Floating Homes vs Houseboats in Seattle…

Seattle Floating Homes vs Seattle Houseboats: A Cost Comparison Report During a Hot Real Estate Market

seattle houseboats

Let’s start with the terms…  Intro by Courtney Cooper   Call/Text 206-850-8841 courtney@cooperjacobs.com

I call all of them Seattle houseboats.  That’s my choice and also one of many of the old timers on the lake.  I live on a 100 plus year old Seattle floating home in Portage Bay.  Long before the more recently added  categorization of Floating On Water Residences came into being to add liveaboards to our MLS database, they were all houseboats.   Houseboats was an umbrella term and still is for some like myself. It’s a lifestyle and I will continue to call floating homes “houseboats”, too.  I use the terms interchangeably, actually.   Molly, my business partner tends to go a different direction on terms.  She breaks them out into EITHER floating homes, houseboats (what I consider the vessel type), and barges.  See below if you need a visual on our views.  Neither is correct or wrong, but Molly wrote most of this post so I am clarifying….

Courtney’s way:


“Houseboats”  are any of the following:

  • Floating homes
  • Liveaboard Barges
  • Liveaboard Vessels

Molly’s way: 


Specific terms for each (although I have also heard her use my way on occasion…..):

  • Floating homes
  • Houseboats
  • Barges

And now… Back to the originally scheduled program.

Seattle Floating Homes vs Seattle HouseboatsSeattle floating homes

by Molly Cartwright call/text 206-841-6800  molly@cooperjacobs.com

We’d like to give a little insight for those who are looking to purchase (or have purchased) an iconic floating home or houseboat in Seattle.   Do they appreciate the same as land Seattle homes? We get this question quite a bit.  What do I look for in these types of properties?  We get this one a lot too.  We’d love to hear from you to better answer your questions on an individual basis.  

But above all the questions, this is the number one most asked question:

“Do I buy a floating home or a houseboat?”  We know it can be confusing!  So hopefully with this break down and after talking to a Floating Home Lender, we can help answer that question.

Since January 1, 2016 until TODAY August 10, 2017.  Here’s the breakdown:

Of Seattle Floating Homes, there have been a grand total of 31 sales.  This DOES NOT including Private Sales which we know of at least four on the lake between the $1M and $2M price tag.  

Sold Floating Homes                   31

Median Price                               $1,209,676

Average Square Foot                  1,172

Average Price Per Square Foot  $1,147

Average Days On Market            38

 

Of Seattle Houseboats, here is the break down:

Sold Houseboats                         22

Median Price                               $354,148

Average Square Foot                  564

Average Price Per Square Foot  $651.00

Average Days On Market            37          

Please call me if you are curious about getting more information. I am happy to talk to you about buying or selling Seattle real estate.  Seattle floating homes are the ultimate in Seattle waterfront living and we are happy to show you these or other Seattle waterfront homes. I look forward to showing you this lifestyle.  – Molly  206-841-6800

Seattle Floating Homes: The Shelby Dock Located at 1213 E Shelby St

Welcome to The Shelby Dock In Seattle’s Portage Bay!The Shelby Dock

1213 E Shelby St,

Seattle, WA 98102

The Shelby Dock is well appointed at the end of Shelby Street on the North side of Capitol Hill in Portage Bay. There are nineteen Seattle floating homes on The Shelby Dock and it is a great place to live if you would like to belong to a wonderful community with a well run co-op and friendly neighbors.

Some of the cool features about the Shelby Dock in Portage Bay:

Beautiful waterfront private garden at the head of the dock

Handy dock carts

Three parking spots for loading and unloading

Prime Capitol Hill waterfront property

Easy access to both Lake Washington and Lake Union

Moorage for your companion boat is available on the dock – at your home or in one of the dock community moorage slips

Thoughtful, but not overly restrictive rules regarding remodeling, etc. so that the entire dock can enjoy the ongoing charm of the dock

Storage on land building for each home, plus gardening tools

Recent Seattle Floating Homes Sales On The Shelby Dock:1213 e shelby st

#6 –  1 BR/1 Bath 777 sq feet $700,000 – outer slip  July 2016

#12 – 1 BR/1 Bth 840 sq ft $725,000  – outer slip  June 2016

#7 – 1 BR/1Bth  $675,000 – inside slip  July 2016

 What’s for sale now on this charming Portage Bay floating home dock?

1213 E Shelby St #2  $925,000   1215 Sq FT  2 BR/2 Bth (SOLD)

1213 E Shelby St #13  $945,000 1250 Sq Ft 2 BR/1.75 Bth m(SOLD)

Please let us know if you would like to learn more about The Shelby Dock or if you would like to see available Seattle floating homes for sale on the dock.  Molly and I are happy to show you!  206-841-6800 / 206-850-8841  houseboats@cooperjacobs.com

Seattle Floating Homes For Sale – Houseboats Holiday?

Seattle Houseboats For The Holidays – Flo Villa Floating Home

Seattle houseboats for sale

If you are interested in living on one of our city’s gorgeous Seattle houseboats then there are only two choices available in the Seattle floating homes real estate market.

There are two Eastlake floating homes for sale currently in the MLS.  One is on the Flo Villa dock and the other is on Wards Cove.

These Lake Union floating homes for sale range in price from $775,000 to $3,295,000 and are quintessential examples of Seattle Houseboats Living℠ and waterfront living in Seattle overall for that matter. What better way to live closer to the water than Afloat In Seattle™ anyway? Let’s look at one of our current favorite Seattle floating homes on the lake.  This gorgeous remodeled Lake Union floating home resides on the Flo Villa dock at 2207 Fairview Ave E in Seattle’s Eastlake neighborhood.  Moorage is secured and with dock approval you may be able to add a recreational boat as well. This gorgeous home was recently listed at $775,000.

2207 Fairview Ave E #11 From the MLS listing description:

The iconic lifestyle you have only dreamed about! Located in Eastlake’s enclave of floating homes, this mid-dock light and bright Lake Union beauty is completely remodeled with an open floor plan featuring 1 BR + flex space, vaulted ceilings, bamboo fl, & new kitchen! Enjoy cozy extras like heated bathroom floor, new electrical, plumbing, windows & insulation. Enhanced further only by the timeless willow tree that also resides here, this home has a great relationship w/ the lake.

  • 1 Bedroom (there is room to add a second bedroom if desired)
  • 1 BathSeattle Houseboats
  • 832 sq feet
  • Built in 1918 but completely remodeled
  • Annual taxes $1,042
  • Bamboo floors
  • radiant heated floors in bath
  • new kitchen
  • newer windows, roof, etc.
  • lots of energy efficient choices went into the upgrade of this one
  • new electrical and plumbing
  • vaulted ceilings
  • open floor plan
  • well organized dock
  • securely owned moorage

We are Seattle Houseboats Realtors and Your Seattle Floating Homes Experts:

We would love to show you this beautiful and thoughtful floating home.  Would you like to see this floating home or are you curious about learning more about Seattle houseboats on Lake Union or Seattle Waterfront Living℠? We would be happy to tell you all about it and show you some of our favorite spots around the lake, including this gem on the Flo Villa dock.

Molly Cartwright | 206.841.6800  | molly@cooperjacobs.com

Courtney Cooper | 206.850.8841 | cc@cooperjacobs.com

©Cooper Jacobs Real Estate

Seattle Houseboats Market Update

Seattle Houseboats Market Update April 2015:

Actives: There are five Seattle houseboats for sale in the “floating homes” category currently. List prices of these active Seattle houseboats range from $510,000 to $1,750,000.  There are Eastlake floating homes, Portage Bay floating homes, and a gorgeous Westlake floating home on the 2420 Westlake dock that we put on last week.

Here is some more on that one since we obviously feel it is the best of the Seattle houseboats on the market right now:

2420 Westlake Ave N   (SOLD)Seattle houseboats

  • 2 bedrooms
  • 1.5 baths
  • amazing rooftop deck
  • ownership in income generating private marina
  • built in 1929, but 2008 remodel is more accurate of its presentation
  • 1065 square feet
  • $500/month dues
  • float size is 42 feet by 24 feet
  • annual taxes are only $1831
  • next dock over from the Sleepless in Seattle houseboat
  • $985,000

Pending Seattle houseboats: Currently there are four Seattle floating homes that are pending in the MLS.  In addition to these Seattle floating homes there is a house barge which is also pending inspection.  List price of these pending Seattle houseboats is $695,000 to $1,690,000.  One of them is on a leased dock, one is on a fee simple dock and two are on co-op docks.

In addition to these pending Seattle houseboats, there are two more which we have helped facilitate and  which are pending in Eastlake – priced at $575,000 and $920,000.

SOLD! Seattle floating homes sold in the last 30 days – Just one has closed according to the MLS.  2351 Fairview Ave E #K  was listed for $1,050,000 and sold for $1,000,000.  It has a garage and is on a condominium dock so the dues are lower and the taxes are higher.

Before I go on, let me clarify what a Seattle houseboat is since there is a lot of bad information out there:

In short, “Seattle Houseboats” is the general umbrella overall term which encompasses ALL of the following:

  1. Seattle floating homes – no motor and more permanently connected to sewer, electric, docks, etc.
  2. Vessel Seattle houseboats – navigable and move of their own propulsion but also act as livaboards.
  3. Seattle House Barges – not self propelled, city has grandfathered a number of them in, some hooked up to utilities.

A little about Seattle houseboats from Wikipedia:

Seattle is home to a relatively large collection of houseboats (capable of moving under their own power) or “floating homes” (houses built on floats) neighborhoods, particularly in Lake Union and Portage Bay. The earliest houseboats in Seattle were recorded in 1905, and peaked with over 2,000 houseboats in the 1930s. There are currently approximately 500 houseboats in Seattle. Most houseboats are designed and built for inland lakes and waterways only.

*Molly Cartwright and I are Seattle houseboats REALTORS not just real estate agents who sell Seattle houseboats.  As actual paying members of the National Association of Realtors, we are able to able to ethically sell homes.  Realtors abide by a strong code of ethics which non-Realtors are not required to.  Make sure that when you are buying Seattle houseboat that your broker is also an actual Realtor – not just a real estate agent. It makes a difference in how they are perceived by industry professionals and you want someone representing you who has a good reputation and who you know will act honestly and ethically in a transaction.

If you are purchasing a vessel type Seattle houseboat then make sure that you are using a licensed vessel broker not just a real estate agent.  Vessels are indeed boats so proper licensing should be in place to sell them.  Molly and I also have our vessel license through our SeattleAfloat.com Seattle houseboats division. You have a choice when it comes to who represents you.

More pictures of our gorgeous Westlake floating home listing:

Please call or text Molly if you would like more info or a private showing: 206-841-6800

Westlake, $985,000 - Image 14


 

Seattle Houseboats Agents: How Did This One Move With No Motor & Why Is It So Special?

Seattle houseboats are a big part of what Molly Cartwright and I do at Cooper Jacobs Real Estate. Lake Union is a large part of our lives and we really care about the well being of the community we serve.  I know, for instance, that right at this moment Molly is personally working tirelessly over at a Portage Bay floating home  in order to get it ready for the houseboats market tomorrow. She wants the property to shine in its best light and knows that without her special agent touches it won’t be everything that it could be.  Molly does not stop until it the property is perfect because she is a perfectionist and a specialist for all Seattle houseboats realty and all Seattle homes for that matter – big or small. We are excited about this latest listing in the Seattle houseboats world because right now there are only TWO floating homes in the MLS that are under a million dollars.

Seattle houseboats for sale

Under a million dollars is big in the world of affordability and Seattle houseboats.

Currently, as I said above, there are two Seattle floating homes for sale for under $1M.  They are under $600k in fact. Molly and I are (of course) partial to one of them in particular.  We favor this gorgeous houseboat for a number of reasons besides that it is our listing.

2017 Fairview Ave E, Slip O

Let’s back up a minute to how this Seattle floating home came to be on what I consider to be the best location in Lake Union – the most southern dock in one of the oldest and well run co-ops on the lake… Even the Seattle houseboats which are considered floating homes have moved around a number of times over the last one hundred plus years. They don’t have motors and are generally “permanently” moored to their dock, but from time to time they have moved.  This one as I recall got towed in from Portage Bay years ago and lovingly restored by the king of floating home improvements himself, Sid McFarland.  The dock itself – The Log Foundation owned it while Sid worked on it and they were responsible for the logistical details of bringing it to the dock to replace a derelict houseboat which has fallen to their ownership after the owner passed away.  The houseboats on the dock that were further out then this one were all brought out to the lake and rafted together while this beauty was brought in and secured and then one by one the others were towed in and hooked up as well. It took the entire day and what a feat to make it happen in just one day! (I have pictures if you want to see them in a post from 2010: Can you move a floating home?)Seattle houseboats realty:  they all are unique!

So this special houseboat came to be in the perfect little spot by way of many details, but after it was restored, the current owner purchased it and put her own flair on it.  You can see from the older lake union blog pictures that it has come a long way and is now an artistic oasis.   This is one of the things Molly and I love about Seattle houseboats and floating homes in particular – each owner over the years make it theirs and no two are alike. Ever. This one is called Annie “O” lovingly by its current owner who would never leave except that her family has now grown and she needs something a tiny bit bigger. There are possibilities for tying up boats here, dogs and cats are ok, it has really great channel views, and is pretty much the ultimate in Seattle waterfront living at a non Seattle waterfront real estate price. Annie O has two bedrooms and a beautiful wrap around deck and the slip that this Seattle houseboat is moored in is OWNED moorage.  The Log Foundation is a cooperative dock – meaning that the owners OWN the actual submerged parcel of land in the lake. Dues and taxes are low and it truly is affordable and simple living that somehow also feels like a huge luxury.  They are asking an unheard of low price of $599,000 and Molly or I would love to tell you more about it if you are interested.

Molly may be covered in dust up to her elbows and nose today, but call her and see if she can show you Annie O.  If you want her to be your buyer’s agent  for it, then she can help you with your closing costs as well. It’s a win win.  Call/Text 206-841-6800

Seattle Houseboats: 2014 Floating Homes Show Was A Hit!

Seattle Houseboats Brokers

Thank you to all the amazing volunteers who showed up in full force to make the 2014 Seattle Floating Homes Tour a success!

floating homes tour poster

Cooper Jacobs Brokers were on site to volunteer as well!

Thank you to all the members of Cooper Jacobs Real Estate.  This tour is a way for our office to give back to a phenomenal community! The Seattle floating homes neighborhood is very near and dear to our hearts and all proceeds of this tour go to the Floating Homes Association.

floating homes tour map

There were twelve Seattle floating homes on the tour this year in both Eastlake and Westlake.  We had 6 electric boats going back and forth across Lake Union as well as buses for ticket holders to go back and forth.

The theme this year was Wonderful Water Colors and co-chair Sue Jostrom was responsible for the beautiful pieces of art in the ticket/brochure. Courtney and Molly coordinated roughly 100 volunteers over two different shifts.  Jann , Melissa, and LeAnne were at Will Call passing out tickets to the purchasers of the sold out tour.  There were 1200 tickets sold this year and it was a success all the way around.

seattle realtors

Thanks to Brian Olsen and Jim Dougherty for being two of the twelve Captains crossing Lake Union on what was a very busy day on the lake! Thanks to Rick and Joyce Miner for providing the signage for us and thank you to Tricia Rendina and Joyce Black for being co-chairs and organizing sponsors, etc. This was a huge collaborative effort which goes back many months.

Additional reading if you are interested in this lifestyle or other Seattle neighborhoods:

Blog with lots of info about Seattle Houseboats

Seattle Floating Homes for sale

Seattle waterfront homes

Seattle neighborhoods

Eastlake Seattle Floating Home: 2017 Fairview Ave E #O

Seattle houseboats

Welcome to life afloat on the extremely desirable and most southern dock in Eastlake!

This adorable two bedroom Seattle floating home has a wrap around deck and wide channel views.  If you are looking at Seattle houseboats, then you know that this is a fabulous dock!

2017 Fairview Ave E #O

Open floor plan with beautiful and bright lighted spaces allows for comfortable living and easy entertaining in this great community.  $695,000

  • 2 Bedroom
  • 1 Bath
  • 700 Square Feet

seattle houseboats

Own your own slip and boat moorage possible with community approval. Pet friendly dock.

Kitchen is updated and has heated floors, new carpet, paint, and lots of great details.

Courtney Cooper 206.850.8841/Molly Cartwright 206.841.6800

Live Sleepless In Seattle Style On A Lake Union Floating Home

Beautifully Updated Seattle floating home for sale…

seattle floating homes for sale

2031 Fairview Ave E, Houseboat “P”

$775,000

Stunning Eastlake Seattle floating home for sale and new on the market—2 bedrooms, 2 baths, bamboo floors, new windows, new exterior paint, roof top deck, window seat, room for your small craft or water toys, LARGE 10 x 4 ft kitchen island for entertaining & a cook’s dream!

  • 2 Bedrooms
  • 1.75 Baths
  • 1100 Square Feet
  • Built in 1985
  • Owned Moorage
  • $385/month dues
  • LOW yearly taxes at $2005/year
  • roof top deck
  • updated finishes throughout

Beautiful surfaces and finishes everywhere you look! Hip glass“garage door” let’s in the light & the fresh air and is just one of the reasons you will fall in love with this home!  Here are some more pictures or you can see the full listing here:  2031 Fairview Ave E #P

For Your own private showing or for more information on this Seattle floating home or other Seattle houseboats, please get in touch with Seattle floating homes Realtors Courtney Cooper (courtney@cooperjacobs.com) or Molly Cartwright (molly@cooperjacobs.com or 206-841-6800) of Cooper Jacobs Real Estate. If you are interested in other Seattle floating homes for sale, we would love to show you what is available besides this beautiful property.

Brand New Seattle Floating Home On The Market

New today on the market…

2031 Fairview Ave E, Houseboat “P”

$825,000

seattle floating homes for sale

Stunning Eastlake Seattle floating home for sale and new on the market—2 bedrooms, 2 baths, bamboo floors, new windows, new exterior paint, roof top deck, window seat, room for your small craft or water toys, LARGE 10 x 4 ft kitchen island for entertaining & a cook’s dream!

  • 2 Bedrooms
  • 1.75 Baths
  • 1100 Square Feet
  • Built in 1985
  • Owned Moorage
  • $385/month dues
  • LOW yearly taxes at $2005/year
  • roof top deck
  • updated finishes throughout

Beautiful surfaces and finishes everywhere you look! Hip glass“garage door” let’s in the light & the fresh air and is just one of the reasons you will fall in love with this home!  Here are some more pictures or you can see the full listing here:  2031 Fairview Ave E #P

For Your own private showing or for more information on this Seattle floating home or other Seattle houseboats, please get in touch with Seattle floating homes Realtors Courtney Cooper (courtney@cooperjacobs.com) or Molly Cartwright (molly@cooperjacobs.com or 206-841-6800) of Cooper Jacobs Real Estate. If you are interested in other Seattle floating homes for sale, we would love to show you what is available besides this beautiful property.

Seattle Floating Home For Sale With End Of Dock Views!

2031 Fairview Ave E, Floating Home #G, Seattle, WA 98102 on the Lake Union Co-op Dock

2031 fairview ave e

This immaculate Cape Cod one level Seattle floating home is at the end of the dock with both privacy and unobstructed views of Lake Union.

If you have been shopping for Seattle houseboats, then don’t miss this one! It has 2 bedrooms, 1 very large exquisitely remodeled bathroom, and a desirable open floor plan. This floating home is roughly 1184 square feet with a large wrap around deck, and working fireplace.

seattle floating homes for sale

Originally built in 1957, it had a complete remodel in 2001 and has been updated since including a new roof in 2013. Fully renovated with flexibility as it can be perfect as is or take advantage of large float size with a 2 story 3200 square foot home.

  • Large float:  1827 square foot float.  In top 5% of floats on lake and home only occupies slightly over 50% of float.  This home is great to live in as is or can be a expanded to up to 90% of float size

  • Expand up (18 feet from water line) or out for larger Lake Union dream floating home

  • Den/office/mudroom has its own entry and room for an additional ½ bath

  • Parking available at an additional costseattle floating homes for sale

  • New roof in 2013 with reinforcements added for roof top deck expansion

  • All new floors – maple hardwoods

  • All new electrical panel, wiring, and fixtures

  • All new Anderson windows, wood trim, French doors

  • All new stainless appliances in kitchen and large washer and dryer in mudroom

  • 360 degree views from roof which has charming circular staircase ascending to it

  • Room for 24 foot boat tied up to home included plus additional kayak space.

  • Pet friendly dockSeattle floating homes for sale

  • Dues:  $385/mo cover general dock fund for maintenance, real estate taxes for co-op, and any matters of vote

  • Offered for:  $1,188,000

For Your own private showing or for more information, please get in touch with Courtney Cooper (courtney@cooperjacobs.com) or Molly Cartwright (molly@cooperjacobs.com or 206-841-6800) of Cooper Jacobs Real Estate.  If you are interested in other Seattle floating homes for sale, we would love to show you what is available besides this gem.