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

 

 

 

Seattle Floating Home on Lake Union For Sale: NOT A VESSEL OR HOUSEBARGE

Seattle Floating Home:  The Least expensive way to dip your feet in Lake Union floating homes:

Seattle Houseboats:  This is NOT a vessel or a Seattle house barge, but an actual Seattle floating home.

2764 Westlake Ave N Houseboat # D

This Seattle houseboat is offered at just $265,000  and don’t start to think there is a catch because there isn’t.  The only catch you will make is fishing in Lake Union should you decide to try…

  • Owned Lake Union Moorage (Co-op owned Lake Union moorage is a very secure way to own the land that your Seattle floating home is in)
  • LOW Taxes and dues (you will be shocked at the affordability compared to the warnings some might give you as to the affordability of a Seattle floating home)
  • LOW Mortgage Interest rates available (ask me for referrals for your Seattle Houseboat financing needs because it is different than a traditional mortgage in requirements and terms)
  • Sleeping loft with room to go up below city height restrictions.
  • extra room for office or second sleeping room
  • large bathroom can accommodate a full laundry suite
  • ridiculously large entertaining kitchen as far as Seattle houseboats go
  • Very friendly dock from my experiences there
  • Westlake Cove is quite protected from rougher waters in parts of Lake Union

seattle floating homes listings

This gorgeous little gem of a houseboat is at the base of Seattle’s Queen Anne neighborhood!

Enjoy life Afloat In Seattle™ in one of the most private spots along Westlake: Large kitchen & wonderful sleeping loft, plus a great office. Newer roof and deck – Great access to Downtown, Queen Anne & Fremont, walking/cycling trails (including the Cheshiahud Loop) w/ all the perks of living on Lake Union in a houseboat!  If you are looking for Amazon Housing or other Housing near South Lake Union, then this is a GREAT Choice!

This is a great Seattle floating home for sale and a great way to experience Seattle Waterfront Living℠ – you can compare it to other Seattle houseboats for sale right now and see that this one is a GREAT BUY!   Seattle houseboats and slips for sale

Email:  courtney@cooperjacobs.com    Call or Text: 206.850.8841   Seattle Afloat ®

Affordable Houseboat in Seattle

Have you ever wondered what it’s like fishing off the deck of your own Seattle houseboat?  Fire up the grill and enjoy the double deck, fresh air and killer views…and hopefully some fish!

This Seattle houseboat sits in one of the most soughtafter marinas.  Gas Works Marina is located on the North end of Lake Union, bustling with kayakers, early riser crew teams, houseboats, and electric boats!  It’s one of the only condo owned marinas on Lake Union which means you own a piece of Seattle’s own waterfront!

This location is stellar – imagine living steps to the infamous Burke Gilman Trail, fun-filled Fremont bubbling with awesome restaurants, Wallingford‘s quirky local merchants, and great a school district.

She has a new steel hull, measures approximately 33×11, new carpet, a spacious one bedroom plus extra sleeping loft area, remodeled kitchen and a full bath with a jetted bathtub.  The expansive two decks let you store your kayaks, entertain, or just unwind.

Low monthy dues include water, garbage, dock maintenance and parking.  If you’d like more information or a private showing, please contact me today!  There’s not one houseboat the same!  Financing available. 

 

 

 

Molly Cartwright, Broker
206.841.6800
molly@cooperjacobs.com

Lake Union Moorage Slips In Demand

Lake Union Moorage Slips In Demand

Spring in Seattle has sprung and the Cooper Jacobs office is ringing with inqueries for space on Lake Union. Recent sales of moorage slips are in the range of $75,000 to $125,000 for slips around the lake excluding Wards Cove.  Due to the lack of inventory prices have remained strong and even appear to be increasing from the data we look at.

Wards Cove Listings  are the newest slips available on Lake Union and could be some of the last to ever be developed. There are only a few out of the original twelve available.  A slip at Wards Cove sold on December 28, 2011 which was listed for $885,000 and SOLD for $850,000.  Another was listed for $850,000 and SOLD for $682,000 in July 2011. One listed for sale at $735,000 SOLD for $685,000 on October 25, 2011. Houseboats on Lake Union and Portage Bay are two of Seattle’s strongest real estate markets. More houseboats are being designed and built for Wards Cove and the remaining slips are going quickly so don’t miss the boat! I personally see more and more Seattle houseboats around Lake Union being completely renovated. This is not only good for the local economy like the contractors, suppliers and banks lending the money but also a significant indication that these property values are holding strong.

Cooper Jacobs has a Westlake floating home coming on the market soon and if you want a sneak peak email Courtney at courtney@cooperjacobs.com or conatct her at 206/850-8841 to schedule a tour. It’s a great time to be in the know so if you want an evaluation of your property call Courtney Cooper. Recently, across ‘the pond’ from Wards Cove there was a slip at Gas Works Park Marina that was listed for sale by another real estate agency at $75,000 and sold for $70,000 in 16 days which in our opinion was underpriced. Don’t miss out!

Check out listings for Seattle houseboats at  Seattle Houseboats For Sale.

seattle houseboats

Lake Union: Seattle Houseboat For Sale –

Looking at Seattle houseboats for sale?   Okay, so it’s technically a Seattle house barge.  What’s the difference you ask?

Seattle houseboatsThere are three types of floating methods of living on Lake Union Afloat in Seattle™Seattle House Barges, Seattle HouseBoats, and Seattle Floating Homes.  I get asked “what’s the difference with all these Seattle houseboats?” all the time.  And there is a big difference!  But because the NWMLS only has one option for us to input the type of structure, they’re all bundled under style 24 “houseboat”.

A Seattle House Barge was constructed as a home that floats and is moveable but has no motor or sales tax.  I say “was” constructed because there are only 34 registered or grandfathered house barges in Seattle.  This is unlike a HouseBoat…which has a motor and is constructed as a vessel and are still being built to this day.  And since it’s a vessel, you will be paying sales tax because it’s considered personal property, not “real” property.

 This handsome Seattle housebarge sits proudly in a very active Westlake Marina slip.   It’s #7 of 34 registered housebarges in Seattle King County.

Seattle houseboats The 600 square foot barge has recently been hauled out for a complete and successful survey.  You’ll enjoy one nice size bedroom, a clean as a whistle .75 bath (shower, no tub), take the spiral staircase to the top story just full of possibilities and the views are worth a million bucks!
Lake Union AfloatNew paint inside and out, new flooring and carpet, tankless water heater and a sturdy double pontoon fiberglass over plywood hull.

This Seattle houseboat is special – please call us for a private showing.

Seattle Afloat ®

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