Roy Gilbert

First-time homeowner’s custom houseboat makes waves on HGTV, in its marina

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SEATTLE — We can’t speak for all reality TV, but we can say this: When Sarah J. Haggard first sees her brand-new custom houseboat in the HGTV show “Home Afloat,” her reaction is giddily genuine.

That is real-life surprise. She hadn’t set eyes on her very own afloat home since it’d been framed.

Her lack of tears is honest-true for real, too.

“They tried to make me do it again to cry,” Haggard said of the filming crew. She did not.

You’d be all smiles, too, if you had this Epiphany.

Haggard has had several, including the official name of her home.

“I knew I wanted to live on the water from the moment I first stepped foot on a houseboat,” said Haggard, the founder and CEO of the mentorship app Tribute. “The peacefulness of the water combined with the bohemian lifestyle appealed to me. A few years ago, I decided to take a chance, and signed a five-month lease on a rental.”Life on the waterFour months into that lease, life on the water got a little rough: The owner of her rental houseboat was going to start renovations. Haggard had gone through a breakup and had nowhere else to go. But then, she said: “Something incredible happened.”Her longtime friends Todd Filer and Kent Perry, houseboaters who owned their own design/renovation business for 20 years, had been approached by HGTV to star in its new show.”They just needed a client to build a boat for, and so they called me,” Haggard said. “I’m a believer […]

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