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Seattle Lake Union Waterfront Real Estate

Contact me to help you buy or sell your Lake Union waterfront home

Seattle house boats and floating homes communities on Lake Union

E-mail me for a personal e-mailed copy of my exclusive, highly informative, detailed booklet that provides you answers and insights of the ins and outs of Seattle's floating homes, house boats, and house barges:

"So, You'd Like to Know More About Seattle's Homes on the Water:

Answers To Frequently Asked Questions"

by Scott Price


Lake Union is a wonderful urban waterfront lifestyle. It is the primary location for Seattle's internationally famous floating homes and houseboats, which line the shores of the lake and provide moorage for close knit and friendly communities of people who share a love for not just waterfront, but water below. These homes, barges, and liveaboard house boats provide an expressive palette for artists, professionals, families, and retirees to all enjoy the immediate water access, lakefront action, and city skyline views that Lake Union offers. Imagine walking 10 feet outside your door and going for an evening kayak paddle after work! Or untying your sailboat from your home and joining in on the famous and wacky Duck Dodge races. And if you don't have a sailboat, you can cheaply rent one at the Center For Wooden Boats. If you don't have a kayak, there are two kayak rental places. Restaurants and shops line the streets around the lake, and it is very centrally located to many of the best that Seattle has to offer.

Floating homes are unusual in many ways, including the fact that you don't own land (but in many cases can own condominiumized moorage ownership, or otherwise lease dock space). As a result, they require special financing; I know of a number of lenders that have good programs with competitive rates, so no problems there. They also have particular requirements for inspecting their underlying floats; I again know several underwater inspection companies, so no problems there either! You also need to be willing to park in a special area and walk down a dock to your front door; everyone who lives on the lake loves the refreshing quick stroll though!

If you're willing to have a little bit of motion under you (though the wave action is generally not much in Lake Union), and if you're willing to have all of your friends want to come and join you for the 4th of July fireworks show on the lake, then give me a call and I'll make your "Sleepless In Seattle" dream come true. If you do not require much living space, there are surprisingly affordable small homes that fit most everyone's budget, and if you are looking for large and well appointed homes, there are many amazing options there also.

Lake Union is connected to Elliott Bay and Puget Sound via the Chittenden Locks, and is connected to Lake Washington via Portage Bay. The connecting Ship Canal also contains floating homes, in addition to a variety of land-based homes and condominiums, so there are options for everyone seeking Seattle's urban waterfront experience!

Photo Gallery of the local floating home / house boat community


Books about Floating Homes

At the Water's Edge: Muskoka's Boathouses by John De Visser and Judy Ross

Floating Homes: A Houseboat Handbook by Ted Laturnus

Handmade Houseboats: Independent Living Afloat by Russell Conder

The Houseboat Book by Barbara Flanagan

Houseboat: Reflections of North America's Floating Homes ... History, Architecture, and Lifestyles by Ben Dennis and Betsy Case

Houseboats by Mark Gabor

Shelters at the Shore: The Boathouses of Muskoka by John De Visser and Judy Ross

Staying Afloat: Life Aboard Houseboats, Barges, and Liveaboards by Jeri Calahan

Waterhouses (The Romantic Alternative) by Ferenc Mate

Water Squatters: The Houseboat Lifestyle by Beverly Dubin

The Wonderful World of Houseboating by Duane Newcomb


Local Banks That Recently Provides Floating Home Loans

(subject to change as banks come in and out of this niche market)

General article about financing floating homes

Pacific Crest Savings Bank

Union Bank

(I can provide you with specific contacts at these banks to best match your financing needs)


Seattle Overview

Seattle is the largest city in Washington state, located along the eastern shore of Puget Sound on Elliott Bay. Seattle is a major deep water shipping port, a direct supplier to Alaska, an expanding home base for advanced technology, and a primary trading partner with Pacific Rim countries. Local employers include Microsoft, Boeing, REI, Nordstrom, Weyerhaeuser, Eddie Bauer, Starbucks, and Amazon.com. Seattle is home to medical facilities of worldwide renown, and excellent schools of higher learning, including the University of Washington and its fine research facilities. Established in 1851, Seattle’s population is now around 570,000 people. Population of the greater metropolitan region exceeds 3,300,000.

Seattle shipyards and city skyline

Downtown Seattle is filled with vibrant experiences, elegant shops, magnificent new stores, fine restaurants, art museums, live theater, performance halls, and all major sports arenas. The red brick buildings of Pioneer Square historic district frame its unique boutiques and galleries. Pike Place Market is renowned for its bustling aisles of fresh produce, arts & crafts, colorfully displayed seafood, espresso stands, and fragrant foods from around the world. Stairways lead to lower level shops and on down to the import stores, restaurants, aquarium, ferry dock,tour boats, horse drawn taxis and clanging streetcars along the waterfront.

Seattle and surrounding cities are served by a network of major freeways and arterials. Local bus routes are enhanced with Park & Ride lots at major freeway interchanges providing free parking, and express busses have frequently scheduled routes in and out of town. Sea-Tac International Airport is located alongside I-5 halfway between Seattle and Tacoma. The islands and peninsulas in and across Puget Sound are served by the largest ferry system in the United States, with 25 vessels carrying 26 million annual passengers to 20 different ports of call.


Seattle's Other Neighborhoods

Seattle has many defined neighborhoods that have very distinctive flavors of their own. Fremont - "The Center of the Universe" - is an eclectic enclave of spirited people and a fanciful arts scene. Magnolia has grand mansions with amazing views that span city, water, and mountains. West Seattle and Alki Beach provide wonderful Puget Sound view backdrops for rollerblading, beach walking, bicycling, and outside dining. Belltown is known for its trendy urban lifestyle and "happening" city lifestyle. Refined residential neighborhoods such as Laurelhurst, Madison Park, Leschi, Mt. Baker, and others provide for many great neighborhoods to call home. And up and coming neighborhoods in Beacon Hill, Central, Columbia City, and Rainier Valley provide in-city homes at affordable values.

Seattle waterfront

Housing varies from contemporary condominiums and high-rise apartments downtown to the older homes of in-city neighborhoods, generally built between 1900 and 1940. There are unique colonies of houseboats on Lake Union and Interbay. The Pacific Northwest is timber country; homes are primarily built of wood, with brick used as an accent material. The hilly nature of our topography provides expansive views of water, islands, the rugged Olympic and Cascade Mountains, and 14,410 ft Mt. Rainier. Air conditioning is not typically needed in this mild climate.


Seattle Schools

The Seattle Public Schools system provides a wide variety of schooling options for its many diverse neighborhoods. Private and parochial schools also exist throughout the city. The college scene is dominated by renowned University of Washington, and it's huge number and breadth of programs has a lot to offer both students and non-students alike. There are also many very good community, technical, and associate degree colleges from which to choose.

Seattle's University of Washington


Seattle Parks and Recreation

The Seattle Parks system is truly exceptional and has been in the making for over a century. Waterfront parks and scenic trails are available at the breathtaking Discovery Park and Golden Gardens Park on Puget Sound, peaceful Magnuson Park and Seward Park by Lake Washington, and small picnic parks on the downtown waterfront. The famed Arboretum awaits anyone with an appreciation for trees, plants, and pleasant strolls. Green Lake Park is a popular place for people to congregate, exercise, or just have an ice cream cone in the summer. Neighborhood parks and p-patches (community garden space for residents) are also within walking distance of many homes throughout the city.

Seattle ferry in Elliott Bay


Seattle Information Resources

City of Seattle

Seattle Times

Seattle Post-Intelligencer


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