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 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 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