Buying a lake house can be the best decision a family can make. Owning a lake home makes it easy for a busy family, relatives, or friends to come together. It’s been said, “you never know how many friends you have until you have a lake house, or boat.” A lake home and all that comes with it –fishing, boating, skiing, or just relaxing – affords endless opportunities to connect and reconnect with family and friends. If you’re looking for a full-time lake residence or simply a weekend lake getaway destination, High Rock Lake in Rowan County, North Carolina is a great option with ample opportunity.
Positioned in the central north region of the state, High Rock Lake is North Carolina’s second-largest lake, spanning 15,180 acres between Rowan and Davidson Counties. High Rock Lake is named after the neighboring mountain in the Uwharrie range, and it touches several communities, including High Rock, Lexington, Linwood, Salisbury, Richfield, and Spencer. Lake homeowners in these communities have full access to the lake’s many amenities. In addition to offering some of the finest fishing in the state, this lake is a recreational destination for the many communities that line its shores. But, did you know High Rock Lake is a happening marketplace for home sales, condos, and rentals?
I spoke with a few local real estate agents that specialize in waterfront home sales connecting lake properties with buyers. And they are coming from everywhere – not only from North Carolina, but from all parts of the country. One new resident is making his way from Washington State to High Rock, and I have recently connected with a couple from St. Louis, through this blog post, who will be visiting soon in hopes of relocating here for retirement.
So, how can you find your own piece of lakefront heaven? Let’s take a shopping trip.
It’s a Sellers Market
Paula Noonan with Lake Front Properties shared that she has been selling lake houses on High Rock Lake for more than 22 years. There are a few basic considerations before deciding whether to move forward in a lake investment after your initial research on a specific area. For instance, what does the lake property look like “off season?” The winter months are the best time to get a snapshot of the property – what is the lake level? As a rule of thumb if you like it in the winter, you will love it the rest of the year.
“Most buyers are looking for a BIG view, a flat lot, and then certain amenities inside the home to fit their lifestyle. But it always comes down to a gut feeling – if it feels right and you fall in love, it’s time to put in an offer,” commented Paula.
“It’s a ‘Sellers’ Market’! In the past we would have 100 plus houses available around the lake, currently its less than 50, so buyers are accepting less matches to their criteria. New lakes aren’t being built, which makes finding the location and view that you like an easy first step in moving forward,” shared Paula. “The interest rates are good, and buyers have been holding onto their money, but now there is definitely more interest in the area,” continued Paula. “Most of my clients are retired or soon to be and want to find their dream lake house for their family to come and enjoy. I love helping potential buyers find their perfect lake house without the hassle of searching through general real estate.” The property offerings are as varied as the lake sunsets; homes start at $187,000 without water access to $1.5 million for a beautiful lot on the edge of a point.
Waterfront properties are, as a rule, more expensive than homes not on the water. Price is determined by waterfront footage, not necessarily the amenities within the four walls of the house.
One of Pam’s top selling points of High Rock Lake properties since 2006 is how affordable they are, compared to Lake Norman. Also, our proximity to Charlotte and Greensboro is a win for commuters.
Costs of seawalls, docks, and piers vary and can require the input of the entity that “manages” the water (i.e. Cube Hydro Carolinas manages High Rock Lake). Cube Hydro manages water levels and administers permits, dictating what can be done on areas that touch the water. And of course, you need to budget for water toys like boats, jet skis, life jackets, floats, coolers, etc.
Visit High Rock Lake
I recently met Pam Pettus, Thomason Realty Group, in Southmont through an acquaintance and found she offered sound advice from her 23 years selling real estate. As a teenager, Pam hung out at the lake and learned about the charm and character of the various coves on High Rock. “There are more than 40 listings overall on the lake, and as of late the activity has picked up. We were a tad slow this spring, but buyers are now coming out to visit. My recommendation is to ride around the lake by car, check out the marinas, eat at the restaurants, and check travel time to designated locations. Once a buyer has 2 – 3 properties on top of their list, then I suggest we check it out again by boat. Coming up to your potential dock and seeing the location from the lake will definitely help make the decision for you,” said Pam.
Pam’s Facebook page, Visit High Rock Lake, has great information about activities offered on the lake and beautiful pictures of sunsets. She even posts what the specials are at Tamarac Marina each day for when you are out and about on the boat enjoying another unique sunset on High Rock Lake.
Did you know Rowan County has a new lakefront community? Lighthouse Landing off Bringle Ferry Road features nineteen home sites with six modern farmhouse designs, an open concept floor plan, lake views, and either deeded boat slips or private docks. Lighthouse Landing is being developed by Mark Lomatrie who just happens to be building his own home there. This hidden gem is situated on approximately 20 acres with more than 2,000 feet of shoreline on High Rock Lake, just over the bridge from Lakeview Family Restaurant and the NC Wildlife Dutch Second Creek Boat Access. Residents will appreciate the large building lots, some with pool envelopes and the peaceful park-like setting. Lighthouse Landing homeowners will also enjoy boat storage for all their lake toys within the community.
I had the pleasure to learn about the development from Julie Cash of J. Cash Real Estate. She has worked in real estate for more than 10 years and has specialized in waterfront property sales since 2012. Julie’s boutique firm was selected not only because of their sales track record, but her marketing expertise and reputation for selling the lake lifestyle. Who wouldn’t want to come home every day to vacation?
“Lighthouse Landing offers the full package – all of the homes will have great lake views and access, deeded boat slip, or private dock. Buyers love the open concept floor plans, thoughtfully designed outdoor living spaces, and many sites have room for a pool if desired. It feels like a park. Our vision is to give buyers a product that feels like a getaway, where they can enjoy the lake lifestyle for a reasonable price. Lighthouse Landing is an amazing value, especially compared to waterfront communities in neighboring Lake Norman. The location is an easy drive to downtown Salisbury, nearby restaurants and I-85 for a Charlotte or Winston-Salem commute,” said Julie.
“The entry level home on ¾ acres with a deeded slip is listed for $385,000 and waterfront homes are in the low $600s. Currently, we have three homes under contract, and more being reserved. The home sites are selling faster than we can build because this is what everyone wants. his is an exciting time and if all goes as expected we will be sold out well before year end. It’s all about value and offering a good price point for those that want to secure a peaceful, country-style setting on High Rock Lake,” continued Julie.