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 most on this point, but I will probably always call my floating home a houseboat regardless. In any case, most are 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.
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
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:
Let us tour you through this beautiful floating home! We 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? 206-850-8841 firstname.lastname@example.org
Can You Move A Floating Home?
The Big Move: Moving A Seattle Dilapidated Houseboat And Bringing In A New One…
The old Houseboat # O on the 2017 Dock
Seattle floating homes are moored “permanently” to the docks they are on, but from time to time, it is necessary to move out dilapidated houseboats and bring in new ones or a recycled one in this case. This is an amazing set of pictures from an event that doesn’t happen very often.
The Tug boat doing all the moving
Jann McFarland wrote a great article in the Floating Homes Association Spring 2010 Newsletter about this particular move and one of the floating homes owner on the dock was kind enough to share her photos and give me permission to publish them here (Thank you Carole!). Both Carole and I thought it was a nice piece of houseboat history and worth sharing.
This particular houseboat move took place on 2017 Fairview Ave E on one of the Log Foundation co-op docks. It was in October of 2009 and according to Jann’s article it took almost two years to get the proper permits in place to make this feat happen.
Houseboat O’s Lake Union moorage slip is not at the end of the dock or even near the end of the dock. In addition, the channel between that dock and the next dock over isn’t wide enough to bring an entire houseboat in or out so how do they do it?
Moving the houseboats out to the lake
Very carefully with lots of planning and cooperation from many involved.
Tugboat pushing in the replacement houseboat
Last one to be moved out before Houseboat O
It is more than just moving the floating homes in or out. There are permits, contracts, utilities, insurance, and more, plus you have to get all of the owners on board on the same day for the move.
One by one, the floating homes on the dock are moved out to make a wide channel to bring the old home out and the new one in. It was an all day event and involved many people coordinating their efforts.
The tug boat moved each of the floating homes on the North side of the 2017 dock out to the lake and rafted them together while the replacement houseboat was brought in. The dock got a recycled Portage Bay floating home and brought it in place of the older houseboat being taken out.
The newer houseboat O was brought in and fixed up and it sold in less than a month for full price at $475,000 – quite a bargain actually for the size, condition, and location. The Log Foundation Co-op is a group of Seattle floating homes owners that cooperatively own the three South most docks on Fairview Ave E in Eastlake. It is a great houseboat community and worth a look if you are interested in living on a Seattle houseboat. Currently there are three Seattle houseboats for sale on the Log Foundation docks – they range in price from $495,000 to $749,000.
*Thanks to Carole Nielson for the photographs and permission to use.
More Out in the Lake