seattle floating homes

Let’s Talk Home Sales: Covid-19 And Real Estate On The Lake

Portage Bay Floating Homes

Obviously Coronavirus and Covid-19 have had a mind blowing effect on the world we live in. Real estate is no different in that regard.  When the governor first shut the state down, we were worried about the impact that this would have on our economy overall, but specifically with regard to Seattle real estate and especially the Seattle floating homes market which is my home. What we have found is an actual significant uptick in the Seattle houseboats and floating homes market.  My ongoing theory has been that people would much rather be quarantined to the natural beauty of our floating homes neighborhood rather than stuck somewhere else. While I have worried for my friends and family, I personally have really enjoyed being quarantined at home with my son. It doesn’t quite feel like being shut in when you have the boat parade and water scenery before you all the time. Walks around Lake Union, Portage Bay, through the empty UW campus, and surrounding neighborhoods have added depth to our experiences, but I keep coming back to the peace and serenity I feel on the water. I think that this global pandemic has caused a lot of people to reevaluate their living situations.

So how has this affected our Seattle floating home community’s real estate market? 

Seattle houseboats Realtors Courtney Cooper and Molly Cartwright with Seattle Afloat at KW North Seattle getting a floating home ready to be shown.

Surprisingly well believe it or not!  I ran numbers on Seattle floating home sales beginning with the lock down (not including other kinds of houseboats – just floating homes). The dates are 3/16/20-6/27/20 as of this writing. I then ran the numbers for the same period in 2019.  The results are astounding!  We have a 217.60% increase in volume year over year.  This accurately represents what we are experiencing. 

March 16th – June 27th 2020:  Ten Seattle floating homes are either Pending or have sold during this time frame with a total volume of $15,841,000.  Molly Cartwright and I were/are involved with  eight out of ten of these or 80% of the ten floating homes sold or pending. 

March 16 – June 27th 2019: Five Seattle floating homes sold during this same time period in 2019. HALF! The volume was even lower at $7,280,000.  Molly and I were involved in three out of the five of these sales or in other words 60% of the homes that sold during that time. 

Uptick in Seattle Houseboats real estate seems to boil down to a few things: 

  • More targeted and precise marketing by us for floating homes listed
  • More serious Seattle houseboats buyers – they are goal oriented, qualified, and determined.
  • More desirable floating homes to be quarantined to – our Seattle houseboats community overall is magical
  • Increased availability – Some of our long time residents have decided to sell what I consider to be legacy properties resulting in floating homes that we haven’t seen listed in decades.

As a real estate broker, I can say that our industry has been turned upside down with this.  We have added more virtual tours, photographs, video walkthroughs, and property films than ever before. There have been no open houses.  When we were finally allowed to show or inspect homes it was with limited people to the point that in the beginning husbands and wives had to take turns looking with one of us.  Masks and gloves are the new norm.  Inspections were performed with the agent and inspector facetiming the buyers out in their car.  No flyers.  No business cards.  No new signs because the sign company was not considered essential.  Even moving companies were not considered essential. The state has opened up more and it is easier to buy and sell real estate, but restrictions are still in place and will be for a long time. We adapt and excel.  Change is always inevitable and it is important to be able to switch gears to best represent your clients safely.  We have got this! 

The restrictions put in place over this pandemic have actually been beneficial for our sellers who understand and follow our advice. Open houses do not sell homes and invited a lot of “lookie loos” and we spent a lot of effort educating what were sometimes just tourists about our lifestyle on the lake. We are now able to qualify buyer prospects more stringently and we go through an entire run down before we ever go in a house. We sanitize our listings before and after showings. We make sure anyone in your home is wearing masks and gloves. Marketing material is virtual and so our sellers have a “leg up” because we already are the leaders online for floating home marketing. It has been fascinating to watch some of these properties change hands.  

seattle houseboats for sale

Thank you. Molly and I are so very thankful for the opportunity and grateful for the chance to advocate for you and this special neighborhood of floating homes in which I call home. We will never take it for granted. Please reach out if you need anything at all houseboats@coopercartwright.com 206-841-6800 or 206-850-8841

Welcome To The Shelby Dock

Welcome to the newly redone Shelby Dock! Upscale dock rebuild and incredible channel views make this the ideal spot to call home! Just listed by Molly Cartwright and Courtney Cooper for $765,000 call/text Molly or Courtney to see it 206-841-6800/206-850-8841

Seattle floating homes in Portage Bay have been well sought after in recent years. Here is one that hasn’t changed hands for forty years! Its adorable, too! Ready for its legacy to be passed on to its next occupant, this sweet floating home is the princess of houseboats! From the moment you step down Shelby Street in Portage Bay, you may have the same feeling that most residents here have – one of your shoulders relaxing and the entire day melting away. Many times, I have heard of this account and experience it myself on a regular basis. This truly is peaceful Portage Bay, but that doesn’t mean that nothing is happening here! This home has an incredible channel view to the full boat parade! If that’s not enough jump into your kayak or paddle out on your SUP.

One bedroom with large walk in closet and super cool historical Jalousie windows, stacking washer and dryer and all fir floors throughout. This is a gem and has a large covered wrap around deck complete with haint paint in the eves. Enjoy your fun neighbors and the private coveted lush garden on the shores of this cooperatively owned moorage’s property. In addiiton, it comes with on shore storage at no additional charge. The monthly dues cover all your utilities except for electricity and cable.internet, and the home is equipped with a super efficiient newer pellet stove.

Enjoy living on the banks of Portage Bay in this incredible part of town. So close to Little Lago, that the lovely smalls of their wood fired pizza and hand made espresso drinks billow through the air when the gentle breezes go by. Located on the Portage Bay Loop, this is a great spot to jump on the 3.2 mile loop around the bay which is the eastern arm of Lake Union. Paddle to Ivar’s for some fish and chips or go through the Montlake Cut and check out the waterways of the Arboretum and Foster Island. There is no shortage of adventure and peace here! $765,000 call/text Molly or Courtney to see it 206-841-6800/206-850-8841 houseboats@coopercartwright.com You can also see it here: 1213 E Shelby St #11

Some of the details of this Portage Bay floating home:

  • 735 square feet
  • 1 bedroom
  • 1 bath (includes a tub!)
  • sunny eat in kitchen
  • owned moorage for home
  • room to tie up your kayaks
  • on shore storage
  • private community garden

Seattle Houseboats Living: Moving Into A Floating Home Logistics

Moving by boat… Seattle houseboats living!

This is an interesting topic in the Seattle houseboats world. When you move into a home on land, you schedule the moving truck and they back into your driveway or park on the street in front of your home. What happens when you move in or out of a floating home? The answer is it depends. It depends on a number of factors and features really of your dock.

Seattle views on the water…
  1. Location. You hear about location, location, location in Seattle real estate, but never does that come into play more than when you are moving in or out of a floating home in Seattle. The neighborhood in which your dock is located is a crucial part of the puzzle when it comes to figuring out logistics of a move. Floating homes are at street ends and alleys in many cases in Portage Bay, and tight streets exist in Eastlake, Fremont, Wallingford, and Westlake. Taking the time to find out if the moving truck can even fit close to your dock is important. Make sure to have the movers come out and map out the plan.
  2. Communication. Let your dock know the plan. There may be a loading zone or parking spaces which need to be reserved.
  3. Security. You may need to ask for help from someone who can physically watch your belongings while furniture and boxes are moved up or down the dock so that the truck is not left unattended at any time.
  4. Use of Dolly, Cart, etc. First of all, make sure that the wheels of a third party cart or dolly are not going to be damaging to your dock surface. Seattle floating home docks usually have great carts for moving your belongs up and down the dock, but you might want to ask the dock board if it is okay to use them for a floating home household move. They are in place at the head of the houseboats dock so that all the floating home residents can use them in every day life. Additional wear and tear on them may not be welcome.
  5. Moving from dock to dock or from one floating home on the dock to another on the same dock? Consider filling a boat! This is especially great for planters and outdoor furniture, but can be a great mode of transport for indoor belongs as well.
  6. Leveling it. Last note and important!!! When you move furniture in and out you may need to call a diver to come level your home – especially if you are moving a particularly heavy piece of furniture! The diver may need to come out and move flotation around or add more…

There are some great choices available right now – both on land and in the floating home world. Let us know if you are interested in exploring our amazing Seattle neighborhoods. Molly and I live and work in Seattle and are your absolute advocates in the Seattle houseboats world. Current Seattle floating homes listings range in price from $995,000 to $2,950,000 and can be found in Eastlake and Portage Bay.

Court & Molly at the head of an Eastlake dock.

Contact us. We are your Seattle Houseboats Experts and look forward to helping you and answering all your questions. Courtney Cooper 206-850-8841 | Molly Cartwright 206-841-6800 houseboats@cooperjacobs.com

Seattle Floating Homes – Luxury Details In This New Build

What a gorgeous day! We always say that this is the kind of weather that was made to show off Seattle houseboats! This luxury new construction floating home build is no exception to that. This is the last floating home available in the Stillwater Landing development. It is that one that was held back because the design was so incredible. It is also the last basement allowed in Seattle floating homes per current city rules. This luxury lake home is incredible!!! Three levels of living space with high ceilings, luxury finish work, and radiant warm floors. It has boat moorage and garage parking – complete with electrical to install a car charger if you want. It really has it all… and you own your own moorage. $2,950,000

This is a once in a lifetime buy as the city has a net zero policy on these and no more new Seattle floating homes will be allowed to add to the number that we have on the lake already. In addition, no additional basements will be permitted according to the code. It’s also rare to get a garage parking space and be in this incredible corner of Portage Bay. You can check out the listing details here: 2816 Boyer Ave E #B

We would be happy to show you this property. We have lender, inspector, appraiser, and insurance referrals for these special waterfront properties and we are happy to walk you through each step. We look forward to showing you this floating home or others and are your absolute advocates for Lake Union homes and waterfront living. Courtney Cooper or Molly Cartwright 206-850-8841/206-841-6800 courtney@coopercartwright.com / molly@coopercartwright.com We are here to help and your absolute Seattle Houseboats Experts.

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