Seattle Floating Homes Market Report Nov 2015

Seattle floating homesSeattle Floating Homes Real Estate Market Report

Seattle Floating Homes November 2015: Catching up with Life Afloat on Lake Union, Seattle floating homes are still in high demand and Seattle Houseboat Living is very popular.  In the last 60 days, three of these Seattle houseboats have closed in escrow through the MLS, although we also know of a couple private floating home sales if you interested in learning more about those or others.

Seattle Floating Homes that have closed in escrow:

2019 Fairview Ave E #D

This Seattle floating home is Seattle floating homes for salelocated on the middle dock of The Log Foundation cooperative which has three docks. It is an extremely well run coop and houseboats on these lovely docks are always sought after.  The Log Foundation floating homes are located on the southern most docks in the Seattle neighborhood of Eastlake.  This particular Seattle floating home was represented by Molly Cartwright at Cooper Jacobs Real Estate and was south facing on the middle dock. It is a two bedroom and 1 bath Lake Union floating home with 1300 square feet of living space. It closed on 10/13/15 for $677,500.  (You can reach Molly at 206-841-6800 for more info on this or other Seattle floating homes that are available both on and off market.)

2207 Fairview Ave E #12

This amazing Seattle floating home is located on the Flo Villa dock. Flo Villa is a beautiful dock with a willow tree on it. It is further north than The Log Foundation dock and the floating homes on it are well maintained.  This houseboat was the ultimate in Seattle Waterfront Living. Built in 1994, it has two bedrooms and 1.5 baths plus 1550 square feet of living space. It closed on 10/7/2015 for $1,150,000

2600 Fairview Ave E #7

Welcome home to Mallard Cove floating homes.  Mallard Cove is one of the Seattle luxury floating homes docks.  Most of the floating homes on this dock have been updated and seem more modern than they are.  The dock is always at the top of houseboat buyer lists. This 2000 square foot home was built in 1978 and has two bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. It closed in escrow on 10/30/2015 for $1,350,000.

Wards Cove RooftopPending Seattle Floating Homes For Sale:

There are two Pending in escrow Seattle floating homes right now as well.  The price range on these is between $499,000 and $925,000.

Active Seattle Floating Homes For Sale:  Just one at Wards Cove. Price? $3,295,000 43 days on market.

Additional information: Here are the details for the sold Seattle Floating Homes on Lake Union as well as an overall market report.

 sold floating homes 11 2015

floating homes market 11 2015

Please let us know if you have any questions at all or if you would like more information about Seattle Houseboat Living.  We are happy to share and look forward to speaking with you whether you are a buyer or seller.Seattle Afloat Houseboats

Molly Cartwright 206-841-6800
Courtney Cooper 206-850-8841
We can immediately answer your questions or email us at houseboats@CooperJacobs.com

 

Seattle Houseboats For Sale: Just SOLD

Seattle Houseboats For Sale:  Just SOLD in Eastlake!Seattle houseboats for sale

Seattle houseboats for sale in Eastlake

Seattle Houseboats Just Sold: Let’s look at 2019 Fairview Ave E in Lake Union’s Eastlake neighborhood

This particular Seattle floating home has a special place in our hearts due to its sentimental background.  Though not as famous as its Sleepless in Seattle cousin across Lake Union, this Seattle houseboat is perhaps just as iconic! Located on one of Eastlake’s longest running and most organized cooperative dock, The Log Foundation,  this 1930 floating home has had lots and lots of action – even as it was moored in one place and not moving.  It was owned by a very longtime  and loved Seattle houseboats resident and the home was practically a floating dance hall in its day. We have recently nicknamed the home “Art” after its previous owner and look forward to seeing the new owners enjoy it as much as he reportedly did. There are lots of stories across the lake about the parties that almost always broke out into full on dance soirees and you can tell just by walking into this houseboat that it has had a happy life.  We are so thrilled to see it have a loving new chapter.

seattle houseboats officeA little more about this special home…..

So back to the sale itself – Seattle houseboats for sale always are exciting, but closing one is also a cause for celebration. Congratulations to Molly and LeAnne for doing such a great job getting it sold. It closed in escrow on 10/13/2015 at a final sales price of $677,500.  The floating home has two bedrooms and is 1300 square feet. It has a rather large float for its size and great dock position.  It also is well oriented to the lake which is something you don’t always get. Moorage for a recreational boat is possible alongside the home with the permission of the co-op.  It also had extra spaces which could function as an office or another nonconforming bedroom.  The home is all one level and has the most charming curved ceilings.  I was always very taken in with the large open living space and the beautiful spaces throughout. It  never felt like a two bedroom home – more like a home with all kinds of possibilities in every corner. As I write this, I personally regret not buying it myself – such a wonderful place with great energy, but alas, there will be other Seattle houseboats for sale and each one is unique and special.


Please call us if you are interested in learning more about Seattle houseboats for sale – We look forward to helping you buy or sell your next Seattle houseboat, whether it is a Seattle floating home, a house barge, or a floating on-water residence.  We are excited to help you learn about the lovely Lake Union as well as Seattle Houseboat Living℠.

Molly or Courtney 206-841-6800/206-850-8841 | houseboats@cooperjacobs.com

©Cooper Jacobs Real Estate ©Seattle Afloat™

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

Seattle Floating Homes For Sale: Houseboats Inventory Movement

Seattle Houseboats On Lake Union  – Inventory Is Afloat!seattle floating home dining room

Seattle Is Afloat! There are several pending Seattle houseboats in the MLS as well, but I wanted to go ahead and get some basic info about what is available for sale on Lake Union right now. There are FIVE ACTIVE Seattle floating homes for sale currently in the NWMLS. There are also a couple Seattle houseboats for rent if you are interested in those so please let us know.

A quick note about Lake Union water homes definitions… (This post is about just SEATTLE FLOATING HOMES for sale.  The term “Seattle houseboats” is an umbrella term which covers floating homes, vessels, barges, and now Seattle floating on-water residences. It has recently become unnecessarily more intricate than it ever needed to be, but it is what it is and we would be happy to help clarify it for you.  Historically, though, Seattlelites refer to all forms of these types of floating abodes as Seattle Houseboats“.)

seattle houseboats for sale in westlakeOK, back to the Lake Union news! There are five Seattle floating homes that are for sale currently.  They range in price from $395,000 for a 1 bedroom in Portage Bay to $1,595,000 for a 2 bedroom floating gem in the prestigious Mallard Cove floating homes community in Eastlake. The median list price of these incedible Lake Union floating residences is $948,000 which also happens to be the list price of our Westlake floating home for sale right now.  There are two Eastlake houseboats for sale in this mix, two in Portage Bay, and one in Westlake.  All three Lake Union houseboats communities offer different Seattle Waterfront Living styles and each one is unique in character and charm. The average days on market is 21 days currently and the average dollar per square foot is $802.91 per square foot.  Square footage on floating home docks is not a reliable source of value always because there are so many structures of ownership to take into account.  Each Seattle floating home is different and there are also no two docks alike on Lake Union.

Interested in Living On A Houseboat In Seattle?

seattle houseboats expertsIf you are interested in Seattle Houseboat Living, then please let us know.  We would be happy to help you find your perfect spot to live Lake Union Afloat℠!  Call/Text/Email anytime.

Molly Cartwright 206-841-6800  Molly@CooperJacobs.com

Courtney Cooper 206-850-8841  Courtney@CooperJacobs.com

© Cooper Jacobs Real Estate™  © Seattle Afloat ®

Live Your Life Afloat In Seattle™!

Seattle Floating Homes Market Houseboats Plus A Housebarge

lake union houseboatsSeattle Houseboats Market Update:

In the last sixty days, there have been many significant sale in the Seattle houseboat community.  There have been nine closed sales in the NWMLS for Seattle floating homes and also for Seattle houseboats which are classified as a barge (house barge).

Here are some of the details of the Seattle houseboats which have closed in escrow:

2727 Fairview Ave E #3  This is a grandfathered in Seattle housebarge which was gorgeous. It has 2 bedrooms and was listed on 4/5/2015 for $399,000 and sold for $404,000 after 6 days on the market.  It is located on the Hamlin Pier in Eastlake.  No sales tax on Seattle housebarges for sale if you can find them.

3125 Fairview Ave E #B This 2 bedroom 875 square foot Seattle floating home was listed on 4/30/2015 for $575,000 and sold for full price three days later.  I closed in escrow 5/29/2015.

2727 Fairview Ave E #12  This Seattle floating home is on Hamlin Pier which is a leased dock in Eastlake. It was listed for $695,000 on 3/6/2015  and on the market for 22 days before closing on 4/30/2015 with a final sales price of $675,000.

2031 Fairview Ave E #P  The Lake Union Dock in Seattle’s Eastlake neighborhood.  The next three sold on this dock.  The floating home in slip #P  is 1050 square feet and 2 bedrooms.  It was listed for $725,000 on 4/28/2015 and after 3 days on the market sold for $715,000 and closed on 6/5/2015.  It is the first houseboat on the dock.

2031 Fairview Ave E #B  Another Lake Union Dock gem, Molly and I sold this gorgeous Seattle houseboat to our lucky clients who came out ahead in a fierce multiple offer situation. This two bedroom 1200 square foot floating home was listed on 4/1/2015 for $895,000 and sold after six days on the market and closed in escrow on 5/19/2015 for $900,000.

2031 Fairview Ave E #G Molly and I had the pleasure of listing this one with LeAnne. We listed it on 4/27/2015 for $975,000 and after 5 days on the market it went under contract for full price.  During the inspection, we adjusted the price somewhat for a final sales price of $971,000.  It closed on 6/10/2015. This Seattle floating home is a two bedroom 1184 square foot houseboat in Eastlake. It is second from the end of the dock and offers some pretty great views and nice finish work.

3236 Portage Bay Pl  Moving over to Portage Bay, this two bedroom Seattle floating home was listed on 9/15/2014 for $1,100,000 and after 152 days on the market, it closed in escrow at $1,067,000 on 5/15/2015.  This houseboat offered a unique situation which make it difficult to price – a couple parking spaces and an on land rental income opportunity. People looking for Seattle houseboats for rent would like the land rental and this one also has no HOA so no dues.

10 E Roanoke Reef St #12  Awwe… Roanoke Reef floating homes!  Roanoke Reef is one of the three standards in Seattle luxury floating homes.  This three bedroom floating home is on the back row and offers 1562 square feet of living space to stretch out for your life afloat in Seattle.  It was listed for 4/5/2015 for $1,690,000 and after 276 days on the market sold for cash.  It closed on 5/8/2015 for a final sales price of $1,640,000.

3212 Portage Bay Place #B  Brand new!  Seattle new construction floating homes in Seattle are few and far between.  This one is back over in Portage Bay again and is one of the latest Seattle luxury floating homes to hit the houseboat market.  It was listed for $1,750,000 on 3/28/2015 and after 35 days on the market it sold for full asking price and cash and closed on 5/27/2015.  The square footage  is 1850 square feet of stunning interiors and three bedrooms which is difficult to find outside of Roanoke Reef, Mallard Cove, or Wards Cove.

So the average days on market for these Seattle houseboats for sale is 56 days.  The average dollar per square foot is $751.95 with a range of $657.14 to $1,049.94 for the Seattle floating homes and $404 for the Seattle housebarge Big Brother that closed.  The median sales price for all of these Seattle houseboats is $900,000.

Seattle floating homesOne Final note on The Seattle Houseboats Market:

The sales price to list price ratio is 99.02% making the Seattle floating homes market a healthy opportunity for Seattle buyers who want to be in city but can’t seem to compete in the current market.  In Seattle land homes for certain neighborhoods, homes are selling for $100,000 to $200,000 and more over list in the same price range.  Why not take your buying power and apply it towards Seattle’s most affordable waterfront and closest in city neighborhood? We still have multiple offers in the Seattle floating homes market, but the competition is at a more reasonable pace. I think if more buyers were aware of the attainability of this amazing lifestyle, then more people might jump in and enjoy this unique lifestyle of life afloat in Seattle. seattle houseboats

Please call us if you would like to learn more about living life on Lake Union. Courtney Cooper or Molly Cartwright 206-841-6800  Seattle Houseboats Realtors.  We specialize in Seattle floating homes, Seattle waterfront, Seattle luxury homes, and Seattle neighborhoods. Cooper Jacobs Real Estate, SeattleAfloat.com for Life Afloat In Seattle’s Lake Union Neighborhood.