Okay, so I admit it, I love showing waterfront property here on Lake Norman by boat. (The above picture is of my skipper/husband while we are waiting for my clients to arrive.) Not a bad way to spend a beautiful day!
However, in all seriousness, it is extremely important, particularly for out-of-towners, to give waterfront buyers a tour of Lake Norman by boat after narrowing down their search a bit but BEFORE making an offer. Here are just some of the reasons why:
Lake Norman is huge. With 550 miles of shoreline there is an incredible variety of views, characteristics and even personalities of the various coves and shoreline areas and it is very important that anyone wanting to live on Lake Norman choose what best suit their own personal priorities.
Here are some things a waterfront home buyer should consider:
- North vs South area of the lake and East vs West side of the lake (The northern section narrows ultimately to become the Catawba River and is where the Lake Norman State Park is located so is a bit cozier than the southern, wider areas of the lake).
- Cove vs main channel and how far down a cove (Coves may not have the beautiful views of the main channel but they will be quieter and there will be less waves and noise during the busier days on the lake. The main channel has spectacular views and sunsets!)
- Hidden vs exposed (Do you want a home nestled in trees or out in the bright sunshine?)
- Quiet vs party atmosphere (Some coves are smaller and quiet while others are known for their “parties”!)
- Water-skiing cove vs private cove vs main channel (Water skiing on the main channel can be a bit rough on the weekends so ideal water skiing is found in the larger coves. Jet Skis can go anywhere!)
- Park-like rural vs open, wide main channel near restaurants or marinas
- Bridge heights…what type of boat (For instance, there are some areas of the lake where you can’t have a sail boat because the bridges are too low between your cove and the main channel.)
- Views/Direction house faces: sunset or sunrise, morning sun on which side of the house
- Views: trees and neighboring docks and homes or open water
Several weeks ago I was working with a young family from the Northwest who wanted true lake living. We narrowed their search to 4 potential homes before going out on our boat. Once we spent time going by all of the homes by water and giving them a tour of the lake it became quite clear that two of the homes were on a very small cove that did not suit their desires at all but one they had eliminated the previous day turned out to be a great option for them.
It is also important for waterfront home buyers to see the actual homes they are interested in from the water as they can look quite plain from the street but be spectacular from the water. At the same time, they should check out the neighborhood from the lake…some areas like The Point are quite consistent but many of the neighborhoods will be a mixture of large, well maintained homes, older lake homes, cabins and even single and double-wide trailers.
No matter what kind of lake lifestyle you envision, Lake Norman will most likely have the perfect home for you. Just make sure to think ahead about your priorities and go out on the lake before buying a waterfront home. Then you can sit back and enjoy life with views like this!