Houseboat Vs. Floating Home: What’s The Difference?

By Lauren Haslett |

Yes, there really is a difference, and it’s a biggie.

With approximately 200 miles of shoreline, opportunities to live on the waterfront abound in and around Seattle. But there’s waterfront living, and then there’s living on the water.

Houseboats and floating homes are some of Seattle’s most iconic residences, in large part thanks to their appearance in hit movies like Sleepless in Seattle. And they afford the city’s citizens to live right on some of its most beautiful bodies of water. Here, we’ll break down the difference between houseboats and floating homes—and of course, share some stunning examples of each—to help you decide if purchasing a houseboat or floating home is the right real estate move for you.


Floating Homes

These residences are anchored to an almost-permanent spot on the water. Though they’re floating, their owners can’t just pick up and drive off in their home whenever they choose.


Houseboats—just like any other boats—are docked and have some means by which they can move through the water. Though they’re outfitted to be lived in, these residences can be driven to another dock or location when needed.



To learn more about the waterfront lifestyle and current market trends, check out our recently released 2019/2020 Waterfront Report.