In recent years all houseboats have been listed in the NWMLS whether they were floating homes, vessels, or barges. This opened the door for a broader definition of houseboat and in some cases we saw vessels in the MLS that were practically ski boats being listed by real estate agents. I am exaggerating of course, but you get my point.
The MLS has recently ruled that they will not allow any houseboats that are or have ever been registered as vessels in the MLS. This caused many listings in the last week or so to be deleted without warning even though I personally think they should have been grandfathered in and allowed until expiration. Never the less, they were deleted.
Molly and I deal mostly in floating homes, but we are SeattleAfloat.com so we have sold all types of houseboats. In addition to the Seattle floating homes we have listed right now, we also have a house barge. Until today we also had a vessel houseboat listed in the MLS. Our client is actually lucky because they happen to have a houseboat AND an owned moorage slip in Gas Works Park Marina. As Realtors in the MLS we are allowed to list moorage slips so the slip is listed now and the “houseboat is included for the buyer’s convenience”.
Seattle floating homes owners: What does this mean to you?
- If you are a Seattle floating home, you are allowed to be in the MLS – whether your moorage is owned or leased.
- If you are a legal housebarge owner and your houseboat is in your owned slip, then you are good to go and can be listed no problem as of this date. No guarantees from the MLS on when this will change, but for now you are allowed to be in the MLS as a houseboat.
- If you are not one of the grandfathered in legal house barges of Seattle, you are not even allowed to be on the lake as a live aboard as far as I know and definitely not allowed in the MLS.
- If you are a Vessel type houseboat and in a leased or otherwise unowned slip, you are left to your own devices to sell outside of the MLS. I personally suggest Craigslist. This includes most marinas around Lake Union and most importantly Seattle Marina which has the largest concentration of vessel type houseboats. Nothing in Seattle Marina can be listed in the MLS as of last week.
- If you are a Vessel type houseboat and you are in your owned moorage slip, you are allowed to be in the MLS, but under moorage, not as a houseboat. We can still market your houseboat along with your slip because it is included in the slip purchase.
If you are confused, you are not alone. However, this is what we are here for. Let me know if you have questions or need details on how to sell your Seattle houseboat. firstname.lastname@example.org