What is a Condominium Marina?
Fairfax Yacht Club is a first class, year round, recreational yachting facility with 170 open and covered slips accommodating boats up to 50-feet in length. The facility is designed and operated with the active boating family in mind.
Fairfax Yacht Club offers many resort features including a beautifully landscaped clubhouse, picnic stations, bath houses, private secure parking, and a pump out station. For peace of mind, Fairfax Yacht Club has limited access through a secured key-card entry system.
Much of the popularity of Fairfax Yacht Club can be attributed to its unique location on the scenic Occoquan River. Unlike many commercial marinas further up the Occoquan, FYC is located along the Fairfax County shore very near the Mason Neck Wildlife Refuge. No other location offers boaters a greater variety of popular cruising ports within easy reach. Georgetown, Washington D.C., Old Town Alexandria, The Town of Occoquan, the Chesapeake Bay, and many popular restaurants and swimming areas are within easy reach.
Fairfax Yacht Club is operated by an elected Board of Directors, all of whom are Slip Owners in good standing. The make-up of the Board ensures that Fairfax Yacht Club is operated and maintained with the boater and Slip Owner in mind.
Fairfax Yacht Club was the first marina on the Potomac River to offer condominium slips. Because condominium marinas have many unique features, we have compiled a list of frequently asked questions designed to help you better understand condominium slip ownership.
What is a Condominium Slip?
A condominium slip is similar to an apartment condominium in that the owner receives a deed (which is insurable and recorded in the County Land Records) which carries with it the exclusive right to the use of the slip (the slip is owned by the owner and not rented or leased from the marina). Further, the owner receives an undivided interest in all condominium property (referred to as the common elements) as specified in the condominium documents which, in this case, includes the piers, clubhouse, parking lots, and other facilities. Fairfax Yacht Club is subject to Virginia’s condominium laws, where actual title is passed from one owner to another. Recently, the term “Dockominiums” has been used by many marina developers in the Chesapeake Bay area to represent other forms of true and quasi ownership and should not be confused with a condominium marina.
Why purchase into a Condominium Marina?
Spiraling slip rental costs have had a major impact on the marina industry in recent years. Due to concerns over impact on the water quality of the Potomac River and the Chesapeake Bay it is becoming more difficult every year to add new facilities on the water. Coupled with increasing interest in recreational boating, the demand for slip space is growing annually. At one time, boaters had no other alternatives to renting if they wanted to keep their boat in a wet slip.
Condominium slips evolved as an answer to these needs. In addition to having independence from rising rental rates, condominium slip owners have the ability to take money normally spent on slip rental and use it to build up equity in an asset that can be sold sometime in the future. It also gives owners a voice in the operations of the facility. Condominium marinas also provide some relief for other problems plaguing the marina industry. Through a lack of maintenance, many private marina owners have allowed their facilities to become run down and unfit. Many marinas have also been sold to developers who take them out of public service or eliminate them entirely. Structured property, condominium marinas are designed to ensure their proper maintenance and virtually guarantee the marina’s future existence. By Virginia Law, we are required to save the funds needed for future maintenance and repairs in order to protect ourselves in advance from the inevitable wear and tear of Mother Nature.
Who Operates the Marina?
A five member Board of Directors, elected by the unit owners, establishes the budget and sets the operating policies. A Dockmaster, under contract with the Condominium Association, provides day-to-day services and is responsible for the general maintenance and repair of the facility.
What Are The Costs Related To Owning A Condominium Slip?
Each year, the Board prepares a budget for insuring, operating, and maintaining, the facility. The budget also provides for a capital reserve fund dedicated to future expenses such as dredging, piling and dock replacement, and other major repairs and new projects. Each condominium unit supports a proportional share of the budget through an assessment. In addition, owners receive an annual real estate tax assessment directly from the County. Other utilities, such as electricity, telephone, etc., are billed directly to the slip occupant. Although rare, if the marina experiences unusual expenses, the Board may elect to impose special assessments to cover these costs.
Is Financing Available For The Purchase Of Slips?
Yes. Due to the impressive track record that condominium slips have experienced, many lending institutions have recognized their value and offer excellent financing plans.
Are Slip Rentals Available?
Yes. From time to time, life may take an owner away from the area, or recreational boating may no longer be a pastime they can enjoy. Once having experienced the peace and quiet of our park like setting, however, they are often reluctant to move on entirely. By retaining ownership and renting the unit to another boater, they enjoy the same benefits of ownership that they have in the past. A visit to a place where they have enjoyed many hours of relaxation is often well worth the continuance of their investment. In the event a rented slip is sold, the purchaser must honor any current lease agreement through its expiration date.
What Happens If I Get A Different Boat That Won’t Fit In the Slip I Own?
Most boaters, from the day they purchase their boat, are already thinking about their next boat. However, no boat can extend beyond the vertical plane determined by the confines of its slip, as these are legal lot lines recorded with Fairfax County. The solution for an owner whose boat won’t fit may be to lease another, larger slip while in turn leasing out or selling the one they own. Boaters may even consider buying a larger slip initially, in preparation for that future, larger boat. Conversely, many of our owners have elected to retain their existing boats, because they enjoy their “little piece of heaven” and a move to a larger boat would force them away from the slip they have owned and enjoyed for so long.
Do You Expect Slips Will Increase In Market Price?
The future value of slips will be determined by supply and demand. Across the nation, marinas offering slips for sale have reported increases in their values. Each year manufacturers provide hundreds of thousands of new boats while, at the same time, new restrictions are placed on development of waterfront properties. Recent legislation governing waterfront land has made building new marinas almost a thing of the past. For obvious reasons, Fairfax Yacht Club cannot make any representations as to the future value of condominium slips, but we can assure prospective owners that they will share in a safe, secure club with an attractive harbor from which to enjoy their favorite pastime.