Northern Virginia is home to some of the most beautiful landscapes in the United States.
Perhaps you have always dreamed of enjoying your summer evenings on a home on a hillside with a gently babbling stream. If this sounds like heaven, it is not an impossible dream, and there is plenty of land for sale in Northern Virginia with stream beds, rivers, and other attractive water features.
There are also many advantages to owning a property with a stream or on a riverfront. However, you need to take a few things into consideration any time you begin looking for waterfront land for sale in Northern Virginia. Let’s explore some of the benefits of owning a property with a stream and some of the things you need to take into consideration before you buy, too.
Benefits of having a stream on your property
Aside from aesthetic reasons, there are many benefits to owning property with a stream. Here are a few of them:
Water features add value to property, potentially turning it into a lucrative investment that will payoff in the future. Land for sale in Virginia with stream beds or other water features usually commands a higher sale price than land without. One of the reasons is aesthetics. You can use your creativity and develop some beautiful landscape ideas around streams and creeks. A gazebo by gently flowing water is a lovely way to spend a sunny afternoon with family and friends. Future buyers will see the value, too.
Convenient irrigation for crops and animals is another reason why land for sale in Virginia with streams or a pond is so popular. Land with water access has a ready source of water that can be diverted for irrigation and watering animals. The bigger the stream, the better, but even a small stream adds value when it comes to land use. A natural water source on the property expands the potential for its use.
Improved hunting and recreation
If you plan to use your land for hunting or recreation, looking for land for sale in Northern Virginia with a stream bed, pond, or river is essential. You will attract more wildlife if you have a stream or other freshwater source on your property. You can always build one, but having a natural steam is the easiest and best choice.
Not only is a stream important for wildlife, but there is also always the fun of taking the family along for catching crawdads, searching for pretty rocks, and just dipping your toes in on a hot summer day. All you need for an afternoon of family fun is a stream or pond.
Riverfront fishing property
Of course, if you are a fisherman, you already know why you want to look for riverfront land for sale in Virginia. Whether you like to fly fish, do a little bit of nighttime catfishing, or like the challenge of catching Northern Virginia’s big game fish, there is nothing like the freedom of fishing just a short distance from your back door. If this is your dream, it is possible to make it a reality in Northern Virginia.
How to care for a stream on your property
Now that you know the benefits of land for sale in Virginia with stream access, there are some things you need to do to keep your stream healthy. Here are a few tips for keeping your stream healthy and a valuable part of your property, both now and for future generations:
Pay attention to pollution and dumping
Make sure the water is clean and there are no neighbors upstream who are dumping oil, grease, or other chemicals into the water. This not only ruins the look of the stream, but it can also kill fish, wildlife, and make it unsafe for recreation. Also, take a look to see if there are any major farms upstream. You need to be careful of agricultural runoff. Of course, also make sure that you are not the one polluting the stream. Keep your vehicles in good repair so they do not release any oil or fluids near the stream.
A polluted stream can quickly become an environmental hazard and ruin your enjoyment of the property. Take a look around when you find your dream property and check the water health. If you are in doubt, you can always ask for a water test, or have one done yourself. You can also consult with the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality.
Monitor stream health
A clean, healthy stream is best for attracting wildlife. Certain plants and animal life cannot live in polluted water and are a good indicator of stream health. If you see lots of frogs, tadpoles in the spring, salamanders, mollusks, and snails, it is a good indication that you have healthy water. You should also see a diversity of plant life and insects. Monitoring your animals and plants is a good way to assess your stream’s health, and it can be fun, too. If you have any questions, a local naturalist can often help you out.
Stabilize stream and riverbanks
Erosion and washing away of the banks is a problem with maintaining the health of your stream. This is especially true of streams and rivers that experience high water levels and flooding in spring. There are several ways to keep your stream and riverbanks from washing away. You can use larger rocks or gravel, but you must make sure that they are big enough not to wash away in spring floods.
Another way is to establish a riparian zone by using trees, shrubs, and other plants that will hold the soil in place and keep it from washing away. You can also plant shrubs that control soil erosion and provide habitat and food for wildlife, which is a bonus.
Consult with your local forestry or natural resources division for recommended species that will serve your intended purpose. You may also wish to discuss your plans with a professional environmental consultant to be sure you are not unintentionally disturbing environmentally sensitive areas.
Flooding, wetlands, and protected/endangered species
Protecting natural resources contributes to the enjoyment of our land and the beauty of Northern Virginia. One of the pleasures of owning your own land with a water feature is the freedom to use it as you wish. However, our wetlands are important, and even private landowners must comply with some regulations, particularly when it comes to protected and endangered species.
Flooding and flood control
Even if the stream looks calm and small, it can quickly become a threat to life and property. Check local flood maps in the area where you intend to buy and make sure that you are aware of any potential issues. This is especially important if you plan to build a house. It can be wonderful to be able to dip your pole in the water right off your back porch, that is until the waters begin to rise. The most important point is to do your research and know what you are buying. Your realtor will be able to find out this information for you by calling the local Watershed Management Conservation District.
The protection of wetlands is becoming a nationwide concern. Loss of wetlands means loss of wildlife diversity and important resources. The development of wetlands is regulated by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality’s Virginia Water Protection Permit. The department oversee the conversion of wetland property and regulations pertaining to the clearing, draining, excavating, filling, or ditching a stream or wetlands. At the federal level, the U.S. Army Corps regulates wetlands development. A professional environmental consultant will be able to advise you on regulations and how they apply to your future plans.
Protected and Endangered Species
One of the reasons why many of us are drawn to natural areas and water features is the wildlife. However, if you happen to find land for sale in Virginia with stream beds that contain a protected or endangered species, there might be restrictions on what you can do with the land and where you can build. Be sure to ask your realtor and consult with an environmental specialist if you have any concerns regarding your property.
Northern Virginia Fish
If your plans include finding riverfront land for sale in Virginia, then you are probably planning to do some fishing. Northern Virginia has some excellent fishing opportunities for all types of fishermen. Here are a few of the species you might enjoy catching from your riverfront property:
- Bluegill and Sunfish
- Channel Catfish
- Common Carp
- Largemouth Bass
- Smallmouth Bass
- Northern snakehead
- White Perch
- Black Crappie
- Spotted Bass
- Yellow Perch
- Northern Pike
- Rainbow Trout
- Blue Catfish
- Hickory Shad
- Black Herring
Now that you have a taste of why waterfront land in Northern Virginia is in such high demand, perhaps it is time for you to begin your own search for your dream property. Water on your property provides endless opportunities for fun, recreation, and relaxation.
If you are ready to begin your search for land for sale in Virginia with a stream, pond, lakefront, or riverfront, call or text Jonathan at 202-750-4050.