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Real Estate: Well-Priced Getaways
Comments () | Published February 1, 2009
On the Eastern Shore, buyers should expect to pay at least $700,000 for a house on the water.

Deep Creek Lake: Bargains but Not Right on the Lake

Lisa Goodfellow of Goodfellow Real Estate Services in western Maryland’s Deep Creek Lake says that while the number of homes sold in the area fell from last year, prices—especially for lakefront properties—haven’t fallen sharply. Like Rappahannock County, Deep Creek Lake hasn’t seen much new construction. “We don’t deal with 500 townhomes,” Goodfellow says. Homes that aren’t lakefront but are still convenient to the lake in the summer and to ski slopes in the winter have dropped more in price.

Mike Kennedy, an agent with Railey Realty, says he has fewer clients who have to stretch to buy second homes, but business has picked up among wealthy people looking for investments outside the stock market. That’s why, he says, home prices have held steady over the last year even though inventory is up. Compared with other parts of the country, “it’s much more difficult up here to get a good bargain,” he says. “People here aren’t selling in a rush.”

Recently on the market

$1,265,000: A six-bedroom lakefront house with a boat slip.

$499,900: A four-bedroom custom log house a quarter mile from the lake.

Eastern Shore: No Longer Just for Retirees

Maryland’s Eastern Shore has been relatively sheltered from the larger financial crisis, says Jonathan Ginn, an agent with Coldwell Banker in Easton. While St. Michaels and nearby towns used to draw mainly retirees, the area has become popular with workers who commute to Washington and Baltimore a couple of days a week.

Prices have dropped the most for middle- and lower-tier homes, says Glory Bee Costa at ReMax Gold Realty in Easton. “We don’t have drops like you do in Florida, but prices have come down,” she says. To get a home on the water, buyers should expect to pay at least $700,000.

Recently on the market

$1,299,000: In St. Michaels, a four-bedroom home on a creek.

$499,000: In Grasonville, a four-bedroom house with water views.

Canaan Valley: A New Highway Will Bring It Closer

Buyers still have the chance to own a piece of Canaan Valley in West Virginia before a new highway—expected to open sometime next year—shaves almost an hour off the four-hour drive from Washington. “We’ll have a lot more lookers,” says Rita Jo Haverty, owner of Mountain Top Realty. And that, she says, “adds urgency.” Still, the recession has slowed sales, especially for homes costing more than $600,000.

“Prices have come down some,” says Randy Schmiedeknecht at Davis High Valley Realty in Davis, West Virginia. The area attracts people who enjoy skiing, snowshoeing, fall foliage, and fishing. Canaan Valley is among the more affordable vacation-home hot spots near Washington, with few homes more than $1 million and condos available for less than $200,000.

Recently on the market

$1,495,000: A five-bedroom mansion on five acres.

$350,000: A three-bedroom lodge with a hot tub on the deck.

This article first appeared in the February 2009 issue of The Washingtonian. For more articles from that issue, click here.

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Posted at 04:00 PM/ET, 02/01/2009 RSS | Print | Permalink | Washingtonian.com Articles