Slim Pickings In The Floating Home World… Three Words: We Need Inventory

Seattle floating homes – what’s for sale right now…

Seattle floating homesThere is only one in each Portage Bay, Eastlake, and Westlake and all three are under $500,000.  There is a serious shortage of inventory on Lake Union and Portage Bay in the Seattle floating home world.  In addition to the three Seattle floating homes for sale currently, there is also one slip left at Ward’s Cove if you want to go big and build your very own custom New Construction houseboat.  There is a cap on how big you can go square footage wise at Ward’s Cove, but the dock is supreme and the floating homes that have been constructed so far have made the most of the limitations and are quite beautifully constructed. It is an intelligently planned community and a great design overall.

If you have been thinking about selling but are sure that right now is not the time to put your houseboat on the market, then you should call or email us and we can show you the historical market trends and why right now is actually better than in the spring or summer. Molly and I have a backlog of qualified buyers who have been looking for additional properties.  To illustrate this, we just sold two of our Seattle floating homes listings – one of us representing the seller, and the other representing the buyer to meet for a successful close.

You can reach out to us anytime – Call, text, or email.. Molly Cartwright 206-841-6800 molly@cooperjacobs.com

Courtney Cooper 206-850-8841 courtney@cooperjacobs.com

We specialize in Seattle floating homes and would love to talk to you about what we can do for you and how we are different.  We also have a couple Staging specials going on right now until January 15th for our listings so ask for details on that (or we will just tell you if you forget).  We look forward to talking to you!

 

 
< ?php if ( function_exists( 'google_plus_author' ) ) { google_plus_author(); } ?>

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

 

 

 

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.

Where Are The Seattle Floating Homes Located?

Where Are The Seattle Floating Homes Located?

It seems pretty obvious to most of us where they are, but we are local and people outside of Seattle really don’t know. Many out of state visitors come here only with the Sleepless In Seattle frame of reference for where Seattle houseboats actually are in Seattle. Any Seattle local who has seen this 1993 Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan movie (which I affectionately call the STALKER movie) knows that when Tom sets out in his little row boat from his Lake Union houseboat, he won’t end up in the Puget Sound at Alki any time soon.

This is why people want to know: Where are Seattle floating homes located in Seattle?

It is important to first know that Seattle houseboats used to be a lot more prevalent in the city even being in Lake Washington along the shores of Madison Park just to name one spot, but also along the Duwamish River down in the South Park area.  Over the last 100 years they have dwindled for various reasons which is probably a good idea for me to write a series of at least 10 posts.  The city has gone from thousands of floating homes and shacks to a little over 500 in present day. These 500 or so surviving Seattle floating homes (and some new construction) are located on Lake Union and Portage bay in various locations.

Here is a handy map of the Seattle Floating Homes –


View Where To Find Seattle Floating Homes in a larger map

Let me know if you are interested in checking out Seattle’s floating homes neighborhoods and learning more about the different types of dock ownerships, etc.

Courtney Cooper

Houseboat Realtor

Courtney@CooperJacobs.com 206-850-8841

Brand New Construction Seattle Floating Home Going In On Fairview Landings Dock

Brand New Construction Seattle Floating Home Going In On Fairview Landings Dock

New construction seattle floating homes

When I saw this large concrete Seattle floating home float being towed across Lake Union, I assumed it was on its way to Ward’s Cove when all the new construction in Seattle floating homes is happening.  While walking my weekly Lake Union loop, I was excited and surprised to see it on the Fairview Landings dock!

New construction and Seattle floating homes are two terms that usually do not go together.  There are times when an older floating home can be taken down to the float and rebuilt, but a brand new Seattle houseboat is rare on Lake Union!  There are only so many moorage slips and restrictions are such that it is nearly impossible to add more docks unless exactly the right criteria is present.  This is what makes Wards Cove so coveted and also Fairview Landings.

If you are interested in Seattle floating homes for sale or information about building a new Seattle floating home, let us know and we can show you our favorite houseboats and houseboat slips!

Courtney Cooper 206-850-8841 courtney@cooperjacobs.com

We are available to talk now.