Researching the Puget Sound for waterfront property?

Posted · Add Comment

The waterfront and view markets are robust these days in the South Sound, no different I’m sure from the rest of Puget Sound.  The entire region is going crazy, just the beginning in my opinion on its journey to duplicate the San Francisco experience.  There are however some differences.

Having some experience myself with San Francisco, particularly Cupertino and San Jose, we have a much larger area the remains undeveloped. Our state’s urban growth directives learned from the past and many counties has enacted these state’s restrictions.  Not so Mason County.

Mason County remains the least controlled, least developed county on the Sound and as a result, the lowest priced real estate on Puget Sound.

87% of the homes on Mason County waterways are not full-time residences.  This is a vacation destination – “Gateway to the Olympics“.  This county has little manufacturing, less need for roads and infrastructure, lower density, serviced by county fire and sheriffs and has only one incorporated town – Shelton.  The results in lower taxation than our neighbors in Thurston and Kitsap Counties and real estate prices that are dramatically lower. 

If you are researching the Puget Sound for waterfront property, see a price comparison to all the South Sound beaches from Olympia to Port Ludlow. At I have published sales data on the real estate markets of these distinct beaches. You will find charts made directly from the MLS database, taking actual sales to provide the average price of a house of any size in any South Sound area.

Here however is some information you won’t find there.

If you are interested in larger homes with larger lots, Hood Canal is not for you.  These are smaller homes with smaller waterfront exposure. The water is warmer in the Canal – warm enough for comfortable swimming. For larger homes with more privacy, try Case Inlet to Pickering Passage.  The price per square foot is reasonable however for the lowest prices in all of Puget Sound, look at Harstine Island.  The east side of the island has a great view of Mt Rainier and boat traffic but is 45 minutes away from the nearest Safeway. Oakland Bay is much closer and has great kayaking but don’t get too near to Hammersley Inlet where the tidal action make it more like a river than an inlet. When boating Hammersley, stay to the north side or risk dragging your prop on the sand bars. In Union’s South Shore is probable the best view of the Olympic Mountains. Combine that with the water view of Hood Canal’s “Big Bend”, every day is spectacular.

To avoid the always present wind of the Straits plus enjoy the security of more protected, calmer water, South Puget Sound is terrific. You can still boat to the San Juan’s, boat to dinner at a favorite waterside restaurant, go through the locks to Lake Washington and have the BIG view of Mt Rainier. You will also pay less.