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April 20, 2023

Houseboat Heaven Abounds in “The Last Thing He Told Me”


There’s something about a houseboat in Sausalito, isn’t there? Apple TV+ is really doing a number on Sausalito and The Bay, lovingly featuring its houseboats, docks and glassy panoramic water shots to the extent that you care less about where the husband has gone and more about how the houseboat market is doing these days.

Because wouldn’t it be more fun to work from your boat, with the actual Bay as your Zoom backdrop?

I was curious about the Sausalito houseboat market, so I checked it out. Here’s the deal: Sales have been pretty steady over the past five years. 18 houseboats have sold over the past year at a median price of $927,250 and an average price per square foot of $979. Most if not all houseboats sell for all cash, as financing isn’t readily available. And houseboats generally have been selling for at or below their asking price, with a few exceptions. (All data courtesy of the SF MLS.)

The most expensive houseboat sold in 2022 was 34 Gate 6 1/2, a two-level 3BR/2BA with 1714 square feet. It occupied a private end berth position and had unobstructed views of the bay, Strawberry Point, Tiburon and Belvedere. Listed for $2.2M, the boat was on the market for only 20 days and sold for $2,025,000 in June 2022. (Photo courtesy Paul Bergeron Real Estate)

34 Gate 6 1-2 Rd Sausalito

34 Gate 6 1-2 Rd Living Area

And the least expensive houseboat sold was a scrappy, 300-square foot fixer that needed a new roof, leaks repaired and tenting to get rid of termites. 30 S 40 Dock had a definite pirate feel to it.  This one sold for $375,000 in fall 2022—$65,000 under its $440,000 list price. (Photo courtesy Engels & Volkers).

30 S 40 Dock

Covid didn’t seem to dramatically ratchet up houseboat demand, which surprised me a bit. 20 houseboats sold in 2020, with only 15 sales closing in 2021 and 19 in 2022.

There are currently five houseboat listings on the market, ranging from $750,000-$2,050,000, and one is in contract with a $1.2M list price. If you have the cash and feel like it might be time to change up your lifestyle, my pick is 27 Gate 6/12 Road because it’s lovely and has direct Mt. Tam views. It was on the market last fall and is still in search of a buyer. There are three bedrooms and two baths across 1200 square feet, listed for $1,495,000. I’ll leave you with some pics (photos courtesy of Engel & Volkers):

27 Gate 6 1-2 Rd Living Room27 Gate 6 1-2 Rd Deck

27 Gate 6 1-2 Rd Kitchen

27 Gate 6 1-2 Rd Primary Bath

27 Gate 6-2 Rd Exterior

(Photo of Jennifer Garner courtesy Apple TV+)

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