Houseboat living conjures images of calm waters, gentle breezes, and views you just can’t get on land.
The vessels have a long history all over the world, but more than a century ago, some of the earliest in the United States were built by logging families around Seattle, WA, who wanted to be able to float along with their timber down the river.
From those industrious beginnings, the tradition of American houseboat living was born. Fast forward to today, and the humble houseboat has become a coveted piece of property for home hunters seeking to escape the everyday constraints of landlubbers.
With those sea-salt-lovin’ folks in mind, we rounded up this list of 12 houseboats on the market right now. These seaworthy options range from multimillion-dollar floating mansions to tiny vessels built for a single soul to bob along with the waves.
Not surprisingly, Seattle is the city with the most houseboats on the market. With established houseboat neighborhoods scattered throughout the metro area, shoppers have options throughout the Emerald City. But for folks not looking in the Pacific Northwest, there are boats moored in plenty of other docks across the country.
For fans of one-of-a-kind waterfront properties, we invite you to dive in and enjoy some of the houseboats up for sale. We’ll meet you on the deck for margaritas when you’re done…
Queen of Lake Union: The listing calls this a “once in a lifetime” opportunity to own an iconic floating residence. It’s the priciest houseboat we found on the market—by far.
Known as “Aurora,” it was painstakingly built in 2012, with elegant amenities throughout its spacious 4,850 square feet.
Crafted by local shipwrights and built on a foundation of ocean-caliber marine aluminum, this beauty will be seaworthy for many decades to come.
Sausalito showstopper: Spacious and with world-class views, this three-story houseboat has three bedrooms and such high-end amenities as a home gym, artist’s studio, and a workshop.
The boat was upgraded in 2004, and its roomy decks are destined to be unforgettable entertainment spaces all year long.
Island Creek: Whether it’s for boating, fishing, or just lounging in the sun, this two-bedroom houseboat is a low-price getaway on Island Creek.
The two-story home has a large kitchen and private decks. It’s surrounded by nature and filled with cozy spaces, like the lofted owner’s suite and sunny den.
Lake Union: The listing says this floating lemon-lime dream is one of only 500 in the community.
Built in 1920, the historic floating hideaway has a single bedroom and a petite 483 square feet.
However, there is room to expand, if an owner wants to make a splash. The interiors are mod and bathed in bright colors, for a cheerful, one-of-a-kind living experience.
Cash only: The seller is looking for a cash-only buyer for this three-bedroom houseboat.
Listing details state that the boat is in “mint condition” and that it features wood paneling, oak doors, and a large rooftop deck for entertaining.
A buyer could make this place a weekend getaway, or choose to keep the current tenant, who pays $2,400 per month in rent.
Portage Bay: Once featured in This Old House Magazine, this stylish, serene two-bedroom getaway offers views of Portage Bay.
Residents will get access to a co-op yard and a storage building.
Originally built in 1904, this houseboat received a total sustainable remodel in 2006, resulting in an abode that gives the feeling of a normal home in all the right places.
Floating luxury: Designed in traditional Japanese style inside, this four-bedroom houseboat spans three floors, with views of Richardson Bay, Angel Island, and San Francisco.
Highlights of the Zen-inspired home include a sauna, rain shower, large kitchen, and two private balconies.
Waterfront condo: This one-bedroom houseboat on Lake Chelan is at the Sunset Marina, just a mile from downtown.
The small home has a full galley kitchen, three-quarter bathroom, and a roomy rooftop deck. The community clubhouse offers additional amenities for residents.
The Smuggler: Built in 1996, and newly renovated, this two-story houseboat has three staterooms, a large kitchen with full stove, and vinyl plank flooring.
The listing adds helpfully that this property offers one way to immerse yourself in the Key West lifestyle without spending millions.
Bay backyard: Although it was built in 1972, this two-bedroom houseboat feels contemporary and fresh, with designer finishes and a thoughtful layout designed to maximize space.
Outside, enjoy the views from the decks, or such activities as paddleboarding, kayaking, or even float-in movies.
Ship Canal: This rustic, industrial-bohemian houseboat offers minimalist living and three bedrooms.
Built in 1984, it’s been refurbished with upcycled materials for stylish, no-fuss living, with an easy commute to downtown. The moorage comes with free parking at Nickerson Marina.
Junk houseboat: Modest in price and size, this might appeal to bargain boat hunters.
Built in 1987, this Asian-inspired houseboat has a small living space and compact sleeping quarters, for 354 square feet of living space.
There’s also a 436-square-foot rooftop area for soaking in the surrounding views. Interior archways add charming details to this quirky abode.
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