying a floating home that this particular houseboat is not very typical of Seattle floating homes in general. It is actually pretty spectacular even compared to the more modern Roanoke Reef floating homes or even the modern stucco 3000 square feet floating homes going in on the Eastlake side of Lake Union over the last few years. The Sleepless in Seattle Houseboat has one of the largest if not the largest floats in Lake Union and is also the furthest out on any of the docks that I can think of. The float size is an astounding 68 feet by 40 feet and offers wrap around decks! I would love to get a look at the dive inspection report for this one to see what is under there with the log foundation holding it up.

Putting aside the fact that it is well over 2000 square feet in size and has four bedrooms, these other individual characteristics set it apart pretty significantly. The Sleepless in Seattle houseboat will always hold a special place in my heart.

Seattle Houseboats Are Historical Homes Full Of Mystery

Seattle houseboats are always interesting – these floating homes all have different histories and each dock is completely different.

It is hard to know where each one originally might have been docked or who may have lived in it over the years. Seattle’s houseboats have fought to survive due to the city’s long and sorted attempts to eliminate these historical homes over the years. Thankfully much of the storm has passed and the city is finally seeing that houseboats have a historical significance on Lake Union. They have been here from the beginning as a much needed housing solution for a working lake and continue to be the very heart of Lake Union today.

Seattle houseboats are unique. I always find it interesting to go into the old houseboats on Lake Union or Portage Bay and see all of the little custom things or quirks that a floating home may have. There Is one with thoughtful hinges on the steps so that storage can be accommodated under foot. Another has the wobbliest floor I have ever seen. I had to ask about the stringers to see if they had been looked at recently because it was so bad. The stringers on a floating home are the boards that hold the house on the float and they need to be replaced or repaired every so often.

Not a huge market for Seattle houseboats – there are around 500 of them and people who buy them generally keep them. It is an amazing lifestyle and you either love it for what it is or it isn’t for you. The good news for houseboat owners in Seattle is that the overall Seattle real estate market has not had a huge impact on floating homes. These special Seattle homes always demanded more money down and special financing from very specialized lenders. Nothing has changed and as a result prices have stayed strong and demand has kept up. In fact, floating home inventory is low for current demands. Buying one of the Seattle houseboats on Lake Union or Portage Bay is one of the best waterfront real estate investments as a result. See what is on the market right now! Seattle houseboats for sale.

2764 Westlake Ave N # D, Seattle Floating Home Just Listed!

2764 Westlake Ave N # D, Seattle Floating Home Just Listed!

$365,500 with co-op owned Lake seattle houseboatsUnion moorage

Really adorable Historic Seattle Houseboat D:  Want a Seattle floating home?  Enjoy life on Lake Union in this great floating home circa 1910 but with great updates through the years.  This is one of the originals!  Log foundation with newer roof and deck on co-op owned Lake Union moorage dock!

Sleeping loft, large kitchen, plus additional den/office to the back, this floating home has vaulted ceilings, skylights, and more!  Great condo alternative for in city living with flair.  Cats ok and dogs ok with co-op approval.  Low dues cover almost everything you need!

Just steps from Fremont at the base of Queen Anne along Westlake Ave N, this is the perfect location for easy access to Downtown Seattle, Queen Anne, Fremont, and more and right on the Cheshiahud Loop (Lake Union Loop) with quick access to all the other walking and cycling trails and paths that intersect right in that area! Another perk? Right by new Amazon location!

Throw your kayak in at the end of the dock and enjoy Life Afloat in Seattle™!

Want more info on this Seattle floating home or other Seattle Houseboats?  Call/Text Molly 206-841-6800
Lake Union Afloat

UPDATE: THIS SEATTLE FLOATING HOME IS SOLD

© Cooper Jacobs Real Estate Services™

Seattle Houseboats: Yesterdays Weren’t Always The Best Times

Seattle Houseboats Yesteryears: They are indeed historical Seattle Houseboats:

 

Seattle houseboats were born of a brilliant cheap housing for people who could scavenge extra logs for floats.  It was economical housing at its best.  Although that isn’t necessarily the case anymore, it is important to recognize our roots in any situation!

Here is a great reminder of Seattle floating homes roots:

This picture was taken in the early 1950’s but it is a good example of early houseboats.

Picture is courtesy of Seattle Municipal Archives item # 45982

Are you interested in Seattle floating homes?  Seattle has lots of waterfront real estate, but houseboats are a favorite and there are only a little over 500 of them left.

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