Summer may be fleeting, but enjoying the beach doesn’t have to be. On the heels of another great Rehoboth Beach season, hopefully you are planning more fall excursions to enjoy celebrations like this weekend’s Sundance, annual fall sidewalk sales, tons of 5Ks, the famous Jazz Festival, Sea Witch, and many more.
Fall is also the best time of year to shop for real estate. Up to 75 percent of sought-after in-town inventory within Rehoboth’s city limits hits the market from mid-August through September, mostly due to the rental market cycle.
How hot is the market now? As a point of reference, earlier this week (as of August 30), there were 78 condos and single family homes for sale in-town Rehoboth, ranging in price from $325,000 to over $4 million, depending on the type of property, size, condition, amenities and location. An average “in-town” price is $1.5 million for a single-family home.
You can take advantage of this wide range of options (like our famous local Joe Biden recently did)!
Downtown Rehoboth offers unquestionable appeal with walkability, restaurants, shopping, and some of the best beaches in the country. But good news! If these factors are on your list of “must haves,” and you want to stay within a tighter budget, you have even more options if you cast a wider net.
The Delaware beaches extend well beyond the Rehoboth city limits. You can stretch your dollar if you venture even a few miles north. Five miles puts you in downtown Lewes and another 10 puts you in downtown Milton – and there are many great communities and options in-between.
By now, you’ve probably visited Historic Lewes (the “First Town in The First State”). Downtown offers an eclectic blend of charming historic architecture and some brand-new construction, albeit on a much smaller scale than Rehoboth. Lewes was long considered the “year-round” town; although that’s changed with more businesses staying open longer in Rehoboth as more people have moved to the area full-time. And much of Lewes east of Route 1 offers easy access to the quiet Delaware Bay Beach. One major recent asset is that the Junction and Breakwater Trail (which starts at the new Lewes Library) and the Gordon’s Pond Trail (between Cape Henlopen State Park and Gordon’s Pond) now connect Lewes and Rehoboth Beaches. Your budget can stretch a bit more in Lewes – and you still have easy access to Rehoboth.
And if you are willing to go another five miles north, Milton and its surrounding communities offer tremendous value, compared to Rehoboth and Lewes, offering increasing dining options and gems like its renovated Milton Theater and Dogfish Head brewery (to name only a couple).
So how much do prices vary, really? Note: due to our unique and often varied zoning, two homes on the same street can vary widely in value.
Downtown Rehoboth Beach: condos fall in the $300,000-$400,000 range, a quaint cottage in North Rehoboth can fetch $850,000, beach block property garners nearly $1.6 million, and totally renovated homes in the beach block are listed at $2.5 million. Oceanfront studio apartments are selling in the mid $300s and 2+bedroom beachfront condos are listing at $750K+. If you want 3+ bedrooms facing the ocean, be prepared to spend $1M+. In-town living is among the most expensive around – and can reap the largest rewards in rental income.
Residential/country club communities near Rehoboth: from $600K – $900K for a traditional four-bedroom home and $1-$2M for a waterfront property
Historic Downtown Lewes: average home price in-town is around $500K, inching up to $600s – $900K+ on Lewes Beach, and includes some new construction communities. Currently, there are 61 properties listed for sale in the Lewes City Limits, which includes Lewes Beach
Lewes beachfront community: ranges from $600K – $1.2M a few lots back to $2M bayfront, which is about half of what you would pay for Rehoboth beachfront
Adjacent to Lewes: Residential communities along Gills Neck Road offer newer construction and amenities like pools and tennis courts and start around $600K and go up
Five Points (still East of Route 1): Town Center style living with grocery shopping and community amenities condos start in the low $200s, town homes in the low $300s and single-family homes at $400K
Historic Downtown Milton: average in the low $300s for a turn key historic home, and low $200s for something that might need a little TLC
Adjacent to Milton: communities along Cave Neck Road average in the high $200’s to high $300’s, depending on square footage
This is just a glimpse of the many real estate options available at the Delaware beaches. The bottom line is that now is the perfect time to shop in Rehoboth and surrounding areas with a great selection of condos, cottages, new construction, historic homes, and more. Contact a local Delaware Realtor and make this Labor Day the beginning of your endless summer at the beach.
Lee Ann Wilkinson is with the Lee Ann Wilkinson Group of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Gallo Realty.