- The Washington Times - Friday, June 19, 2009

It’s always nice to have a home away from home. As thoughts turn to the summer, many homeowners will flock to their getaways at the beach or in the mountains.

Despite the economy, experts say there is still a healthy market for vacation-home buyers, especially with housing affordability at a record high and low mortgage interest rates. The Washington metropolitan area is lucky enough to be within several hours driving distance of many scenic waterfront towns and mountain retreats. From the Shenandoah Valley to the Atlantic Ocean, it’s not hard to find an appealing location.

The 2009 Investment and Vacation Home Buyers Survey by the National Association of Realtors found that 84 percent of vacation homebuyers were most interested in owning a vacation home to use as a family retreat, 25 percent bought with the intent to rent to others and 26 percent are looking to help diversify their investment portfolio.

Maryland

The Eastern Shore features resort towns with sandy beaches and delicious seafood. Maryland’s Ocean City is a bustling coastal resort with miles of free beaches.

Rivendell Condominiums, by Buccini Pollin Group Inc., is on the bay between 80th and 81st streets in Ocean City. The condominium community offers three- and four-bedroom luxury residences priced from $499,900.

The three-bedroom, 3 1/2-bath floor plan has 2,369 square feet, including a 300-square-foot balcony that wraps around the unit from the living room to the dining room. The four-bedroom, 4 1/2-bath plan boasts 4,700 square feet, including an oversized 1,700-square-foot balcony. Standard features include marble baths, a remote-controlled fireplace and unique architectural details. For more information, call 888/574-8363 or visit www.rivendellcondos.com.

Centex Homes is developing GlenRiddle Marina Condominiums in Berlin, a neighboring town to Ocean City. Residents will enjoy ocean access with a marina that has a walkway, boat ramp and dock. Buyers may choose from two home styles with 1,566 to 1,925 square feet. Each home has three bedrooms and 2 1/2 baths.

The Herring model is priced from $279,900 and has a main-level master bedroom. The Turville model is priced from $329,990 with a master bedroom on the second floor. Centex is also building town homes and single-family homes at GlenRiddle. For more information, call 866/699-4854 or visit www.centexhomes.com.

Delaware

Delaware’s shore is known for Rehoboth Beach, voted America’s best boardwalk by Reader’s Digest magazine several years ago. It boasts small town appeal, eclectic shops and a flourishing night life. Nearby towns include Bethany Beach, Dewey Beach and Fenwick Island.

The Grande at Canal Pointe by D.R. Horton Inc. has condominiums and town homes in Rehoboth Beach. Three condominium plans are priced from the low $200,000s with two bedrooms and two full bathrooms. Square footage ranges from 1,163 to 1,478.

The Amelia floor plan has 1,176 square feet and features a 22-by-12-foot living room and dining room that opens to a patio or deck. Standard features include 9-foot ceilings and luxurious master suites.

The town homes at Canal Pointe are priced from the upper $300,000s and have between 2,283 and 2,892 square feet. The Catalina is the largest floor plan and boasts a sunroom, gourmet kitchen and family room with a fireplace. A 14-by-10-foot deck is standard. For more information about the town homes and condominiums, call 302/226-8100 or visit www.drhorton.com.

Bayfront at Rehoboth features 189 homesites and a private beach. The homes are by Rosemark DesignBuild LLC and feature classic beach and shingle-style architecture. There are six plans to choose from, and prices start at $484,990 for the Chestnut model. This model has a two-story living and dining room with a fireplace and a second-floor loft.

The largest plan is the Potomac, and it features a mix of 10-, 12-, and 13-foot ceilings along with grand picture windows for maximum views of the Bay. It starts at $712,990 and has three standard bedrooms. Buyers may add bedrooms. For more information, call 302/945-8135 or visit www.bayfrontatrehoboth.com.

Magnolias Resort Condominiums at Bethany is within three miles of Bethany Beach and built by Lockwood Design. The three-bedroom, two-bath floor plans have 1,550 square feet. Community amenities include a deck, rooftop pool, fitness room and covered parking. Prices start at $214,900. For more information, call 800/399-7945.

Beazer Homes Corp. is building at North Beach, a luxury town-home community in Bethany Beach. The community has 40 four-story town homes with half of them backing to water.

The Hatteras model features a water view and has more than 3,400 square feet. Decks are standard features, along with Corian counters and 42-inch cabinets in the kitchen. Options include elevators, a second owner’s suite and a media room. For more information, call 302/541-4203 or visit www.beazer.com.

Virginia

Whether it’s the beach or the mountains, Virginia offers many natural amenities for vacation homes. Virginia Beach has a 3-mile boardwalk set between the Atlantic Ocean and a park setting. The area is known for great golf courses and wildlife viewing at state parks. Virginia also has scenic new home communities nestled in the mountains for the ultimate getaway.

The Cove at Great Neck town-home community is in Virginia Beach with 19 residences. Built by Bishard Development Corp., the homes have three bedrooms, attached garages, gourmet kitchens and gas fireplaces.

The homes have 1,757 square feet, and buyers may choose from three different plans. The Lynnhaven model boasts a covered patio in the backyard, a covered front porch on the main level and a covered balcony off the family room. For more information, call 757/671-3343 or visit www.thecoveatgreatneck.com.

Winchester Homes Inc. is building in the Shenandoah Valley, with a 942-acre, active-adult community with scenic surroundings that include both the Blue Ridge and Allegheny mountains. Once completed, this community in Lake Frederick will have 2,130 homes by several different builders.

Residents can enjoy a host of amenities including a lake and a 35,000-square-foot club with a fitness complex. Outdoor activities include boating, fishing, swimming hiking and tennis. Prices range from $249,000 to $460,000.

Each of the homes has two bedrooms and two baths. The Bayshore II model has a base price of $387,000 and 2,500 square feet. For more information, call 540/868-0780 or visit winchesterhomes.com.

West Virginia

Known as the “mountain state,” West Virginia is a great place for activities like skiing, climbing and hiking.

The scenic countryside with swirling rivers also makes it one of the most sought-after destinations for whitewater rafting and tubing. The eastern panhandle of West Virginia is just a short drive from the District and offers a convenient escape from the hustle and bustle of city living.

The Meadows at Stonecoal Lake is a lake-and-mountain retreat in Weston. This planned community has homes and lots for sale by Lakefront Development Co. LLC. One of the homes for sale is priced at $429,000 and features a log-siding and stone exterior with floor-to-ceiling windows. It features a large master suite with a custom bath and a walk-in closet.

The great room has a stone fireplace with gas logs and eight huge windows that allow for scenic views of Stonecoal Lake. For more information, call 304/421-4106 or visit www.stonecoallake.com.

Windmill Crossing by Ryan Homes is in Charles Town. Featuring all-brick town homes, this enclave of homes is just minutes from Harpers Ferry, the MARC train and Route 7. The homes have up to three bedrooms and three baths, as well as a one-car garage. Custom options include a three-level sunroom or morning room.

The Blue Ridge Mountains, the Appalachian Trail, and the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers all provide plenty of year-round outdoor recreation. For more information, call 304/725-5715 or visit www.ryanhomes.com.

The Village at Washington Trail by Drees Homes Co. is offering single-family homes in Kearneysville priced from $179,000 to $259,200. The Barrington plan has a first-floor master suite, two additional bedrooms and the option to add a fourth bedroom. The community offers plenty of green space and a walking path. For more information, call 304/263-8349 or visit www.dreeshomes.com.


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