Special Agents Realty
Seattle Floating Homes

Houseboat Vessel “Pacena”

June 30, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 


Don’t miss this adorable 2 bedroom houseboat called “Pacena”!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERACome aboard “Pacena” an absolutely charming houseboat 40′ x 12′ vessel located in sought after Nickerson Marina houseboat gated community. Room for small sailboat along side. Two bedrooms, 3/4 bath, Webasto radiant heated wood flooring, chef designed kitchen, Webasto constant hotwater. Lot’s of gardening space and a wonderful upper deck for entertaining. Laundry and additional showers on site, slip fees $449. per month, $150 per month liveaboard and $8.00 PM garbage. Black water pump out additional. Financing possible, call vessel broker or email for questions.

Seattle Floating Homes

Flagship Seattle Houseboat-Vessel

June 19, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 



Check out this fabulous, fun, funky, Seattle houseboat!

American Dream ReduxImagine waterfront you can put your toes in!  Picture owning this one of a kind flagship!  The spirit of Seattle shines through in this fanciful, charming houseboat loaded with character and flavor. Nicely equipped with a 3/4 bath, charming kitchen with nautical cabinetry, and wood ceilings accented with nautical style beams.  Complete with elevated pilot station and wooden ship’s wheel, this vessel has all the right stuff.  Located at Seattle Marina in an over-sized slip, there is room for your run-about behind the houseboat-vessel, or we can move it to a smaller slip.

Special Agents, Inc has submitted application for our vessel brokers license and will be your houseboat vessel go to broker. Coming soon Seattle-Houseboat.com.

Check out the VIDEO here!

Check out the VIRTUAL TOUR here!



Seattle Floating Homes

National Realtors Open House Event

April 14, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

National Realtors Open House Event April 20th and 21st

Thinking of listing your home?  You have time to get your home ready to make the best first impression for new buyer’s and I have prepared a list of to do’s so you are ready.

  1. Do a pre-inspection on your home to help you avoid dealing with unforeseen issues during the negotiations. Think of this as your handyman to-do list and hire professionals as needed. Save your receipts for all your work, you may need these receipts for the potential buyer and possibly for your taxes (check with your CPA).
  2. Meet with your Real Estate Broker who will provide a Comparative Market Analysis for your home, discuss listing price and may have suggestions on what you may be able to do to get the best value for prospective buyer’s.  Your Realtor may also recommend previewing active listings in your market area. This will be your competition. In addition you will want to discuss with your Realtor buying a home and ask for a lender referral. This will be a good time to meet with Lender you trust and discuss with them what you need to do to get pre-approved for buying a home. Getting your pre-approval before you list your home may save a lot of headaches when you get an offer on your home. You need to be ready to buy.
  3. This is Spring and “Curb Appeal” is very important. To get buyer’s in the door you need an inviting entry, so power-wash moss, paint and freshen up with flowers and new bark. Hire a yard service if you need the help, because this will pay off in the price you get for the home.
  4. Minimize! De-personalize and organize your home and get rid of the clutter. That doesn’t mean cramming it in the closets and garage, it means consider getting rid of things never or rarely used. Buyer’s need to see that the home is not over crowed and there will be room for their things. If it is cluttered, it will be difficult for buyer’s to see beyond your belongings. I recommend placing things you are not using in storage tubs. It can be less daunting to pack them later if you have them already packed in easy to move storage containers. Consider renting a storage unit for a few months while the home is listed.
  5. Change out all the light bulbs to brighter bulbs and clean all the light fixtures while your at it. Replace any broken or outdated light fixtures, but try to stay with period fixtures.
  6. Clean the windows inside and out. I recommend using hot-water with a very small amount of dish soap. Always show your home with all the lights on and window coverings open to let in the light.
  7. If you need to paint consider lighter neutral colors.  Get a designer if you need help choosing colors, but stay neutral.
  8. If something is broken replace it or fix it. Buyer’s want to know you have taken care of your home.
  9. Clean, clean, clean! Whether you hire deep cleaning house cleaner or you do it your self, it is very important to clean the home, including the carpets.
  10. Consider getting your home staged. Partial staging will go a long way when selling a home and statistically a lightly staged home will sell first. Even if it is not the better home.
  11. List your home for sale and plan for many showings in your first week or two. Your Realtor will work with you on the best showing times and Open House times.

Click here to email Linda Bagley and I will help you through the process.


Seattle Floating Homes

Rental Houseboat/Floating home

April 4, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Special Agents Realty and Special Agents Houseboats needs Floating Home and Houseboat rentals as soon as possible. We have renters on a waiting list. Please email Linda@specialAgents.net if you have one coming available with soon.

I recently filled a Floating Home rental email request within 24 hours with a very high quality renter. Let me know if you would like a reference from the owner.

Thank you!

Seattle Floating Homes


March 20, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Seattle Houseboats, barges and Floating homes — OH MY!

Have you heard the latest news on Seattle Houseboats (or, perhaps the most accurate news, that is)???

For a summary of the definitions of Houseboats, House Barges, and Floating Homes PLEASE CLICK HERE.

Did you notice Houseboats are no longer listed on the NWMLS (Northwest Multiple Listing Service), or did you think there are no houseboats for sale?

Houseboat CollageOn the contrary, there are Seattle Houseboats for sale but they are no longer on the NWMLS nor are they to be sold by Real Estate Brokers! For decades Houseboats were listed on the NWMLS and Real Estate Brokers sold them. Recently, the NWMLS concluded that a Houseboat is a licensed vessel, a boat, and is not property that Real Estate Brokers (agents) are licensed to sell. The new Rules were posted November 1st 2012 but remained on the NWMLS until this month (March 2013). Seattle Houseboat vessels (boats) are typically closed through Maritime Title Services, registered as a vessel with the Department of Licensing and the buyer pays Sales Tax. In 2006, we discovered our houseboat, a dual stern paddle wheeler on the NWMLS, and we purchased it and have lived there since 2007. It fascinated me that we could actually list and sell houseboats on the MLS because they are boats and we became the specialists in buying and selling houseboats and barges.

Part of the reason for this error is the nomenclature used by the NWMLS has been incorrect, leading to the wrong type of “On Water Residences” being listing on the NWMLS. Through our conversations with the NWMLS, we pointed out that they were incorrectly referring to Floating Homes as Houseboats. As a result of these conversations, the style code is being changed and the previous style code of Houseboats will now be Floating Homes. I am very excited about this, as it will help eliminate the problem of listing houseboats, when only Floating Homes are allowed.

The Jury is out whether Seattle House Barges can be listed on the NWMLS and if real estate brokers can list and sell them. Seattle House Barges are vessels that do not require a means of propulsion and are found both in rented slips and in owned slips.  There are 34 Seattle barge vessels approved by the City of Seattle.

In addition, Department of Planning and Development published a Client Assistance Memo (updated in 2004) that clarified the definitions of the 3 types of “On Water Properties” (Floating Homes, House Barges, and Vessels)
In this CAM-229 it defines House Barges:  
The SSMP defines a house barge as a vessel that is both:
1. designed and used for navigation but lacks a
means of self-propulsion and steering equipment
or capability (for example, it is designed and used
for navigation by towing); and
2. designed or used as a place of residence.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOf importance for Houseboat buyer’s, it is imperative that you are knowledgeable about the Seattle City Houseboat and Barge Regulations. We (Kevin and Linda Bagley) are the founders of LULA (Lake Union Liveaboard Association) and are very active with the issues and politics surrounding Houseboats and Barges.  Kevin is a Seattle Council appointed Stake Holder negotiating for the rights of existing Seattle Houseboats on Lake Union and keenly aware of the current issues surrounding Houseboats in the Seattle Shoreline Master Plan. If you have any questions or concerns and want ACCURATE information about Seattle Houseboats or Barges you need to contact Kevin Bagley or Linda Bagley.

There are excellent books on Amazon.com “Seattle’s Unsinkable Houseboats” and “Seattle’s Floating Homes”, which give some of the Seattle history.

While the NWMLS and Real Estate Brokers sort out what can and cannot be sold, we at Special Agents, Inc. have taken the necessary steps (legally licensed) to sell Floating Homes, Houseboats or housebarges. We soon will have a new website afloat for ALL listings. Stay tuned!!

Seattle Floating Homes

Patti and Mike endorse Special Agents

March 11, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Patti Sherlock: Client, Seller

We listed one home with Linda and now (several properties later) work with her and Special Agents realty exclusively for very good reasons. Her service is phenomenal – far beyond the expected, her ethics honest and upfront without question, she is friendly, professional, very detailed oriented and stays on top of all the details. She alerts us to information and timelines important to making an investment or getting a good return on investments made. Whether we are buying or selling, we give Linda our full endorsement without reservation!

Seattle Floating Homes

Floating Home Needed

February 20, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

We have a buyer for the END of the dock Floating Home on Lake Union. Westlake preferred, however our buyers will consider all end of dock options.  Email me at Linda@specialagents.net.

Seattle Floating Homes

New Houseboats in Seattle are Not Permitted!

February 18, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 



Seattle Department of Planning and Development proposed the new Shoreline Master Plan to the Seattle City Council in January 2013. This proposal was accepted and approved by the full council to be submitted to Department of Ecology.

The Review process for Department of Ecology can take 6Houseboats months to a year to review the hundreds of pages of proposed changes to Seattle Shoreline management areas.

As a part of this proposal:

NO NEW HOUSEBOAT STYLE VESSELS are permitted in the Seattle Shoreline Management areas as a liveaboard vessels.

New houseboats (includes rectangular shaped houseboat style vessels) of any kind or manufacture are banned as liveaboard houseboats in the SMP areas.  If you have a houseboat under construction, if you are looking at the cheaper houseboats in the Olympia, Portland or Vancouver areas – we strongly recommend that you do not bring them into Lake Union, the Ship Canal, or the Duamish river marina, Shilshoe or  Elliot Bay. You may receive a Notice of Violation and will be required to remove it from the SMP areas.  We urge Brokers to advise buyers they cannot use NEW Houseboats as liveaboards, that they may not be legal for living aboard and encouraging this could be a disservice to your buyers. Buyer’s should check with DPD before making the investment as a liveaboard in the Seattle waters.

Existing Houseboat Vessels in the SMP areas continue to be the subject of controversy with DPD.  DOE (Department of Ecology) has stated that they did not task the city of Seattle to remove houseboats. DOE tasked DPD with addressing “Overwater Use”, rather than a particular style of vessel.

With the thousands of trawlers, yacht style and sailboat liveaboards the miniscule number of existing houseboats likely make up less than 1% of the greywater that goes into the water. It is important to note that houseboats are not designed to be able to pump Sewage into the waters, while pointy bow yachts, trawlers and sailboats are frequently designed to allow this. We do not believe a responsible person would pump sewage in our waters.

There have been comments made that make it seem like Grey water is the issue (water from showers, sinks, and washers).  However, greywater is NOT addressed in the SMP other than through Best Management Practices (BMP’s). These BMP’s apply to ALL vessels regardless of shape. With houseboat style vessels comprising a very small percentage of liveaboards, the contribution of grey water from houseboats is miniscule when compared to all liveaboard vessels.

We applaud Department of Ecology for contributing $20,000 to Seattle to hold Stakeholder Group meetings with a Facilitator beginning March 2013 that have been tasked with the following goal:

Develop and consider alternatives for an orderly process to establish the status of residences on the water that are not identified as legal floating homes or legal house barges and are not clearly identified as vessels. For the purposes of this memo, these structures will be referred to as “on water residences”.

The Stakeholder group is comprised of the following people;

  • Kevin Bagley, Lake Union Liveaboard Association
  • Joseph Bogaard, Save Our Wild Salmon
  • John Chaney, Lake Union Liveaboard Association
  • Patrick Dunham, Lake Union Liveaboard Association
  • Barb Engram, Lake Union Liveaboard Association
  • Margie Freeman, Marina owner
  • Al Hughes, Washington Liveaboard Association
  • Gail Luhn, Shilshole Liveaboard Association
  • John Waterhouse, Naval architect
  • Chris Wilkie, Puget Soundkeeper Alliance

Based on comments made by City Council members, we caution against bringing a new houseboat (or an existing houseboat that is currently located outside Seattle waters) on to Seattle Waters.

No new Floating home sites will be permitted in the SMP (primarily Lake Union and Portage Bay).  There is a new floating home site with a few unsold slips and a few floating homes under construction at Wards Cove and these are permitted. Replacement of a floating home is permitted, but no new home sites where none existed.

House Barges approved (registered) in 1990 – 1995 (and one in 2000) totaling 34 are approved and will remain on the lake without issues. DPD stated throughout the process that only a couple barges had complied with the 1990 rule imposed “All overboard discharges of grey water must be contained and pumped out (exceptions allowed based on hardship)”, however in the discovery process we found that the city had documentation that all barges except two were in fact in compliance or had been granted exceptions.

The definition of floating homes, house barges, and vessels can be found at:


In 1990 the city of Seattle also created rule for barges that many barge owners today are not aware of. Recently, very happy buyer’s of a house barge updated their new home by changing a ladder that accessed the upper deck and converting it to a safer staircase and made their upper deck space safer by adding rails and a platform to protect the rooftop deck.  They were told that they needed the original DCLU seal replaced which was misplaced during the remodel. They then contacted DPD to get it replaced, and were told “we don’t issue the decals any longer, but could you send us a photo so we can update our files?”  After sending the photo, the city said “…it appears you have added an expansion” which is not allowed for house barges as they are non-conforming uses and may not expand their exterior dimensions.”  The owners of the barge received the following along with a NOV (Notice of Violation) from DPD.

I regret to inform you that the 3rd story deck on your house barge is in violation of the Shoreline Code and must be removed. If you do not bring the house barge into compliance, you could be fined.

When we last spoke, you requested information on the specific Shoreline laws that would apply to registered house barges. The link provided below is a link to the Seattle Municipal Code:

http://clerk.ci.seattle.wa.us/~public/code1.htm, Enter 23.60.090 where it says “Code Section Number” and hit “Submit Query.” Please go to subsection G, #5, which says: “House barges permitted under this section shall be regulated as a nonconforming use and shall be subject to the standards of Section 23.60.122.” Following the link to 23.60.122, subsection B.  The deck on your house barge would be considered an expansion not subject to the exception.

If you are considering remodeling your house barge, you read the regulations regarding “non-conforming uses” shown above.

Kevin and Linda Bagley are the founders, former president & secretary of LULA (Lake Union Liveaboard Association) and have been very involved in protecting the rights of houseboat / barge owners in the SMP. We will continue to be involved in LULA and encourage anyone that wants to protect the houseboats, barges and liveaboards to join LULA at www.lakeunionliveaboard.com.

If you own a House Barge or Houseboat vessel and are considering selling or buying, you need a specialist in the process. We would love to help in any way we can, so give Linda a call at (206) 419-0065.


If you have ANY questions about Floating Homes, House Barges, and Houseboat vessels, please give us a call. We have lots of resources and information we can provide.

And if you are considering a Land Lubber purchase, give us a call for that too!  We sell residential real estate throughout the Puget Sound region.

Seattle Floating Homes

Houseboat-Housebarge Update from Special Agents

February 6, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 


Dear Special Agents Subscriber (fellow live-aboard)!

The Seattle Shoreline Management Plan (SSMP) has been approved by the Seattle city council and has been forwarded on to the Department Of Ecology (DOE) for review. This process is expected to take anywhere from 6 months to a year to complete, during which time there will be additional opportunities for comment and public involvement with DOE.

There are two sections in the SSMP that relate to liveaboards. The first section deals with regulations that affect NEW liveaboard vessels (after the SSMP is put into effect).  We refer to this section as “Rules Going Forward.”  The second section deals with existing vessels that were on the water prior to implementation of the SSMP and that do not meet the new “Rules Going Forward.”

The changes for NEW liveaboard vessels are pretty significant and can be boiled down to:

If you are not a pointy shaped vessel (trawler, yacht, sailboat) you cannot live aboard.

The changes for EXISTING liveaboard vessels can be boiled down to:

If you are not a pointy shaped vessel (trawler, yacht, sailboat), but are a navigable vessel (i.e. power, steering, etc.), you can continue to live aboard but cannot alter the exterior dimensions of your vessel.

What does this mean for you?
If you own a houseboat that is not one of the 34 grandfathered legal house barges (if you are unsure of this, it is likely you are NOT one of those) and your vessel is NOT “designed and used for navigation” then you are at risk of receiving a Notice Of Violation (NOV).  We have always encouraged our clients to meet the requirements as stated in the Client Assistance Memo (CAM 229) which is a clarification provided by Department of Planning and Development (DPD) of the SSMP from 1990. Based on advice we have received from attorneys that are currently involved in defending against these NOV’s, we are going to offer some recommendations to our clients that own Houseboat Style vessels.  We encourage everyone to “Vessel Up.”

Vessel Up

While DPD has made claims of 150 illegal vessels, this is being disputed and a Stakeholder group has been formed to:

Develop and consider alternatives for an orderly process to establish the status of residences on the water that are not identified as legal floating homes or legal house barges and are not clearly identified as vessels. For the purposes of this memo, these structures will be referred to as “on water residences”.

We have coined the term “Vessel Up” as the activities that you should strongly consider to assure you meet the CAM-229. We will be quoting from this document as it is the ONLY published clarification of the 1990 regulations.

Boats, ships, barges, or other floating craft that are both designed and used for navigation and that do not interfere with the normal public use of the water are classified as vessels.

Vessels must be designed for navigation, including having a seaworthy hull design that meets U.S. Coast Guard standards for flotation, safety equipment, and fuel, electrical, and ventilation systems. They are capable of being used for water transportation, and if they are used for residential purposes they must be able to travel under their own power to open water, including a method for steering and propulsion, deck fittings, navigational and nautical equipment, and the required marine hardware.

Finally, vessels must be registered with federal, state, or county agencies.

Specifics – Checklists

We have created a document that reflects the CAM 229 requirements that we believe would be a reasonable checklist for demonstrating compliance with the CAM 229 (Live-Aboard Vessel Certification). This is NOT an official document, but we are hopeful that something like this will be used as an administrative solution for providing certainty to existing vessels and that it can be documented by a qualified surveyor or naval architect.

The City (Department of Planning and Development) has used a checklist (City Inspectors Recreational Vessel Checklist) in that past for evaluating vessels that have been served a Notice Of Violation. We are going to contest this in the Stakeholder group as it contains requirements that were never published, nor are standards for being a “recreational vessel.”  Our philosophy is that you cannot expect a person to have clairvoyance to comply with regulations. You can use this document to “Vessel-up” and the city would be hard pressed to call you anything other than a vessel as they have set a precedence using this in the past.

Legal House Barges and Grey Water

Through research performed by Lake Union Liveaboard Association we were able to discover a document from 1996 that indicates that all but 2 housebarges (Decals 940025 and Decal 940030) are in compliance with grey-water requirements. If this reaches one of those house barges, they can contact us and we will show them how they can easily come in compliance.

If you need help getting “Vesseled up” we have resources that we can refer. Jonathan Modesitt is very experienced with houseboats, engines, and their systems and can help you get it done.

Let us know if you have any questions. We have great resources and we are here to help!

Vessel Liveaboard Certification

DPD Inspection Checklist

DPD Housebarge Grey Water

Seattle Floating Homes

Help Protect Seattle Houseboats

January 14, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Seattle Houseboats need your help!  Proposed regulations from DPD that are currently under review by Seattle City Council could have negative effects on this wonderful, iconic Seattle community. Details of what is being proposed by DPD and the counter-proposal by Lake Union Liveaboard Association (LULA) can be viewed on LakeUnionLiveaboard.com. Simply put, DPD has created confusing,vague proposals that allow the city to use it’s discretion to  allow or not allow houseboats as it sees fit. Special Agents Realty founders of LULA is trying hard to protect houseboats and housebarges from these vague and uncertain regulations. YOU CAN HELP!


  1. Sign Our Petition by going here  bit.ly/LULA-Petition -or- clicking the link below…
  2. Share the petition link on your social media sites (Facebook, twitter, Linked-in, etc.)
  3. Email the link to the petition to your friends and family
  4. Attend the following public City Council meeting: Or send your letters to the Seattle City Council Members and Mayor.

Monday, Jauuary 14th, 2:40 p.m.


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