Lake Norman photos

Lake Norman Real Estate’s January 2012 Wallpaper Calendar is Here!


My favorite time to visit the gorgeous beaches along the coast of North Carolina is actually anytime but summer!  As I was searching for a great photo of Lake Norman in the winter I kept thinking I don’t really want to look at a photo all month with bare trees or snow.  Don’t get me wrong, Lake Norman is wonderful at this time of year.  Our Carolina Blue Skies and sparkling water make for some great photos.  But, I kept coming back to the beach.  Perhaps it is due to my recent visit to Wilmington: Continue reading

Lake Norman News, Events and Celebrations, Relocating? Life in Lake Norman

Lake Norman Real Estate’s Guide to New Year’s Celebrations 2012



Unlike my home town of Pasadena CA with the annual Rose Parade/Rose Bowl, Lake Norman and the greater Charlotte area don’t have one major New Years’ celebration.  Our public celebrations are, for the most part, found at local restaurants and entertainment venues spread throughout Lake Norman and Charlotte.  From 5-course dinners to rockin’ oldies bands, there truly is something for everyone.

Probably the ultimate Lake Norman New Year’s Eve celebration is a cruise on our beautiful lake!  You have several options:

  • New Year’s Eve Cruise on Lake Norman on Yachta Yachta Yachta  launching from Peninsula Yacht Club.  Sailing time is 9:00pm – 1:00am and includes music, heavy hors d’heurves, party favors, a champagne toast at midnight.
  • The Queens Landing  New Year’s Eve Cruises offers truly elegant dining on the Lady of the Lake or a bit more casual on the Catawba Queen.

The best sources for lists of New Years Eve events in our Lake Norman area are  (New Years Eve 2012) and 704 (New Years Eve 2012) which are websites devoted to entertainment and dining information in the greater Lake Norman area. Continue reading

Lake Norman Real Estate Market Reports

Lake Norman Real Estate’s December 2011 Hot Sheet in Not So Hot!

Lake Norman Hot Sheet Home Sales


Want the very latest insight into our Lake Norman real estate market? So do I which is why, every month, I do a snapshot analysis of the middle two weeks of the month to get a sense of where our Lake Norman real estate market is at this very moment…an almost live insight into the heartbeat of the Lake Norman housing market.  These Hot Sheet reports serve as pretty good predictors of our short-term Lake Norman real estate market.

After 5 relatively strong months over the summer and early fall, our Lake Norman housing market has experienced a slowdown since November, once again underscoring the erratic nature of today’s real estate market.  The most significant aspect of today’s Lake Norman numbers is the continued decline in the number of active listings for sale.  At only 837 homes for sale in all of area 13 (Lake Norman), the trend of double digit declines continues.  In December of 2008 we had 1400+ homes for sale in Lake Norman.

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The Real Estate Process, Home Buying and Selling Tips

Lake Norman Homeowners, Do you need a permit to replace your water heater?


As the new year approaches, Lake Norman homeowners  will most likely be creating lists of things to do in 2012 that will include repairs or upgrades of our homes and gardens.  Many times we don’t stop to consider if a permit is needed, especially for minor repairs.

So, if you live in the Lake Norman area, or the entire state of North Carolina, you might be interested to know that the North Carolina General Assembly passed house bill HP-1409  which exempts from building permitting the replacement of a water heater. Here are a few of the stipulations:

  • Electrical, Plumbing or Mechanical work must be performed by a person licensed under G.S 87-43 or G.S. 87-21
  • The replacement of a water heater is the same capacity, location and energy source

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Just the facts about Lake Norman

Lake Norman’s Water Levels are Back Up!


**For an update on Lake Norman’s drought 2015 go to: Caution: Lake Norman Water Levels Unusually Low Due to Drought


If you live on Lake Norman I don’t have to tell you that our lake levels have been uncharacteristically low since late summer; dropping down to 95.0′ on September 17th which is a full 3 feet lower than our  summer “target” levels of 98 feet.  And, you most probably have also noticed a sudden increase starting on November 16th bringing us up to our current level of 98.7 feet! 

I must admit I am baffled as to why Duke Energy, who manages our Lake Norman water levels, decided to drop them fairly suddenly during a time when our “target” levels were 98 feet and we were not in a drought.  One guess is that they were worried about the potential for Hurricane Irene’s high rain levels.  If any of you all know more, please leave a comment!

For those of you who are new to Lake Norman, the very best resource regarding Lake Norman water levels bar none is Duke Energy’s Check Lake Norman Water Levels website  which Duke Energy updates daily.  On this site you can get the actual lake levels of all 11 lakes that are part of the Catawba River System as well as the “target”” Lake Norman water level for that day, the minimum , maximum, range and any lake message updates.  They also provide a schedule of flow releases and other related data.

Lake Norman is a result of the damming of the Catawba River back in 1963 when the Cowans Ford Dam was completed.  It is part of Duke Energy’s power resources and provides electricity to the Piedmont Carolinas by using the McGuire Nuclear Station and the Cowans Ford Hydroelectric Station at the south end of the lake and the Marshall Steam Plant on the west side at Highway 150.  The water levels are controlled by Duke Energy and normally vary less than 5 feet.

The maximum level is called “full pond” which is 760 feet above sea level. Duke Energy considers full pond to be the “the point at which the water begins to spill over the flood gate spillway.” You will sometimes hear waterfront homeowners refer to the “760 line”.

On the Lake Norman Water Level charts, full pond is considered 100.0 feet.  Duke Energy purposely lowers water levels seasonally to anticipate rain or melting of the winter snows that feed the entire Catawba River system.

If you want to see today’s 13-Month Lake Level History chart for Lake Norman  on Duke Energy’s website you can see the daily water levels for the past year.

All I know is the lake looks awesome!

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Relocating? Life in Lake Norman

Red Line Commuter Rail from Charlotte to Mooresville; Good or Bad Idea?



For 15 years there has been a planning effort among state and local officials to create what is being called the Red Line project; a 25-mile commuter train that will run east of I-77  and link Charlotte to Harris, Eastfield, Hambright, Huntersville, Cornelius, Davidson and end at Mount Mourne in south Mooresville.

To me the benefits are obvious: cutting traffic on I-77 and helping commuters who work in Charlotte but wish to live in the Lake Norman area.  Opponents of the plan unfortunately include a large chunk of Iredell County elected Officials and several Cornelius town board members who balk at the taxes, proposed development along the line and feel it will benefit just a few. Continue reading

Lake Norman Real Estate Market Reports

Lake Norman Real Estate’s November 2011 Sales Analysis

Unfortunately, my predictions last month regarding our November Lake Norman real estate market were accurate.  After relatively strong sales since June, our Lake Norman housing market did slow down in November.  Our sales were down 18% compared to last month’s 88 and 11% from last November’s 81.  However, while we didn’t match November 2010 numbers we did exceed all prior Novembers since the recession.

It is important to note that I am doing this analysis two days earlier than usual so expect an adjustment in our 72 sales in November upward by the end of the month since it takes some Realtors several weeks to actually input their sales into our MLS.  A great example of this is this past October.  When I did our chart on October 6th we had 81 sales. As of today we actually have 88 sales documented for October in our MLS.  I create these reports early in the month while the information is still very fresh so always pad the sales upward just a bit.

Here are the November numbers from our Charlotte Multiple Listing Service for our Lake Norman area real estate market:  Continue reading