Most people considering a move to our Lake Norman area are hoping to find a great waterfront home for an incredible bargain. But, unless they keep up with our Lake Norman waterfront home sales on a regular basis it is hard for most newcomers to know what is available in their price range and if their goals are realistic. Yes, many folks think that they can get a newer construction home on a lot with open water views, a private dock with deep water for $600,000. But, is this possible?
In order to paint a very clear picture of our Lake Norman waterfront housing market, I have decided to break this process into two parts:
- Part 1: An analysis by price range of Lake Norman waterfront home sales in the past 4 month (Oct 1, 2010 – Jan. 31, 2011)
- Part 2: A description by price range of waterfront homes currently available for sale in our entire Lake Norman area.
* Date is from the Charlotte Regional Multiple Listing Service
Above is a chart of our Lake Norman waterfront home sales for the past 4 months and the current number of active waterfront listings in these price ranges. Let’s take a closer look:
$178,000 – $399,999
- This is the entry level price range for waterfront property. Truthfully, this price range represents “land value only” properties…manufactured double-wides and small, older homes ranging in size from 650 sq ft to 2707 sq ft. Most of these properties have what I would call ” major issues”. They may not have any docks, be located on a narrow cove and probably are considered “tear downs”. Average $ per square foot = $218
$400,000 – $499,999
- Still considered an entry level price range, the properties that sold in the $400,000’s in the past 4 months were a combination of newer homes on lots that had very little water or small, older homes (possible tear downs) on lots with better water. Sizes ranged from 1200 sq ft – 3618 sq ft. Average $ per square foot = $166
$500,000 – $599,999
- Slightly better homes and/or better location and water. Homes ranged in size from 1550 sq ft – $4300 sq ft. In this group there was a new construction home at the very end of a shallow cove, a fixer foreclosure with major issues but on a nice street, and a very dated home but decent depth of water on a cove. None of these homes were in subdivisions. Average $ per square foot = $175.
$600,000 – $699,999
- This is an interesting price range. In this group was a 5421 sq ft newer construction foreclosure with mold and structural issues, good water views but a tiny dock; an older home with shallow cove water; a huge, 6453 sq ft new-construction foreclosure home in a very undesirable subdivision that went out of business after a handful of homes had been built and not considered good water as it is so close to the I-77; an AWESOME but small (2900 sq ft) 1980’s home with 600 ft of shoreline and incredible views…one of the best buys I have seen!; an almost new construction home in a nice subdivision but lot is very steep down to narrow cove water and small dock, nice new construction foreclosure with a few floorplan issues and a tiny dock/shoreline but lovely water views; a 1990’s home with awesome, open water views, small dock and beach but had tiny bedrooms and had enough deferred maintenance that none of my buyers were willing to make an offer; a 1980’s home in good condition with incredible open water views and 2-story dock (I sold this one). As you can see, this is an interesting price range where there can be some opportunities if you are willing to COMPROMISE. Average $ per square foot = $170
$700,000 – $799,999
- Not too many sales in this price range but lots of inventory. In fact, the listing prices of these homes that sold in the $700,000’s were $789,000 – $940,000! That tells us that the homes actually listed in the $700,000’s will probably sell much lower. I sold a gorgeous, 5000 sq ft new construction home at the end of a cove in a shortsale for $750,000; a shortsale main-channel home that was a bit dated in The Harbour sold for $765,000; a 7962 sq ft home in Bay Crossing that had no dock sold for $790,000; a dated house with nice open water views sold for $735,000. This is a very popular price range but one where buyers still need to make some compromises. The homes with great water were a bit dated and the beautiful newer homes had less desirable water and small or no docks. Average $ per square foot: $174
$800,000 – $899,999
- Again, just a handful of sales despite the number of active listings in this price range. Interesting that the listing prices of these homes that sold in the $800,000s ranged from $899,000 – $1,075,000! Average $ per square foot = $170.
$900,000 – $999,999
- This was a very hot price point during the past few months. Sales included two gorgeous homes in The Harbour, one sold for $900,000 (5722 sq ft) and the other $910,000 (6459 sq ft) as well as a 5800 sq ft home in Pinnacle Shores and a 5135 sq ft home way up on Astoria Parkway in Catawba. The listing prices of these sales ranged from $950,000 – $1,149,000. Average $ per square foot = $172.
$1,000,000 – $1,499,999
- Sales in this price range were in our most upscale neighborhoods like the Peninsula (5), The Point (1) and The Harbour (1). They ranged in size from 4850 – 9046 sq ft on just about an acre of land. The listing prices ranged from $1,000,000 – $1,599,000. The $ per square foot ranged from $121 – $240 per square foot…quite a variance depending on the property and not one that we should average.
$1,500,000 – $1,999,999
- Only 3 sales in this price range two of which were in the Peninsula. The listing prices ranged from $1,990,000 – $2,295,000. The $ per square foot ranged from $216 – $285.
- Three of the 5 of these properties were in The Point, one in The Peninsula and one in Connor Quay. At this price point it is not wise to generalize but all of these homes sold within 10% of the asking price. The $ per square foot ranged from $262 – $416!
Lake Norman is an immensely diverse area which is clearly reflected in the fact that our waterfront property sales range from less than $200,000 to over $2,000,000. In some price ranges the $ per square foot is almost half of what they were in 2006/2007 so this certainly is an opportunity to get on the water. The key is to remember that even in this down market you may need to make some compromises. If you are willing to consider a slightly dated home you will have a lot more from which to choose as we simply don’t have that many newer homes on good waterfront lots at bargain prices. No matter what, once you settle here you will love living on Lake Norman!