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Lake Union Floating Homes (Photo Essay)

Posted by Johnine Larsen on August 15, 2014
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If you’ve spent time on Lake Union, you’ve seen the floating homes. Maybe only from a distance, but you know they’re there. Today, we’re letting you get closer. We went up close and personal with some of the floating homes on Lake Union, and we turned our adventure into a photo essay.

Line ‘Em Up

Seattle only has about 500 floating homes, and the city will not allow any more floating home spots.

Seattle only has about 500 floating homes, and the city will not allow any more floating home spots.

Welcome to the Neighborhood

Very few floating homes ever appear on the market; only about a dozen go up for sale each year.

Very few floating homes ever appear on the market; only about a dozen go up for sale each year.

On the Simple Side

There’s no one-size-fits-all model for floating homes. Size, style, and age vary wildly.

There’s no one-size-fits-all model for floating homes. Size, style, and age vary wildly.

On the Extravagant Side

Prices for houseboats range from three hundred thousand dollars to three million dollars.

Prices for houseboats range from three hundred thousand dollars to three million dollars.

Floating Homes, Not Houseboats

Floating homes and houseboats are two different things. The former are permanently connected to their docks, and they come equipped with all the standard utilities like electricity and sewer. Houseboats move. They are moored in marinas, and they are classified as vessels, not homes.

Floating homes and houseboats are two different things. Floating homes are permanently connected to their docks, and they come equipped with all the standard utilities like electricity and sewer. Houseboats move. They are moored in marinas, and they are classified as vessels, not homes.

Little House on the Water

If you own a floating home, you must pay property taxes. You also have to follow the same building codes that apply to land-based houses. However, taxes tend to be significantly cheaper on floating homes than foundation homes.

If you own a floating home, you must pay property taxes. You also have to follow the same building codes that apply to land-based homes. However, taxes tend to be significantly cheaper on floating houses, compared to foundation houses.

Their Transportation Floats, Too

Very few people ever feel seasick on a floating home. Their size makes them stable, and their movement is minimal.

Very few people ever feel seasick on a floating home. Their size makes them stable, so their movement is minimal.

Waterfront Views

From Seattle's floating homes, you can enjoy views of Lake Union, Gas Works Park, and the city's skyscrapers. Even though there aren't many of them, floating homes are an iconic part of our city.

From Seattle’s floating homes, you can enjoy views of Lake Union, Gas Works Park, and the city’s skyscrapers. Even though there aren’t many of them, floating homes are an iconic part of our city.

All pictures by Sue Larsen
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