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Rare floating home in San Francisco is for sale

The gray, triangular houseboat at the end of the dock in Mission Creek is shaded by Interstate 280 for part of the afternoon.
The home at berth 56, 300 Channel St., is the fifth home on the dock to ever go up for sale, according to its realtor. | Source: Courtesy Michelle Hunter

A rare floating home in San Francisco’s Mission Creek, just a quick backstroke away from Oracle Park, hit the market on Friday for a splashy $1.25 million. 

The houseboat, which isn’t really a boat but is registered with the DMV, is located at the end of a dock of 20 other such homes—only five of which have ever gone up for sale, according to real estate agent Michelle Hunter. 

An aerial view shows Mission Creek in San Francisco.
The houseboat for sale is located at the end of a dock with 20 other such homes. | Source: Courtesy Michelle Hunter

To land the home at berth 56, 300 Channel St., a potential buyer must pass an interview with the homeowners association, which Hunter likened to a “co-op” made up of friends. Due to the inclusiveness of the community, the property is only available to people who intend to live there full-time. 

The floating home also cannot be financed and must be purchased entirely in cash since it isn’t technically a property, Hunter said.

Plants and chairs adorn the deck of a houseboat on Mission Creek.
The creek is home to several types of seabirds and the occasional harbor seal. | Source: Courtesy Michelle Hunter

Some of the owners take a daily swim in the creek. The two-bedroom, 1.5-bathroom home features a dock to hitch kayaks or paddleboards to. It’s also frequented by wildlife such as herons, egrets and the occasional harbor seal. 

“If you love to live on the water, it’s a great place to live,” Hunter said.

Located at the southern end of the channel, the house comes with plenty of privacy. But it’s also almost beneath Interstate 280, which sometimes casts a shadow in the afternoon. Hunter said the sound of cars passing above is faintly audible from inside the home.

A triangular, gray houseboat sits at the end of a dock in Mission Creek on a sunny day.
The freeway above the home sometimes casts a shadow in the afternoon. | Source: Courtesy Michelle Hunter

One of the nearby houseboats sunk earlier this year after the owner struggled to fix a leaking pontoon supporting the structure, Hunter said. However, the house for sale is secured on concrete rather than flotation devices, eliminating that risk, she said.

The houseboat's kitchen features white walls, gray tiles and slender golden chairs.
The rare houseboat can't be financed and is for sale for $1.25 million in cash. | Source: Courtesy Michelle Hunter

The house features four outdoor patios, including one on the roof. The city announced plans in June to turn 24 acres of the Mission Bay neighborhood, including the bank alongside the creek, into “playgrounds, dog parks, picnic areas, boat launches, sports courts and pocket parks.”

David Sjostedt can be reached at