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How Built Out is Lake James?

We get this question almost as much as “how deep is the lake?” so I figured I would take advantage of the slower time before the summer rush and actually count ever waterfront lot on Lake James, besides it is a much easier question to answer than the lake depth question.

Here is what I came up with, 749 waterfront homes and 596 undeveloped waterfront lots. I even broke the list down by communities and further broke the list down by communities according to what decade they were developed. It was all very interesting and you can see this break down on your LinkedIn page. Not that we ever expect anyone to check that page, but it is full of interesting and useless information like this.

The bottom line is there are becoming fewer and fewer waterfront lots, and to find a quality waterfront lot has become even more challenging. Many of the lots that are out there never should have been a lot, but developers in the mid 80’s and 90’s didn’t care much about laying out a lot that fit the topography because they knew that if they priced it low enough someone would buy it.

Our advice to people looking at lots is come see us, we know what we are doing! http://www.nclakejames.com #nclakejames #lakejames #lakejamesnc

Just downstream – Lake Rhodhiss

We’ve decided to dip our toes in a different lake, but y’all know the water comes from Lake James, right? You may have noticed a couple new sections on our website dedicated to Lake Rhodhiss. As is our style, we’ve got community mapping for Lake Rhodhiss you won’t find anywhere else. Here’s a link:

http://www.nclakejames.com/communities-map-lake-rhodhiss.cfm

McGalliard Pointe is located on the south side of Lake Rhodhiss, bordered by park land, and within 4 miles of downtown Valdese, NC. This is a Lake Rhodhiss jewel. More land for your money and close to town. Here’s a link to one of the lots we have for sale in McGalliard Pointe:

http://www.nclakejames.com/property-detail.cfm?mls=3480520

McGalliard Pointe at Lake Rhodhiss, Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2019. © Photography by Kathy Kmonicek

Check out Lake Rhodhiss on nclakejames.com and then come see it in person, preferably with Bryan, Fletcher, or Lew to help show you around.

Lakefront Liquidation Sale!

On a postcard.

What makes folks believe that they were just lucky enough to be one of the chosen few (or current residents) to receive the magical purchase options on beautiful yet undiscovered land that needs immediate liquidation?

And if they hurry to make their “priority appointment,” they can purchase waterfront estate property for less than the value of a used Honda Civic?

Ever wonder why the postcards often don’t mention the location?

Anyone notice that when the postcard urge comes to fruition and folks arrive to the magical meeting point (high school parking lot) near the magical property (part of a hastily developed area harvested of hardwood trees), the used Honda Civic prices are gone but the new Farrari prices are flying off the shelves?

Here’s a very simple word of advice from REALTORS with 30 years of lake experience in development and sales: If you can figure out where the postcard property is located, check REALTOR.com, or Zillow, or Trulia, or Google, or just call a REALTOR before you get enthralled. If you go to the land rush sale, go armed with market knowledge and know the prices of comparable property nearby in already successful communities.

With the exception of a few lost leader lots, every postcard sale we’ve seen has sold waterfront lots at or around market value. Interior lots, sadly, often sell for more than better lots in proven neighborhoods right next door. This is the most painful aspect of the process because interior buyers are usually stretching just to be a part of what they perceive to be a good investment. Hearing from these owners interested in selling afterwards makes for a hard and sad conversation.

It’s the frustration we’re left with after these conversations that compels us to warn you about the reality of these postcard sales.

Postcards that seems too good to be true, generally are. If you’ve received one that seems to be referring to Lake James or Lake Rhodhiss, give us a call. We’ll tell you the whole truth about the whole market.


2018 Stats and Commentary

What a year.  Can’t believe it’s over. 

Important Office Happenings of 2018:

  • Bryan’s 4Runner finally died after many grueling years of service, proving Toyota quality while inspiring the Lynard Skynard classic, “Oooh That Smell.”
  • Lew (aka The Captain) set a new standard in change adversity by continuing to use the same voicemail greeting into its second decade.
  • Fletcher occasionally murmured a sighing lament of frustration within earshot of his officemates, he’s told.

Here’s what happened in the real estate market —Lake James 2018 Stats

The biggest news on Lake James was that Crescent Communities finally developed their last lot and have departed.  Crescent Communities, formerly Crescent Resources, was the real estate arm of Duke Energy (until 2009). They developed 11 of the 27 neighborhoods on Lake James.  95% of the properties around Lake James are in one of these 27 communities. Other than a few very tiny tracts of land, everything has now been developed.  

As 2018 comes to an end, we are seeing the waterfront home inventory at an all-time low.  Only 19 waterfront homes are currently being offered.  The prices range from $1.6 million on down to $400K.  

Average asking price for homes built after 2006 – $1.1 million

Average selling price for home built after 2006 – $1.01 million 

Average asking price for homes built prior to 2006 – $750K

Average selling price for homes built prior to 2006 – $660K

Why such disparity with the 2006 date? This was the year the lake saw some high quality builders come to the area. Builders like Ben Higgins of Higgins Building Group and Gary Boarman of Lake James Custom Homes. 

As of today, the top quality builders are asking us to quote around $250 to $270 a square foot.  Much of this depends on the size of the home, of course. The smaller the home, the higher that number will climb. For example, if you have full kitchen in a 1400 square foot home, you are not able to spread the cost per foot out like you would in a 4000 square foot home.  

Another interesting item of note for Lake James is that we now have more waterfront homes than waterfront lots.  We have passed the halfway point for the total build out even with the new communities like The Peninsula, The Enclave, and Waters Edge, that became available over the past two years. 

Waterfront Lots

61 Waterfront lots for sale on Lake James.  Prices range from $100K to $1.3 million. Not included were the waterfront lots that are not permitted for a private boat dock. These are usually waterfront lots under $100K. Note that size of the lot has very little to do with the value.  On Lake James, the value of a lot is largely determined by what the walk to the water from the home site is and the quality of the view.  One new factor that is also becoming a major player in value is the high speed internet availability.  In the past, people have put this down as not important. Lately we are seeing it move up in the “must haves” list.

Average asking price $320K  

Average days on the market is 380

Average selling price $300K

Average days on the market is 387

The number of quality waterfronts have fallen off dramatically over the past 3 years as lots have sold and buyers have built homes.  We are starting to see some of the same waterfront lots continue to trade hands as uninformed buyers purchase lots at a low price, only to find out from builders that prep work alone on a lot will be over $100K. At the end of the day, that $125K lot was really a $250K purchase and it still is highly challenging walk to the water with no view. Buyers could have gotten a much higher quality lot for $250K.  It will be interesting to see what happens with these lower end lots, if they will eventually be built on or continue to be traded around. 

To learn more about the different communities and how built out or not built out each one is, please visit our website at http://nclakejames.com/communities.cfm

To get more information on what is available on Lake James send us an email info@nclakejames.com .  Our agents each have 15+ years of experience selling properties on Lake James.