Tedd Levy has lived in Bellmore for the last 25 years. Just not on land.
Levy’s two-level floating home, which he is selling for an asking price of $299,000, is permanently situated on a canal. “People are very surprised when I say I live on a boat,” says Levy, 67. “They ask all sorts of different questions. ‘What do you mean you live on a boat?’ And I say, ‘You live on land? What is it like living on land?’”
There are other common questions Levy receives from those who live on dry land.
Doesn’t it get cold? No, he says, the home is equipped with both propane and electric heating systems.
Does he take the home out for rides on the water? No, he says, the home is not considered a house boat because it doesn’t have a motor.
Does he get seasick? No, he says, the home is built on a flat Fiberglas barge that rises with the water and reduces rocking.
Some even ask him if they can have a party on it. And Levy says, “No. It’s my home, not a hall I rent out.”
The house, though, is fully equipped to host a party. Levy says he has had about 15 to 20 people at once at the house, which features two bedrooms and one bathroom. Sliding glass doors lead into a foyer with a spiral staircase. The main level includes a living room and dining room with a wood-burning fireplace, plus a kitchen with granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, gas cooking and sliders opening to a deck. The staircase leads down to the lower level that includes the bedrooms and bathroom.
With electric, cable and a washer and dryer, the house offers all the comforts of home, says listing agent Marc Handler of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage.
“It is an extremely affordable way to live, not only by the water,” Handler says, “but you’re really living in the water.”
Oddly, Levy says he isn’t much of a boater, doesn’t go on cruises and doesn’t fish. His girlfriend, though, would do some crabbing off the home, one time even dropping a cage out the bathroom window. “She didn’t even have to go outside,” Levy says with a laugh. “She just checked it every once in a while. And she actually got some crabs.”
Levy bought his first floating home in the 1970s after being invited to Fire Island for the weekend. His friend was renting a floating home and the one next to it was for sale.
“I was in my early 20s and it was hard to afford a place,” he says. “This was a very reasonable cost.”
He says he purchased the floating home on Fire Island and moved it to a marina in Freeport, which he sold in 1993 when he bought his current home. He says that while most floating homes are typically in marinas, even the handful that remain on Long Island today, this home offered a spot on a canal with traditional homes across the street.
“The neighbors treat me as a normal neighbor who lives on a boat,” Levy says.
To make the home a permanent residence, Levy had to obtain various permits. To do so, he says, it was required that the home meet building code, be on the tax roll, get connected to the sewer system, and include off-street parking and a piece of property.
The home, with taxes of $2,690, is attached to a 59-by-23-foot property that has a two-car driveway, shed, floating dock and a small lawn with in-ground sprinklers.
“My landscaper used to charge me $5 a week to cut it,” Levy says. “And then he went up to $10.”
The patch of grass at Levy’s next home is expected to be a bit larger. He says now that he’s retired and getting older, he’s looking at condos in Nassau County and western Suffolk and is planning to move back onto land for the first time since the '70s.
“I’m asking all of my friends questions about how you live on land,” Levy says. “I’m trying to learn what it will be like. But I’m going to miss the uniqueness of living on the water.”