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.
Welcome to the Neighborhood
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.
On the Extravagant Side
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. 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 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, so their movement is minimal.
All pictures by Sue Larsen
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.