Diamonds in the Real Estate: Weekend Homes
While it hasn’t been a brutal winter in the District this year, it doesn’t mean we don’t get the fair-weather itch. Our minds race prematurely toward raspberry picking and the bounty of spring, maybe even a boat ride down the Chesapeake. Some of us jump even further into the future, planning our seaside beach weekends, wondering which shore to explore next.
And if you found your ideal getaway spot, it might be worth trying to stay for more than just a long weekend. Renting a house or condo for the summer is a pleasure — and it’s a decent local economy booster wherever you wind up — but sometimes it’s just too painful to leave. If you’ve found a location that suits you, buying a summer and weekend home is a worthy investment. But the perfect getaway spot means many different things, depending on the person.
Perhaps you’re looking for that white sandy beach surrounded by palm trees, golf courses, and world-class retail. Maybe you live a quieter existence and the Chesapeake Bay communities offer the lush solitude you seek. Others may seek a marriage of the two: relaxing beaches that afford your privacy with an array of fine dining and shopping to keep you busy through August.
Of course, there are endless options when choosing where to build your getaway nest, and you could spend your life searching for that perfect place. Here are our favorite weekend and summer getaway spots: their solid economies have proven these areas to all be sound investments, and each has a unique culture and community that is hard to beat throughout the East Coast.
Palm Beach, Florida West Palm Beach is the oldest incorporated municipality in South Florida. The city was founded by Henry Flagler and was intended for him to establish the Southern Florida Railroad. He aimed to establish a resort town and a “worker city” across from it.
Instead, this city developed into the luxury homes and prestigious neighborhoods that it is known for today. Today, it is one of the world’s most desirable communities, acclaimed for its gracious lifestyle, luxury real estate and relaxed sophistication. Shopping and dining are enjoyed on internationally renowned Worth Avenue, while an active sporting life centers on world-class polo,golf, tennis, yachting and deep-sea fishing. Hosting an active calendar of events, noted cultural organizations include the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts, Flagler Museum, Society of the Four Arts and Norton Museum of Art. Palm Beach as an island is approximately 14 miles long and only one to four blocks at its widest point. The Atlantic Ocean forms its eastern boundary, with the western boundary along the Intracoastal Waterway or Lake Worth. Its beautiful beaches, golf, shopping, fishing, fine dining and upscale restaurants can keep anyone satisfied year-round. Of course, there are an endless variety of homes available in Palm Beach’s many neighborhoods
Eastern Shore, Maryland
Maryland’s Eastern Shore is probably best defined by “serenity.” Filled with lush inland forests, unspoiled wetlands and small, historic towns steeped in charm, any one of its towns is a great place to build a second home. For outdoor enthusiasts, there are endless opportunities for fishing, sailing, canoeing or kayaking in the Chesapeake Bay. Eclectic boutiques and antique shops line the streets alongside contemporary restaurants that feature the bounty of the surrounding farmland. History buffs can explore the centuries-old churches and homes, along with the preserved historic districts of Easton, St. Michaels and Oxford. And, lest we forget the seafood!
There is a suprising diversity of real estate options in the Eastern Shore region, from waterfront to golf home communities, with single-family homes, condos or townhouses, new construction and living communities available.
Talbot County and other counties of the Eastern Shore offer quaint waterfront communities, including St. Michaels, Oxford, Cambridge and Kent Island, with a variety of real estate options for water lovers. Here you’ll find luxury estate golf homes, active living communities, condos and townhomes, all along the Chesapeake and its tributaries. Luxury waterfront homes range in price from $2 million to $16 million. Golf course and in-town homes on the water range from $600,000 to $2 million. Waterfront condos and townhouses start around $350,000 and can go up to $1 million.
*Rehoboth Beach, Delaware
Are you having visions of moonlit walks on the boardwalk? Do you dream at night of cresting sandy dunes and gazing down at the Atlantic’s undulating tide as it gently sweeps the shoreline? Have you wished upon a star for low property taxes and zero sales tax?
Okay, that last one is admittedly less romantic, but nevertheless, it’s still an integral part of Southern Delaware real estate’s growing appeal. Rehoboth Beach and its quieter neighboring communities of Bethany Beach and Fenwick Island, along with several other areas where you can find fantastic properties, collectively represent a Delaware real estate market that is drawing more savvy buyers every year. The word “Rehoboth” means “a place for all,” which makes the name apropos for this area, where people from all walks of life are equally welcome. The young, professional crowd from Washington comes for the beaches and the nightlife. Reader’s Digest has dubbed the famous Rehoboth Beach boardwalk, home to all manner of amusements, music, and spectacle, in its “Best in America” roundup.