Houseboats as Investments?

Can a Houseboat be an Investment?

We at Special Agents Realty have been selling houseboats, floating homes, and housebarges, in the Lake Union area for the last 5 years. Additionally, we sell lots of waterfront property and land based homes as well (actually more of those than houseboats). We have been through the boom and the bust and have seen homes, condos, houseboats, floating homes all ride the market roller coaster. The financial crisis has hit all levels pretty much equally.

So, how do houseboats fare as an investment in comparison to more traditional homes?  Well, it depends greatly on the style, condition, and character of the houseboat. Houseboats will lose value greatly if they are in need of servicing and maintenance. A well kept, updated, clean houseboat will return a better price than one in need of maintenance or paint. Sound familiar?  Pretty much the same holds true for traditional homes as well. So what is the difference?  Well, houseboats are a much more limited commodity and are definitely more seasonal. When summer rolls around and peoples thoughts turn to the water, the houseboat market definitely increases. The majority of the houseboats we sell are sold between May and September. This should be a clue to those wanting to sell (list in the spring), and those wanting to buy (buy in the fall/winter).

It is our belief that houseboats are going to become more and more scarce. This should, according to supply and demand, increase their value. However, in today’s market, nothing is assured and predicting the market has always been difficult.

All in all, houseboats remain one of the most affordable ways to enjoy waterfront living. As people discover the fantastic lifestyle, amazing community, and uniqueness of houseboat life, they will become more desirable and less available. This could lead to increased demand and higher prices, making houseboats a reasonable investment as well as a fantastic lifestyle.

If you would learn more about owning a houseboat and houseboat living, give us a call. We sell more houseboats than anyone else on Lake Union. Additionally, we have 3 websites that can help you learn the details about houseboats and the buying process. Please take a look at our 3 websites:,, and, and give us a call at (206) 419-0065, email us, or stop by our office on Lake Union at 2401 N. Northlake Way, Seattle, WA 98103 (about half way between Gasworks Park and Ivars Salmon House.)


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