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Waterfront Properties

Waterfront properties continue to rise in value and are a popular choice for vacationers.

Some waterfront properties exhibit a secluded charm. [©Jupiter Images, 2010]
©Jupiter Images, 2010
Some waterfront properties exhibit a secluded charm.

Waterfront Properties

While the Pacific Northwest is home to a variety of properties, waterfront properties are some of the most coveted. A drive along the Oregon and Washington coastlines reveals quaint communities boasting many of the Pacific Coasts finest waterfront properties. Some are located near larger cities, such as Seattle, while other communities are more remote. Although many properties across the United States have suffered losses in recent years, Pacific Northwest real estate continues to be one of the best investments in a tough economy.

Bainbridge Island

Bainbridge Island, an exclusive island surrounded by many intimate bays and coves, is a short 30-minute ferry ride from Seattle, Wash. The median home price on this island is nearly $700,000. Although housing prices have fallen over the last year, they are still up compared over a five-year period. The Bainbridge Island Chamber of Commerce cites various activities available on the island, including miles of trails, art galleries and wineries. The island is a self-contained community where you can find virtually all necessities.

Mercer Island

Mercer Island, located just outside of Seattle, is surrounded by Lake Washington. The Mercer Island Chamber of Commerce reports that this island is home to 22,000 people, most of whom are able to work in the city. Its close proximity to Seattle makes this island one of the most exclusive in the Pacific Northwest, with the median housing price topping $1 million. Over the last five years, property values have risen close to $200,000. The island only takes up about six square miles of space but has an impressive array of outdoor venues including parks, beaches and wooded areas.

Gig Harbor

The Gig Harbor Chamber of Commerce notes that water sports, such as kayaking, sailing and pleasure boating, are common activities for residents of this peninsula. The Gig Harbor community is surrounded by a tapestry of inlets and bays worthy of exploration. The nearest big city to Gig Harbor is Tacoma, Wash., but Seattle is easily accessible for day trips. The average housing price is just under $449,000. Like most areas around the United States, Gig Harbor has experienced a decline in property values over the last year; however, values have not declined nearly as much as other areas in the Pacific Northwest. Gig Harbor is known for its laid-back environment and is best seen on the bike trails surrounding the coast. The presence of businesses on San Juan Island makes it a good place to invest in property. San Juan County has more businesses per capita than any other county in the State of Washington.

Low unemployment also makes real estate on San Juan Island appealing. Recent statistics suggest that unemployment in San Juan County ranked the 25th lowest among the state of Washington's 39 counties.

Astoria and Warrenton, Oregon

The communities of Astoria and Warrenton are located at the juncture of the Columbia River and the Pacific Ocean, just south of the Washington and Oregon border. The current median home price in Astoria and Warrenton ranges from $269,000 to $269,900, with higher prices for properties sitting on the waterfront. The Astoria-Warrenton Area Chamber of Commerce cites the areas rich history. Astoria, which dates back to 1811, is a community deeply-rooted in the history of America. It is the oldest permanent American settlement to the west of the Rockies. Some of the most coveted properties in Astoria include the hillside Victorian homes, which date back to the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Warrenton is a smaller community, with a population of approximately 4,500.

Bandon, Oregon

Bandon, Oregon is located on the southern Oregon coastline, just 90 miles to the north of the California border. The Bandon Chamber of Commerce notes that the presence of many golf courses around Bandon has earned the area the nickname of the "Golf Coast." While Bandon is home to middle-class homes, it also boasts luxurious waterfront estates. Bandon home prices have increased at a steady rate over the course of the last five years, with the current median home price sitting at $325,000. Past indicators of property value increases suggest that the Bandon area is a good investment. Most recent statistics indicate a 200 percent increase in the value of housing in Bandon since 2000.

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