You sit on your deck overlooking the water as the sun sets on another sultry summer day in your waterfront home. As you sip on a frosty Blue Moon ale, the sun sparkles like diamonds Poseidon himself crushed and scattered across the waves. You’re tired, but in a relaxing way that comes from playing hard; boating, fishing, swimming, and waterskiing.
The soul-crushing cubicle from work fades away as you close your eyes and listen to your children excitedly tell grandma about the big fish that got away. No video games today. Just sunshine and fresh air. It’s a good life. And rare.
Less than 1% of all real estate transactions are for waterfront property in the US. Waterfront property is defined as a home where the resident can go to a lake, river, bay or ocean while staying on their land. According to Forbes, waterfront property in the US is valued at a total of $134 billion
So, if you own one of these properties, you’re truly a one-percenter!
You Want to be a One Percenter Too?
You don’t have to go to the coast for waterfront living. There aren’t as many waterfront properties in the Washington DC area as there are to our south and east, however, there are rivers with a host of tributaries, as well as lakes. Yes, waterfront homes for sale are available to those wanting to live and work close to our nation’s capital.
Modern Waterfront Living
A trendy waterfront location in DC is the historic Southwest Waterfront neighborhood. Massive redevelopment, including a mile-long community known as The Wharf, is happening. There are chic, modern condos being built that offer stunning views of the Potomac. Entertainment, restaurants, night clubs, and water recreation are just steps away.
Also going through drastic changes is the Navy Yard on the Anacostia River. In the 1800s, the Navy Yard area was a site of major development and commerce, but after WWII, the area fell into disrepair and rampant crime.
In the 1990s, clean up and redevelopment lead to the 2008 opening of National’s Park, home to the Nationals baseball team. The land is being snapped up and commercial and residential development is everywhere. Restaurants, retailers, entertainment and recreation are all right there at your doorstep.
Refined and Elegant Waterfront Living
And then there’s Georgetown in DC and Old Town Alexandria in Virginia, both of which were major colonial-era shipping ports. Full of charm and history, Georgetown has homes, condos, and apartments on the water, or close to the water. One of the most beautiful areas in the area, the prices aren’t for the faint of heart.
Seven-figure selling prices are the norm, but if you have an experienced realtor who keeps their ear to the ground, you can sometimes find smaller, reasonably priced condos. They go quick…so you must be preapproved for a mortgage and ready to put in an offer when something comes up.
Old Town Alexandria was founded in 1749. Well preserved 18th-century buildings ooze charm and beauty. Site seeing boats and water taxis make it easy to navigate. Farmers markets, pubs, restaurants, and shopping are within easy walking distance. Hotels and homes have stunning views of the Potomac. Prices are can be high in Old Town, so be ready to pounce if an affordable home or condo comes on the market.
Country Living Waterfront
If you’re willing to commute a little, you can find waterfront property south of the metro area near Ft. Washington. The homes will all have large yards, spacious homes, and reasonable prices. Perfect for families who love the outdoors and water sports.
The further from the Washington DC area you go, the better prices become. You may want to consider a vacation home on the Chesapeake Bay or on a mountain lake. We have so many options in Maryland and Virginia. Let a realtor help you sort out the pros and cons to each location.
Is Now a Good Time to Buy?
This is a great time to purchase your dream home on the water! Prices of waterfront properties are at historic lows right now. In years past, a home would cost about 50% more if it was on desirable water. In 2019, that premium is now about 35%. There is no way of knowing how long that will last.
Interest rates are still low, but be aware that hikes could happen as soon as 2020. Inventory is good and the market has cooled a little bit, giving buyers good choices and time to shop. However, don’t be too complacent. The best homes with the best prices on the water can, and do, go quickly.
Research the areas you want to live in. Get preapproved by a mortgage lender. Have an experienced realtor on your side and be ready to submit an offer when the perfect home on the water is listed. With patience and determination, you and your family will be living like you’re on vacation year-round.