Seattle Houseboats Open House: The Lake Union View

The View From My Seattle Houseboat  Open House On Lake Union today was quite extraordinary.  Life Afloat In Seattle ™ is extraordinary.

No wind, calm water, a few kayakers, one brave paddle-boarded, and lots of boats gliding past me as I had  The Ark open house today at Seattle Marina in North Lake Union.

Lake Union houseboats

Crew on Lake Union

Water has a wonderous way of relaxing you and Lake Union is no exception.  Seattle houseboats often have high traffic for the open houses. With a busy open house, I had to remember to not get too relaxed!  From my location, I managed to snap a great pic of  the Lake Union Moorage available right now at Ward’s Cove across the water in the Eastlake neighborhood.  Interesting enough, Ward’s Cove is a privately held Seattle based company encompassing fish processing in Alaska since the late 1920’s.  Salmon was a big business for Ward’s Cove back in the day but since they haulted this, they looked for another way to make a profit while still providing greatest and best use out of their prime Eastlake location.  So they decided to turn it into a mixed use space and welcome one more Seattle floating home community.

This is probably the last Seattle floating homes dock permitted since the lake can only hold so many of them.  With four Lake Union moorage slips sold at last check and eight more to go, these new construction floating homes sites are selling at a premium and a chance to build your dream home on the water’s edge.  As you can see here, the preparations have begun for one lucky floating home owner!

Wards Cove Lake Union

Ward’s Cove in Lake Union

Current Seattle Floating Homes Market – What is Happening Out There?

Besides rain, snow, and dull darkness?  A touch of sun here and a glimpse of blue sky there. The current Seattle houseboats market is stirring up as we trudge through Winter and many are starting to think about getting their floating homes and houseboats ready for the Spring 2011 market.

So, Current Seattle Houseboats Market – What is Happening Out There with floating homes on Lake Union and in Portage Bay?

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It is hard to weed through the actual Seattle floating homes in the NWMLS right now.  The code for them is 24-Houseboats, but that code is also used for houseboats that are vessels and more recently has been used for Lake Union moorage sites at Ward’s Cove.  In addition, there is a land home also mixed in with the houseboats because it is at the head of the dock… This can all be confusing for the consumer, so I have gone through and weeded through all the houseboat listings and pulled the Seattle floating homes from them.

There are only 6  Seattle floating homes for sale right now – 3 in Westlake, 3 in Eastlake, and no Portage Bay floating homes.  If your houseboat is on the market, then that is good news for you because competition is low.   Interested buyers in floating homes have increased in the last two weeks noticeably for us. This is getting the current Seattle houseboats for sale a lot more attention than in the previous holiday months.

Westlake houseboats for sale – There are three Seattle houseboats for sale in Westlake Cove right now.  They range in price from $299,000 to $850,000.  Westlake Cove is near the Fremont Bridge and on the Lake Union Loop with very easy parking and quick access Downtown – a perfect spot for Amazon employees or anyone coming to work at The Gates Foundation.

Eastlake Houseboats for sale – Also on the Lake Union Loop, there are also three Seattle houseboats for sale in Eastlake.  These range in price from $495,000 for a Seattle floating home on a leased dock to $3,450,000 for a contemporary wonder on the Fairview Landings dock.

Summary Seattle Houseboats data on actives– Seattle floating homes for sale range from $299,000 to $3,450,000 with an average of $1,020,494 and median list price of $562,475.

Pending Sales – There is one floating home on one of the Sleepless In Seattle docks that is pending at $975,000.

Last 30 days of escrow closings – Winter has been slow.  Over at Lee’s Mooring – 933 N Northlake Way Houseboat #14 closed on 1/12/2011.  It was listed for $799,950 and on the market for 249 days.  It sold for 90.88% of its list price with a final sales price of $727,000.

What’s Next?

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If you are a Seattle houseboat buyer, come out and see the inventory.  If you have seen them before, come see them again.  Sellers are willing to negotiate and your best opportunity is now before the market heats up.

If you are a Seattle houseboat seller, the inventory is low and that means competition is low. There are less buyers, but you can be sure to get in front of them.  As Spring approaches, think about what improvements or sprucing up you can do to get your houseboat ready for the market.

Call or email me if you want to see anything or need a check list:) 206-850-8841/courtney@seattleafloat.com

Two Slips Are Better Than One

Take your pick: calm, protected waters during the winter months or high tale it out to center stage at the end of dock for some amazing summer time fun

Comfortably open floor plan

Truly an amazing location for an amazing houseboat.  This beauty is a 60′ long Catamaran designboat  with a steel hull (which was just painted) and insulated with polyurethane foam cylinders.  Extensive and thoughtful care has been taken by The Ark’s owner.  The 1,000 square feet of living space (including 2 bedrooms and 1.50 baths) has the style and sophistication you deserve on the water!  Forced air in all the rooms, two new engines in 2007 with 135 hp and 4 cylinders plus a 220 gallon water storage tank.

Insulated storm windows throughout, high speed internet cable available, hot water showe to rinse off after a kayak trip to the favorite, local Aqua Verde restaurant.  Financing options are available ~ feel free to contact us to answer more of your questions or a free tour.

A popular kayak’s cafe

Seattle Houseboats For Sale – Current Real Estate Market on Lake Union

Seattle Houseboats For Sale – Current Real Estate Market on Lake Union

The Seattle houseboats market has tightened up with only 10 Seattle floating homes on the market right now.   Floating homes on the market range form $299,000 to $3,800,000 with a median price of $612,475.

Current Seattle floating homes on the market include two with leased dock moorage – this is non owned moorage and the least secure.  There are good opportunities with owned moorage docks, so I would definitely check those first as the more secure investment.  Costs actually tend to be better as well in most cases which is a common misunderstanding.

Three of the best Seattle floating homes value and quality wise currently for sale which also happen to be on owned moorage docks:

2 Bedroom Seattle Houseboat in Eastlake:  

2321 Fairview Ave E:  Lake Union moorage for boat alongside floating home, 2 bedrooms, loft, ability to go up with remodel and added flotation, loft, wood floors, gas fireplace, roof top deck, more  – This is a beautiful Eastlake Seattle houseboat! $595,000

$299k For A Seattle Floating Home!

2764 Westlake Ave N:  Historic Seattle houseboat with sleeping loft and cozy wood burning fireplace plus claw foot tub – very cool get away and an ideal in city condo alternative – located in Westlake at the base of Queen Anne on Lake Union  – close to Amazon and Gates Foundation, and still walkable to Fremont!  $299,000

2 Bedroom Westlake Floating Home

2764 Westlake Ave N:  2 bedroom fun and funky Seattle houseboat on wide channel with huge deck!  Right on the Lake Union Loop and a perfect place to snuggle in for the winter and call home! $399,000

For additional details or help with Seattle houseboat financing:  Courtney@SeattleAfloat.com

The Lake Union Loop In Seattle

Univeristy Bridge looking Southwest

The Lake Union Loop:

According to all the city sites online, the Lake Union Loop (Cheshiahud Loop) is 6.2 miles long, but walking it in the 90 degree heat made it feel like at least 8 if not 9 miles long.  It could be because the Southwest portion of South Lake Union Park is not completed yet.  In fact, it has a barricade at the very furthest point you can go behind the Navy building – of course there is no warning that there will be a chain link fence at the very end of the trail and you will have to backtrack….

We started our journey around Lake Union at Gasworks Park.

I had two very obliging 10 yr olds with me for the trip so it can be done with older children.  We walked East on the Burke-Gilman Trail and to the University Bridge.  The hardest part here is just making sure you don’t get in the path of a bike.  For me it was making sure the girls stayed to the edge of the path.  We crossed the University Bridge which was an amazing site and headed into the heart of Eastlake.

Looking across from the University Bridge

Eastlake Portion of The Loop

Most of the trail in Eastlake is along the water and there are wonderful sights to see along the way.  There is one little jaunt up half a block when the trail meets a dead end leading to the the Mallard Cove Houseboats!  It is half a block up a steep hill so the girls complain and I admit it probably was the hardest point of the trail altogether.

Once you hit Roanoke though, you head right back down the hill to the water and pass the Roanoke Reef Houseboats and the other side of Mallard Cove.  There are patches f shade as you work your way South past the various houseboat docks on your right.  By the time we hit Pete’s, we decided that we would go ahead and take advantage of their much needed air conditioning and search for a little trail snack.  We took our time finding those Clif Bars and soaked up the cool air before heading back out in the 90 plus degree day.

A peek at the Malibu in South Lake Union

Getting into South Lake Union….

Further down Fairview Ave E the Seattle houseboat docks stop and then there is a patch of century old industrial buildings  before curving toward the West to head towards South Lake Union and Westlake. The Cheshiahud Loop, though, not completed around the far West end of Lake Union is simply delightful once you hit the boardwalk.

You head West and until you are directed to head closer to the water and walk along the shop front boardwalks on the water side.  Much like Santa Cruz, this is a wonderful way to see Lake Union and I highly recommend at least heading to this part and checking it out!  Right as you hit the boardwalk, you can look right and on most days the Malibu is docked right there.  The M V Malibu is a historic Landmark and is a beautiful wooden boat – you should see it!

South Lake Union Center For Wooden Boats

Speaking of Wooden Boats, if you like wood boats or even if you don’t, the Center For Wooden Boats is a must see stop in Seattle.  This is a collection of beautiful and mighty boats and a rich source of Lake Union history.

South Lake Union to Westlake

As you walk further along you can go past the Naval Reserve Building (big white one) and stay on the dock for more great boats at the North end of the Lake Union Park which is still being constructed.  This is where you can stop and take in more views of this gorgeous place.  We abruptly came to a chain link barrier right when we got to the new pedestrian bridge in the park.  I was really hoping it was open, but knew that it probably wasn’t.  We had to completely back track back to the path leading to the Naval Reserve Building and then head to Westlake on the busier street side path.

Westlake into Fremont and back to the Burke-Gilman Trail

One of the beautiful wooden ships we saw along the way

Once we hit Westlake, the Lake Union Loop was a very smooth and there are some beautiful boats and houseboats to see including the very famous Sleepless in Seattle houseboat.  It is a very straight forward walk all the way up a nicely paved sidewalk until you hit the Diamond Marina.  We stopped in and got some cool air conditioning and protein shakes at the local Starbucks and then kept going.  Once you hit the North End of Westlake, you can choose a couple paths.  At this point you can either head to the busier Westlake street side sidewalk and cross the Fremont Bridge from there or go straight past the turn off and along the old railway to a set of stairs leading up to the Fremont Bridge.  I prefer the lower route which is a combination of gravel and abandoned railroad track.  Along with a collection of charming North Westlake houseboats, there is also a cool over the water trestle you can choose to cross (carefully) or take the gravel road path.

Seattle Houseboats Along The Way

Crossing the Fremont Bridge is easy as there are dedicated lanes just as there are on the University Bridge.  We then met the Burke-Gilman Trail again and headed East to Gasworks.

Lake Union Loop walk. Check.

Whew!!!  I definitely recommend this, just bring a water!!!!  The Lake Union Loop (Cheshiahud Trail) is a work in progress and improving almost daily – I am excited to do this at least once a week and hopefully not in 90 degree temps again.

Email me and let me know what your favorite Lake Union Loop spots are!

We are available to talk now.