Love Boats? This Seattle Houseboat Is the Bargain You're Looking For

Seattle may be one of the hottest housing markets in the nation, but if you're eager to live within spitting distance of Capitol Hill and downtown without spending a fortune, you can find yourself an amazing deal -- if you are adventurous. This two-bedroom houseboat may rock and roll with the Lake Union waves, but at $398,000, it's a serious score.

Because you're taxed only on the slip -- the place on the dock where your new water-bound palace resides -- it promises to save you money on your property taxes, too.

"It makes sense financially," says listing agent Russell Brenneke with Windermere Real Estate. "It's a great way to get a home in the city for not a lot of money."

(Experienced houseboat owners will be relieved to hear the slip comes with the boat, so no monthly fees are required.)

Just because you're in the city doesn't mean you have to be subjected to the hustle and bustle. Owning a centrally located houseboat means enjoying the best parts of city living without any of the cons.

"When you're in the boat itself, it doesn't feel like you're in the city," says Brenneke. "It's very beautiful and scenic."

You might feel like you're occupying your own private sanctuary, but the home is accessible enough that you may not even need a car.

"It's very convenient for someone that doesn't want to drive everywhere, because you can ride your bike," Brenneke says.

Living on a houseboat doesn't mean sacrificing the comforts of home. The 960-square-foot property's spacious master bedroom has plenty of room for a queen-sized bed, and visitors can bunk in the twin beds by the bow. There are spacious seating areas and a full-size stove and fridge -- not to mention plenty of counter space -- so you can cook up your dinners without relying on delivery.

But here's the real question: Can you drive it?

"This style of boat is built for toodling a lake, or somewhere that's not too choppy," says Brenneke. "It definitely could happen."

To get your home in shipshape condition (literally), you'll need to put in a bit of work: The gas tank is currently weighted to lower the boat's center of gravity, so it will need to be replaced. Buyers should also have a mechanic give the boat a once-over to ensure everything else is ready to go.

Once you have the A-OK, you're ready to travel to the edges of the lake -- and beyond.