Lake Norman waterfront homes, Relocating? Life in Lake Norman

10 Things Lake Norman Waterfront Home Buyers Should Know BEFORE buying

Lake Norman waterfront home at The Point

The ultimate dream of many people around the country and even beyond is to own a waterfront home on Lake Norman.  Whether a luxury estate or a small vacation cabin, waterfront homeowners all share our gorgeous lake and the special lifestyles that blend together to make Lake Norman so popular for such a wide variety of people.

Buying a waterfront home on Lake Norman isn’t a complicated process but it is extremely important that you start the process with a good understanding of the following and, if possible, at least read Duke Energy’s Shoreline Management Guidelines, the 130-page document I have linked at the bottom of this article.

Here are my thoughts:

1.  Private docks: is there one?

Private docks are highly regulated and must be permitted by Duke Energy.  Over the years the process has become much more restrictive so you will find that most homes that can have docks will have them in place and even most waterfront lots will already have permitted docks.  Without a private, permitted dock, the value of a waterfront property is significantly lower than the same property with a dock. That said, it you want to enjoy living on Lake Norman but your budget doesn’t allow for a waterfront home with a dock, look for the lower priced homes on the water without docks.  Most likely you can launch a kayak or canoe from your shoreline and still enjoy being on the lake!  To get a permit today, a waterfront lot must have a minimum 100′ of shoreline and meet other stipulations to gain approval from Duke Energy.  If you must get a permit, do so BEFORE closing!

2.  Look for Permit Plate:

If you are looking at waterfront homes with a dock, you should check to make sure there is a permit affixed to the end of the dock like this one:

Photo of an older dock permit fixed on a Lake Norman dock

3.  Measure depth of water and understand possible variations of lake levels

I always bring my tape measure when showing waterfront properties so that we can measure the depth of the water where your boat would be to make sure it has deep enough water for your type of boat etc. I check that morning to find out the current water level of Lake Norman so we can calculate the lowest and highest water depths of your pier/dock/boatslip.  The water levels of Lake Norman are controlled by Duke Energy and vary from full pond, 100′ (760′ above sea level) down to about 94′.  They use the dam at the south end of the lake to help regulate the water levels.

4.  50′ Setback

The most recent regulations established in 2006 establish a 50′ setback from the 760 line.  Within this 50′ setback from the lake to your home there are strict regulations outlined in detail in the Shoreline Management Guidelines.  They are meant to protect the 50′ closest to the lake by prohibiting removal of trees and native vegetation, planting of lawns, and size of footpaths.  Older properties may violate these rules but they are “grandfathered in”.

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

Lake Norman Relocation Resources

Lake Norman Resource & Relocation Guide

Lake Norman Aerial photo of the Lake Norman Airpark

Researching the Lake Norman North Carolina area when contemplating a relocation or buying a vacation home is an exciting adventure and it is definitely not just about searching for Lake Norman real estate or waterfront homes for sale. Here is a comprehensive list of Lake Norman related online links to help you learn about our area; from town, county and state government sites to detailed information about area schools, medical services,  golf, boating and recreation on the lake as well as plenty of just plain fun things to discover.

Your first stop may be to The Charlotte Observer. They have a “Lake Norman Neighbor’s” section (see link below) and they publish an annual magazine Living Here at Lake Norman Magazine which is an excellent resource for newcomers. (If you would like a free copy email me…they are hard to come by but I have a few!)

Next, I would bookmark and read all of these great (printed and) online resources for Lake Norman news, community events, restaurant reveiws, sports and recreation, shopping and all about life in Lake Norman:

Finally, below  I have compiled tons of links loaded with information about life in Lake Norman!














Boat and Jet Ski Rentals and Charters:







Relocating to Lake Norman

Lake Norman, Our Inland Sea

60 Things You Should Know About Life in Lake Norman

Are You Ready to Navigate the Waters of Lake Norman?

What You Need to Know About Buying Real Estate In North Carolina

What is it Like Living In Race City USA?

Fresh Sushi? Hush Puppies? The Scoop About Relocating to Mooresville Lake Norman

Mooresville on Money Magazine’s List of Best Places to Live

Relocating? Life in Lake Norman

My Favorite Things About Lake Norman: 10 Years and Counting!

Wow, I can’t believe that I have lived here for over 10 years!  When I first started writing this blog I was looking through the eyes of a new “transplant” from California.  So much has happened in these past years that I decided to make a new list of the top reasons why I STILL love living in Lake Norman.

Surrounded by Green   Lake Norman and lush green trees

I love our amazing hardwood trees, Fescue lawns and gorgeous natural areas with towering pine trees and picturesque native Dogwoods living in harmony with our Sugar Maples, Poplar Trees, Oaks and so many others. Continue reading

lake norman real estate, Relocating? Life in Lake Norman

Just When You Thought Lake Norman Couldn’t Get Any More Active… Welcome Trilogy!

Trilogy Lake Norman by Shea Homes

Whether you call it a “Premier Resort Community” or an “Active Lifestyle Community”, Lake Norman is finally going to have an active adult community designed to meet the needs of those who want to live in our wonderful Lake Norman area but seek a truly carefree lifestyle! Continue reading

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

Southern Spring Home and Garden Show in Charlotte is February 20 – 22nd AND February 27th – March 1, 2015


Southern Spring Home and Garden show 2015


Based on the popularity of HGTV, sites like and what I see on Facebook and Pinterest, it seems like just about everyone enjoys seeing beautiful homes and gardens and getting ideas and inspiration. The Southern Spring Home and Garden Show is a GREAT opportunity for us Lake Norman area residents to do this in person. I know it requires driving, parking and walking but seriously it is well worth it!  They have an amazing array of lectures, demonstrations, displays and vendors/experts who you can chat with about your own thoughts and project ideas.  And yes, there is shopping and eating too! Continue reading

Relocating? Life in Lake Norman

Lake Norman’s Elephant in the Room; The “T” Word!

Elephant in the Room

Let’s face it, Lake Norman’s popularity and growth is a double-edged sword. On the one hand we celebrate the opening of our Whole Foods, Publix, myriad micro-breweries and restaurants, hotels, sports facilities, big box stores and so many businesses that are moving in to our greater Lake Norman Charlotte area.  At the same time, you can’t avoid the one big issue that comes hand-in-hand with these perks: TRAFFIC.   Continue reading

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

Lake Norman’s 2014 Christmas & Holiday Events Start This Weekend!

Lake Norman truly is a fantastic place to celebrate Christmas and the holidays.  From small town parades to a sailboat parade to old fashioned horse-drawn carriages, hot apple cider, carolers and Santa, you will find myriad ways to celebrate your holidays. It is amazing how Santa gets around Lake Norman!

Here are some of the biggest to get you started:


Lake Norman's Birkdale Village Christmas Tree

Huntersville kicks off the holidays with the arrival of Santa and their annual tree lighting ceremony on November 16th at 5 pm – 8pm at Birkdale Village.The event organized by the Huntersville Happy Hour Rotary Club will benefit Ace & TJ’s Grin Kids! Shop, dine and stroll the vendor booths, but be sure to secure your spot along the parade route by 5:30pm. Then watch Santa light the 34 foot tree! Enjoy music, the singing bears and a new special attraction this holiday season! Don’t forget to visit Santa at his home directly across from the tree and cherish the moment with a photo. Continue reading