Get off the buying fence, and onto some waterfront property!

September 27, 2012 | By

Float Homes in North VancouverA few weeks ago I took a stroll around the float homes in North Vancouver. It’s a real estate market, and a lifestyle I had never given much thought to. I discovered a new and seemingly affordable way of living amidst these quaint, loft-style float homes.

Ask a float homeowner about their purchase and you’ll almost invariably get a positive response. And who wouldn’t be content living in a home where you’re rocked gently to sleep every night by the gently lapping waves of the Pacific Ocean?

In addition to remarks about the great scenery, I was really impressed by one comment in particular I overheard while exploring. A few of the owners spoke of the tangible sense of “community” found among float home owners. They all spoke of a close-knit community where neighbours knew one another by name, and banded together as a cohesive group. When was the last time you heard someone say that about their neighbourhood!

Added bonus: A floating home carries an added benefit for boat owners since you also get a place to dock your boat which rids you of the usually pricey moorage fee.

Quaint Floating Home in North Vancouver

Want to own your own floating home?

Float homes are providing an economical alternative to –not only waterfront living – but most real estate in Metro Vancouver, with prices as low as $75,000. These luxury homes rise and fall with the tide and have stunning waterfront views from every window, at the aforementioned price you might not expect.

However, not all float homes are easy on the pocket – prices can surprisingly sail into the millions. One 2,400-square-foot float home I saw was purchased for just under $800,000 last spring. The retired couple who purchased it spend their days relaxing on the porch, embracing their waterlogged landscape.

As can be expected, prices vary widely depending on the location. The float homes in Ladner start at around $500,000, and similar luxury units in Coal Harbour will sell for millions. But you can still purchase a place for a very reasonable price, again – depending on location.  Head out to Walnut Grove in Langley for instance, and for $75,000 one of these “cute as a button” float homes can be yours. The 25-year-old property is 670-square-feet and includes a solarium and, of course, unobstructed waterfront views.

Don’t forget moorage (and other costs)!

Living in a floating paradise does come with a few extra costs.  In addition to paying a higher mortgage rate, owners pay a substantial moorage rate to the marina.  The aforementioned Walnut Grove property for $75,000 has moorage fees of $800 per month. Owners also pay property tax in the form of a live-aboard license to the city, as well as higher home insurance costs.

Despite the added expense, the vacancy rate hovers around zero – and many residents claim to be settled for life.

While many are finding it hard to stay afloat on land with the high mortgage prices, these folks are content to sail into the sunset inside their float homes.


Filed in: Buying and Selling Real Estate, Uncategorized

About the Author (Author Profile)

Andrew is a West Coast enthusiast through and through. He is a native of the area that you will often find adventuring on one of the many sea to sky activities that abound in the Fraser Valley. Along with being in love with the place he calls home, Andrew is a well known and respected Realtor focusing on helping others to find their own perfect home in Langley, Surrey, White Rock and beyond! Visit to find your perfect home.

Comments are closed.