"Do you know of a floathouse for sale in Southeast Alaska?" This question pops up in my inbox once in awhile. The letters usually include the writers' reasons for getting away from where they are plus bits of hopeful dreams. ...it is so beautiful there in Alaska!...I want to be close to the real world...fish off of the front deck...be in a peaceful cove...run an Alaskan lodge... So this post is to give you some grist for your daydream mill.
I feel for the people who are drawn to make such an enormous change in their lives. It can be idyllic to live in a cozy floating cabin, tucked into a tree-lined cove, to jump into your skiff to run to town for supplies every few weeks, and to catch a salmon for dinner. Now I'm not going to idealize the floathouse life too much, as there's the difficult part, too. Floathouses are a great place to live if you are strong, energetic, and have a career that doesn't require you to show up in town daily.
Living in Alaska is expensive, and the price of land seems astronomical to some people. A floathouse may be an affordable dream.
It is not open and free to live in a floathouse in Alaska, but it is doable in some cases. The State of Alaska, Department of Natural Resources, Division of Mining, Land and Water has an application here (opens a new window) as one part of the process. They want to be sure that the applicant has a solid plan for the footprint of the float, anchoring the float, handling waste, and other considerations. If a permit is issued then State personnel will occasionally come around to be sure that floathouse is in compliance. There is also an annual fee, but I don't know how much it is.
Spring, and the season for selling and buying homes, is here. This year there are several floathouses for sale near Thorne Bay. That is kind of unusual, so when we were out in the skiff today I took a few pictures of available floathouses with my little point-and-shoot camera. It was dreary and starting to rain so use your imagination to add sunshine and dream about life on the water.
One of the floathouses, shown in the photo below, already has an offer pending and might be off the market soon.
But really, if you are going to dream then dream big, right? This dream includes a floathouse to live in and an amazing lodge business. Even the story of the floathouse is cool - the house started out on land in Ketchikan! Check out McFarland's Floatel at their website, or look up Coastal Real Estate Group to dive right in to living the Alaskan Dream. The older floathouse is a great home - we were there today - thanks for the great visit Jeannie and Jim! - and the cabins are gorgeous.
I have to do this. This post sounds like an ad, but really it is just a response to a lot of requests that I have received. *Disclaimer* I'm providing the links for your entertainment and convenience, and am not representing anyone, and do not receive anything for posting about these floathouses.
So Keep Dreaming, Dear Ones!
More about floathouse living at Alaska For Real (a friend's site)