Sausalito’s Floating Homes Offer Unusual Lifestyle

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 16,629
    A historic neighborhood of floating homes near San Francisco offers a unique opportunity to live on the water.

    David Purzycki: In the Town of Sausalito, right across the bay from San Francisco, lies a community where going with the flow is more than a philosophy. It's a way of life.

    Extending from the edge of shores is a modely collection of 400 plus dwellings floating right out on the water. While originally these sea-ferrying shelters grew out of a necessity and as a means of in-expensing housing more than a century ago, they've evolved into complex constructs which are quite a bit more comfortable and pricey.

    Larry Clinton: Today, floating homes are an actual legal definition of our residences, which are non-navigable vessels, moored in permanent residential marinas and totally hooked up to shore with all the utilities; water, sewage, electricity, cable TV.

    Our place is about a 1400 square foot. two bedroom, two bath, two story home, which is about average size in the community.

    Joann Dunaway: Pricing on homes, I would say varies from the smallest at $200,000-250,000 to in the vicinity of two million dollars.

    David Purzycki: Add to that an average monthly berthing cost of $900 and you might wonder what makes the price worth it.

    Joann Dunaway: Being an intimate part of nature with birds, seals and sea lions and the water and the weather, extensive nature of some of our gardens.

    Larry Clinton: What I like most about this community is the closely-knit nature of it; it really is a small closely-knit family. Every year we open up 15-20 homes to the public, we typically get about a 1,000 people out here, they are always blown away, as never would anybody expect it.

    Male Speaker: It sounds so awesome like as a sailor, I would think where would I ever want to live? Houseboat, that just sounds perfect, you know right on the water. It seems like an idyllic literature.

    David Purzycki: However, this nautical life isn't without its challenges.

    Larry Clinton: Because we are very exposed to the weather here, these houses require special maintenance; they need to be repainted every few years, we have to check our lines that tie us to pilings, some of these houseboats sink, there have been fires.

    Joann Dunaway: It's not for everybody though and a lot of people find that it's a little off-putting when the weather gets kind of scary.

    Larry Clinton: These are basically a lifestyle choice rather than an investment. I've been here almost 30 years; I can't imagine living anywhere else.

    David Purzycki: From Sausalito, California, this is David Purzycki.