For Sale: 1897 Lighthouse

At Virginia's Smith Point Lighthouse, you don't even have to change the lamp
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted May 17, 2024 8:31 AM CDT
Who Wants to Live in a Lighthouse?
Your new home?   (Zillow)

You'll get 360-degree views of Chesapeake Bay and plenty of privacy on your very own island. The catch, apart from crabs? You'll be living in a lighthouse. Smith Point Lighthouse, some 2.5 miles off the shore of Reedville, Virginia, at the mouth of the Potomac River, is up for sale, offering a "rare opportunity to own a piece of Chesapeake Bay history," according to the Zillow listing for 0 Smith Point Road. Available for $450,000 in cash, this beacon of light, built in 1897, "puts a whole new perspective on adventure," current owner Dave McNally tells the Washingtonian.

The Minnesota resident purchased the 4-bedroom, 1-bath lighthouse in a government auction in 2005 and spent a lot of time working on it. "I thoroughly enjoyed myself throughout the whole nine yards," he says. But at 73, he's ready to pass the 1,500-square-foot vacation home on to someone else. There are a few perks apart from the open water views. The lighthouse isn't considered a residential property, so there are no property taxes to pay. You also don't need to maintain the lamp. The Coast Guard does that at this property, listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

On the flip side, the property is only accessible by boat and can't be insured, hence the cash sale. Listing agent Beth Groner expects to draw interest from "someone who is sort of an adventurer and looks at this as a cool passion project," she tells the Washingtonian. "It's literally livable" and "the most unique opportunity you can think of," she adds, per The listing includes a full kitchen with portable dishwasher, waterproof vinyl plank floors, hurricane-rated windows, and an upper-level watch room converted into a bedroom. Also included: a generator, 550-gallon water tank, as well as crab pots and tackle. (More real estate stories.)

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