Houseboats are lined up on Tuesday, January 30, 2018, off of Fairview Avenue East in Seattle.
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Houseboats are lined up on Tuesday, January 30, 2018, off of Fairview Avenue East in Seattle.
Credit: KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

What's life like on Lake Union's houseboats?

Seattleites have been living in floating homes for more than 100 years.

These unique buildings have become an icon of the city, but their early days were a far cry from the swanky house of Sam Baldwin in Sleepless in Seattle.

Seattle historian Knute Berger said the original houseboats were more like "floating shanty towns." Low-income workers would build them out of scrap lumber floating in the lake.

Today, the homes are much nicer, and they've galvanized a community of tight-knit homeowners. We visit a floating home community and hear about the excitement of life on the water in this week's episode of SoundQs.

Listen to the episode by clicking the play button above or on your favorite podcast app. SoundQs is a weekly podcast where KUOW reporters tackle questions submitted by our listeners.

Have a question about the Seattle region for us to investigate? Drop it here (if you don't see the form, hit refresh):

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