Tucked on the western shore of Richardson Bay, just north of Sausalito, are about five hundred houseboats, happily floating in the tranquil waters. With a perpetual front row seat, these residents arguably have the most convenient and exclusive waterfront access in the entire Bay. Floating homes offer many of the benefits enjoyed by their larger and more expensive neighbors in Sausalito, Tiburon and Belvedere, including panoramic Bay views and great weather. Unlike traditional homes in these areas, houseboats are a remarkably affordable alternative, ranging mostly from $500,000 – $1,000,000, with a few outliers valued at $2 million.
Houseboat living appeals to those who love to live simply and slightly out of the box. Although most floating homes have one or two bedrooms, their functional living areas are usually expanded and enhanced with outdoor decks, Nano doors, roof top access, and easily accessible floating docks to tie up personal watercrafts. Parking is rarely an issue as each home receives permits for up to two vehicles, and although each home is required to have a berth lease, these are generally run for ten year terms with automatic renewals, and include water, trash, parking and dock maintenance. With easy convenient access to transportation, shopping and restaurants, these floating communities are minutes away from some of the Bay Area’s most beautiful hiking and biking trails.
Perhaps one of the most surprising and substantive benefits of floating home living is the noticeable presence of community. People from every walk of life frequent the docks: artists, architects, writers, entrepreneurs, engineers, business owners, and yes, even realtors. Most of us are quick to recognize our good fortune in choosing to live in this space, feeling connected to other intrepid souls who have decided to trade square footage to live on the water, and choosing community, nature, fresh air and open space above other typical amenities.
Having lived on a floating home for almost eight years, I’ve found the experience positively transformational. I’ve met a diverse group of wonderful people, enjoyed countless kayaking trips with a backdrop of glorious sunrises, fiery sunsets, dramatic head-on views of Mount Tam and watched the waterfalls of fog cascading dramatically over the coastal range as part of my daily visual feast. While I have become accustomed to these natural marvels, I am still regularly surprised. A few months ago my wife and I were sipping on our coffees as we zipped across the glassy early morning water. We were out to enjoy some early morning meditative time but instead we met a new friend – a 30-foot humpback whale out for his early morning snack.
If living on a floating home appeals to you – whether you’re looking for a change in pace, a change in lifestyle or even the ultimate getaway – reach out and contact me. I am happy to talk to you about options or even share a cup of coffee and stare out at the Bay in the hopes of catching a glimpse of our humped friend.
Even if full time floating home living is not your cup of tea, these abodes offer an amazing opportunity to step aboard a magical pied a mer for weekend getaways. It's one of the best ways imaginable to have unparalleled access to all Marin has to offer at a fraction of the cost.
For more information, check out this current home listing from broker Steve Sekhon.