Frequently Asked Questions
Does the tide come in every day?
Not only every day, but twice a day the entire San Francisco Bay rises and falls as much as 2 to 8 feet, fed by the tides from the Pacific Ocean outside the Golden Gate. The moon influences these tides; as long as the moon rises and falls, so will the tides. Today, the tide will slowly be lowering all afternoon from a high of 4.6 feet above sea level at 10:00 this morning to a low of 2.7 feet this afternoon at 3:15 and rising back to high tide of 5.0 feet at 7:30 this evening.
What happens to the sewage?
Every home is equipped with a holding tank containing a pump connected to a flexible green hose, which is connected to the dock, which leads to shore. All the drains in the home lead to this holding tank. Nothing is allowed to go over the side into the water.
How can concrete float?
A concrete barge, essentially a shoebox looking item, can float surely as a steel ship can float. Look at it this way; your porcelain cereal bowl floats very nicely in the dishwater in the sink. Same thing.
Barges are not foundations.
As you look at many of these floating homes, what looks like concrete foundations are really the concrete barges. All the homes you will see today will float when the tide is high enough. All will sit on the mud when the tide is out far enough.
What about the long walk out the dock in the rain?
It’s not bad. It rains at night, while you are at work, on weekends when you are out playing, etc. How often are you going to get caught in our infrequent storms? Can’t deny it. Sometimes you are going to be carrying a bag of groceries (or two), the wind and rain come up, there goes your umbrella and you’re not to your house yet. Think of it as a brief, close, intense relationship with Mother Nature.
How are floating homes taxed?
Floating homeowners pay personal property tax at the same rate as your property taxes ashore: One percent of assessed valuation. On houses and property, it is called a secured property tax. On floating homes, as well as mobile homes, boats and airplanes, it is called unsecured property tax, mainly because the taxed item can literally be moved around.
What is the berthing fee?
The floating marina can be compared to mobile home parks; the residents own their homes, and rent the berthing space from a landlord. The landlord owns the land under the marina, the docks, the utility lines under the dock, the parking lots, and the maintenance obligation for all these facilities. The berthing fees are calculated according to the size of the berth, the size of the floating home, the distance from shore, etc. The fee varies widely, but many fees are in the $1,000 per month range, and cover water, garbage, sewage, parking and common area maintenance.
Are floating homes always damp?
Is your house always damp? No different. As long as there are no leaks in the roof, siding, windows, etc. and the boat has a heating system for the days you would usually use a heating system, our homes are no damper then what you would expect in a land based dwelling.
Are floating homes environmentally correct?
Of course. Consider these points. Floating home living is generally compact living; thus, there is a more efficient use of heat, light, storage, and living space in general. There isn’t any space for garages, driveways, backyards, etc. Parking is concentrated in lots as compact as possible, and walkways to the houses (i.e. the docks) are the shortest distance possible to the outermost home. And, the docks are elevated, so natural life can continue under the dock surface. Floating homes provide access to the water for hundreds of people — owners, residents, guests and visitors. Didn’t we bring you down to the water today?
How does one acquire a floating home?
Floating homes are bought and sold like any other property. There are floating home realtors, they are listed on the Multiple Listing System, and there are often notices and offers posted on the bulletin boards at the front of each dock for both sales and rentals