Left a Good Job in the City

Property Watch: Ye Old-Timey Paddlewheel Houseboat on Lake Union

More character than a Mark Twain book. (And more luxury, too.)

By Haley Shapley April 5, 2023

Lake living is already a vibe of its own, but you can take the one-of-a-kind-ness of it all to the next level by occupying the only dual-stern paddlewheel houseboat in the city of Seattle. This three-story classic was built in 1988 but fully remodeled in 2017, with additional updates to the outdoor spaces in the past two years.

As boat kitchens go, this one is a decent size with some thoughtful features, including a 36-inch five-burner Verona gas range with double ovens, Dekton countertops, a wine cooler, soft-close cabinets, and nautical lighting over the countertop. The ceiling consists of about 70 boards of shiplap, each custom cut for the space.

Hardwood hand-scraped teak flooring runs through the houseboat. In addition to the kitchen, the main level includes a dining room, living room, powder room, and laundry/pantry area.

A spiral staircase made of black walnut planks rises to the second level, which has two bedrooms and a full bathroom with double sinks and a rain shower. Submarine-style medicine cabinets, mirrored inside and out, add a little vintage flavor. For modern touches, the tile flooring is heated, and the vent fan is WiFi-enabled.

On a houseboat, the outdoor space is just as important as what’s on the inside. Roughly 1,000 square feet of exterior decks, all recently refinished, offer plenty of spots for lake lounging and entertaining, plus lots of exterior outlets. The rooftop deck even has outdoor speakers.

Slip rent is $1,650 a month, plus a monthly liveaboard fee of $250. These include one off-street parking pass, and you can keep a smaller boat alongside the home for an additional fee. Large freshwater tanks hold about 10 days’ worth of water—helpful in the event the water is turned off on the docks during the wintertime. While you won’t find a ton of closet space aboard, a 60-by-18-foot cargo hold provides ample storage.

If you’ve ever thought to yourself, “I want to get out on the water more often this year, but also feel like I'm in a Mark Twain novel” this might just be the best way to do it.

Listing Fast Facts

2401 N Northlake Way, Unit B13
Size: 1,300 square feet, 2 bedrooms/1.5 baths
List Date: 1/8/23
List Price: $825,000
Listing Agents: Linda Bagley, Special Agents Realty

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