Growing up in the Bay Area, I didn’t know much regarding home types outside of personal experience. However, whenever I visited San Francisco, I loved to see another type of home: the floating houseboat.
Houseboats have a significant connection to American history and innovation in terms of housing availability and affordability. While even the term “houseboat” may call to mind the canals of Amsterdam or London, houseboats in the U.S. can be found all along the West Coast, with houseboat communities in the Lake Union and Portage Bay neighborhoods of Seattle and along both the Willamette River and Columbia River in Portland.
With a competitive Emerald City housing market, finding a good deal on a home has become continuously difficult, with Realtor.com finding the median list price at $475,000 in December 2020, up 11.1% from the year prior. Hence, what better time to both (a) find a great deal on a home and (b) find a unique home to completely love?
Address: 1629 N. Jantzen, Portland, OR 97127 (opens in new tab)
Home Size: 1,064 square feet
Amenities: Open floor plan with vaulted ceiling; outdoor patio on the marina
Located on Hayden Island along the Columbia River, this floating bungalow offers an opportunity for prospective homebuyers to get their feet wet (both literally and figuratively). Built in 1935, the bungalow is selling for nearly half the price of what’s offered in the city’s housing market, and all for a little slice of space along the river alongside 178 other floating homes in this community.
The house is quaint, with 1.1 bedrooms and 1 bath, and comes in at just over 1,000 square feet. Yet, the additional amenities that make the home so charming shine through in each and every nook and cranny.
Upon entering, prospective buyers will be greeted with a huge open floor plan living area. High-vaulted ceilings bring in gorgeous light, encouraging you to head out to the backyard patio for some morning stretches and meditation.
“That view will never change,” realtor Karla Divine said.
After centering your calm to start the day, head on inside to enjoy all that the kitchen has to offer. Currently, the kitchen includes gas appliances, a free-standing range, and free-standing refrigerator; additionally, with the darkened wood cabinetry and terra cotta walls, the kitchen mixes the dark and soft palettes to make you feel right at home while cooking up some delicious meals.
Head on back to the bedroom, with enough space for all of your bedroom needs, as well as a walk-in closet for all of your fabulous apparel. This area also gets great light, with high windows and ceilings to perfectly radiate that glow off throughout your morning and day.
While all of these aspects help to make this an attractive property for prospective buyers, there’s also so much more. The home has been updated with engineered hardwood flooring throughout, has a jacuzzi tub, and had a new float built just three years ago.
“You don’t find many livable properties under $300,000 here,” Divine said. “This one is priced great.”
The area itself is an additional cherry on top of this home. Hayden Island is located between the border of Washington state and Oregon, and is recognized as one of Portland’s 95 neighborhoods. Currently, there are five floating home communities on the island, all gated, and the island has a great deal of open space with walking and bike paths and beaches.
While Hayden Island has just over 3,000 residents, the city itself offers a great deal more for its population of 664,571 residents. Once situated in this home, head into the city to enjoy all that Portland has to offer, from the International Rose Test Garden and Japanese Garden to delicious donuts from the ever-popular Voodoo Doughnuts or (a personal favorite) Blue Star Donuts.
Living in Oregon comes with a host of other advantages, including no state sales tax, legalized marijuana and a host of outdoors activity in relation to local companies Nike, Danner and Keen.
The home is currently listed for $299,900; private viewings can be set up through Divine’s property listing.