Just west of the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks, this little beach cottage is perfectly situated to watch the ships go by. It sits directly on the edge of the water—the porch peers over a sea wall—right where the Ship Canal becomes Shilshole Bay, giving it plenty of salty sea air, too.
It’s not your normal beach view, though. In a quintessentially Ballard way, it combines gorgeous waterfront views with being in the middle of industry. The century-old Salmon Bay Bridge, which carries passengers and freight trains before they head through Magnolia to Interbay, is practically next door (the right owner will find the train sounds more soothing than annoying). But on the other side, the Burke-Gilman Trail leads to yachty accomodations like Ray’s Boathouse and, eventually, the wide, sandy beaches at Golden Gardens.
The house itself is just 880 square feet, sitting on a 2,000-square-foot lot hidden below the street—from the gravel side road, you have to enter through an iron gate in the middle of a hedge and then descend some stairs to even get to the yard. The previous owner packed a lot of garden functionality in, with a trellis spanning an entire wall, a greenhouse, and wild-looking gardens. Inside, it has the basics: two bedrooms, a living area with a wood stove, and an eat-in kitchen.
3447 NW 54th Street is listed for $675,000 through Seattle Afloat/Cooper Jacobs.
This article has been updated to clarify that while the home is right on the water, it’s not technically “waterfront.”