High Rock Lake: Home Buying From a Realtor’s Perspective
When my husband and I first started looking for a lake house in 2009, I had no idea of all of the questions that needed to be asked. While doing research on lake living, we enlisted the help of a professional real estate agent who helped us secure our dream home. We transitioned to full-time High Rock Lake-loving residents in 2016.
How can a prospective lake homeowner find their forever home or recreational weekender get connected with the right real estate agent for their needs? What if the buyer is intending to move here from another state?
Although life-long lake residents may be a good resource, there is another group who can share their knowledge and know how best to find the right home for you. Professionals selling lakefront properties are specialized, so I reached out to six Realtors that I know from both sides of the lake to pose a few questions. This selected group represents independent agents and those who work for larger regional agencies. I asked each several questions to share their personal perspective on lake living and the current trends that they are seeing with us.
Selling and buying a house on a lake is certainly a special venture – is the client looking for a fun weekend, their forever home to share with family and friends, or wanting to retire in a quiet neighborhood? Does the home need to be near an area hospital? What amenities are must haves? Are schools a consideration? Do you have your own driveaway, dock, boat house, deep water, and more? Which lake do you want to settle on? Are bridges a deterrent for recreational boating?
High Rock Lake is a reservoir located on the Yadkin River in Central North Carolina situated between Davidson and Rowan Counties. HRL offers many amenities without the hustle and bustle, i.e. traffic, that the more populated lake communities, such as Lake Norman have developed over time. High Rock has more than 365 miles of shoreline. The lake level is managed by Cube Hydro Carolinas as HRL is part of a working hydroelectric plant with a dam, powerhouse, and reservoir. The High Rock Powerhouse was opened in 1927.
Regardless, utilizing a real estate broker or agent is the way to go. Professional agents or Realtors are members of the National Association of Realtors (NAR).
Being a Realtor means you wear several hats. This experienced group has been facilitating home sales for five years to more than 31 years. I asked my Realtor friends to describe themselves: lake lover, communicator, extrovert, fisherman, outdoorsman, grandparent, gardener, and fixer of all things broken. Dependable and honest are certainly the top two descriptives.
I also asked how each member of the group engages with prospective home buyers is as diverse as the fish found in High Rock Lake. From Facebook groups and fishing forums to direct mail and blogs such as this one, to advertising and being active members of lake groups such as High Rock Lake Association. [HRLA is an all-volunteer-led membership organization stewarding the life of the lake for all to recreate for more than 50 years.]
Relationships between a prospective buyer and Realtor is the number one reason these professionals enjoy their career. Ensuring a home is priced correctly and utilizing an experienced agent to help navigate the process and negotiate the best market price is the smartest way to go. Buying at this time is more difficult since the lake inventory is so low. Lake homes are always in high demand as the market doesn’t fluctuate. At the time of writing this blog, there is less than 20 homes listed for sale on the lake per the Triad and Canopy MLS listings. So, knowing a Realtor and having a personal relationship is certainly the secret sauce for success in attaining your lakeside retreat.
The six featured Realtors for this blog have lived on High Rock Lake for as short a time as three years and others their entire lives. Their respective answers certainly give a varied perspective on lake living:
Can you share what you think is so special about lake living:
- There is something for everyone, skiing/tubing, kayaking, paddle boarding, fishing, swimming, cruising or just sitting back and taking it all in.
- Waking up every day with a view to die for, and seeing wildlife and waterfowl is so relaxing. The scenery surrounding the lake is great, spring is just around the corner and the colors are coming out. And don’t forget the fishing mantra, when the dogwoods are blooming the crappie are biting.
- There is much more upkeep for a lake house, as compared to city living. You actually have TWO front yards, street side and lake side.
- Lake living is special mostly because of the people, the opportunity for great fishing, boating and all kinds of recreation. And you essentially have a bonus 15,180-acre playground to enjoy as your backyard. Even if you are not currently a homeowner, you can still enjoy the lake at your pleasure and be a ’lake person’.
- Soon, High Rock Lake Life in conjunction with members from HRLA and Waters Edge Ownership will be launching a lake social committee, and many folks including a few of the Realtors will be participating to organize a July 4th holiday floating parade to Float the Goat concerts and poker run.
What is your favorite restaurant on High Rock Lake:
Three votes for Waters Edge Dock & Grill, one for Tamarac Marina, and two votes for Lakeview Family Restaurant with their low-key atmosphere, and very reasonable prices. Customer service is the number one reason why a place was selected.
And a request, it would be great if Davidson County had another lakeside restaurant or two for our growing community.
What is your favorite outdoor space either on the lake or nearby:
- Relaxing on my own dock
- Anywhere ON the lake
- When not on the boat, I love to sit and relax with friends on our back (lakeside) porch
- Anchoring out on the water with friends and family
- Visiting family-inspired attractions like Boone’s Cave or Dan Nicholas Park
- Anywhere/anytime on my boat fishing, and even love taking clients out to see properties from the water
Which do you prefer sunrise or sunset?
Sunsets were the overall winner with five to one to sunrises. Regardless of what your preference is, seeing the sun come up over the lake or setting behind Eagle Point Preserve, is a winning sight.
As someone who lives on or near High Rock Lake, what would you like to share with prospective homeowners?
- It is a lake for every person that offers home options from weekend camping to $2M homes. Even the boats seen are at all levels of commitment from well-used pontoons from the Clinton Administration to mega-pontoons with three outboards.
- Its peaceful and lake living is a natural stress reliever! The minute I drive down the driveway I instantly relax. I simply enjoy sunsets, campfires, riding jet skis, boating or sitting with my feet in the water… I can go on and on. And High Rock Lake is not as crowded as other lakes in the state. We have a hidden little gem!
- A perfect retirement lake that offers excellent fishing. And we are situated in a perfect location just off the I-85 corridor with a straight shot to Greensboro to the north, and Concord and Charlotte to the south. And knowing when you return, the lake is welcoming you back home.
- The comradery amongst the lake homeowners regardless of their background and size of home. If a person lives in a small cottage or huge new estate; whether they are fulltime residents or weekenders or even vacationers renting an Airbnb, all are welcome and accepted to our lakeside communities.
- Life on the lake is a slower pace. The day-to-day hustle and bustle of life seems to dissolve when you are on the lake. There is a serenity that you do not have when you are a city dweller. You get to wake up to quiet and the peacefulness of the water.
- The two counties that surround HRL offers many different styles of houses, price ranges and neighborhoods to choose from. There are a few HOAs and close-knit communities if a neighborhood is on your wish list. Or if you want country living, we have that too.
- There is something for everyone. Whether you have an active lifestyle or looking for some peace and quiet, you can find it on High Rock Lake. We are blessed with living on the second largest lake in N.C. providing some of N.C. best fishing of many specifies of catfish, bass and crappie.
- I don’t want to be negative but buyers do need to be aware of the pier permitting process and all restrictions on new construction. One can not assume that if you have water, you can automatically build a boat house, pier, beach, gazebo etc. It is worth doing the research and applying for permits the right way through Cube Hydro Carolinas.
What trends are you seeing with prospective lake homeowners?
“There is only so much real estate available on a lake. So, finding the right combination of location view and topography, then size, layout and condition of the dwelling comes into play. There is several nice properties on the lake that haven’t sold in generations. I keep my eyes open,” explained Mark Anthony, Carolina Homes Realty, Davidson County.
The pandemic certainly changed the world perspective, now many folks working from home, homeowners are not as concerned with commute time. Outdoor spaces with firepits and outdoor kitchens are popular. Luxury vinyl plank is replacing carpet as the flooring needs to hold up to wet feet and paws,” shared Toni Wooten-Wright, Keller Williams, Davidson County.
“Most of my clients want move in ready with good shoreline, visibility, and lots of entertaining spaces. When you live at the lake, you have more friends who want to visit for some reason. Of course, all summer long,” said Jayne Land, Century 21 Town and Country, Salisbury.
“I am seeing a larger percentage of people who pay cash for lake homes. My wife and I love working with someone who is from the Northeast or California and showing them how much home they can afford on our lake as compared to where they are moving from. I love the excitement when I’m showing new potential buyers lake homes. Their excitement is magical,” shared Bob Robbins, Anderson, Robbins & Associates Realty, Lexington.
“It is more difficult to purchase a lake front home, as there are more people looking to buy a lake home than actual homes for sale, especially in Rowan County. I do enjoy watching what the market is doing so when a client calls to inquire about a property, I’ve already seen it. Plus, being a lake resident, the convenience to show our lake off to prospective homeowners is a bonus,” said Stacey Fitch, Realty One Group Select, Davidson & Rowan County
“Every buyer is different and has their own set of must-haves. Some buyers want a home on a private lot with no HOA. While some prefer amenities and want to have rules in place to assist in keeping things in order. Terrain and water quality is a large factor. Most people want a pier and flat lot, with deep and clean water. Another trend that I am seeing is buyers investing in vacation rentals where they can produce income while also have their own getaway. Due to the high demand and low inventory on the lake, currently it is more difficult to be a buyer,” shared Will Varner, Lake Front Properties, Davidson County. “The best thing about being a Realtor on HRL is getting to know the people that live on or are planning to live at our lake. I have had the opportunity to meet people from all over the country that come here to enjoy High Rock Lake,” continued Varner.
Happy House Hunting!
I would love to hear from you on what your favorite lake activity is, or someone that you would like me to feature in the coming months. Please email me at highrock@YourRowan.com
#itsaROCOthing #lakeliving #YourRowan #BeAnOriginal #HighRockLake
“The annual Dragon Boat Festival is something the community looks forward to each year. We strive to bring about positive, family-oriented activities, while incorporating our county business partners to make a positive economic impact.
Since the late 90’s the Hill Family has been running a game of chance, mixed in with a fishing competition on High Rock Lake. You do not need to be an expert fisherman; you just need to catch a crappie that has been tagged. Winners are based on the tag on your fish…