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This Wallingford Two-Level Houseboat Lists For $398K

Honest-to-V-berth houseboats exist, and can provide an opportunity to live in fiberglass on Lake Union within a colorful community. Just another iconic bit of Seattle life.

How about an honest houseboat, one that is as much boat as house? The term houseboat is used a lot; but the modern versions are floating homes, houses built on floats or barges that look like they could sit on a suburban lot. From the V-berth in the bow to the space for a propeller in the stern to the need for a ladder to climb aboard, there's a good bet that this home was designed for an engine. At least you know it will be easier sailing if you ever have to tow it.

The houseboat sits on north Lake Union, beside Gas Works Park with a view to Seattle. For a boat, it is big, 960 square feet. For a house, it is small-ish with 2 bedrooms and 1 bath. They're asking $398,000 (plus $503/month) for the 1971 vessel, boat, building, house.

Living aboard will be a bit different. They don't list the materials, but this may be an opportunity to live within white fiberglass instead of wood siding and under a shingled roof. That simplifies the painting and pest control. You can also be assured that it was designed to be bumped around, which most houses don't worry about - except for their earthquake protection. Maybe the lake will slosh a bit. The windows that are angled for shedding rain on stormy seas also mean fewer raindrops obscuring your view.

Throughout the rest of the houseboat enjoy the maritime attention to efficient storage which also includes space for a couple of file cabinets. In general though, you'll get to live with conventional comforts in a colorful neighborhood and be able to say your house is a houseboat without qualification.

· 2143 N Northlake Way [Windemere]