2019: A Review of Seattle Floating Homes Sales and Activity

2019 proved to be another happy ending for Seattle floating home sales in Seattle, Wa. 

We saw 22 Seattle floating homes successfully sell on Lake Union and Portage Bay.  We saw more activity than ever in Portage Bay this year!  Could this be the new hot neighborhood for Seattle floating homes?  NINE sold in Portage Bay, THREE in Westlake and the neighborhood which has more floating homes than anyone… Eastlake saw TEN floating homes sell.

What type of homes sold around Lake Union and Portage Bay and how long did it take?   

A cute Westlake floating home for $500,000 sold in about 88 days.  It’s one bed, one bath, and 500 square feet. It’s your typical 1920’s cabin style one story floating home.  $3,438,000 tipped the scales for the largest sale this year which goes to the beautiful Ward’s Cove community. City views, boat moorage, luxury high end finishes for a 2016 built floating home with gated parking are just a few of the perks.  Whether it’s a small charming floating home or a new or remodeled floating home the average purchase price when you include all the sold floating homes rounded out at $1,393,205.  Let’s not forget the average square footage was 1,280.  Calculating these two numbers gives us our price per square foot which is $1,088.  And it took all 21 of these homes an average of 67 days on the market.

Speaking of days on market, SeattleAfloat/Cooper Jacobs successfully listed or sold 63% (14 out of 22 homes) including four off market sales for clients.

What does 2020 look like for buying and selling Seattle floating homes?

We had some creative connections in 2019 which makes it so incredibly gratifying to know the people in this community so we can connect the dots.  We saw people moving up, scaling down, and literally moving their floating homes on the lake. Looking ahead, Seattle real estate has all indications to continue our growth.  More people moving here because of more jobs which means more home developing. We describe our business of selling floating homes sometimes like balancing on a paddle board. These properties do feel slight ups and downs as related to land homes but they continue to ride the wave skimming just the surface without much turbulence at all.  To add to the purchasing power, we have better than ever floating home lenders we continually work with and not surprising competitive for your business.  

When is a good time to sell?

Every year is different.  This is not just me saying something vague.  This year we saw no sales in the first quarter!  It picked up in May with three closings. June there were four.  And July saw THE largest closings in a month which was 5. September was right behind with four closings, October saw 2 and November there were THREE closings!  In a nutshell, 2019 saw a very slow start and then…well then it was no stopping. The number of buyers came out ten fold in the last quarter of 2019. So sellers – the objective is to have your home ready for the most pickiest buyers to attract them from January to December.  Because I guarantee there are always buyers shopping online for a floating home. They’re just waiting for the right one. 

 Case in point:  We listed a wonderful end of dock floating home in December (right in the middle of the holidays!) for $750,000.  It’s the brown one in the middle pictured here. It got immediate attention and now is pending after 5 days on the market.

As always, we appreciate your time in reading our material and if you ever have a question – ask us!  We love to hear from our audience. 

Quick Explanation for those who need it:

Floating homes by definition are homes registered by the city and county as floating on logs (old growth cedar logs) or concrete and are locked into a dock by way of moorage arms or chains.  They are connected to the city’s sewer, water, and electric. Floating home owners enjoy including their moorage slip as part of their real estate footprint and do pay taxes on this. By comparison, there are still a couple of docks which have a landlord instead of a co-op or condo ownership.  They enjoy rent control for their slips. Ask us more about this topic if you’re interested.

Happy 2020 Everyone!

Check our current floating homes listed RIGHT HERE.  There are currently 4  floating homes listed active right now.

Seattle Houseboats: Floating Homes Market Report

Seattle Afloat’s Molly & Courtney sold three of the FOUR floating homes in the two months.

We are deep into the 2019 holiday season now and Molly and I are so thankful for the fabulous year that we have had. We love this community so much and appreciate that you think of us first when it comes to buying or selling your Seattle floating home. We look forward to 2020 and serving the Seattle floating homes community well into the future.

Let’s catch up on the Seattle floating homes market over the last couple of months! There are five floating homes for sale in Seattle currently. They range in price from $550,000 for a two bedroom with a long term lease in Portage Bay to $3,200,000 for a brand new construction luxury floating home with a basement in Portage Bay. Three of these Seattle floating homes are in Portage Bay, one is in Fremont, and one is in Eastlake. The average list price is $1,710,000 and the average dollar per square foot is $1061.82 with a range from $672.37 to $1,315.79.

Looking at closed sales in the last sixty days, there have been four Seattle floating homes for sale that have sold through the MLS that range in price from $500,000 to $2,700,000 with a median sales price of $882,500 and an average days on market of 54 days. Three of these were in Portage Bay and one was in Westlake. The average sales price to list price for these floating homes was 95.67%. Molly and I sold three out of four of these! We definitely know the market and are happy to help you if you want an evaluation. We have specialized in Seattle Houseboats for over a decade and can offer you a wealth of experience and knowledge. Living in, working in, and giving back to this community is what we do. We also have a FOWR Seattle houseboats specialist on our team now to serve the many Seattle houseboats that are not floating homes. Reach out and we can introduce you to one of our houseboats agents Susan so you can learn about this special segment of the Seattle houseboats lake market, too. There’s lots of real estate on the lake in Seattle and we are here to help you with all of it.

Want more information? We at Seattle Afloat are Seattle Houseboats Experts and the only team working on the lake today that has been successfully representing clients together for almost two decades.

Courtney Cooper & Molly Cartwright 206-850-8841/206-841-6800 houseboats@cooperjacobs.com

Step Into Floating Luxury

Seattle floating home

Brand new luxury Seattle floating homes? There usually aren’t any. Our community is over 100 years old so when this happens it is worth taking note. Never before have Molly and I seen a Seattle floating home with such a high design IQ and so much incredible finish work. It is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity for someone.

A stunning and timeless architectural designed floating home in Stillwater Landing. Expansive floor to ceiling Fleetwood sliders allow for maximum indoor/outdoor living. Beautiful kitchen on upper floor includes 5″ wide oak floors, Calacatta Laza polished quartz countertops, Liebherr & Miele appliances, eat-in kitchen and dining room. Entertain with ease on the open concept floorplan taking in the views of Montlake cut and Portage Bay. Luxurious master bed/bath. Boat moorage, garage parking. $3,200,000

Contact Courtney Cooper & Molly Cartwright 206-850-8841 for additional details, a private showing, lending options.

Bi-Annual Seattle Floating Home Market Report


Much like the water that floating homes live on, we experience ebbs and flows with Seattle real estate.  So far, 2019 has been a year full of fun, exciting developments and sales for floating homes.  

The #1 question we get asked is “What’s the Market Like Right Now?”

This question can sometimes be construed in two ways.  It depends – “are you a buyer or a seller”, right?  

My friends, floating homes of course experience the same ride as land homes but only on a smaller scale.  What do I mean? I mean when we start to see “price improvement” for homes actively on the market, it can mean there are less buyers and more inventory (sellers).  Sellers are coming off a three year high from home sales and some expect to still be in that value system.

Large views and boat moorage come with this one.

Floating homes, however, magically seem to hover around a certain number of homes which sell each year no matter what kind of real estate market we are in.  That number is around 25. I am strictly referring to floating homes and not houseboats or vessels which do not have a King COUNTY tax assessor plaque.

Incredible floating home in Fremont.

So far this year we know of FOUR OFF MARKET SALES, two of which SeattleAfloat have completed.  This, my friend, is why it is so important to reach out to us if you are thinking of buying or selling because some of these sales are not in the MLS or made public and it could directly impact how you buy or sell in the future.

By including the four off market sales, to date, there are 14 floating home sales as of July 21, 2019.  We can still make our magic 25 number of sales because there are currently 13 active floating homes and we are only half way through the year.

Seattle floating homes don’t have views like this very often!

Concentrating on the solds, the median sales price is $910,000.  When I wrote the same market update last summer it was $750,000.  

Looking at the actives, we see some amazing ranges of floating homes out there.  From $499,000 on a condo dock to $3.2M for a brand new construction. The time is now to keep our community alive and vibrant.  So many people we talk to each day are appreciative floating homes are a staple in our city. Let’s keep it this way!

Seattle Waterfront Living: A Different Seattle Water Experience

The head of Shilshole Bay looking out to Puget Sound offers a different perspective of living at the water’s edge.

The Ballard Locks Are A Unique Lifestyle

This is a great alternative to Seattle houseboats living or Seattle waterfront living. Living at the water’s edge at the head of Shilshole Bay is a unique Seattle experience. This is a an opportunity to be a daily witness to the constant boat parade and the salty air of the Puget Sound. From the moment you traverse the staircase down into this secluded piece of heaven, you will not want to leave. Settle in and listen to the seagulls and live a simpler life.

Nestled in a private setting, discover this sanctuary you’ve been longing for offering the best of both land and water from the moment you wander onto the grounds. A great place to enjoy Seattle and all her beauty by recognizing an opportunity and history like no other. $675,000

  • 2 Bedrooms
  • 1 Bath
  • Built in 1944
  • 880 square feet
  • Wide open water views
  • well maintained
  • No dues

Please contact us if you would like a private showing. This one is by appointment only. call text 206-841-6800 or 206-850-8841

Want to Learn More About Seattle Lifestyles?

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