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Houseboat ‘Flamingo Cafe’ listed for $385K

This little barge is just 339 square feet

Photos by Virtuance/Courtesy of Phil Nelson

Floating on Lake Union just off Westlake Avenue, this houseboat—or, more specifically, a house barge—makes incredible use of less than 400 square feet, carving out the conveniences of a house into the small space.

With the waterfront location, wooden siding, and extremely waterfront location, its beachy moniker, “Flamingo Cafe,” seems apt. Inside is also positively maritime. The quintessential houseboat design has a larger bottom story with a bedroom perched on top, all with plenty of built-ins and windows to take in the sea air.

Below, a greatroom is visually separated into two spaces by the ceiling: One half has warm, exposed beams and the other a cleaner, boxbeam-like look. In the back, a kitchen nestles into a hall-like space; on the other side, a wide porch gives space to take in the lake.

Upstairs, the bedroom has a classic, nautical, curved roof above a built-in bed with tons of cabinetry for storage. The room also features a built-in desk for a corner office with water views, next to a door to a larger roof deck.

The bathroom, typical for a house barge, has just a stand-up shower with no tub—but a hidden, jetted tub hides under a trapdoor in the living room for when a soak is necessary.

The $385,000 asking price is cheaper than many Seattle condos. While the slip is a rental, the listing does include a house barge permit—somewhere in between a traditional houseboat and a floating home—which is something the city doesn’t distribute anymore.