Once they come to Lake James in North Carolina, people simply don’t want to leave. Because of the limited property development allowed on the Lake, residential property listings continue to be somewhat limited. The large majority of residences located on Lake James that have been built are custom, and real estate re-sales typically occur due to job relocations or other factors requiring a move from the area. As more homes are built in the newer communities, more residences are slowly becoming available.
Home sites. With amenities.
Currently, building lots are available on Lake James ranging in size from about an acre up to 9-10 acres. The trend for the future is larger lot sizes in environmentally friendly upscale developments that allow multi-structure compounds with community amenities. Picnic areas, nature trails, overlooks and other features are now the norm for the enjoyment of all residents. Black Forest, on the western side of the lake in McDowell County, is an example of the type of community being created at Lake James today.
A wise investment
With the addition of multi-acre lots and community amenities, prices for home sites have escalated, making any investment in property at Lake James a very smart one. Prices for lots in newer communities can range from the low $100s for interior lots and low $300s for waterfront property. A limited supply, coupled with increasing demand, makes sales of existing homes brisk.
A lifestyle preserved
To preserve the pristine quality of Lake James, county governments, along with citizens’ groups, have created regulations to protect the watershed and view shed areas in all new communities. The Lake James Protection Ordinance was adopted in 1998 and has recently been updated and revised. The ordinance restricts disturbance of natural vegetative buffers from 55 feet in older subdivisions to 125 feet in newer communities, with measurement starting from full pond, and including shoreline stabilization requirements and other regulations for the protection of the lake environment and property owners. The location and construction of docks is regulated and permitted by Duke Energy.
Lake James. Some community history.
The Lake James area has grown slowly and carefully over the past two decades.
1980s – Three small lakeside communities of Holiday Shores in Burke County, Lake View Hills and Forest Lake Heights in McDowell County take shape
1988 – the Marion Lake Club purchased three acres of water front property from Crescent Resources at the same time the State of North Carolina purchased the property for the current State Park. Combining this three acres of water front property with eight acres of existing property that had once been a weekend RV area, Marion Lake Club subdivided this acreage into 11 lots and sold all the property by auction. This area now is called Lake View and contains some of the most beautiful waterfront and golf course view homes in the county.
Post-1988 – More residential communities have taken shape, with Crescent Resources being the primary developer. These include Lakeview Point, Lakeview Shores, Waterglyn, East Shores, Mallard Pointe, Sunset Point, SouthPointe and The Arbor.
1990s – Black Bear, Bear Cliff, Sunset Point, Black Forest and Dry Creek are the newest Lake James communities.
An undiscovered gem
New purchasers of property here praise the pristine nature of the Lake, the scenery and the close proximity to several charming small towns. Many feel that Lake James has a been a well-kept secret – nestled away – until now. As it is discovered, Lake James is quickly becoming very popular with those looking for a lake lifestyle away from the crowds.