Lake Norman began to change dramatically starting in the early 1980s. Following the completion of Interstate 77 and other infrastructure improvements, a growing number of people started buying homes and lots in the area, and Lake Norman was transformed from a sleepy rural community to one of the region’s most desirable places to live. Today, just counting the main cities and towns around Lake Norman—Huntersville, Cornelius, Davidson, Mooresville and Denver—approximately 120,000 people live here, with hundreds more arriving every year. So where, exactly, are all these folks buying homes? Glad you asked. Below, listed in descending order, is a look at Lake Norman’s hottest neighborhoods based on home sales between May 2011 and May 2012, along with input from area residents and realtors.
The Point (Mooresville)Zip code: 28117Home sales: 82Average sale price (2011): $887,059List/Sale price percentage: 93 percentAmenities: lakefront, Trump National Golf Club, Charlotte (golf course, tennis, swim, fitness center, restaurant), Nantucket-style village.
John Mikesh, broker, ReMax Executive at the Lake“We always say if you want the ultimate lifestyle, go with The Point, especially if you don’t need to commute to Charlotte. The Point offers newer, usually larger homes, with bit lots and lower taxes. It’s also appealing to many as a retirement home because they will hold their value.”
Monteith Place (Huntersville)Zip code: 28078Home sales: 58Average sale price (2011) $193,801List/Sale price percentage: 96 percentAmenities: clubhouse, pool, recreation area, playground, walking trails
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Mary Lou Haraburd, broker, Lake Norman Realty“The homes are charming with lots of curb appeal and they are at a great price point.”
Birkdale (Huntersville)Zip code: 28078/28031Home sales: 43Average sale price: (2011) $334,813List/Sale price average: 95 percentAmenities: Birkdale Village (restaurants, shopping, movie theater), Birkdale Golf Club, clubhouse, playground, pool, recreation area, tennis courts
Gary Webb, wife, Laura, daughter, Bree“We love the proximity to I-77, Birkdale Village and the lake. Despite all that, it still has something of a rural feel. But mostly, the neighborhood feels so alive. There are always joggers, bikers and people walking dogs. It feels like home.”
Northstone (Huntersville)Zip code: 28078Home sales: 43Average sale price (2011): $310,771List/Sale price average: 96 percentAmenities: private country club with golf course, pool, fitness center, tennis courts
Joe and Marci Miller“We love the location, and the fact that Huntersville Elementary is a Blue Ribbon school; the club is also a nice aspect. It’s also a good family neighborhood, with lots of kids.”
Vermillion (Huntersville)Zip code: 28078Home sales: 43Average sale price (2011): $296,346List/Sale price percentage: 108 percentAmenities: pool, village square, outdoor pavilion, wooded walking trails, restaurant/bar
Lisa Brown “We love the easy access to retail, the interstate and Concord, yet the rolling hills and mature trees make it feel like a private village. We also love the community pool, the neighbors and, of course, Harvey’s Restaurant.”
Macaulay (Huntersville)Zip code: 28078Home sales: 40Average sale price (2011): 291,105List/Sale price percentage: 96 percentAmenities: pool, clubhouse, playground, recreation area, tennis courts
Mary Lou Haraburd, broker, Lake Norman Realty“Macaulay’s biggest appeal is location and schools, as well as a wide range of prices and styles.”
The Peninsula (Cornelius)Zip code: 28031Home sales: 37Average sale price (2011): $745,250List/Sale price percentage: 93 percentAmenities: lakefront, private country club (golf, tennis, pool, fitness center, restaurant), Private yacht club/marina
Robert and Ilieva Ageenko“We love the beautiful water views and proximity to a big and prosperous city and easy access to highways, an international airport and seaports. But we also love that it has a small town atmosphere where neighbors know each other and there’s lots of activities. It’s also a safe community with effective fire and police departments, good hospitals and many public parks, some of them on the water.” Cedarfield (Huntersville)Zip code: 28078Home sales: 34Average sale price (2011) $176,379List/Sale price percentage: 96 percentAmenities: two pools, basketball court, access to greenway and pond
Debbie Monroe, broker, Lake Norman Realty“Buyers love Cedarfield for the amenities and the fact it’s an older, established neighborhood with lot of trees with a good price point for first-time homebuyers.” Sailview (Denver)Zip code: 28037Home sales: 23Average sale price (2011): $489,960List/Sale price percentage: 94 percentAmenities: lakefront, half-acre lots, swim/tennis club, eight-acre park with playgrounds and exercise station, walking trails, boat launch, volleyball courts
Lorraine Giordano“We looked at several communities, but liked Sailview’s larger lots, which allowed us to add a pool, as well as the fact that it’s close to Southlake Christian Academy. We found Cornelius and Huntersville to be a bit too congested, which, coming from Long Island, we wanted to avoid. This is definitely the quieter side of the lake.”
Antiquity (Cornelius)Zip code: 28031Home sales: 20Average sale price (2011): $290,291List/Sale price percentage: 99 percentAmenities: swimming pool/bath house, hike/bike trails connected to Davidson greenway system, play parks, planned: 2,500-seat amphitheater, 30-acre arboretum, athletic fields
Sheila Massey, broker, Lake Norman Realty“Antiquity is very welcoming with its beautiful covered bridge that leads to Davidson. Residents can walk to downtown Davidson for a coffee, ice cream or a visit to the library.”
Westport (Denver)Zip code: 28037Home sales: 21Average sale price (2011): $321,133List/Sale price percentage: 96 percentAmenities: lakefront, Westport Golf Club (semi-private), The Club at Westport: pool, tennis courts, fitness center, club house, water slides
Pebble Bay (Denver)Zip code: 28037 Home sales: 13Average sale price (2011): $452,157List/Sale price percentage: 92 percentAmenities: gated, 1-3-acre waterfront and lake-view lots, boat slips, day docks
Donna Sumner “We looked at other communities, but liked the larger lots, wider roads and the space between houses in Pebble Bay. There’s a serene feeling about it. And we found a great house at a great price.”
Vineyard Point (Cornelius)Zip code: 28031Home sales: 10Average sale price (2011): $197,727List/Sale price percentage: 95 percentAmenities: waterfront, marina, tennis courts, pool, waterfront boardwalk
Waterlyn (Mooresville)Zip code: 28117Home sales: 25Average sale price (2011): $235,856List/Sale price average: 96 percentAmenities: recreation center, pool
Blue Stone Harbor (Cornelius)Zip code: 28031 Home sales: 7Average sale price (2011): $331,700List/Sale price percentage: 94 percentAmenities: waterfront, lake access, deeded boat slips, pool, tennis courts
Pinnacle Shores (Mooresville)Zip code: 28117 Home sales: 5Average sale price (2011): $1,108,200List/Sale price percentage: 92 percentAmenities: waterfront, deeded lake access, community boat dock, pool, clubhouse, tennis, playground, across from Queen’s Landing Family Entertainment Center
Old Davidson (Davidson)Zip code: 28036Home sales: 5Average sale price (2011): $405,000List/Sale price percentage: 95 percentAmenities: proximity to Davidson College, nature preserve, two playgrounds, neighborhood parks
Governor’s Island (Denver)Zip code: 28037 Home sales: 3Average sale price (2011): $891,666List/Sale price percentage: 90 percentAmenities: gated island, waterfront estates
Norman Estates (Denver)Zip code: 28037Home sales: 2Average sale price (2011) $2.8 millionList/Sale price percentage: 90 percentAmenities: Gated, waterfront “estate” lots
George and Zahra Simoneti“We chose Norman Estates because it’s small, only 18 lots, and much quieter than the other side of the lake. The lots are bigger and the taxes are much lower than other lake communities. My wife and I both work uptown and travel frequently for work. The commute down Highway 16 is quick and easy and we can be at the airport in 25 minutes.”
Thank you to the realtors who contributed their time and expertise: John Mikesh, ReMax Executive at the Lake, Abigail Jennings, President, Lake Norman Realty, Nadine (Roberts) Deason, Keller Williams Realty, Candy Gilder, Allen Tate Real Estate. Below they offer some insight into the Lake Norman housing market.
John Mikesh:Because of the market being so suppressed, buyers are stretching financially as far as they can to get on the water and postponing that $50,000 kitchen update or $20,000 bathroom expansion. Buyers now are looking for water depth, good views and outdoor living space. They’ll settle for much less house for a flat lot. They don’t want lots of steps down to the water. Pools are also very attractive. If the home doesn’t have a pool, sellers should stress that there is space to add one. People these days would rather entertain at home.
Candy Gilder:The surge in this market right now is for single-family homes. Also, buyers don’t want to do any work on a home. Builders have offered so many upgrades as standard to entice buyers they have come to expect them. They ask, “Where’s my granite countertop? Where’s my hardwood floor?” I have clients who don’t even want to have to paint.
Abigail Jennings:Buyers are clamoring for four bedrooms with three full baths. Remodelers should seriously consider that to make their home more marketable. Storage is also a hot item. Any area that could be a closet but isn’t--eaves, under stairs, etc.--could be an inexpensive construction project to increase home value. Also, if your bonus room doesn’t have a closet, add one.
Nadine Roberts Deason:Denver is the newest development growth area on Lake Norman. It offers a very quick commute to uptown Charlotte, the international airport and Birkdale Village. The west side of the lake offers great home values, excellent school choices and quick commutes.