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HOMEFINDER: Float homes can offer relaxing lifestyle on the water

<p>This one-bedroom, one-bathroom float home in Sailors Cove Marina in Esquimalt is on the market for 220,000.</p><p>Photo courtesy Lindsay Hamilton/MacDonald Realty</p> -

This one-bedroom, one-bathroom float home in Sailors Cove Marina in Esquimalt is on the market for 220,000.

Photo courtesy Lindsay Hamilton/MacDonald Realty

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Residents looking for a unique lifestyle that offers a different setting than a traditional house may want to dip their toe into the waters of float homes.

Those investigating that lifestyle might just find one opportunity in Esquimalt intriguing.

A float home for sale in Sailors Cove Marina, at 525 Head St., is a 749-square foot, two-storey structure. It features one bedroom, one bathroom, a kitchen with new electric appliances, white oak laminate flooring in the kitchen and bathroom, and a large living room with a curved staircase leading up to a "million dollar view."

All for $220,000, plus moorage fees and taxes, of course.

"People who see it online are interested in the price point and also just the draw that it's living on the water. It's a great place to be," said Lindsay Hamilton, a realtor with MacDonald Realty and Lindsay Hamilton Real Estate.

Moving to a fixed home on the water isn't just about a change in the four walls one lives in, she said, but a change in lifestyle.

"It's a different way to live," she said, adding there are a handful of other float homes in Sailors Cove and next door at West Bay Marina, along with a number of liveaboard boats. "It's a tight-knit community. It's a very romantic draw for a lot of people to live in a float home because it's such a neat lifestyle."

The idea of having a 360-degree waterfront view has attracted many potential buyers in recent weeks. Hamilton has received phone calls from interested people both locally and across Canada. She's also had a number of showings since the home went on the market just over a month and a half ago.

Hamilton believes this particular float home is appealing due to its private location, compared to float homes in Fisherman's Wharf, which see thousands of tourists passing through year-round.

While the day-to-day lifestyle may be appealing to some, however, Hamilton cautioned it's about more than simply enjoying the smell of the ocean breeze and the beautiful views.

Float homes cannot be financed and must be purchased in cash, for the most part. The property taxes are low (since there is no land to purchase and fees go towards improving the marina), but there are moorage fees, which make float homes similar to a strata property.

The moorage fee on this particular float home is $830 per month, and includes dock maintenance, parking, mail service, connection to city water and sewage, hot water, heat and basic cable.

While there is an accepted offer on the home, with conditions coming off this week, Hamilton said float home living is "a wonderful way to live" for many. "I think a lot of people think it's a pretty freeing experience to live in a float home and be right on the water like that, in the midst of everything."

Float homes come up for sale on occasion, with West Bay and Fisherman's Wharf the largest communities in the area. To find one that might work for you, contact your local realtor.

kendra.wong@vicnews.com

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