What if you could literally live on the water? That’s exactly what you get with these floating homes and houseboats for sale on Trulia. But don’t get them mixed up! A houseboat can leave the dock under power and is a seaworthy vessel. A floating home is essentially a structure built atop a floating platform.
Before you start your floating-house hunt, there are a few things you should know. For starters, life on the water can include some fees you’re not used to paying — like mooring fees and a boat slip rental. These communities often have homeowners’ associations, just like their landlocked neighbors. Plus taxes can vary widely based on your location. Finally, securing financing can be challenging (you won’t qualify for a mortgage, since there’s no land), and inspections are typically more expensive since they require a marine survey.
If you can’t get enough of those guaranteed water views, it may be worth the trade-offs! From charming, petite houseboats to floating homes that look as though they’re on solid ground, these properties come complete with a laid-back lifestyle you’ll love.
- Living on the lake: $320,000, 13 Admiral Way, Pottsboro, TX 75076Every day feels like Saturday at Harbor Village, a quaint and quiet community of modern-rustic floating homes perched on top of Lake Texoma, one of the country’s largest inland lakes. The community attracts relaxed residents and vacationers who want the privacy of having their own boat slip but proximity to friendly neighbors who share their love of the lake. Give them a wave as you take an afternoon cruise, then moor your boat right next to your three-bedroom, two-bath floating home. As you enjoy a sunset from the big front porch while you dine on your catch of the day, you won’t believe you ever lived any other way.
- Floating-home central: $325,000, 2706 Westlake Ave. N, Seattle, WA 98109Here’s your opportunity to live out your Sleepless in Seattle fantasy in a charming floating home. This adorable one-bedroom, one-bathroom houseboat named Seaweed is even located in the same place as Tom Hanks’ home in the movie — the Westlake neighborhood on Lake Union. It’s one of four main Seattle neighborhoods around the lake, which hosts 507 floating homes. At just 452 square feet, Seaweed brings the tiny-home trend to the water. Walk the Cheshiahud-Lake Union Loop to waterfront dining, or kayak across the lake to the artsy Fremont neighborhood. Take home a microbrew, then watch the world pass by from the comfort of Seaweed‘s Jacuzzi or rooftop deck.
- City living, suburban comforts: $460,000, 252 N. Tomahawk Island Drive, Portland, OR 97217This home lets you stand out — even in quirky Portland. The famously eclectic city has its own floating neighborhood: Tomahawk Moorage, located on Hayden Island. The laid-back neighborhood feels suburban, mainly because these floating homes have plenty of room to spread out while offering conveniences and amenities you’d expect in a landlocked spread. That’s certainly true of this 2,088-square-foot, three-bedroom home with an open floor plan and huge master suite. This home even offers gated parking, so getting around by land is just as easy as cruising along on the water.
- The slow life: $545,000, 620 Warbass Way #47, Friday Harbor, WA 98250Here, you’ll live the small-town life but still have plenty to do right at your fingertips. Friday Harbor is an old-fashioned seaport village on San Juan Island, WA. The slow-going town is only 1 square mile, but it still offers lots of perks. Bring home some fresh-picked produce from the weekly farmers market at Brickworks Plaza (the cultural center of town), then lounge on the deck of this adorable one-bedroom, one-bath floating home named Otter Magic. Rainy day? Make plans to meet up for dinner at one of the many charming eateries on nearby Spring Street. Just expect your meal to be of the slow-food variety, since the town doesn’t have a single fast-food joint.
- Year-round vacationer: $699,000, 14577 NW Larson Rd #9, Portland, OR 97231Here is where you combine getting away from it all with having it all. Berthed within the Channel Island Moorage, this posh floating home sits in an area that’s rural in the way that only the Pacific Northwest can be, with lush woods, a gorgeous river, and dramatic mountain views. It’s a prime vacation spot, but a fine place for year-round living too. You’ll have a ton of space in this upscale retreat designed by Marc Even, one of the biggest names in floating-home design. The house offers three bedrooms, two and a half baths and 2,620 square feet to call your own.
- Classically California: $1.545 million, 25 E. Pier, Sausalito, CA 94965Share the good life with family and friends against a classic Golden State background of mountain and sea. Sausalito has been synonymous with floating homes from its early days as an artistic retreat to its current status as the ultimate destination for low-key luxury. The dozens of houseboats in this neighborhood embody that aesthetic. Each is spacious without being flashy and beautifully detailed without distracting from incredible views of Richardson Bay and Mount Tamalpais. Built in 1973, this three-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bath floating home fits right into the neighborhood’s vibe. It clocks in at a surprising 2,600 square feet! What to do with all that room? Host a party, of course! Order a spread from nearby Davey Jones Deli, then lead the way to one of your two decks for cocktails and conversation.