Seattle Houseboats For Rent: Eastlake

Seattle Houseboats For Rent

Are you looking for Seattle Houseboats for rent? Living on Lake Union is a dream for many people moving to Seattle from all around the world.  After all, it is the quintessential Seattle waterfront life!  Despite this, trying before buying can be a good way to ease into this lifestyle if you aren’t sure. Beginning October 20th of this year, this one bedroom Eastlake floating home is for rent.  Also, it has had a complete interior remodel including new windows, furnace, kitchen, bathroom and more!  This truly is Seattle Waterfront Living℠ at its very core and we invite you to take a peek at some of the details of this latest Eastlake floating home rental opportunity. Seattle houseboats for rent are few and far between, so we are excited to tell you about this one!

Details about this floating home:Seattle houseboats for rent

  • one bedroom
  • one bathroom
  • small deck upstairs with a full 360 degree Lake Union views from the bedroom
  • cozy wood burning fireplace
  • full laundry room
  • huge wrap around deck
  • room for your recreational boat up to 24′.

Additional  Important Information about renting this adorable Lake Union home: 

  • $3000 /month
  • AVAILABLE OCTOBER 20th through MAY 1, 2016

Are you interested in living Life Afloat On Lake Union? We look forward to  hearing all about it, so if you are interested in renting this Seattle houseboat, please contact Molly Cartwright, Seattle Waterfront and Houseboats Realtor.  Email:

© Cooper Jacobs Real Estate™ & Seattle Afloat®  We are Seattle Houseboats Experts℠ and look forward to helping you, buy, sell, or rent your next home.

Seattle Floating Homes Market Update

Seattle Floating Homes On Lake Union Wards Cove Rooftop

A lot can change in a week.  One moved through the Ballard Locks into its new permanent home, One back to Active status in the MLS, one went pending in the MLS and a BIG one just hit the market!

Let’s start with Seattle Houseboats for sale

These homes range in price from $750,000 to $3,295,000 for an ultra luxury floating home at Wards Cove. (Remember also that these are the Seattle houseboats that are in the Seattle floating homes category only and do not include other Seattle floating on-water residences.)

Pending Seattle Floating Homes:

These include houseboats that are pending in the MLS under Pending, Pending Inspection, and Pending Seattle floating homes for saleFeasibility. There are FOUR Seattle floating homes that are currently marked as pending and waiting to close in escrow. These include homes on the Mallard Cove dock, Log Foundation, and The Lake Union and range in price from $499,500 for the pending feasibility listing to $1,395,000 for the beauty at Mallard Cove.

Seattle Floating Homes that have sold in the last 60 days through the MLS –

There have been three Seattle houseboats in this category which have closed in escrow in the last sixty days.

  • 2420 Westlake Ave N #7 Molly and I listed this one – pretty great place in Westlake.
  • 2017 Fairview Ave E #K  This is on the Log Foundation Dock
  • 2821 Fairview Ave E #9  The first public resale of the famed Wards Cove at 2821 Fairview Ave E.

Houseboat through the locksYou can see full details of these floating homes on the listing sheets here: Seattle houseboats sold 10022015  If you are interested in looking at the various dollar per square foot and market time, then here is an overall market sheet to look at the differences in these numbers: Seattle Floating Homes Market 10022015 Please let us know if you are interested in learning more about Seattle floating homes.  We are Seattle houseboats Realtors and love what we do!

OH!  I almost forgot the fun part!  For years Molly and I have been asked about the burned up houseboat in Eastlake and whether or not the owner will sell it.   The answer was always no because we knew they were having their dream floating home built in Canada to replace the burned up one in the exact footprint. It happened this last week! Seattle’s newest floating home was floated right through The Ballard Locks and put in place on one of the more perfect days in Seattle. The Locks posted a picture on Facebook.


Molly Cartwright 206-841-6800 
Courtney Cooper 206-850-8841
We can immediately answer your questions or email us at

Floating Home For Rent – Available November 1st – RENTED –

Seattle Houseboats For Rent:

We get a lot of inquiries for Seattle Houseboats for rent.  Have you ever wanted to know what it’s like to live on a Seattle floating home before purchasing one?  Houseboat rentals in Seattle are difficult to come by, but here’s your chance!  And… It is in Eastlake! Eastlake is usually the first place people are interested in looking at Seattle houseboats.  Well, after they ask about the Sleepless in Seattle houseboat which is actually across Lake Union in Westlake.  Seattle Houseboats for rentBack to the exciting news: Looking for Seattle Houseboats for rent? They are few and far between so don’t miss out on this one!An amazing opportunity in Eastlake arises on Lake Union.  Visit the open house to check out this adorable floating home available November 1st to rent.

So here are the details about this Eastlake houseboat for rent:
$3100/month. First and last month’s rent required plus a $1000 damage deposit for move-in, cats okay with additional $500 deposit per cat. Small/medium dogs will be considered for an additional $100/month. Very cool perk: Utilities (water, sewer, garbage) are included.

Some of the Property features:
• Loft Style Bedroom with Large Skylights
• Large roof top deck with scenic Lake Union views (rooftop decks in Eastlake are considered one of the number one desired features when it comes to Seattle houseboats)
• Spare Room, Den or OfficeSeattle houseboats for rent
• Full Size Washer and Dryer
• Lake Union Boat Moorage (this is also a highly coveted perk of Lake Union floating homes which isn’t available to all)
• Rare Large Channel in front of  this houseboat. Plenty of water to turn your boat around, swim or get familiar with a paddle board.  Plus the views!
• Plenty of Zoned Street Parking
• Water Sewer and Garbage included with rent
• Double Pane Windows
• Fresh coat of exterior paint applied May 2015

Come see this one!  As far as Seattle houseboats for rent go, it’s a gem:  OPEN HOUSE SUNDAY, OCTOBER 4TH 10:00AM — NOON

2201 Fairview Ave E
Seattle, WA 98102

Seattle Floating Homes Market Heading Into 4th Quarter 2015

Seattle Houseboats in 2015 have been busy!

Seattle houseboats with views of Lake Union

As of today, 19 Seattle Houseboats (Lake Union floating homes and housebarges only)have closed in escrow through the MLS.  There have been many more off market closings on top of that number, but to give you an idea of the increased action on Lake Union, consider this:  Last year in all of 2014 in the NWMLS 19 Seattle Floating homes and house barges closed. The entire year.  You can see the detail here: Seattle Houseboats sales 2014 When looking at the MLS at this time last year, there were 11 Seattle floating homes and house barges that had closed. Add to that the fact that there are five Seattle floating homes pending in escrow in the MLS right now and 2015 promises to be a record setting year!

So here is what it looks like on the Seattle houseboats market right now:

There are 2 Seattle floating homes for sale that are marked Active in the MLS – priced between $750,000 and $1,495,000 – both of these Seattle houseboats for sale are Eastlake homes as opposed to Westlake or Portage Bay (BTW – there are also Seattle houseboats for rent currently, too, if you want to just try it out). As mentioned above, there are 5 Seattle floating homes that are pending – ranging in price from $179,000 to $1,150,000. Looking at the last 60 days of closed sales for floating homes, there are three:

seattle houseboats experts2420 Westlake Ave N #7 sold for $875,000 on 8/18/2015

2017 Fairview Ave E #K sold for $959,000 on 9/9/2015

2821 Fairview Ave E #9 sold for $3,000,000 on 8/26/2015

You can see additional details on the above info here: Seattle houseboats market.

A quick note on that last sale above. 2821 Fairview Ave E is Wards Cove and this was our first resale from the Seattle floating homes new construction development in Eastlake. Obviously it was well received on the Seattle real estate market because it sold for 103.63% of its list price!  You can see the full listing sheets for these sold Seattle houseboats here: Seattle houseboats SOLD and then details for all of 2015 Sold Seattle floating homes and housebarges here: 2015 Seattle houseboats sales

We look forward to seeing how the year ends in floating homes and housebarge sales in Seattle – please let us know if you need any information at all or are curious about the value of your floating home.  call/text/email 206-841-6800

SeattleAfloat® Enjoy Life Afloat On Lake Union – Your Authority On Seattle Houseboat Living 

A Little “Dirt” On Seattle Houseboats – The History You May Not Know

Seattle houseboats

Colorful Seattle Houseboats on The Log Foundation docks of Eastlake in 2014. Image courtesy of Cooper Jacobs Real Estate.

Seattle Houseboats “Colorful” Background & Entrepreneurial Spirit Transcends Time…

To look at all the colorful and cheery Lake Union floating homes today is to never know how truly colorful their past is. Seattle floating homes are a living and evolving part of Seattle’s history.  From their humble beginnings over a hundred years ago as floating shanties compiled of pillaged lumber, it is amazing to see that some sell for over $3 Million dollars in today’s real estate market.

Seattle houseboats were originally built in two different ways.  Either the worker would utilize his commuting work boat and build living quarters above it, or they would gather “loose” logs and raft them together to build a completely free floating structure.  It was an inexpensive way of living and was tax free on top of it.

Madison Park Seattle houseboats

Map of Seattle houseboats along shores of Madison Park. Image Courtesy of Seattle Municipal Archives Item #944

At the peak, the Seattle floating homes community was as large as two thousand houseboats lining the shores of the city in various locations which even included Madison Park in Lake Washington.  The residents of the surrounding Seattle neighborhoods reportedly snubbed them and looked down at this way of life.  They apparently felt that it was beneath their standards and so began the struggle of Seattle houseboats to Stay Afloat In Seattle™.  Today there are around 500 Seattle floating homes and probably another two or three hundred liveaboards that are officially newly categorized as Seattle Floating On-Water Residences (final count once all have registered themselves in the latest legislation). The latest Seattle floating home dock was a new construction floating home development called Ward’s Cove.  Very specific requirements need to be in place in order to develop new construction Seattle floating homes, so it is next to impossible to do so.

If The City Historically Wanted Them Gone, Why Did They Allow Docks To Begin With?

Denny Hill View

Here is a view towards Downtown from the South slope of Denny Hill in 1886 (photo courtesy of Seattle Municipal Archives Item # 2869)

The short answer is The University of Washington. Wait.  What? The long answer is that Seattle has a very long history of making some incredibly hairbrained decisions as far as infrastructure goes. A perfect example (and my apologies for going off subject here for a minute, but….) The Denny Regrade: The hill is too big?  Scrape it into the Puget Sound. In 1900, the city decided to basically eliminate a whole hill which covered 62 city blocks.  Denny Hill was a significantly beautiful hill in Seattle.  It had a gorgeous crowned jewel of a hotel atop it that was so grand that even President Theodore Roosevelt stayed there! It had an old cemetery and a beautiful park on it with expansivel views in all directions.  In all, they removed a reported six million cubic yards of earth.

Connecting the dots:  What does this all have to do with Seattle houseboats and The University of Washington? Let’s go backwards.  The modern day campus of The University of Washington was largely laid out and shaped by The Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition of 1909.   In 1907 the city of Seattle platted and sold the submerged “parcels” in Lake Union to the adjacent waterfront property land owners.  This enabled docks to be built and Seattle houseboats to be moored to them.  According to The Lake Union Mail on an article about Submerged Parcels Park on the Cheshiahud Loop, “The “Lake Union Shore Lands” were created in 1907 as a funding mechanism for the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition (S.B. #101). Water extending from shore approximately one block (roughly 400 feet) was platted as buildable land, then sold. These parcels didn’t sink, they started sunk. And they were considered valuable.” Now you know how a World’s Fair, Denny Hill, The University of Washington, and Seattle Houseboats are related.

Seattle houseboats booze hatch

While replacing the carpet for one of our Seattle historic houseboat listings in 2010, we found an old booze hatch left over from Prohibition days. Image Courtesy of Courtney Cooper.

More Shady Past on The Lake: Life Afloat In Seattle℠: You Want To Stay Dry, Except When It Comes To Your Drink…..

Creativity has always been a strong characteristic of the Seattle floating homes community.  This was never so true as during the prohibition era. According to the 1996 article by Sharon Boswell in The Seattle Times, “But for those who couldn’t afford the pleasures of Doc’s or one of the hundreds of other boozy night spots and music clubs along Jackson Street, in Belltown or even on Lake Union houseboats, there was always a bottle of locally produced bootleg available to consume in the privacy of home.”  If floating homes seem like an unlikely place to get your alcohol fix then consider that In his highly acclaimed book, “Seattle’s Unsinkable Houseboats”, Howard Droker tells the story of a very enterprising entrepreneur who along with the cedar bark he sold off his boat, also sold smuggled Canadian liquor.

It’s absolutely true.  If you take a peek under carpets of older floating homes you will see the leftover evidence of the Prohibition era and how crafty houseboaters were able to not stay dry.  Many of them have hidden trap doors under the floor that were used for storing alcohol.  At one point in time there were regular “rum run” routes such as the one Droker writes about which would make their rounds delivering to Lake Union floating homes. These booze hatches were ingenious and stored between the floating logs with a wire cage so that the waters of the lake itself could keep the liquor cold and well hidden.  According to, The Seattle Times noted at one point that in regard to those wild times, “Some of the stories behind the houseboat population are as colorful as anything that ever came out of Seattle’s history, but respect for another’s privacy and past is an unspoken code on the lake.”

Seattle houseboats for sale in Eastlake

This historic Seattle houseboat was once used as a floating dance hall. It is for sale today for $697,000. Listed by Cooper Jacobs Real Estate. Molly Cartwright 206-841-6800

Seattle Houseboats Are Still Afloat & Strong Today

Go experience their magic – Take a kayak tour through Lake Union and Portage Bay where you will find what is left of the Seattle floating homes community.  Take a walk around Lake Union on the Cheshiahud Loop. Lake Union is the very heart of the city. Try and imagine the colorful past as you look at the beauty and creativeness which is so abundant today.  This is a living and breathing Seattle neighborhood, but also a significant part of Northwest history.  It is as vibrant as the wonderful people who live in it.  I am so thankful to have known so many of them and appreciate how they have enriched my life so far.  Please also take a minute and donate to the Seattle Floating Homes Association if you can.

Want more information on Seattle houseboats?

seattle houseboats expertsWe are happy to help!  Please call Courtney or Molly.  We are Seattle Houseboats Experts ℠, and have been Seattle Realtors specializing in floating homes and waterfront for many years. We look forward to helping you find your piece of Lake Union.

Molly Cartwright 206-841-6800   Courtney Cooper 206-850-8841
We can immediately answer your questions or email us at
Seattle Afloat ® We want to help you live your life Afloat In Seattle Cooper Jacobs Real Estate