Jane Betts-Stover, Realtor, GRI Jane Betts-Stover, GRI
Top 10% in sales for 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 & 2015
for Oregon Realty

  Direct: 503.422.3340,  Office: 503.254.0100, Fax: 503.265.8985

Email me at: bettsstover@oregonrealty.com
Frequently Asked Questions: (FAQ's)


Q: If I buy a home, do I have to pay the Broker a fee?

A: No.  The Seller agrees to pay the Listing Agent (Realtor who is selling the home) a commission when the property is sold.  Buyers usually do not pay a commission to their Realtor.

Q: What are the costs associated with floating homes?

A: HOA or Moorage fee.  Almost all moorages will pay for your use of water, sewer and garbage.  They will maintain the walkways, parking area, and common areas. Some moorages have on-site management. For these services they will charge you a fee, commonly known as a moorage fee.  In the RMLS, it is listed as an "HOA" cost.

These fees will differ greatly depending upon the moorage and whether you are purchasing the slip or renting the slip. Rental moorages will usually have a higher monthly fee.

You will need homeowners insurance and pay yearly taxes similar to purchasing a "land" home.


Q. What type of Insurance is needed for floating homes?  

A. There are not many insurance companies that insure floating homes.  Currently there are three main insurers.

Insurance, however, is readily available through these companies.  Their rates tend to be higher than those found for land homes.

I can help provide you with contact information for your insurance needs.


Q. What about taxes?

A. Floating homes are taxed as "personal property" and have their own division within the County. The tax bill comes out annually, the same as land homes; however, you are only taxed on the home. Land homes have an assessed value of the structure and the land which is what you pay taxes on .  Floating homes obviously are not on land; therefore only taxed on the structure.  Your taxes will be less than a comparable land home.


Q. What kind of Inspection is needed for a floating home?

A. It is recommended, when purchasing a floating home, to inspect the below water "foundation". This is called a Flotation Inspection or Dive Survey. The cost is approximately $600 to $1000.

It is important to use a knowledgeable professional to do this inspection.  I will be glad to recommend several respected professionals.

The home above the waterline is just like a regular house on land, and it is always a good idea to have a house inspection.

I can provide you with recommendations for both dive and house inspections.


Q. What type of Financing is available for floating homes?

A. There are now a number of lenders who will loan on floating homes. Their rates are usually 1 to 1 1/2 points higher than on conventional loans for land homes.  Depending upon the lender, they require a 20% down payment and some will give 20-30 year loans.  Banks will require a float inspection and an appraisal.

Occasionally there may be a seller who wishes to carry a contract.  Their terms are usually specific to them, but many also require a significant down payment.

I have specific names of lenders and contact information to help you through this process.


Q. What is under the floating home?

A. The flotation of a floating home may vary greatly.  The most common type of flotation in the Portland area is "log & stringers".  Large logs will have big beams (called stringers) resting on top of them.  They are pinned together.  The floor joists of the home sit on top of the stringers.  This alone will not support the weight of the house, so Styrofoam blocks wrapped in heavy plastic are needed for buoyancy under the logs.

Concrete foundation is also a common flotation method.

You will also find floating homes that are barges with hulls similar to boats.

When we go looking for your home, I can point out the differences and offer further information.



Q: What is the difference between an floating home, a house boat and a boat house?

A: Floating Home and House boat are often used synonymously. A house boat is a floating home and a floating home is a house boat. The term floating homes has become more commonly accepted in recent years as it more accurately describes the home. It is a home that floats. The term House boat often conjures up images of a tin box with a motor on the back that toddles around a lake, which is not what a floating homes does. A Boat House in the strict sense of the term is not a floating home. It is a garage for a boat. It will be an empty shell with a huge door to allow access for the boat. Sometimes there are boat houses that have finished living quarters. That type of boat house is referred to as a "combo"; a combination boat house and home.




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