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Modern floating house in Portland with glass-brick wall for sale at high-water mark of $1,825,000

Modern floating house in Portland with glass-brick wall for sale at high-water mark of $1,825,000

Nontraditional dwellings, especially floating homes, are also negatively impacted by rising house and condo prices in Portland. After sales stalled and prices fell during the Great Recession, Oregons floating real estate market is now flourishing due to high demand and low inventory.

Current rates may be surprising. Once-humble fishing shacks have since turned into million-dollar homes, complete with a hot tub on the waterfront deck and whirlpool on site. A floating home is anchored to a slip that can cost as much as opulent condos, depending on the moorage, location, and if s/he has he garage.

The market is extremely strong, says Karla Divine of Divine NW Realty, who has been selling houses on the water since 2001, when she moved on to another. It is the first time we have seen multiple offers on the floating home market on a regular basis, says Henrik.

One of her listings is a traditional house moored at the Oregon Yacht Club on the Willamette River. If it sells for $1,825,000, it will set a new record for river abodes with A Portland address.

Whats inside the two-story home on a concrete platform at 6901 S.E. Oaks Park Way Slip 15? A solarium, skylights, and 12-foot windows frame the waterfront views of Ross Island.

The buoyant listing also includes a smaller float dubbed trawler with omitted self-contained accessory dwelling unit (ADU) as well as navs for two large yards. The design has a river flowing through the front float for landscaping areas, Divine explained.

In August 2020, the highest price paid for a Portland floating home was $1.3 million. The two-story, custom home is situated on two slips at the Channel Island Marina on the Multnomah Channel. According to listing agent Kym Londahl of Wayne Lindquist & Associates, homeowner association dues are $980 per month here.

According to Graham Marden of Premiere Property Group LLC, one of the top floating real estate agents for more than 25 years, two other floating homes recently sold for $1 million.

Although most Portland floating homes sell for under $500,000, its been a busy year for luxury homes on the water, said Marden.

Nine floating homes have sold this year for between $600,000 and $700, 000, and 11 have offered for more than the $7000 price point, with less than two months remaining in the year, said Marden. This shatters any previous year by a large margin, said the governor.

So far in 2021, 82 floating properties with Portland addresses have changed hands; half of the sales were paid in cash, according to Marden. He expects sales of owned and rented slips to exceed 90 this year.

Gary Ward, a Premiere Property Group broker who works with Marden on listings, said, "The high-end floating home market is taking off in Portland right now."

Floating home markets are the norm.

The Portland area has 1,350 registered floating homes, from 1920s fishing shacks to elaborate ebbing estates on the Columbia and Willamette rivers or Multnomah Channel. But only 29 are for sale.

As with other homes, floating home buyers want a home that is in excellent condition and priced right, Divine said.

Floating home sales were in decline through 2019, according to Ward. In April 2020, at the start of stay-at-home orders to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, the market exploded, and a record number of floating homes 90 - were sold last year.

Floating home sales have been steady from early spring to mid-fall, but 2020 never had a slowdown, Ward said.

He added that this year is on pace to surpass that mark.

Floating homes are considered personal property and there are fewer lenders that offer loans. Interest rates are generally about 1.5 to 2 points higher than for real estate loans and require a 20 to 25 percent down payment with varying repayment terms of 20 years.

Priciest floating house in the world.

The floating house for $1,825,000 is located behind the gate of the secluded, eight-acre Oregon Yacht Club in Sellwood, near Oaks Park Amusement Center.

The famous Fennell floating house, designed by Robert Oshatz to evoke the poetry of the ripples and contours of a river, is among the nearby structures.

Another contemporary custom home at the Oregon Yacht Club is the Holtz house designed by architect Philip Sydnor with expansive windows and seamless indoor-outdoor living.

Oregon Yacht Clubs 38 members purchase a share, not merely reserving sloop space. When a floating house switches ownership, based on seniority, it is possible for long-termers to switch slip places.

The moorage is the nation's oldest organized yacht club and the most expensive of more than 40 mownage facilities in the Greater Portland Area.

There is nothing like it, Divine says, referring to bald eagles that preen and fish in front of the homes, and wood ducks and otters bobbing on the water.

Marc Even of Even Construction, a worldwide leader in floating home construction, built the floating house that Divine listed for sale in 2015.

The waterfront home was designed and planned by Phil Sydnor of Integrate Architecture & Planning, who designed the waterfront residence to maximize views and privacy, indoors and out.

The entry to this house, which has 2,328 square feet of living space, is through an enclosed, private courtyard.

The first floor is open and has clear site lines from one side to the other. From the walkway, a solarium can be seen, but plants provide privacy. Beyond the solarium are the kitchen, dining, and living room, each with a glass wall on the river side, which is visible from the sunroom.

The top-floor suite has a sitting room, gas fireplace, and office, as well as retraced steps with fluted glass block walls that lead to the first floor suite, which has an office with secluded river access.

The homes polished concrete floor on the main level has radiant heating. High-efficiency, mini-split heating and cooling systems were installed, and river water is used for landscaping.

The painted vertical cedar siding and other materials were selected to withstand the elements, including rain, sun, and wind, which are more intense on the water. The standing seam roof is made from steel.

Janet Eastman | 503-294-4072 | 513-292-4070

@jeastman@oregonian.com | @janeteastman

More on the Portland and Oregon real estate markets. :

Oregon oceanfront homeowners trying the waters: Is asking $1,200 a square foot out of reach?

From Lake Oswego to North Portland: See how regional home prices have risen since 1999.

Steamboat Inn, famous for fly fishing on the Umpqua River, is available for $3,750,000.

A farm owner purchases a freeway-famous chateau: $5 million in Ashland in 9 months;

Off-market home sales are rare, but Portlands 1918 Arlington Heights mansion, which dates back to 1890, now fetches $2.5 million. A historic manor in Arlington Park, Oregon, sold for $2.8 million in secret.

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