Float Homes: The Future of Metro Vancouver Housing?

Mar 30, 2016

We are all well aware of the near impossible dream of younger generations to own a detached home in Metro Vancouver. I wanted to take the opportunity to write about (what I consider) to be the future of Metro Vancouver coastal real estate.

In 2009, my now husband and I had a choice between an older detached home, or… a shiny new townhouse. We chose that latter and missed out on the gross inflation that occurred shortly after, creating a city of millionaires. Woe is me–I know. We were lucky enough to be able to afford a townhouse and worked our butts off to get it. After years of strata drama we were determined to live somewhere where we could have the freedom of a detached home, yet live close to the downtown area.

Impossible, right? It was…until I discovered the float homes at Mosquito Creek Marina. One happened to go on the market, our home sold in a day, and the cards fell into place (it was actually not quite that easy). So here we are, all moved in and loving every minute of it.


I truly believe this style of living will explode in BC. It’s sustainable, locally built, convenient, urban, and a heck of alot cheaper than any other detached two-story structure. Look at the IJburg neighbourhood in Amsterdam, for example.

Do you have to do anything special or different while living in a float home?

Nope. There is no requirement to change your lifestyle at all. The houses range in amenities; ours has forced air heating, a jetted tub, heated bathroom floors, a full kitchen with quartz countertops, and a Viking range.

I have a dog. And a cat. And a bird. I can’t live on a float home, can I?

You bet you can! We have two dogs and a cat. My curmudgeonly cat has never been happier, and the dogs don’t mind the lifestyle at all. We have a convenient location – not too far to the ramp – so taking the dogs for “business time” is a breeze.

Float Homes at the Creek

What additional costs are there?

Other than the cost to purchase the home and the regular utility bills (hydro, gas, etc), you have to pay moorage to the marina. This can run anywhere from $400 – $1500 per month, depending on the size of the slip and the location. A Vancouver marina will charge more than a marina in Langley.

Some float home purchases include the slip. In these cases, you would not pay moorage but would be required to pay strata fees that go towards maintaining the shared infrastructure (docks for example).

High Tide

How much does it cost to purchase a float home?

Again, it comes down to the age/size of the float home, and the location. I have seen them sell anywhere from $80,000 to 1.5 million. Float home purchasing is a bit different than traditional real estate purchases, therefore I suggest you find a realtor who has dealt in float homes before.

The Creek from the Outside

Does the house, you know, move?

Hell yeah! It’s part of the charm. The house goes up and down with the tides and sways a bit when there are larger currents.

Inside the Marina

What is your favorite part of living in a float home?

Ah–where do I begin? For me, it really comes down to being more in touch with nature. Nothing beats the connection you feel with the marine-life that make the area their home. And what beats sitting on the patio overlooking the ocean? I’m sure it’s not for everyone, but it definitely is a lifestyle I relish.

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