Seattle Houseboats 2020 Top Questions Answered

Aside From Our Listing Inquiries, These Are The Top Questions About Seattle Houseboats From 2020

We kept track this year and aside from appointments and questions about the incredible Seattle floating home listings and sales we had this year, these are the top other Seattle houseboats questions we received from online inquiries.

What is the difference between a houseboat and a floating home?

My original explanation is that “houseboats” is the umbrella term which covers floating homes, liveaboard vessels, and barges (and now FOWRs). I still argue that this is historically correct because even the Seattle Floating Homes Association has called our floating home tour a Houseboat Tour in days gone by.

***Small disclaimer.  I live on a floating home.*** 

Some of the historical Lake Union buffs and “old timers” like me still call “floating homes” “houseboats” from time to time.  I personally consider them interchangeable, except that the modern definition of a houseboat and a floating home are two different things now. Both get to enjoy the lake lifestyle, though….

Enter The FOWR System

The city came up with a plaque system and now we have and official category: Floating On Water Residence (FOWR). So I am still personally arguing that houseboats is the umbrella term which covers everyone on the lake including floating homes, FOWRs, and barges.   I am usually outvoted by Molly on this point, but I will probably always call my floating home a houseboat regardless.  In any case, Molly is correct. An actual houseboat by today’s standards in Seattle is a FOWR and I live in a floating home. The simplest explanation is that a houseboat is more “boaty”.  It is built on a hull and  has boat systems in place for water and waste in most cases. There are some incredible houseboat options lately that are actually connected to the sewer, too.  A floating home is built on a floating foundation, is mostly permanently moored and always connected to the city’s sewer, water, and electrical.  My apologies. If I have confused you, call me and I will try and explain again.  Or call Molly and get the technically correct explanation.

A couple examples of a floating homes and a FOWR which we happen to have listed currently: Here is a Floating home and here is FOWR

Westlake floating home

How much does a houseboat cost in Seattle? How much do floating homes cost?  

That is a good question. This year we saw overall houseboats sales range from $90,000 to $4,500,000 for for all types of houseboats including floating homes. Two floating home sales hit the four million dollars and over mark for the first time. There are 56 sales in the MLS as of this moment and we know there are two additional ones closing and also at least a few that sold off market completely out of the mls.  This is why it is so very important to tell us what you are looking for. We are highly networked into this amazing community and we can help you secure your Lake Union home!

Where are the houseboats in Seattle?  Where is the best place to live on a houseboat? 

Anywhere.  There is a saying that basically says if you are lucky enough to live on a houseboat then you are lucky enough. This is so true.  This lifestyle is like none other.  Whether you are on a floating home or a houseboat, you are living a similar lake life. Living on Lake Union is like nothing else.  It is an incredible contrast of urban and natural settings married together perfectly. The people that live on the lake are all interesting and life is never dull. This map needs to be updated to include larger houseboat collections.. 

Can you rent a houseboat in Seattle? 

Yes and no.  We get so many calls about nightly rental inquiries.  In short, it isn’t allowed. http://www.seattleafloat.com/seattle-floating-homes-airbnb-resource/

Can you live on a boat in Seattle?  Yes… but a houseboat is more convenient.

Seattle Houseboats Realtors and Your Advocates:

seattle houseboats realtors
Courtney Cooper & Molly Cartwright are SeattleAfloat.com Waterfront and Houseboats Brokers. 206-841-6800

Let us tour you through this beautiful floating home! Molly and Courtney are Seattle Floating homes experts and here to be your absolute advocates when it comes to houseboats living. We can help you from start to finish and beyond and welcome you to our beloved neighborhood. Have questions? 206-841-6800/206-850-8841 [email protected]

3110 Portage Bay Place E #F – Seattle Floating Home Listed Today!

Seattle Houseboats For Sale Market Info:  seattle floating homes for sale

3110 Portage Bay Place E #F – Seattle Floating Home Listed Today!

Looking for Seattle floating homes for sale?  At the end of this quiet dead end street is one fantastic Seattle floating home for sale –  equipped with all the splash you come to expect from living on the lake in Portage Bay.

Generous spaces in this Portage Bay floating home allow for a flexible floor plan including a large master bed and bath capturing killer views of the canal. Three rooms in all, a remodeled bathroom, and a charming kitchen with tons of storage.

Huge accessory raft for kayaks, moorage for your boat, and an enclosed deck for privacy. One reserved parking spot and NO DUES!  $799,000

  • 2 + Bedroom
  • 1.75 Bath
  • Built in 1960
  • Accessory Float
  • Boat Moorage
  • Parking
  • Owned Slip
  • NO Dues!

Call/Text Molly Cartwright at 206-841-6800 or Courtney Cooper at 206-850-8841 for more info or for your own private showing.  You can also email us at [email protected].  We are Seattle floating homes specialists and experts on the lake. We would love to talk to you about Seattle Waterfront Living and Life Afloat in Seattle!  It’s a special lifestyle and there are lots of interesting differences between living on water and living on land.

 

 

seattle houseboats

Seattle Houseboats History Resource

Curious about Seattle houseboats and their history on Lake Union?seattle houseboats

You have to go back over a hundred years and look beyond Lake Union to see the roots of Seattle houseboats.  Beth Means and Bill Keasler  wrote a great piece about Seattle houseboats history on The Seattle Floating Homes Association website.  Seattle Floating homes have played a significant part in shaping the city’s history and landscape.  We at Seattle Afloat have a whole category on this site dedicated to it: Seattle houseboats history on Seattle Afloat.

There is also a great spot to see amazing pictures and get more information on HistoryLink where the site describes various houseboats around Seattle and their origins:

“Some of these communities — especially those off the Madison Park and Leschi neighborhoods on Lake Washington —  were formed by the well-to-do who enjoyed summering aboard their fancy abodes. Others — along the Elliott Bay waterfront, the Duwamish River, Harbor Island, Salmon Bay, Lake Union, Portage Bay, and Union Bay — were mainly inhabited by workers struggling to stay financially afloat.. “

Howard Droker wrote the fascinating book Seattle’s Unsinkable Houseboats in 1977 and there is a great video about Seattle houseboats featuring him on the http://www.lakeunionhistory.org/ website.  I have embedded it here because it is worth a watch:


Vannessa Ho at the Seattle PI wrote an interesting piece about Seattle houseboats  – it was a cool slide show of houseboats then and now.  Here is a link to that slideshow: http://www.seattlepi.com/local/slideshow/Seattle-houseboats-Then-and-now-64448.php

seattle houseboatsIf you are curious about Seattle houseboats and interested in purchasing a Seattle floating home, then please let us know.  These are special homes and the ultimate in Seattle waterfront living.  You should work with real estate agents who understand the ins and outs of Seattle houseboats.  Molly and I understand all of the unique intricacies of the Seattle floating home world and we are happy to help you.  We can also help you with the various FSBO floating homes available across the lake.

You can reach Molly at 206-841-6800 or [email protected] or me at 206-850-8841 or [email protected]

Cooper Jacobs Real Estate for all your realty needs – we have brokers who specialize in all Seattle neighborhoods and suburbs.

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