Waterfront Life and Vacation Homes

Four of my friends are looking for vacation homes on waterfront property and so I have been lucky to tour the Olympic Peninsula and islands such as Lummi, Orcas, San Juan and Lopez!

I consider these tours working vacations as I am visiting places I have loved over the last thirty years as a kayaker.

Lummi Island is my least visited island although I did camp with friends at the DNR site on the southwest corner and then circumnavigated the island the following day. Lummi was put on the map in the last few years by the Willows Inn and Chef Blaine Wetzel. I had stopped at the Willows for happy hour a few years ago and enjoyed the view and peaceful setting.

Returning as a Realtor brought the Willows to my attention again as they lease a few of the homes that are up for sale. Considering my clients would be absentee owners for the first few years, buying a home leased by the Willows could be an asset if the contract could be renewed.

There is also one main vacation rental company on the island, another option for an absentee owner who is interested in an investment property.

Orcas, Lopez and San Juan vacation rentals are governed by the San Juan County Code. Some of the homes listed come with a vacation rental permit while one would need to apply if they don’t. There are two applications; $1000.00 for a provisional permit (rural farm) and $2300.00 for a conditional permit (rural residence). This is a one-time fee.

These designations can be found on Polaris.

Lopez is often used by bicyclists and kayakers, Orcas has a proliferation of art studios and San Juan boasts Friday and Roche Harbors which are popular with the yachting crowd.

Aside from sailing, motoring, kayaking or canoeing to the San Juans, the Washington State Ferry system or a short flight (next door to my office on Lake Union) are the best ways to travel!

I hope this is a helpful article for anyone who wants to buy a second home in the San Juan Islands!