2018 Seattle Floating Homes Tour: Tickets On Sale!

The 2018 Seattle Floating Homes Tour! 2018 Seattle floating homes tour

Tickets just went on sale for this year’s tour!

The Seattle Floating Homes Tour only happens every two years!  Buy your tickets here before it’s too late:

https://2018seattlefloatinghomestour.bpt.me/

Sunday, September 9th, 2018  Noon to 5 p.m. 

At Seattle Afloat, Molly and I are so proud to be supporters of the 2018 Seattle Floating Homes Tour!  Each tour, we work extremely hard  and we volunteer our time and sponsor the tour with our money. We love the Seattle floating homes community and this year’s 2018 Seattle floating homes tour is worth the price of admission ten fold! Want to have a peek into this amazing lifestyle and dream about living on Lake Union afloat? Here is the description of this year’s exciting tour!  We have seen the tour houses personally and you won’t be disappointed!

Don’t delay, the tickets for the 2018 Seattle Floating Homes Tour sell out fast!

The Seattle Floating Homes Association is pleased to present the Eclectic Eastlake 2018 Floating Homes tour! On Sunday September 9, from noon until 5, a dozen specially selected homes will be available for viewing from 2017 Fairview up to Mallard Cove at 2600 Fairview. You will come away with an appreciation of why Seattle’s floating home owners cherish their lifestyle and why they have become known as the Stewards of the Lake for nurturing the nature and animal habitats the docks, homes and surrounding foliage provide.  Nowhere else in the world will you find the coexistence of wildlife and city life blending so harmoniously. We look forward to having you as our guest! 

Proceeds from the 2018 Seattle Floating Homes Tour will benefit the Seattle Floating Homes Association and its mission to protect, preserve and promote the vitality of Seattles historic floating homes community through education, advocacy, environmental stewardship and collaboration. Parking is available in the lots south of E Newton on Fairview Ave E, at the Blue Ribbon Cooking School to the north and on side streets throughout the neighborhood.  Food, coffee and dessert trucks will be on hand for purchase of refreshments, and a bus will be circulating throughout the afternoon at several spots along the route.

This is a self-guided WALKING tour with stairs, uneven pavement and over-water dock surfaces; please plan accordingly. No backpacks, strollers, food or drinks are allowed in the homes. The tour will take place rain or shine, and everyone who wants to participate in the tour will need a ticket, except babes in arms. 

2018 Seattle Floating Homes Tour Ticket Information  :  Tour tickets are available at Brown Paper Tickets. Ticket price is $55. Capacity is limited so advance purchase is highly recommended. Ticket Brochures will be mailed 1-2 weeks prior to the tour to Washington addresses only. Any out of state addresses can pick up their brochures at Will Call, at the ticket tent in the parking lot across the street from 2025 Fairview Ave. E. (between E. Boston and E. Newton), on the day of the tour beginning at 11:00am. Once you have this brochure you can start the tour at any location you chose.

Want to learn more about Seattle Houseboats and other types of  Seattle Waterfront Living?  Molly Cartwright & Courtney Cooper are Seattle Realtors who specialize in this special niche!  We would live to show you our favorite Seattle floating homes, luxury homes, and waterfront homes and are happy to help you find your perfect home in Seattle.  You can call/text us at 2016-841-6800 or email Houseboats@cooperjacobs.com

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

Westlake Floating Home Tour In Style

Westlake Floating Home – $965,000 and just gorgeous Seattle waterfront living.

This is the perfect place to play all summer and cozy up in winter time by the fire to write your novel.  Seattle is full of life and with companies like Weyerhaeuser and Expedia moving in to close in Seattle neighborhoods, Westlake is a perfect place to live! Washington is still ranked as number one for bikes across the country and this Westlake floating home is right on the Burke-Gilman Trail!  With beautiful pathways and parks, Westlake has a lot to offer those looking at Seattle houseboats.

Please watch the video and then let us know if you would like more information.

seattlehouseboats@cooperjacobs.com  Molly: 206-841-6800

Cooper Jacobs Real Estate proudly presents:

our gorgeous Seattle floating home listing at 2420 Westlake Ave N.

Please let us know if you would like more info on Seattle houseboats, Seattle floating homes, or Seattle waterfront homes.   Also, if you are thinking about listing your Seattle home, please know that we are among the few that pay for our client’s staging bills.  This will save you thousands of dollars and can end up netting you tens of thousands of dollars over list price.

Please email one of us for details (no catch – promise).

courtney@cooperjacobs.com or molly@cooperjacobs.com

Seattle Houseboats Financing Available For This One

seattle houseboatsGorgeous Seattle houseboat for sale and financing available on this one!

Seattle houseboats can have financing again!  This one has condominium owned moorage and a secured place on Lake Union.  Houseboats that are vessels or barges have been difficult to finance as of late, but luckily, there are financing options available now – let us know if you would like to see this one!

More details:seattle houseboats

Gas Works Park Marina is a full time liveaboard marina with condo owned slips. Massive views from this sweet in-city retreat on the waters of Lake Union. Secured cabana on premise for additional showers and laundry. Dimensions of slip will fit up to a 33.5×10.5 houseboat or other vessel. Burke Gilman trail are just steps away for easy foot or bike access to Fremont, UW, and other favorite spots along the trail. A great investment!

Offered through Cooper Jacobs Real Estate and SeattleAfloat.com

Courtney Cooper 206-850-8841 or Molly Cartwright 206-841-6800

houseboats@cooperjacobs.com

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

 

 

 

We are available to talk now.