What was initially a gold mine (the precious metal was first discovered in 1829) then later a reservoir for a nearby nuclear plant, Lake Anna in 1983 became a place Northern Virginians could go for a quick respite from daily life. Today the lake is just as popular for a getaway or a second home that is close enough to get to on the weekends—or every weekend, for that matter.
Lake Anna is one of the largest freshwater inland lakes in Virginia, covering over 20 square miles with a 225-mile shoreline. It is a rural area that offers relaxation through recreational opportunities like swimming, sailing and boating and adrenaline-pumping activities like kayaking, wakeboarding and jet-skiing. There is also imbibing to be had at the numerous wineries, breweries and distilleries nearby, entertainment to enjoy at concert venues and museums and sporting with golfing.
Developments and Second Homes
Seventeen years ago Beverly Ward and her husband drove to Lake Anna from their home in Washington, D.C., and they have since called the secluded area home. “Once you get off the highway you feel yourself start to unwind,” she says. Ward is now a Realtor for the area with Lake Anna Island Realty, and she says the close proximity to the Metro-D.C. region is a big pull for those who either relocate or buy a second home here.
About 60 percent of the residents are secondary vacation residents, Ward says. At Lake Anna waterfront homes range from $400,000 to $1.8 million with the majority of them selling in the $700,000 to $800,000 range. All homes, both waterfront and water-access homes, sit on a minimum of 1-acre lots. Currently there are about 95 homes for sale.
The small town feel with a good setting is what Stacie Chandler sees as the reason people are moving to the area. The Realtor, also with Lake Anna Island Realty, says the popularity of the lake is booming, pointing out that she did not see the typical slowdown in the winter months this year.
While there is a healthy market for already built homes, a lot of the development is in land. Major developers purchase land and get it ready for sale. Then a buyer works with their own builder for the house. “Most people want the freedom to design their home,” says Chandler. “And there are so many architecture types [in the area].”
There is a new development, Sunset Cove, that has smaller zoning for each lot and packages land purchases with homes. The development has 76 lots available, 25 of them waterfront properties, with six models of homes to choose from.
If renting for a quick getaway is in the plans, there are plenty of options at Lake Anna. The state park offers options for cabin and campsite rentals, and the Lighthouse Inn at Highpoint Marina is a motel-style inn right on the waterfront. There are also plenty of house rentals available through the different Lake Anna real estate companies, and a slew of homes available for rent through online sites such as vrbo.com and aribnb.com.
Average Listing Price: $417,000
Lowest Selling Price: $125,000
Highest Selling Price: $949,000
All statistics are for waterfront and water-access homes
Source: Stacie Chandler, Lake Anna Island Realty