May 7, 2011

Waterfront Homes With Docks/Moorage on Seattle's Lake Washington

Homes with docks on Lake Washington's waterfront aren't hard to find, but the different sizes, styles, and depths at these docks can make for very significant differences in the value of the homes. Waterfront real estate on Lake Washington, in most cases, has more value in the land than it does in the home. While there are certainly exceptions, you'll find that many houses' values account foronly 20%-40% of the totalprice, with the waterfront land being the more valuable portion.

With that in mind, the shoreline, views, and moorage situation become critical to that property's value. Docks are particularly sensitive because of the large number of agencies regulating their use, construction, and any changes made to them. There are local, state, and federal agencies involved in any waterfront development, and current restrictions for future building mean that some of the older, grandfathered-in docks on Lake Washington have unique values.

Currently, I see about100 homes on Lake Washington with docks for sale. Those can start out as small docks with shallow water depth good enough for a small ski boat, or even just shared moorage. Of those homes, only about a dozen claim to have “deep water” moorage. This is particularly significant for an owner of a large boat (or potential owner), because the draft of a 40+ vessel will automatically disqualify a large number of these homes based on the water depth. There are some waterfront homes with docks as long as 120-160, but in some areas that may only net 5-8 of depth. In other locations, a 60 foot dock can drop to 15 or 20 feet.

The other crown jewel for waterfrontdocks on Lake Washington is covered moorage. New construction of boat houses and large covered slips have been “outlawed” for years now, but those owners who have them can continue to maintain them in their current size. There are probably only a few dozen in the area with significant coverage for a largeboat(you can still build a small cover for a runabout-sized boat in some locales), and there are just a small handful listed for sale.

(Current listing -Lake Washington waterfront - Kennydale waterfront homewith covered deepwater moorage)

Shoreline makeup/materials can also be an important factor in waterfront value. Properties vary from steep bluffs to low natural banks, to concrete bulkheads and stone walls. Different buyers have a preference for each. Bulkheads can provide a nice comfortable swim area and protection from rough water, while a natural beach is preferable to some for the environmental effect and its natural look.

Current Listings:

Greater Seattle and Eastside Homes For Sale
Condos For Sale
Waterfront Homes For Sale

Sam DeBord
Realtor | Managing Broker
SeattleHome.com | Coldwell Banker Danforth
ph: 206-658-3225 | email: sam(at)SeattleHome.com
Member NWMLS, N.A.R., WA RealtorSeattle-King County Realtor

Source: Individually compiled NWMLS data. The NWMLS did not compile or publish this information.

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