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By June 21, 2014

Floating Homes


With three posts already today about Eastlake floating homes for rent and for sale, it seems only fitting that I fill you in on what it is like to live on a houseboat/floating home.

The story starts when we moved out of our loft at Trace Lofts into a rental home in the Central District. In hindsight we were fortunate to rent a Pb Elemental designed, built in 2007, home for what at the time seemed like a lot of money but compared to rents now, was kinda reasonable. It was a pretty decent place – two bedrooms, three bedrooms, three decks including a massive rooftop deck. Only bummer was that shortly after we moved in the owner wanted to sell! We were unable to come to an agreement for a lease buyout so the writing was on the wall that as soon as our lease expired she’d be selling and sell she did. So for almost the whole length of our lease there we were looking for a new place.

Houseboats had always been on our mind ever since a friend of ours rented one over on Westlake. But they sure are hard to come by! Especially if you want one bigger than 1,000 square feet.

Shortly before our lease was expiring and no other rentals in our sights, except our own small one bedroom on the west side of Capitol Hill, we happened to hit Craigslist right as a floating home came up. As luck would have it we were the second ones to get a showing and the first to get a deposit in.

The water: It is just awesome being right on the water. Our place came with a kayak which we’ve supplemented with a Costco special standup paddle board, and we might try and rescue a friend’s old inflatable tender. Unfortunately though our house is on a fairly narrow waterway making navigating any larger boats pretty tricky.

Pete’s Market: This only applies to Eastlake, but having a nice little market two blocks away rocks. I’ve lived three and half blocks from a grocery store but two blocks is a whole different thing. So convenient.

You really get to know your neighbors: Living in an apartment then a condo or two for nearly ten years I barely got to know my neighbors. Being on a houseboat for just six weeks we’ve got to know our neighbors very quickly. Hard not to when you stare into each other’s living rooms and decks and see each other all the time.

They don’t rock: At least ours doesn’t. Well, it did once when a huge wave came by.

Smaller parties: We’ve been warned that for 4th of July you need to watch how many people you load your place up with. It might actually take on water!

Leveling: Once we moved all our stuff in we had to get the place re-leveled so it was floating properly.

Seaplanes: it is surprising how many seaplanes take off and land. Usually no problem, but they are loud some mornings when you’d rather be sleeping.

No garage: Not having a garage sucks.

No dedicated parking: Not the biggest deal but sometimes parking gets tight…

Spiders: OMG, so many spiders.

Ants: OMG, so many ants. These traps did the trick though.

I’m the founder and managing broker of Urban Living. I love lofts, floating homes, new construction and mid-century moderns but will help you buy or sell just about anything.

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