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Cindy Westfall, ABR,GRI's Blog

Cindy's Blog about Portland Real Estate & Stuff

By Cindy Westfall, ABR,GRI | Agent in Tualatin, OR

So, you want to buy a floating home in Portland

So, you want to buy a floating home in PortlandFloating home in Portland Oregon

 I can't remember how the idea of buying a floating home came about, but my hubby and I are now the proud crazy owners of one. We started looking in the summer and after the bank (yes..it was bank owned) turned our initial offer down, they had a change of heart after labor day...and with two years of vacancy to accept our second offer (lower this time around..what were they thinking?)

 I've been one to say if you can do it, now is the time to buy when prices are low...and in the floating home community, as well as any second home residence, prices are at some really nice lows and opportunity is there! 

So far, this is what we've learned about buying a floating home in Portland.

1. It's called a floating home..not a houseboat..or a boathouse and you can't drive it out on the water. You CAN move the home to another rented slip in another moorage...but that's something we're not planning on doing as we love the location. Floating homes are held into place in the slip by chains.

2. Even though you see these homes on the MLS, a floating home is considered personal property much like a car. You still go through the title company, but you get a title..similar to a car title. Oh..and unlike buying a car, you can't get away from Uncle Sam here..yes, there are property taxes..go figure. Ours are about $1,100 for the year.

3. Their are only a few lenders that will finance these...so it's best to hire an agent (like we did) that knows who they are. Most times many owners will carry the loan for the buyer. The other option of course is to pay cash.

4. When purchasing a floating home, you'll need a dive survey to see below the home. Most homes in Portland use log, stringers and foam as a "foundation" to keep the home afloat. This can cost you about $500.

5. You'll also need an above ground inspection because they are just like regular homes in that floating homerespect.

6. Most moorages rent the slips..such as the one we are in. The fee's range from $500 and up typically which covers slip rental, water, sewer and garbage.Some will sell the slip as well which can cost almost as much as the home, but then you just pay a lower monthly HOA (home owners association) fee instead of a slip rental fee.

7. A honey pot is not where you'll find Whinnie the Pooh or one of those  "port-a-potty" type things at outdoor events...it's how your plumping is connected to the public sewer system.

8. Only a few insurance companies will insure floating homes...and the cost is higher.

9. They need to be balanced....so if you re-do the kitchen with granite and the weight is not even, you'll need to hire a dive company to come and add some foam to equal out the weight.

10. You have to carry everything down....and up the ramp. Garbage, furniture, groceries....everything. Who needs a stinkin stairstepper right?

So far, we can see that this is a different kind of community.
Our new neighbors have been a great source of information which they've shared freely. This Friday the Portland Christmas Ship parade will go right past our new home..so I'm looking forward to getting some hot chocolate, bundling up and watching the show!

In the next couple of months, we'll be doing some work to fix it up on the inside...I'll be posting about the progress as well as our experiences! Here are some pictures.

logs, stringers and a honey pot

logs and stringers

stairs to parking

view from floating home

view from the floating home

Originally posted at my ActiveRain Blog

Contact Cindy for all your Portland Real estate needs!

Cindy Westfall ABR,GRI

Premiere Property Group

5000 Meadows Rd., Ste. 150, Lake Oswego, OR 97035

Cell: 503-819-5241      

E-Mail: cwestfallportlandrealestate@gmail.com      

Cindy Westfall Portland Real Estate Agent Premiere Property Group

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 Disclaimer: All views on my blog are my own and may not reflect that of Premiere Property Group. All pictures and content are my own unless otherwise noted. Please No Copying without my permission.


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