lake norman real estate, Lake Norman Real Estate Market Reports

Which months are Lake Norman real estate’s strongest?

Lake Norman real estate photo of 130 lochfoot grape trellis view

One of the most common questions asked  by both home buyers and sellers is which months of the year are the strongest in our Lake Norman’s housing market?  When I read a recent article about a study by Trulia that placed North Carolina and South Carolina’s strongest months for home searches in July, I was a bit surprised so decided to see for myself if this is also true for Lake Norman.

Here is my chart with Lake Norman home sales by month since 2005.  Taking a closer look it is clear that our Lake Norman real estate market isn’t consistently the strongest in the same month every year.  Over all, Lake Norman’s real estate market picks up after the first of the year and generally slows down at the end of the year but beyond this generalization, there are some interesting inconsistencies:

Lake Norman Real Estate's Annual Sales Chart by Month May 2013


  • August was the best month followed by July, June, September and October


  • June was the best month followed by May, August, July and March


  • June was the best month followed by May, July, March and August


  • July was the best month followed by May, April, June and September


  • July was the best month followed by June, September, October and December


  • June was the best month followed by May, April, December and November/July (This was the year of the rebates hence the April/June numbers)


  • August was the best month followed by June, October, July and April


  • August was the best month followed by May, June, July and November


  • So far this year every month since January Lake Norman has had more home sales than the prior month

Continue reading

lake norman real estate, Relocating? Life in Lake Norman

Fly to your home at our Lake Norman Airpark Community in Mooresville NC!

Lake Norman airpark -aerial-photo

 Almost hidden away on a lovely Lake Norman peninsula off Perth Road in Mooresville is a truly remarkable neighborhood:  Lake Norman Airpark.  Imagine that instead of the usual garage you actually have a hanger for your plane(s) right next to your home and that you can taxi to and from the community runway at your convenience!


The Lake Norman Airpark is a community of about 56 homes surrounding the runway all of which are a member of the Lake Norman Air Park Owners Association which is a non-profit organization that owns and maintains the runway and approximately 40 acres of common area which includes the associated residential taxiways. Many of the homes have views of Lake Norman as well! Continue reading

lake norman real estate

What are Lake Norman’s current real estate market’s challenges for buyers and sellers?

Lake Norman after recent rain

Our Lake Norman housing market is doing very well right now, but that doesn’t mean that buying or selling a home is easy.  All real estate markets are constantly facing new challenges unique to myriad influences in any particular month, season or year.  Today’s typical stress-producing hurdles can be minimized if you have a good understanding of what they are and how best to prepare for them:

Mortgage/Loan process

As a direct result of the lax lending practices that led to the end of the housing bubble throughout the country, the home loan process can now be overly burdensome and frustrating.

  • Down Payments ideally should be 20% of the purchase price although there are still options, ie 10% down and 10% second loans.  Potential Lake Norman home-buyers should expect to have 20% down and should meet with a lender before you even begin to search for a home.
  • The paperwork required to get a loan can seem staggering and sometimes offensive to even extremely qualified buyers.  Be prepared to provide extensive personal  financial documentation.  This is truly of EVERY loan.
  • Underwriters can be downright irrational.  I think they are so because in part they are afraid to approve a loan that might ultimately fail.

In order to minimize the stress in the loan process, I recommend only very qualified, experienced lenders to my Lake Norman area home-buyers.  Which lender you use can make or break your ability to get a loan. (Don’t choose based on the lowest interest rate alone).  It is critical to be proactive as well.  From the first week, get a commitment from the lender as to when they will order the appraisal, what documentation they will need from you and when it will be submitted to the underwriter.  After “conditional approval”, expect for the underwriter to ask for additional paperwork right up until several days before closing.  Also make sure that your lender is in constant communication with your closing attorney so that they get the Title information etc. in a timely fashion.  I try to anticipate any potential hurdles and keep in contact with the lender to make sure everything is being processed in a timely manner.  If you are selling your home and the sale is contingent upon the buyer’s home closing, you also need to ask your Realtor to get updates on their buyer’s buyer’s loan.  I just closed on a sale with buyers who had no problems with their loan but whose buyer of their home in another state had a terrible lender who almost ruined our contract due to their incompetence.


One of the critical changes to our real estate process is due to the Dodd-Frank law which essentially prohibits lenders from having any direct communication with appraisers.  Lenders now use a third-party company to order appraisals. While I appreciate the reasoning behind this bill, the result has led to a number of challenges.  The most common problems are appraisals being ordered too late, appraisers who are sent out who are not knowledgeable about Lake Norman, especially waterfront home sales, appraisers who take way too long to submit their appraisals which leads to delays in closing, and appraisals that are just poorly done.  While, by law, lenders can’t contact the appraiser directly, Realtors can if we have questions or concerns.  We can’t intimidate but we can provide additional property information.  I have not actually had an appraisal come in below the contract sales price but I have experienced several fairly incompetent appraisers and an appraisal that took 2 weeks to be submitted despite a “rush” order.  So, make sure that your Realtor keeps on top of the appraisal!

Multiple Offers

As a Realtor in California during the 2000-2005 bubble years when we got up to 60 offers on a listing, we worked hard to fine-tune the multiple offer process.  If representing the buyer in a multiple offer situation, a cover letter can make the difference between you getting the home or not.  The cover letter is my way of “selling” my buyers to the seller by emphasizing their strong financial qualifications, sharing what they love about the property and anything that might strengthen their position. (One time my seller chose a buyer because they shared a mutual love of dogs!).  A good listing agent will counsel their sellers to take the offer that is most likely to close, not necessarily the highest price.  All cash in this market should trump a loan.  A short Due Diligence period is also a plus.  Pre-approval letter is a must.  And, believe it or not, the Realtor representing the buyer can make a huge difference.  I would much rather work with a Realtor I know, trust and respect and I can usually get a pretty good sense of the competence of a Realtor by how they present the offer.

Unrealistic Expectations Continue reading

lake norman real estate, Property Tax Rates

Lake Norman’s Mecklenburg County Tax Revaluation Flaws Addressed by State Lawmakers

Lake Norman waterfront home in Cornelius

 North Carolina law requires that all real property be assessed at fair market value as of January 1st of a revaluation year.  Each county in North Carolina has a revaluation every 8 years.  Unfortunately, Mecklenburg County’s 2011 revaluation was terribly flawed according to experts, leading to personal and commercial hardships.

One example of how this negatively impacted our Lake Norman homeowners in Cornelius, Davidson, and Huntersville was their decision to assess many varied waterfront lots at a flat $700,000 which is just plain ludicrous.  The Cornelius waterfront home on the left in the photo above was one of my listings that sold for $451,000 last April. It’s lot value had been bumped up that January to $700,000 and my seller’s property taxes went from about $3000 to about $9000 which was significant enough that she was forced to move. Clearly, the fair market value was well below the $700,000 assessed value for the lot alone.

Needless to say, there was an immediate backlash from both residential and small business owners.  After over a year of town meetings, county commissioner meetings, independent studies and analysis on just about every level, massive appeals by home owners in Mecklenburg County, the hiring of a new revaluation manager, the hiring of a firm by Mecklenburg County to evaluate the property revaluation process and the resignation of the Mecklenburg County Assessor, state lawmakers have started to file bills created to re-do these flawed 2011 revalutions. Continue reading

lake norman real estate, Lake Norman Real Estate Market Reports

How Our Lake Norman Real Estate Market Stacks Up with National Housing Market

Lake Norman Home Sales Improving

One of my greatest concerns these days is that potential Lake Norman home buyers and sellers will base their decisions on national real estate news and even Charlotte’s housing market trends.  While in very general, broad terms our Lake Norman real estate market does share trends with the nation, when we get into the specifics there are a number of disparities which should be understood before anyone considers buying or selling a home here in Lake Norman.

Here is a look at Lake Norman vs. our National real estate numbers for January 2013:


  • Nationally, sales grew at a slower pace in January.  Existing home sales edged up .4%  when compared to December 2012’s sales but were up 9.1% when compared with January 2012.
  • Lake Norman’s home sales in January dropped 22.8% when compared to December 2012’s sales but were up a whopping 47.9% when compared to January 2012. Historically the Lake Norman real estate market sales are significantly lower in January compared to December so our 22.8% decline is “normal” for us but the 47.9% increase when compared to January 2012 is exceptional.

Number of Homes for Sale

  • The number of existing homes for sale nationally at the end of January was the lowest since April of 2005.  They represented a 4.2-month supply at the current sales pace.  In other words, if the country got no new listings it would take 4.2 months to sell all of the homes currently listed for sale.
  • The number of homes for sale in Lake Norman at the beginning of January hit a record low of 746.  At the end of January we had 10.8-month supply at the current sales pace which is more than DOUBLE the national averages. Despite hearing us Realtors complaining about our low inventory of homes for sale, the reality is we are still in a buyers’ market and have substantially more inventory than the national average.  Lake Norman’s average months of supply in 2012 was about 8 months.

Continue reading

lake norman real estate

Lake Norman real estate: New Construction is back!

New Lake Norman Waterfront Home

New Lake Norman Waterfront Estate

One of the most significant signs that our Lake Norman real estate market is improving is the amount of new construction popping up all around the lake.  From large builders taking over partially completed subdivisions that went under during the recession to smaller builders building spec homes and custom homes in every price range including an impressive number of luxury homes down Brawley School Road, all types of construction is happening for the first time in years!

The listing agent of a lot I just put under contract in The Point told me she had sold or had offers for 4 of her lots in the past several weeks after years of none what-so-ever.  A number of my waterfront buyers have purchased tear-downs or are considering tear-downs with plans to build their dream homes.  Off water buyers are scooping up good, affordable lots like the one I sold in The Point this past week realizing this may be the best opportunity they have before prices start going up.

The idea of having a custom home designed specifically for them on a hand-picked lot with their ideal size, floorplan, finishes and architectural details is pretty darned exciting!  For many, this is also a great time hire a builder who can incorporate all of the latest “green” and “smart home” technology which wasn’t really happening  in our Lake Norman area 5 years ago.

Here are some interesting numbers that reflect this trend:

  • We have 53 “new construction” homes under contract and 8 closed sales of new construction homes in Lake Norman’s Area 13 in 2013 for a total of 61 in 7 weeks.  Lake Norman had 90 closed sales of new construction homes in all of 2012 and 79 in 2011!
  • Lake Norman currently has 57 lots under contract and 16 closed lot sales equaling 73 sales in the first 7 weeks of 2013 compared to 239 lot sales in all of Lake Norman in 2012.

Of course, these numbers don’t reflect lots that are sold outside of our Charlotte Multiple Listing service.  Many builders, especially in large subdivisions, do not list a majority of lots and home sales in our MLS so these numbers are lower than the actual sales of lots and new homes being built on privately owned lots.


 Lake Norman’s Langtree at the Lake is finally a reality!

Lake Norman’s The Point:  The Trump Factor

Lake Norman’s Brawley School Road Widening: One Year Later

lake norman real estate, Lake Norman Real Estate Market Reports

Lake Norman’s 2012 Home Sales Annual Review

After a rather erratic 2011, our Lake Norman real estate market definitely has a lot to celebrate about 2012.  Not only was the volume of sales up 23% but our average price and average price per square foot both inched up for the first time since 2007.  But, my favorite word for 2012 is consistency.  Not only were sales strong, but they were strong every month in 2012 without one hiccup.

What about 2013?  My greatest concern is our lack of inventory of homes for sale.  My second highest concern is that sellers AND Realtors will over estimate our recovery and have unrealistic expectations for 2013. I am already experiencing sellers who are inflexible about their listing price due to their optimism.  No matter how much our Lake Norman real estate market has improved, overpriced listings could play a significant role in limiting our sales as will our lack of inventory.  While I don’t expect prices to go down, I also don’t expect them to go up more than about 5% at best.

Below are three charts that pretty much tell the story about our Lake Norman housing market:  Continue reading

lake norman real estate, Lake Norman Real Estate Market Reports

Lake Norman Real Estate’s 3rd Quarter Homes Sales by Price

If you are a home buyer or seller in Lake Norman, it really only matters what is happening in YOUR price-range.  Yes, it is important to know about the global economy, the national economy and the Charlotte area economy and real estate market but real estate is hyper-local so it is most meaningful to learn about the Lake Norman real estate market and within that, your specific niche.  For instance, if you are looking to buy or sell in the $400,000 price range, you are going to have an entirely different experience than someone in the $700,000?s.  This is exactly the reason why I create a price-range analysis every quarter:

*Compiled from the Charlotte Regional Multiple Listing Service’s data, this chart enables you to focus on your specific price range(s) rather than use the broad-brush approach thus allowing you to size up your competition and better position yourself. Continue reading

lake norman real estate

Lake Norman Real Estate Introduces eValuator!

I am thrilled to offer a new property evaluation tool to my readers!  eValuator is the brain child of Davis Farrell, a Charlotte company that provides my home search/Multiple Listing Service feature on this site.  Prompted by complaints by clients about Zillow’s inaccuracy, they set out to make the most accurate property value tool currently available!  Their “proprietary algorithm ranks the comps and uses the top 5 and even offers a percentage match”.

My hope is that you all will test it out and give me feedback as it is still a work in progress.  For instance, I discovered that they were using waterfront comparable sales for off-water homes.  Within hours of my bringing it to their attention they fixed the problem!

It is easy to use.  Just click on the link on the right  side of this home page: Continue reading

lake norman real estate, The Real Estate Process, Home Buying and Selling Tips

The Reality of Lowball Offers in Lake Norman Real Estate

I got a call yesterday from a potential buyer for one of my listings.  He told me he would like me to present an all cash offer of $350,000 for a property I just listed at $429,000.  With a little prodding I was able to find out that he hadn’t seen the home and didn’t know the neighborhood.  I tried to explain a bit about the price and comps and his response was “it is a terrible real estate market and that’s all I need to know”.  REALLY?

Needless to say, my client’s counter to this buyer was not accepted.

This is just one example of how not to be successful in our current Lake Norman housing market. While it is quite common for investors and low-ballers to make these kind of offers when a new listing comes on the market, I have to wonder what these buyers are thinking?  Or, are they thinking at all?  Even banks get disgusted with these types of buyers.  Here is a great example: Continue reading

lake norman real estate, Lake Norman Real Estate Market Reports

How are Lake Norman’s Crescent Communities like The Point & The Peninsula faring?

Lake Norman waterfront home at The Point


Ask any Realtor active in the Lake Norman residential market how business is and they will collectively smile and say great.  But, are the current Lake Norman sales evenly distributed around all 4 counties that share waterfront land on Lake Norman?

Over the past few years I have created sales charts focusing on all of the largest of the Crescent Communities on Lake Norman to provide insight into the different areas surrounding Lake Norman including:

Here is one fresh off the presses: Continue reading

lake norman real estate, Relocating? Life in Lake Norman

Growth is Creeping Back to Lake Norman NC!

 New Exit 35

When I first started writing this blog in 2007 I used to do regular updates on growth and development in the greater Lake Norman area as did The Charlotte Observer who had a bi-weekly Red Dirt Alert section for Lake Norman. Since the slow down, when most developing simply screeched to a halt, I have provided updates every now and then about the status of major and small developments.  Today I am happy to report there is quite a bit more “red dirt” to be seen around Lake Norman including new housing construction! As I write this, there are 54 Active Listings in Area 13/ Lake Norman of new homes built in or due to be completed in 2012. New homes are going up in The Farms, The Point, The Peninsula, Pointe Regatta, Sailview, Westport, Pebble Bay, Fernleaf/Woodleaft and more! Here is an update on some of the larger projects: Continue reading

lake norman real estate

Lake Norman Real Estate’s 2012 Housing Market Predictions

Let’s face it, we are being bombarded by economic predictions of all kinds this month; so much so that I even hesitated to add my own to the massive pile.  But, since my mission is to provide you with  insight into our Lake Norman housing market and the role the national, state and local economy plays on our successes and weakness, I will once again do my best to assess and make predictions for 2012. Continue reading

lake norman real estate, Lake Norman Real Estate Market Reports

Lake Norman’s 2011 real estate market was, well, okay.

So, when all is said and done, our Lake Norman single family housing market was just okay in 2011.  We didn’t quite match 2010 sales but at least we didn’t have a double dip back to our abysmal 2009 numbers!  5 months in 2011 were either equal to or better than 2010 while 7 months were lower compared to 2010. With the exception of March, the first half of 2011 was pretty tough but then we had a string of strong months (look at August!) before dipping back down in November/December.  As you can see, there is really no consistent pattern by month:

Lake Norman Monthly Sales Chart for 7 Years

*Please note that all of my numbers are for single family homes. They come from the Charlotte Region Multiple Listing Service and will not include sales that took place outside of our MLS.  **I have made an adjustment of  the totals reflecting the ACTUAL  sales  every month in 2009, 2010 and 2011 and the totals in the prior calendar years.  The columns may not add up but I do my best with what I have to work!

Continue reading

lake norman real estate

What Role Does Shadow Inventory Play in Lake Norman Real Estate?


There was a rather disturbing article in Sunday’s Charlotte Observer:  Housing glut looms behind region’s ‘shadow inventory’.   It is not the whole issue of shadow inventory that is disturbing but rather the tone of the article, starting with the ominous title itself.  Home buyers are already extraordinarily nervous, why add relatively useless fuel to this fire?

Before I go any further, I need to address the definition of shadow inventory which is widely disputed:  The Shadow Inventory Debate.  For the sake of this article, I am defining shadow inventory as any home where there is a delinquent mortgage and has not been foreclosed upon by the lien holder.  While most of these are not listed for sale and may not be for years, some homes currently on the market in Lake Norman have been in the foreclosure process for several years but the sellers have been preemptive and have listed their homes as distressed.

If you are a regular reader you know two things about this blog, I love analyzing and interpreting the very specific numbers and data for Lake Norman’s housing market and I work hard to separate our local market from the broad brush media headlines about real estate.

While you might think that the Charlotte Observer’s article is specific enough to be applicable to our Lake Norman housing market, it simply isn’t and here is why: Continue reading

lake norman real estate, Lake Norman Real Estate Market Reports

Lake Norman’s Luxury Community “The Point”; Is it leading Lake Norman’s Real Estate Recovery?


The Point, with its 13 phases and about 900 home-sites is arguably the most well-known and popular luxury community on all of Lake Norman.  It has been fascinating to watch how the recession initially impacted its home sales and the progress it has made since then. In fact, the numbers today would indicate that The Point is actually leading the Lake Norman real estate market’s recovery. Continue reading

lake norman real estate

Putting the Lake Norman Real Estate Market in Perspective isn’t Easy!

I was recently reading a national real estate news article that explained that todays’ monthly mortgage payments are 40% cheaper than 2006.  This is a fascinating perspective of how to evaluate the true cost of a home today compared to our peak of 2006.

The article went on to say that “Although affordability has increased….housing demand remains depressed with existing home sales back to 1998 levels.”

Of course, I had to see if these is true of our Lake Norman real estate market and here is what I found:

Lake Norman Annual Sales Analysis by year

* Note that our 2011 numbers are through today and I expect them to equal 2010.

Insight Summary Continue reading

lake norman real estate, Lake Norman Real Estate Market Reports

Lake Norman Real Estate’s October 2011 Sales Analysis: A GREAT month but….

Our Lake Norman real estate market has been on a positive roll since June culminating in a rather impressive October with 81 closed sales, a number that matches the best October in Lake Norman home sales since 2007!  (I have been expecting this to be the case for several months due to our high pending home sales numbers).

So, why I am not jumping up and down with enthusiasm?  Because I am more focused on our future numbers and our active price ranges.  As you will see below, our conditonal and pending home sales are lower than at the same time last year indicating a slow-down in November and even December sales.  And, a larger portion of our sales are at the bottom of our price ranges.

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



Some significant additional interesting statistics for you: Continue reading

lake norman real estate

Economic News Provides Insight into the Future of Lake Norman Real Estate

Lake Norman real estate's future

Looking at a variety of local and state economic and business news is an important component of gaining insight into the future direction of our Lake Norman real estate market.  I collect such data from various news sources for several months and then share them with you in one blog post with the goal of helping you get a better understanding of the bigger picture in our area’s economy.  This stack of data shows some glimmer of hope: Continue reading

lake norman real estate, LKN Realty LLC

Lake Norman Real Estate Just Got Better!


My reason for creating this Lake Norman Real Estate blog from the its inception in May of 2007  was and still is all about providing you with as much information and data as possible to help you make an informed decision when buying or selling a home in Lake Norman.

While I don’t talk a lot about our Property Search feature, I chose the company providing this program because they are local, innovative and provide great customer service.

Two of my favorite features are the “Neighborhood Analyzer” and “Research” tools.  I have discussed the “Research” tool in previous articles but as a reminder, once you do a home search and have specific property results, click on any of the properties for the details page.  Once on the details page you will see the word “Research” in bold dark red  just to the right of the listing price. Up will pop three options: Continue reading

lake norman real estate

Remodeling or Buying a Lake Norman Home? Granite is Great, But Think Energy Efficiency!

Lake Norman Green Homes

Like it or not, most homeowners and home buyers, whether in Lake Norman or elsewhere in the U.S. think of a house as an investment, not just a home.  In the short term, I counsel prospective sellers to make their properties move-in ready since most buyers these days are not willing to do much in the way of remodeling or even painting of their new home.

There is no doubt, however, that the future of housing construction, once it is back in full force, will focus on energy efficiency, sustainable resources and other “green” components of a home.  Other cities in the country, from Portland Oregon to Austin Texas to Asheville NC, are way ahead of Lake Norman in their focus and incorporation of energy efficiency and construction of “high performance” homes.  It only stands to reason that the Lake Norman real estate market and Lake Norman home builders will be greatly impacted in the future by these growing global housing trends.

So why not get yourself one step ahead of the game as we wait for the economy to improve?  Here are some great thoughts and statistics from a recent article on the Green Building Advisor website:

  • Investing in energy efficiency upgrades in your home should be included in your investment portfolio and future planning
  • The average annual increase in energy prices (of all kinds) has been 6.33%
  • The Consumer Price Index has only risen at an annual rate of 1.54% (Used to determine annual Social Security increases)
  • Energy prices increase faster than Social Security payouts
  • Drastically reducing energy demand can be an important hedge

Continue reading

lake norman real estate

North Carolina’s Credit Rating is Still AAA


Our Lake Norman real estate market has one more  positive thing going for it in these turbulent times; our North Carolina credit ratings remain at AAA  with Standard and Poor’s as well as the two there ratings firms Moody’s and Fitch!

According to a recent article in The News Observer, staff writer David Ranii wrote that our state Treasurer, Janet Cowell, “is cautiously optimistic that is will remain that way…Cowel said in an interview Tuesday that her office has received no indication from any of the rating firms that they are contemplating a change in the state’s ratings.”

It went on to say that “several weeks ago Moody’s reviewed all of the states that it rates AAA but ending its scrutiny of North Carolina without making a change.” Continue reading

lake norman real estate, LKN Realty LLC

Is Lake Norman Real Estate Ready for QR Codes?

Lake Norman QR code for waterfront home for saleChances are that if you are reading this you fall in to one of two camps:

There are those of you who look knowing at the symbol above, probably own a smart phone with an app to read QR Codes and wonder why I am bothering to write about them.

Then there are the majority of you who may never have heard the term QR Code but vaguely recognize this type of bar code and wonder what the heck it has to do with Lake Norman real estate!

According to Wikipedia: A QR code (abbreviated from Quick Response code) is a specific matrix barcode (or two-dimensional code) that is readable by dedicated QR readers, smartphones, and, to a less common extent, computers with webcams. The code consists of black modules arranged in a square pattern on a white background. The information encoded may be text, URL, or other data.

I (and some other Lake Norman area real estate agents as well as many throughout the US) have started using QR Codes on my listing flyers in front of the properties so that folks driving by can simply scan the QR Code like the one above, and almost instantly get to the website I created for that property with multiple photos and all of the data about the property that they could possibly want up front.  It is predicted that QR Codes will be used consistently in real estate once everyone catches on. Continue reading

lake norman real estate

A glimpse into post-recession Lake Norman real estate

With more and more frequency I am being asked by potential Lake Norman home buyers about the future expectations and direction of our local economy.  Are Lake Norman, Charlotte and even the State of North Carolina seen as a good place to invest in the long term?  Where are our local and regional economies headed?

The good news is that this is indeed the silver lining for our Lake Norman real estate market during this economic downturn.  Lake Norman communities, Charlotte and North Carolina are all predicted to be popular destinations for future businesses and to experience continual population growth in the years to come.  I base this on a number of recent articles from a variety of sources as well as my own observations over the past 6 years.   Here are some of the most relevant about Charlotte and North Carolina and some older articles I have written about Lake Norman growth and development that are still relevant: Continue reading

lake norman real estate, Relocating? Life in Lake Norman

Lake Norman Area is Growing and Improving Despite Economy!

While  the Lake Norman real estate market is still struggling, there are some very exciting developments and amenities under construction or about break ground; a welcome sign for our communities!

According to a   WCNC News Release, construction is scheduled to begin in May on the  “Fountains at Mooresville Town Square, a 227-unit, $23 million luxury apartment community located at the corner of Brawley School and Williamson Rd.  This newer project is already home to some wonderful restaurants and boutiques including Fusion Bowl, JJ’s Deli, Cartucci’s, NY Bagel and Deli, Lavendar Boutique and Sweet Grass.  The new apartment community will include a salt-water swimming pool, courtyard, fire pit and grilling area, and a 5,000 sq ft clubhouse.

Also in the news today in the Mooresville Tribune is a great update about two truly awesome sports complexes that are nearing completion: The soccer/baseball complex on Mazeppa Road (Mazeppa Road Park) and Cornelius Rd. (Cornelius Road Park). Mazeppa Road Park will open on Labor Day with two artificial turf soccer fields, four grass soccer fields, three adult softball fields and an adult baseball field.  It will also have a one-mile walking trail and two large playgrounds. The Cornelius Road Park, opening later this fall, will have 6 tennis courts, two youth baseball fields, expansive picnic grounds and walking trails. Add to these the “America’s Park” 25-field youth baseball complex that will serve as host to hundreds of teams from all over the United States and Canada in June, July and August and Mooresville is fastly become THE place for sports of all kinds in addition to our car racing!

Related Articles

Lake Norman Real Estate’s Business of the Week: La Patisserie Cafe and Bakery

lake norman real estate, Lake Norman Real Estate Market Reports

Lake Norman Real Estate’s 1st Quarter 2011 Price Range Analysis

Every quarter I create this price range analysis for the Lake Norman real estate market in an effort to provide insight into our Lake Norman housing market by niche for both buyers and sellers:



Compiled from the Charlotte Regional Multiple Listing Service’s data, this chart enables you to focus on your specific price range(s) rather than use the broad-brush approach thus allowing you to size up your competition and better position yourself.

How to read this report:

  • First choose a price range.
  • The next column provides the actual number of listings sold in this price range in the 4th quarter of 2010
  • This is followed by the percentage this price range represents of the total number of listings sold
  • Next is the number of active listings in this price range
  • This is followed by the percentage this price range represents of the total number of active listings
  • Finally, the last column represent the absorption rate or the number of months of supply for each price range based upon the number of listings divided by the number of sales.
  • To compare these to the same period of 2009 please see the chart below

Findings: Continue reading

lake norman real estate, Lake Norman Real Estate Market Reports

The Point in Lake Norman; An 11-Year Real Estate Sales Analysis

The Point Luxury Waterfront  Community in Lake Norman

The Point  in Mooresville NC is arguably the most prestigious luxury community in all of Lake Norman and it is also the largest with 18 miles of beautiful Lake Norman shoreline.

Exactly one year ago I did a sales analysis of  The Point for a client looking for insight into trends as well as an accurate assessment of the current market. But, how did this same luxury community fare in the past 12 months? You may be interested to find out they did and are doing quite well…  But at what price?  Here are the answers:

 12-Month Sales By Price Range

*All data is from the Charlotte Regional Multiple Listing Service only and does not include sales that were not conducted through our MLS

Probably the most shocking number of all in the above chart of sales in The Point for the last 12 months is that there was one sale in the $300,000’s and 14 total sales under $600,000! In fact, this niche accounted for 27% of the annual sales. Almost HALF of the total number of homes sold in The Point were under $800,000. Of course, many of these were distressed sales of inventory left over from our peak building market of 2006/2007.  Note that while this niche represented 46.5% of the sales it represents only 29.3% of the current inventory. Continue reading

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Suddenly Our Lake Norman Real Estate Market is Hot!

There has been such a dramatic shift in our Lake Norman real estate market in the past 3 weeks that I decided I needed to provide you all with a quick update.

As of the time that I am writing this we now have a whopping 102 Lake Norman properties  reported as Active/Due Diligence or Conditional.  These are properties that just went under contract.  I just pulled a Hot Sheet for the the past 2 days and 15 properties went under contract!  To put this in perspective, we closed a total of 42 sales in the entire month of February and 46 in January.

I looked back at my 2010 sales analysis and couldn’t  find one month that could even come close to this many Conditional sales although in our peak months our Pending sales were over 100. Continue reading

lake norman real estate

Lake Norman Real Estate News: Foreclosures, Mortgage Delinquencies and More!

 Prompted by a great article I read today on   The Foreclosure Fallacy  I decided it was time once again for me to tackle the ever growing pile of information, mostly about our national and Lake Norman housing market, that is in a stack on my desk I call “Blog Topics”.  Most of these are not worthy of their own post so I will share a quick summary of a number of them here at one time:


  •  The Foreclosure Fallacy  is wonderful in its simplicity.  In one short article they touch on all of the major issues related to foreclosures from the risks involved to the sage advice from one Detroit area broker:  “Don’t be too picky.  A lot of houses will need work.”  I have mentioned in previous posts the importance of being willing to “compromise” if you are search for a bargain.  So true!
  • Standard & Poors: Modifications and Slower Foreclosures Shrink Shadow Inventory article in the Wall Street Journal was one of many referencing the release of Standard & Poor’s  yearly report.  (S&P defines shadow inventory as properties with borrowers who are 90 days or more delinquent on their mortgage payments).  One disconcerting figure in this article:  “The time it takes for a lender to foreclose on a borrower has lengthened—from about 20 months to about 40—”. The amount of Shadow Inventory here in Lake Norman is one of the biggest unknowns that keeps home-buyers uncertain about when to move forward with a purchase.
  • The Mortgage Bankers Association released a report today, February 18th, that says that the percentage of mortgage holders who are behind in their payments dropped to the lowest number in two years in the fourth quarter of 2010.  “While delinquency and foreclosure rates are still well above historical norms, we have clearly turned the corner in the foreclosure crisis” according to MBA Chief Economist Jay Brinkman in a statement.
  • There have been numerous articles recently about the death of the “McMansion Era”.  According to both the National Association of Realtors and the National Association of Home Builders the “median sized home being built today is smaller” and the future trends will be towards smaller, more energy efficient homes. Will the 8000 sq ft+ homes on Lake Norman one day be obsolete?  Probably not but it will be interesting to watch!

Local: Continue reading

lake norman real estate, Lake Norman waterfront homes

Lake Norman Real Estate: Waterfront Home Price Update, Part 1



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.

Part 1

* 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: Continue reading

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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.


Lake Norman Foreclosures, Short Sales and Green Homes, Search Here!

  60 Things About Lake Norman that the Tour Guides Won’t Tell You!

60 Things About Lake Norman that the Tour Guides Won’t Tell You, Part 2

Lake Norman Relocation Resources

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Lake Norman Real Estate’s Predictions for 2011


Once again I will go out on a limb and share my thoughts for the upcoming Lake Norman real estate market in 2011.  If we look back at last year’s predictions ( See my 2010 predictions ) I do believe that I anticipated more of a “turning point” than we actually experienced.  In 2010, the only turning point was our sales volume which, while not inconsequential, was not entirely what I had in mind for our local Lake Norman housing market.

 So, exactly what can we expect to see in our Lake Norman housing market in 2011?  Quite simply: “more of the same”.  Bargains, foreclosures and shortsales will dominate our market sales but we will continue to see tiny incremental improvements.  Before I go into more detail, let’s look at the larger issues that will impact our local market.

The Big Picture:

Unlike last year when financial institutions and the national financial issues like the foreclosure freezes, rebate incentives and actions by FHA and the Federal Reserve dominated the national housing market, this year it is all about jobs, consumer confidence and business spending.

  •  Most economists seem to agree that our country will experience a modest 3% growth  in 2011
  • Interest rates will remain low; hovering around 5%.  (They are back down this week after a few weeks of increases due to concerns about inflation.)
  • Home loans will continue to be a very challenging process and will play a role in hindering  the ability for our housing market to improve
  • Like last year, only a modest rebound in housing starts is expected.  Builders who have survived are still finding it nearly impossible to get loans for new projects and spec building is almost not existent.  The National Association of Home Builders is projecting a 21% increase in new housing but is quick to qualify that this is not a significant number.  They do predict that 2011 will be the year the national housing prices should hit their bottom.
  •  A “weak recovery” in our national economy means that the jobless rate will remain “uncomfortably high” and unemployment trends will “dominate how Americans feel about the economy.”
  • National Association of Realtors chief economist Lawrence Yun said:  “There will be two steps forward, one step back, with sizable local market differences…”  He goes on to predict a slight increase in home sales nationally.
  • Altos Research predicts that housing prices nationally will drop 5 to 10% and finally hit bottom.

Watch for:

  • False bottoms and starts and stops
  • Jobs
  • Foreclosure delays as banks sit on them due to the cost of processing
  • Local housing inventory levels. Potential “shadow” inventory hitting the market and driving the number of homes for sale up and demand down
  • Lending standards and potential changes to regulations from Washington
  • International economic issues like Europe’s currency dilemma and China’s trade growth/manipulation


Our Lake Norman housing market is also going to be impacted significantly by regional economic components, especially jobs.

  • North Carolina’s economic conditions are expected to improve in 2011.  This was a theme of the Economic Forecast Forum in Rearch Triangle Park according to an article in News Observer on January 3rd. However, they also acknowledged that North Carolina suffers more than most from the national decline of industrial jobs.
  • North Carolina is still a destination for many from around the country.  In 2010 North Carolina rose to 3rd place on the list of migration to rather than from the state.
  • Jobs play a huge role in our recovery.  Unemployment rates in Mecklenburg and Iredell Counties remain higher than the state average.  Everyone agrees that we must see improvement in our unemployment numbers before we will see any significant change in our housing market. 

 My Predictions: Continue reading

lake norman real estate, Lake Norman Real Estate Market Reports

Lake Norman Real Estate’s 4th Quarter 2010 Price Range Analysis

Every quarter I try to create this price range analysis for the Lake Norman real estate market because it provides invaluable insight for both buyers and sellers: 

Compiled from the Charlotte Regional Multiple Listing Service’s data, this chart enables you to focus on your specific price range(s) rather than use the broad-brush approach thus allowing you to size up your competition and better position yourself.

How to read this report:

  • First choose a price range.
  • The next column provides the actual number of listings sold in this price range in the 4th quarter of 2010
  • This is followed by the percentage this price range represents of the total number of listings sold
  • Next is the number of active listings in this price range
  • This is followed by the percentage this price range represents of the total number of active listings
  • Finally, the last column represent the absorption rate or the number of months of supply for each price range based upon the number of listings divided by the number of sales.
  • To compare these to the same period of 2009 please see the chart below

Findings: Continue reading

lake norman real estate

Lake Norman Real Estate: Are We Getting the Year-End Bump?


There are some fascinating numbers and micro trends going on right now in our Lake Norman real estate market.

As was the case last December,  the current MLS data suggests we are in for a pretty good month. But, let’s take a closer look:

  • Many banks want their shortsales and foreclosures off their books by the end of the year.  I have a waterfront shortsale listing where we have had a low-ball offer sitting on the table for quite a while until suddenly two days ago the bank said to take it if they will close by December 31st.
  • We have closed 38 sales already this month and have 83 Pending sales which may lead to even higher sales than last December’s 70 and definitely much stronger than December 2008’s 58 and December 2007’s 64.
  • I just took a look at the list of our Pending sales and was surprised to see how many of the waterfront properties that have been sitting for several years are now under contract!  We are definitely clearing out our inventory of waterfront homes and few new ones are coming on to take their places.
  • There are currently 32 Crescent Community homes under contract the most impressive being 12 in The Point!  8 of these 12 are $800,000 – $1673,000.

I have been telling my waterfront buyers that this winter is the time to seriously consider getting off the fence and I feel this more strongly today than ever.  Interest rates are creeping up, our overall Lake Norman inventory of active homes for sale is down to a low of 1114 and is still falling, and many of the homes that have been sitting on the market for years are now selling.

My concern is that even if our market continues to struggle through 2011 and into 2012 that there simply won’t be many “bargain” waterfront homes with good water left to choose from.  Even now there are slim pickings in some price ranges compared to last year at this time.  My gut is saying: Carpe Diem!

Related Articles

Lake Norman, Our Inland Sea 

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lake norman real estate

Lake Norman Real Estate adds new “Absorption Rate” tool!

Lake Norman real estate, months of supply

Now YOU can calculate the “months’ of supply” data for just about every neighborhood in the Lake Norman area right here, 24/7!

If you look  on the homepage under Lake Norman Real Estate Tools , you will see a new button: Calculate Months of Supply.  When you click on this link you will find a blank box where you can type in any neighborhood or subdivision found in our Charlotte  Regional Multiple Listing Service.  Once you start typing it will auto-prompt some options for you.  When you are finished, simply click on “Show me Stats” and up will pop a chart with the number of sales, the number of active listings and the months of supply.  VERY COOL!

If you are a regular reader, you will know that I calculate the “months of supply” or what is officially called the “absorption rate” of our Lake Norman housing market every time I do any kind of market analysis. This is because it is one of the best barometers of any real estate market, locally or nationally.

 Simply put, the Absorption Rate is a basic mathematical formula used to determine how many months it will take to sell the current number of active listings based upon the present rate of sales.

Economists say that a balanced housing market should have 6-8 months of supply of active listings. An absorption rate higher than 8 months would indicate a buyers’ market.  An absorption rate lower than 6 months would indicate a sellers’ market. 

How to manually calculate the absorption rate:

Take the number of homes currently on the market and divide by the most recent 30-day number of sales.


Our number of currently active listings in Lake Norman is 1150.  We sold 65 homes this month so:

1150 divided by 65 = 17.7 months of supply

Clearly in this example we are in a very strong buyers’ market.

If you have any questions please feel free to email me:

lake norman real estate

Lake Norman Real Estate sets the record straight!


I was reading my daily real estate news from yesterday (Friday, October 22nd) when I came across an error so ludicrous that I just wrote ZipRealty demanding a correction.  In the article: “Divide shrinks between ‘hottest,’ ‘coldest’ markets”, InmanNews summarized ZipRealty’s third quarter “Home Hunter Report” in which ZipRealty lists Lake Norman (Statesville) NC ZIP Code 28677 at the very TOP “of their coldest ZIP codes “with the lowest sales-to-list-ratios”.

Of course, anyone who knows Lake Norman well knows that 28677 is not one of our ZIP codes and that with the exception of a sliver of homes on the northeast corner of Lake Norman’s shoreline, Statesville is not associated with Lake Norman.

I did some research on our MLS, the very MLS that ZipRealty claims to have used for their analysis, and found these numbers:

  • In the third quarter of 2010 in ZIP code 28677 there were a total of 58 sales, only THREE of which were in our Charlotte MLS designated Area 13 for Lake Norman.  Most of the homes that sold in this ZIP code were actually in Historic Downtown Statesville which is MLS area 12/1.


  • The ZipRealty report claims that Lake Norman (Statesville), NC had an 87.4% average List to Sale.  They report that the average List Price for this area was $121,829 and the average Sale Price was $111,872.  Wouldn’t we love to have Lake Norman homes in this price range????

So, once I had established that ZipRealty’s numbers were totally wrong, I decided to figure out the actual numbers for our Lake Norman real estate market in the third quarter:

  • Lake Norman’s Average List Price was: $470,099
  • Lake Norman’s Average Sale Price was: $446,630
  • Lake Norman’s % of List Price was, in fact, 95.3%…a far cry from $87.4%!

This is yet another example of the risks of using national real estate news sources to evaluate our Lake Norman real estate market.  Yes, Case-Shiller and others are good resources for gaining a greater understanding of the big picture real estate trends but if one truly wants to evaluate the Lake Norman real estate market it is important to study our local MLS statistics and not rely on reports like this one by ZipRealty.

Okay, I’ll get off of my soapbox now:)

lake norman real estate

How is the foreclosure freeze impacting Lake Norman Real Estate?

Lake Norman's freezing of foreclosures

 Last week I called our Centralized Showing Service to make appointments to show properties in our Lake Norman area for one of my buyers.  Two of the properties were foreclosures.  I got a call from one of the listing agents letting me know that I wasn’t able to show the property because the bank had pulled it off of the market that very day and that he had absolutely no idea what was going on.

I was able to show the second bank-owned property and my buyer wrote up an offer.  When I submitted it on the 13th (last Wednesday) I was told by the listing agent’s staff that they had no idea when we would hear back.  (Normally a bank will respond in 24-48 hours).  A few hours later I got a call for the listing agent telling me that the offer had been rejected and no offers would be reviewed or accepted until GMAC released the property.  He told me his crystal ball had fallen off his desk and shattered so he had no idea when it would be available.  At least he had a sense of humor about the whole thing!

This is the reality of most of the foreclosures in our Lake Norman real estate market.  Right now, foreclosures or REO (real estate owned) properties make up 18% of our Conditional Sales, 29% of our Contingent Sales, 35% of our Pending Sales and 20% of the closed sales in the past month. Will most of the active contracts be cancelled? Continue reading

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Lake Norman Foreclosures, Shortsales, Green Homes: Search here!

Lake Norman’s Charlotte Multiple Listing Service made a exciting announcement this week and YOU are going to benefit the most!

They are officially expanding the currently allowable search parameters for consumers to include the following criteria:

Special Conditions:

  • Bankruptcy
  • Estate
  • In Foreclosure Process
  • Subject to Court Approval
  • REO (Real Estate owned or Lender Owned)
  • HUD
  • VA
  • Short Sale/Subject to Lender Approval
  • Relocation

And, for the growing emphasis on “Green” housing, they are also adding the following criteria:

Green Certifications:

  • LEED home
  • Energy Star
  • Environments for Living
  • EarthCraft House
  • NC Healthy Built Homes
  • NAHB( National Association of Home Builders) National Green Building Standard

Energy Efficiency Rating:

  • HERS (Home Energy Rating) Index

Every real estate website has a choice of what they will offer to their readers.  In keeping with my Lake Norman Real Estate’s effort to provide as much data on our Lake Norman housing market as possible, you will be able to search for all of the above criteria starting today, September 20th which is the first day it is available!

Don’t forget that you can search sales data by clicking on the “Research” button on each listing as well.

Progress is exciting!


Lake Norman Real Estate’s How Green Is Your Home

Lake Norman Relocation and Resource Guide

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How are Lake Norman’s Crescent Communities Faring in 2010?

Entrance to The Point, Luxury Waterfront Lake Norman Community

 On June 10th, 2009 we got some stunning news regarding our Lake Norman real estate market.  Mega developer Crescent Resources LLC announced that they had filed for Chapter 11.  Crescent Resources, a joint venture between Duke Energy and Morgan Stanley Real Estate Fund, has been responsible for creating and developing Lake Norman’s most prestigious and popular communities including The Point, The Peninsula, The Harbour at The Pointe, The Farms, Sailview,Northview Harbour and their latest venture Falls Cove.

It wasn’t until July 15th 2010 that Crescent Communities broke their silence and sent out a news alert to Realtors announcing that they had emerged from their Chapter 11 Bankruptcy on June 9, 2010, touting their still developing communities of  The Point and The Farms and announcing some interesting changes and news regarding their struggling, newest venture, Falls Cove located north of Mooresville. Continue reading

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Lake Norman Real Estate’s Business News Update July 2010



Every once-in-a-while I write an eclectic article for my readers with miscellaneous business and real estate news that has accumulated in a stack by my desk.  Here is just such an update!

North Carolina and Lake Norman Area Business:

  • North Carolina ranks fourth in CNBC’s recent survey:  America’s Top States for Business:  The Charlotte Business Journal ran an article on July 13th.
  • The Palm City Florida based firm Policom recently ranked the Statesville-Mooresville area 15th among 576 Micropolitans nationwide in terms of economic strength according to a recent article in The Statesville Record and Landmark Newspaper.
  • Today’s Mooresville Tribune says that the Iredell County jobless rate dropped to 11.6%
  • Lennar,one of the nation’s leading home-builders, recently announced that they will be building town-homes in a brand new community in Cornelius adjacent to Harborside.  It will be called Harborside At Lake Norman

Continue reading

lake norman real estate, LKN Realty LLC

Lake Norman Real Estate’s Home Search has new features!

 For those of you who use our  home search function on this Lake Norman Real Estate site, you will notice a few improvements and additions this week!

Thanks to feedback from readers and the conversion of our Charlotte Regional Multiple Listing Service to “TEMPO 5” several weeks ago, we can now offer even better tools for your Lake Norman area  home search:

  • You can now search by “Subtype”.  If you are looking for a ranch, a two-story or various options like these, you can now narrow your search by choosing the subtype category
  • Master Bedroom Downstairs has been added to the “Features”  section.  For example, you can search for a waterfront property with a master on the  main level.  About 50% of home buyers in our Lake Norman area are looking for a Master on the main level!
  • Up to 16 photos per property are now available instead of the prior limit of 8.  Of course, the number of photos depends on the number the listing agent inputs into our MLS but this is a great improvement!

Please let me know if you have any other ideas about how to make our home search program better!

Related Articles

 How YOU can search distressed Lake Norman homes for sale

Lake Norman Relocation Resources 

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Lake Norman Real Estate: Is Mooresville Really Bucking the Recession?

Lake Norman isn't following the leader!

The other day I was finally able to try out one of Historic Downtown Mooresville’s latest additions;  JJ Wasabi’s …”An Asian Grill with an American Flairwhich has the same great food and fun atmosphere as its highly successful big sister “Joel’s Asian Grill & Sushi”  located on the Lake Norman side of Mooresville.  As I watched the young, rather hip looking staff dart from table to table I was struck by the diversity of the diners and the vibrant atmosphere that had been lacking in Downtown Mooresville since long before I moved to Lake Norman in 2005.

I remember my husband and my’s very first visit to Mooresville.  It was 3pm and we couldn’t find one place to even have a sandwich in our Historic Downtown!  Today, thanks to the tireless efforts of  the Town of Mooresville, investor/developer Howard Kosofsky and other passionate local residents, JJ Wasabi’s joins other exciting new businesses that have recently opened in Downtown including a mouth-watering bakery:  The Whirling Whisk Baking Company (who has truly awesome pastries, cookies, cupcakes and more),The Bathtub Gin, (a happening nighttime hangout offering “Good times. Good drinks. Good Friends.” including live music and free WiFi!) and one of my favorite Lake Norman restaurants The Daily Grind which will be opening their second location on Main St. soon as well.  When I look down Main Street and note the many refurbished buildings, lively storefronts, sidewalk and street improvements it is hard to believe we are in a recession. Continue reading

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Lake Norman Real Estate: Real Life Experiences with Short-Sales Part 2

 “DECLINED”.  After 6 grueling months of waiting, Bank of America just simply declined my buyers’ shortsale offer.  No counter offer, no explanation.  This is the first distressed sale of any kind that I have not closed and I must admit, I was blind-sided by the news.

While Bank of America is notorious for their reprehensible handling of home loans, especially shortsales, I guess I had to experience it for myself.  The irony is that in an article in the Washington Post last July, 2009,  the writer stated that Bank of America was going to “streamline its short-sale process so that it would only take SEVEN days to obtain shortsale approval.”

Here is my experience:

October 20th, 2009:  Submitted offer to listing agent.

October 20th:  Seller Accepted offer

March 30, 2010:  Offer was declined

Below are emails from the listing agent which provides you detailed insight into this failed transaction: Continue reading

lake norman real estate

Lake Norman Real Estate: Real Life Experiences with Lake Norman Short Sales

Unless you have actually experienced a “short sale” first hand, it is nearly impossible to understand the process and anticipate what to expect.  Unlike most foreclosures, each short sale is very different and they are not guaranteed to close.  To help my Lake Norman homebuyers and sellers better understand short sales, I am going to share some actual Lake Norman short sale transactions with you. But first, a few facts and opinions:

Short sales are best for buyers that have an incredible amount of patience and are able to handle the “not knowing” for months. 

If you like roller coaster rides, want a “deal” and are not in a hurry, then you may be a good candidate for a Lake Norman short sale.  So far, every one of my short sale buyers has successfully negotiated and purchased their homes at excellent prices but not without a lot of stress related to being totally out of control of the process and not knowing for months if the bank will approve their offer…and some are STILL waiting.

Of course, Realtors’ favorite saying is that there simply NOTHING short about short sales.  But, there is also nothing mysterious about them either.  The process is relatively straightforward albeit complex and unpredictable: Continue reading

lake norman real estate

Lake Norman Real Estate: In the News


At any given time I have a stack of ideas about 3″ tall of articles for this blog.  One category, real estate and Lake Norman/Charlotte business news, had grown to an unmanageable level.  So, rather than write a dozen individual blog posts I have decided to combine them into one longer one sharing  just the highlights.  If you want more information, please send me an email! 

Mooresville – Statesville named # 1 micropolitan area by Site Selection Magazine for economic development projects in 2009:

20 new economic development projects ( which must include a corporate facility expansion of $1 million or greater, 50 new jobs or more or 20,000 sq. ft or more of new floor space) put Mooresville – Statesville ahead of 576 micropolitan areas nationwide in 2009 as well as for 7 out of the last 8 years.  According to Ron Starner, general manager of Site Selection Magazine and Conway Data Inc. “Statesville – Mooresville dominates the micro category year after year because of its products, location, work force and business climate.”  Clearly, we are a great place for business!  Related news:  A Mooresville manufacturing plant, Polymer Group Inc, is considering its Mooresville site for a $70 million dollar, 150,000 square-foot addition.  Continue reading

lake norman real estate, Relocating? Life in Lake Norman

Why are so many Californians moving to Lake Norman NC?


When I tell folks around here that my husband and I moved to Lake Norman from California for no other reason than we wanted to, many of them seemed surprised.  So, when I got this update from a great blog in the Palo Alto area  3 Oceans Real Estate, it was just too great an opportunity to share a glimpse into their current market to pass up.  Remember, the California housing market was hit much harder and earlier than our Lake Norman area:

“As a couple of data points, our listing for a three bedroom home at 842 Sycamore Drive in Palo Alto, an entry-level home priced at $949,000, received 14 offers and sold for over $1,100,000. A similar property nearby on Greer received 12 offers the same week and sold for just under $1,100,000 vs. a list price of $979,000″.

842 Sycamore Drive, Palo Alto

So, for $1.1 million dollars you could have out-bid 13 other buyers and won this lovely “starter” home in Palo Alto.  Or, for about $1 million dollars you could have purchased this waterfront estate on Lake Norman:
Hmmm, I think I made my point!
(Photos courtesy of Nadine Roberts, Prudential Carolinas Realty, Denver NC)
lake norman real estate

Lake Norman Real Estate Predictions for 2010

Lake Norman's Crystal Ball

 Truthfully,  2009 was a pretty easy year to predict real estate trends in our Lake Norman area. (See my 2009 predictions).  Prices came down, foreclosures and short sales dominated our market, new construction ground to a screeching halt putting many of our local builders out of business, and lenders made everyones’  lives extremely difficult. Yes, it was a tough year for home sellers and home buyers.

However, looking forward in 2010 I am not seeing a lot of black and white but rather a medium shade of grey.

For our Lake Norman real estate market 2010 will be a turning point.  The question is, how bumpy will the road be, how far down the road will we hit the turn, and will it be a gentle, hardly discernible curve or a pronounced change in direction? 

The Big Picture:

To a certain degree, our Lake Norman housing market’s ability to begin to stabilize will depend on the national financial policy makers.  Our national financial uncertainly makes it extremely difficult to make solid predictions for our local market.  Here are some of the major issues that will play a significant role in our housing market this year:

  • At the end of march, the Federal Reserve will end its $1.25 Trillion program backing the mortgage market and helping to keep interest rates low.
  • FHA is currently working on legislation to tighten their underwriting standards although progress is being made to modify and soften their original requests.  This tightening was initiated by a need for capital reserves due to losses FHA has absorbed since the recession began.
  • Only a modest rebound in housing starts is expected.  Builders who have survived are still finding it nearly impossible to get loans for new projects and spec building is almost not existent.
  • The homebuyer tax credits will end April 30th – June 30th.
  • There is expected to be another wave of  resets of adjustable and interest only loans, especially on jumbo loans, which means sharply higher monthly payments for those homeowners.  This may trigger another wave of shortsales and/or foreclosures.


Our Lake Norman housing market is also going to be impacted significantly by regional economic components, especially jobs.

  • North Carolina’s population growth was the third highest in the US  according to the Charlotte Business Journal.  Lake Norman is still a destination for people throughout the US.  While many of my out-of-state buyers have had to delay their moves here, very few have actually canceled them.
  • Jobs play a huge role in our recovery.  The jobless rate in North Carolina started to lessen in November however unemployment rates in Mecklenburg and Iredell Counties remain higher than the state average.  North Carolina pundits seem very mixed in their economic vision of 2010 but they do seem to agree that unemployment has peaked and that we will see improvement by the end of 2010 if not sooner.  But everyone agrees that we must see job improvement before we see any significant change in our housing market.  

My Predictions:

  • Bargains will continue to drive the market.  More and more homebuyers who have been sitting on the fence will realized that these bargains, once gone, won’t necessarily be replaced so they will be more confident and motivated in 2010.
  • A year of  foreclosures and short sales.  Sellers who have been hoping to sell at a price that allows them to at least break even are going to run out of time. We will continue to see active listings slowly evolving into short sales or foreclosures.
  • Shadow Inventory?  One of the biggest questions I have is just how many Lake Norman homeowners are either waiting to sell until they see a turn in the market or have withdrawn their homes from the market (which accounts for our drop in inventory) while planning to bring them back on the market once they see signs of improvement.  If, just when our inventory of homes gets down to a good number (6-8 months of supply), a large number of sellers who have been waiting  jump into the market, then we will again face high levels of inventory and a second round of a buyers market.
  • A year of stabilization more than recovery is what most everyone is saying throughout the country.  Personally, I don’t think it will be an exciting year with significant changes but rather a slow, methodical road towards recovery.  2010 may hold some surprises but for the most part it will be a year of righting the ship and preparing to sail slowing forward in 2011.

I would love to hear your thoughts and predictions. Please leave a comment!

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Lake Norman Real Estate: Growth and Development is Happening! Part 1

Lake Norman new home construction

 When I first started writing this blog in 2007 the Charlotte Observer used to have a regular column in the Lake Norman section called “Red Dirt Alert” which provided updates on the myriad and different types of developments in planning and under construction in the greater Lake Norman area.  Today, not only is the  “Red Dirt Alert” column gone, but the entire Lake Norman Section has been eliminated.  And, of course,  most high profile growth and development has been significantly impacted by the recession.

The big news this week that the 755,000 square foot, vacant Burlington Mills plant in Mooresville on South Main, (at one time was to be the site of the Mooresville Mills Urban Village whose plans collapsed) , was purchased by Concord Global Trading of New York, served as a reminder that despite some major set backs, there many new and continuing/progressing developments in our Lake Norman area.

Here is Part 1 of an overview of our Lake Norman area’s recent growth, some of which will serve as updates of my prior articles:  Lake Norman Real Estate’s Growth and Development UpdateLake Norman Real Estate’s News Update March 2009 , Lake Norman Growth and Developement Update October 2007.

  • Mooresville’s Burlington Mills’s new owner, Concord Global Trading, purchased the 38-acre site in December and has already started work on their Furniture Emporium called “Wow Home Furnishings”.  The store is expected to “Sell Furniture and Home Decor with an International Flair…” according to an article on the Mooresville Mill Village website.  Their target date for opening is May of this year.   What a boon this will be for Mooresville, especially the Historic Downtown Mooresville area!   UPDATE:  This is now Merino Furniture!
  • The long vacant “Pink Palace Theater ” in Cornelius off of Catawba Blvd. has been purchased by a California Entrepeneur, Levy Affiliated Holdings.  Already under renovation, this site will include the new “Lake Norman Cultural Arts Center”  which will feature a 400-seat entertainment venue, music school, and possibly a dance studio and New York Theatrical production company.  “The use envisioned for the rear of the building is focused around cultural arts, with offices for such uses as film production and a recording studio, and the front use will focus on retailers and a restaurant and bar…”according to Business Today.  Pretty exciting!
  • Brawley School Road Widening Update: The State of North Carolina has awarded a $22.6 million contract to complete the widening of Brawley School Road AND build an Exit 35 interchange.  As many of us know, the first section of the widening project is about 25% complete and is expected to be completed in July of 2011.  The final section and interchange is scheduled to be finished in July of 2013.  They have already started clearing the area where the new Exit 35 will be built!  Note, we are all a bit frustrated that construction of phase one came to a screeching halt during the holidays.  There was some activity this week so hopefully they will resume full-time next week.
  • There has been some very positive growth at the new, upscale Mooresville Town Square  located at the corner of Brawley School and Williamson Rd including the opening of  Wine Maestro, the NY Bagel Co and the nearly completed Lowe’s Foods which is opening this week (January 20th).
  • Across the street on Brawley School Rd the new Rite Aid in the Harris Teeter Shopping Center is coming along.  Also new to that shopping center is a Mexican Restaurant Cuzomel that just opened.  I haven’t been there yet but will report back!
  • At the new  Mayhew Promenade Shopping Center at Stutts Road the lovely Bloom Market,  Walgreens, McDonalds, and Shoals Saloon and Grille  restaurant are now open!
  • The newest Mooresville Harris Teeter Shopping Center at the corner of Highway 150 and Perth Road has some great new shops and restaurants including  3 Goats Coffee,  The Wine Loft and another new Rite Aid.
  • The Project for innovation, Energy and Sustainability (PiES)is a new business incubator that has been launched in Davidson with a goal to nurture new enterprises and jobs.  Founder Kathleen Rose said “PiES encourages education, incubation, and “economic gardening
  • The widening of Catawba Blvd. in Cornelius is complete as is our new Exit 31 in Mooresville at Langtree Road!

Part 2 will include updates on our largest and long-term developments:

  • Langtree at the Lake
  • Legacy Village
  • Augustee/Village at Lake Norman
  • Exit 42
  • North Carolina Research Center