See inside this chic, 1970s Santa Barbara houseboat named Thomas Jefferson that can be yours for $4.9 million

The $4.9 million floating home.

Roy Hathon/Acute Angle/Sotheby’s International Realty

The home’s seller, Jeff Wapner, purchased the houseboat so he could be closer to the ocean.
Wapner spent $2 million renovating it, including adding an additional story and modern appliances. 
The home’s porch has been a great spot for spotting sea lions, herons, and dolphins, Wapner said.

Anchored in the coastal enclave of Santa Barbara, California, a houseboat on the market for $4.9 million may beckon to those with a taste for luxury and aquatic living. 

The floating home in its chic, modern state is the brainchild of Jeff Wapner, a woodworker, upcycler, and avid sailor and surfer, who purchased the nearly 50-year-old houseboat — named Thomas Jefferson  — in 2014. Wapner had admired the houseboat since his youth.

“I’ve lived in a lot of really unique homes and structures during my life,” Wapner told Insider. “After moving back to Santa Barbara, I wanted to live as close as possible to the ocean. I had known about this floating home since I was a kid, so I decided to pursue it.”

After living on the Thomas Jefferson for about a year, Wapner realized there were a few issues. The framing wasn’t to code because of rot and extensive termite damage. The floating home was also doing exactly what you don’t want boats to do — gradually sinking. 

Wapner decided to renovate.

Over the course of nine months, he spent $2 million updating the exterior and interior of the home, enlisting the help of his father, architect friend CJ Paone, and interior designer Louisa Kimble. The end result is a 1,400-square-foot home that boasts an upgraded and larger second story with new flooring, kitchen cabinetry, and appliances. The slip in Santa Barbara Harbor is included in its listing price, the Wall Street Journal reported

Take a look inside.

The house is a well-known fixture in Santa Barbara. It’s been docked where it is since the 1970s.
Jeff Wapner’s docked Santa Barbara houseboat.

Roy Hathon/Acute Angle/Sotheby’s International Realty

The Thomas Jefferson’s been around for decades, but continues to attract curious onlookers. 

“It’s pretty common for people to take pictures of the home,” Wapner said. “A lot of adults don’t think it’s a home initially, but children seem to immediately know it’s a houseboat.”

The property’s listing agent, Patricia Ruben of Sotheby’s International Realty, told Insider it’s one the most unique properties she has ever seen.

“You can buy art or you can live in it,” Ruben said. “The home is extremely artistic and architecturally precise. What’s incredible about the property is its storage space and how ingeniously it has been planned.”

Wapner didn’t put windows on the side of the house facing the mainland.
A side view of the houseboat.

Roy Hathon/Acute Angle/Sotheby’s International Realty

“A lot of people have a hard time with the fact that there aren’t any windows on one side of the home, but I personally love it,” he said. “I don’t want to look out and see people watching me. I want to be looking out at the ocean and the mountains instead.”

The porch has proven to be a great spot for observing wildlife.
The deck on the houseboat.

Roy Hathon/Acute Angle/Sotheby’s International Realty

“In a traditional home you might see people walking by or squirrels and dogs,” he said. “Where I am, I see sea lions every single day.” Wapner said he’s also seen dolphins, black-crowned night herons, and blue herons. 

The kitchen’s cabinets are white oak and its countertops are marble.
The houseboat’s kitchen.

Roy Hathon/Acute Angle/Sotheby’s International Realty

Wapner, who is an introvert, made sure the kitchen’s windows, which overlook the harbor, were heavily tinted.
Another view of the floating home’s kitchen.

Roy Hathon/Acute Angle/Sotheby’s International Realty

“The window tints are four times what code recommends,” he said. “The house is also extremely quiet and peaceful. When you step inside, you almost are teleported to another realm.”

Wapner said the window tint, along with the boat’s insulation, make it an extremely energy-efficient environment.

The home dining space is large enough to host gatherings.
Dining space in the houseboat.

Roy Hathon/Acute Angle/Sotheby’s International Realty

“The kitchen is incredible to cook in,” Wapner said. “I don’t always like to have big, blowout parties in the home, but it is really nice to have dinner parties there.”

While the home’s furniture and decor aren’t included in the sale, Wapner said he’s willing to negotiate on items.
A sitting room in the floating home.

Roy Hathon/Acute Angle/Sotheby’s International Realty

The staircases were built using excess rift and quarter sawn white oak from the upgraded flooring.
Two staircases within the houseboat.

Roy Hathon/Acute Angle/Sotheby’s International Realty

The houseboat only has one bedroom. Its high windows offer privacy.
A bedroom in the houseboat.

Roy Hathon/Acute Angle/Sotheby’s International Realty

Wapner installed a skylight above the shower.
The floating home’s only bathroom.

Roy Hathon/Acute Angle/Sotheby’s International Realty

Wapner said parting with the home will be difficult.
This Santa Barbara houseboat is on the market for $4.9 million.

Roy Hathon/Acute Angle/Sotheby’s International Realty

“This home has been a family affair,” Wapner said.”The research that went into building it and how much I learned along the way have been extremely valuable.”

“I never built this home with the idea of selling it, so there’s an emotional component,” he added. 

As for his decision to part with it, Wapner explained that it’s time for a new adventure.

“I am someone who has a ton of wanderlust and I love to travel,” he said. “I also have ideas for some other projects in the future.”

Read the original article on Business Insider

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