Seattle Houseboats were a hot item for Special Agents Realty this summer. With 7 houseboats being sold by and 5 of those listed by Special Agents, the Lake Union houseboat market was driven by Special Agents Realty activity. Every houseboat (see definition below) that was sold on Lake Union was sold by Special Agents Realty.
Houseboat vs. Floating Home: The Multiple Listing Service (NWMLS) combines both houseboats and floating homes into the same “Houseboat” bucket. However, the city has specific definitions treating these dwellings differently. A Floating Home is taxable as property, and they are typically on owned property (though not always). They are required to be permanently attached to the dock and to be served by a sewer system. TRUE Houseboats are not subject to property tax, however the buyer pays sales tax at the time of purchase. The 7 “houseboats” referred to above are in this later category.
So why was this such a big season for houseboats? There are a number of factors including financing, weather, and the availability of agents that understand the houseboat market.
Financing: This was the first year in the last 5 years that financing for houseboats was available in Seattle. Seattle Metropolitan Credit Union launched their houseboat financing program this year and it was utilized for some of these transactions. Our hats are off to SMCU for their new Houseboat lending program.
Weather: Although the houseboats are on the lake year round, there is definitely a season for houseboat sales. When the weather is warm and the sun is out, people start thinking about what it would be like to live on the lake. (TIP: Buyer’s should consider buying in the “off season” to get a better deal!).
Knowledgeable Agents: Yes, we are tooting our own horn here… Buying a houseboat can be tricky compared to buying a home. There are a number differences and intricacies that warrant getting an agent with houseboat experience. Agents all around the lake refer business to Special Agents Realty because we have become the Houseboat experts – from surveys to closing, we are the most experienced houseboat agents on the lake.
If you have thought about what it would be like to live on the water, we would love to discuss the possibilities with you. We can tell you about the good, the bad, and the fantastic. We have lived on Lake Union aboard the KevLin for 5 years so we understand the houseboat life. This is a unique lifestyle full of fun and atmosphere. You may sacrifice some square footage, but we have never regretted our choice. If you would like to read our story of how we made this lifestyle change, ThreeSheetsNW.com published this article
Give us a call at (206) 419-0065!