Landlubbers test the waters with home on Lake Union

Landlubbers test the waters with home on Lake Union »Play Video
The 2,000-square-foot floating home is towed slowly across Lake Union toward its slip on Friday.
SEATTLE - A 2,000-square-foot home attracted lots of stares as it was towed across Lake Union on Friday and wrangled into place along the shoreline.

It was a 30-by-40-foot floating home, and crews painstakingly positioned it in one of the last remaining homesites on the water.

Anxiety peaked as crews maneuvered the house between pilings.

"It was a little nerve-wracking because it's very close to the water line, closer than I thought," says homeowner Eva Wahl. "I thought, 'Uhhh-uhhhh."

But Wahl says her contractor assured her it would not tip over.

The home was built on the Ship Canal and was towed at a stately speed across Lake Union, where it got plenty of stares from passers-by.

"I have never seen houses on the water, so I'm like, 'Oh my God, what are they doing?'" says Nika Mammadova.

The Fremont Bridge happened to open for a passing sailboat as the house moved under it.

"This guy rode by me on his bike, and I saw him look, and I just kept my eye on him, and he did a double-take, and he almost ran into someone standing there," says Joel Blair of Wards Cove Real Estate.

The whole experience was new for homeowners for Eva and Art Wahl, too.

Eva says they wanted to do something different - so they sold their landlocked home to live on the water.

"You know we are getting older; we think we shouldn't be so set in our ways," says Eva. "We should maybe push the limits a little bit. Pretend we're still young."

The Wahls own the third house on the dock, which is designed for a dozen.

"I didn't think it would take quite this long or quite as much energy as it's taken but, OK, we're here now," says Art.

It took 18 months to build the floating home, and the inside's still not done.

And when new neighbors move in next door, the Wahls' house will have to be moved out, for another to be moved in.

"It's sort of like unplugging a toaster," says Art. "You know, you unplug, move it and put it back."

Sort of a Rubik's Cube of floating homes.

Less than half of the 12 slips for floating homes are sold - and these are likely the last ever to be allowed in the Seattle area, with a new shoreline management plan taking shape.

The slips run from $620,000 to $900,000 each.