Just the facts about Lake Norman

Lake Norman water levels are down but only temporarily!


**For an update on our 2015 lake levels go to:  http://bestrealestatelakenorman.com/caution-lake-norman-water-levels-unusually-low-due-to-drought 

If you live on Lake Norman you can’t help but notice that the water levels have lowered fairly suddenly by about 2 feet which is VERY unusual.  Well, it turns out, according to an update on 9/11/12 on the Duke Energy website, that:

Duke Energy is operating Lake Norman at or below 96.5 feet to support temporary maintenance work at McGuire Nuclear Station through mid-October. This is lower than our target level for this time of year of 98 feet but is within the normal operating range.

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Just the facts about Lake Norman, Relocating? Life in Lake Norman

Lake Norman Area Wins Top Honors for Economic Development and Donald Trump wants to Make Lake Norman “Magical”!!



For the 6th time in 8 years, Mooresville-Statesville was named top Microplitan area by Site Magazine thanks to nearly doubling the number of economic development projects in 2011!  And, Governor Perdue recently announced that our state of North Carolina has risen to 4th place for states based upon the number of new and expanded corporate facilities also by Site Magazine.  Both local and state officials say that these awards are evidence of our business-friendly climate.

More evidence of the health of our future ecomony came from a recent Penkse Truck Rental press release that ranked Charlotte in the top 10 of one-way truck rental destinations in the US.

Now, if this isn’t enough evidence of our strong local ecomonic future, guess what “The Donald” said about the Lake Norman area when interviewed recently about his interest in buying The Point Lake and Golf Club  and asked why he targeted the Lake Norman area?

“North Carolina and the Lake Norman Market in particular are a much safer investment than some of the higher-profile resort locations teeming with speculative and unproven markets” according to a recent Business Today article entitled: Trump says Lake Norman market is big draw….Market ‘stable, well occupied’. 

In fact, while in town for his meeting this week with members of The Point Lake and Golf Club in Mooresville, Trump went on to say to the Charlotte Observer:

“We love this piece of land, the lake, the tremendous lake…The views from the (golf) course are magnificent…I think Charlotte has a great future.  I think the whole area is great.  The people, the energy.  That’s why we’re going to be doing this deal…I think we can bring that course to the next level…It will be a magical place.”

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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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Lake Norman Real Esate: Property Tax Re-Assessment Update 2011

Lake Norman Real Estate Tax Update

 The Iredell County tax assessor’s office is still about a month away from finalizing its study on property taxes according to a recent article in the Mooresville Tribune.  Questions about North Carolina’s property tax laws and our Lake Norman area tax rates is one of the most frequently asked by my buyers so here is a brief overview of the system as well as an update on 2011.

  • North Carolina law states that all real (real estate) property is subject to ad valorem property taxation meaning a tax is levied on property according to its (market) value. 
  • While the state of North Carolina regulates the taxation guidelines, the basic unit for the actual administration and collection of tax is the county.
  • Cities and towns are also authorized by statute to tax real property
  • Real property is reappraised every 8 years
  • Counties are authorized to make a “horizontal adjustment” in the 4th year of the 8 year readjustment period.  A horizontal adjustment is meant to bring property values in line with current values by the “uniform” application of a percentage of increase or reduction to the appraised values within certain categories or areas.
  • A tax assessment is like a “mass appraisal” of an area as opposed to an individual property

Okay, so very simply this means that 2011 is our 4-year horizontal adjustment period and our Lake Norman counties are finalizing this process that will impact our 2011 property tax bills.

“The trend, in general, is flat to down,” according to Iredell County Tax Assessor Steve Ervin in the Mooresville Tribune article.  However, he went on to say that while property owners may be expecting a dramatic plunge in values, they will not see this due to his analysis which seems to find more optimism in our Iredell County home values.

Probably the most interesting comment was that Iredell County real estate values are at about 2003 levels.

One final note of caution, in the next month or so we will all be receiving a “Notice of Value”.  However, “the actual tax on our properties is a decision of elected officials when they adopt budgets and set tax rates in June of each year” stated Mr. Ervin.  So, we won’t know our new tax rate until our new tax bills are mailed in August.

I hope this information is helpful.  I tried to quote the exact verbiage for accuracy but it may make it sound more confusing than it actually is.


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Just the facts about Lake Norman, Relocating? Life in Lake Norman

Life on Lake Norman From a Transplant’s Point of View!

Those of you who have been reading my blog for a while will know that I do write a lot about why I love living on Lake Norman.  However, this clever email I got from one of my clients recently pretty much says it all.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!


You didn’t tell us we were living next to an airstrip with  low flying traffic.


Aborted Landing

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Just the facts about Lake Norman, Relocating? Life in Lake Norman

New Lake Norman Boating Safety Law Now in Effect!

Lake Norman Jet skier

 Lake Norman in the summer is truly a haven for all ages, but especially for kids.  Imagine the freedom and fun for kids as young as 12 must feel when driving their own Jet Ski or boat! It doesn’t hurt that the National Marine Manufacturers Association listed North Carolina, specifically their “Hot Spot”: Lake Norman, as #4 on their list of top 10 “on-the-water” destinations in the US!

A new North Carolina law that went into effect this past May 1, 2010 was passed to ensure our younger boaters are SAFELY enjoying their summer.  It is now mandatory for all boat operators 25-years or younger to pass a Wildlife Resources Commission boating safety class BEFORE heading onto the lake.  According to Senate Bill 43, “no person shall operate a vessel with a motor of 10 horsepower or greater in public waters of this State unless the operator has met the requirements for boating safety education.”  Operators age 25 or younger must carry proof of boat-safety certification…violators will be issued a citation, which requires a court appearance.

Here is a partial list of Lake Norman area boating safety classes:

Lake Norman Sail and Power Squadron

Lake Norman Marine Commission

Lake Norman Marina

If you are heading out on Lake Norman for the first time, no matter what age, it is a great idea to take this safety class and know the rules and regs of the lake.  Do you know what a no-wake zone is or how far from the shoreline you must be before you can go fast enough to make a wake?

It is also really easy for visitors and newcomers to Lake Norman to get disoriented once on the lake.  We always have on hand our lake map with all of the markers and services/marinas and we take a GPS.

For more information there is a great website: Lake Norman Boaters Guide.

Are you ready for the 4th of July?  It’s going to be a great summer…be safe!


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Just the facts about Lake Norman

How have recent storms impacted Lake Noman’s water levels?

Lake Norman waterfront home in the snow

 If you live in a waterfront home, you will have noticed that our Lake Norman water levels have been fluctuating quite a bit more than usual this past month!  On January 26th the water levels peaked at 99.2 which is as close to “full pond” as I have seen over the past 5 years.  Today, February 1, the levels are back down to 97.1 which is about normal for our summer months.  However, the “target” level that Duke Energy has established for Lake Norman for today is only 94.0.  See: Duke Energy Website.  (I took this photo yesterday and as you can see our water levels look beautiful.)

The good news is that Duke Energy has the capability of adjusting our water levels along with all 12 lakes that are part of the Catawba River power system.  They purposely lower Lake Norman’s water levels seasonally to allow for the kinds of storms we have had recently.  It is very rare for our levels to exceed 100 or “full pond” so most waterfront homes will notice fluctuations but don’t have to worry about flooding.  This past week Duke Energy brought our water levels back down two feet and never allowed them to reach 100.

However, if your property is in a flood-prone area, whether on Lake Norman or anywhere around Lake Norman, then you should monitor Duke Energy’s website for updates like this one for today:

Last Update: 2/1/2010 9:19:06 AM
Over the next week to fourteen days, multiple winter weather and/or rain events are forecast for areas throughout the Catawba-Wateree River Basin. As a result, we expect lake levels to remain high, with a high probability for flooding to occur in low-lying and flood-prone areas. As always, we encourage those living along lakes, streams and other low-lying and flood-prone areas to pay special attention to changing weather conditions and take any necessary precautions. We will provide additional updates if conditions change.

Important note to Lake Norman area home buyers:    Be sure to find out if your potential home is in a flood zone.  You will receive “State of North Carolina Residential Property Disclosure Statement” . # 20 on this disclosure asks the seller if they know if the property has experienced a “Flood Hazard or that the property is in a FEDERALLY-DESIGNATED FLOOD PLAIN”.

The bottom line for most of us is that when we do have abundant rains, the lake is more beautiful than ever!


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