There’s a secret hidden in Seattle, WA and it’s not the coffee! Floating homes have raised eyebrows and drawn attention of the media lately. But, they’re more than just a recent fad, they’re part of a long history of Seattle floating homes.
Starting during the time of logging, floating homes were designed to house loggers as they followed the logs down the river to the mainland. These were crude homes, often only one bedroom and containing the very basics for life.
After a while, floating homes became a refuge for citizens struck by the great depression. The homes began to take shape as an affordable family housing option. The population of homes grew to 2,000 and as the great depression ended a new crowd of people emerged in the homes.
Bohemians, students, and those who despised the commercial life within the city began to transform the Seattle floating homes into small, fashioned homes with gardens, kitchens, and other life necessities. It was common for students to live together within the homes.
The 1950’s and 60’s brought regulation against the home owners, until they formed an association and fought to keep their tradition. Since then the houseboats have fought against the city and even Supreme Court to maintain their right to the water ways. Even today residents fight with the courts for new boats and for renovations on existing parcels.
Today, the houseboats are seen as high-end living for those who love the water. Despite the legislation battle against them, the houseboats draw crowds of tourists and investors. Even small houses cost several hundreds of thousands as the unique lifestyle peaks the interest of retires, students, and investors.
The future of houseboats is still uncertain, however, more and more the communities, which tend to be very tight knit, are growing more acceptance within the public’s eyes.