Smith Mountain Lake: The Normal Rules Don’t Apply

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Smith Mountain Lake: The Normal Rules Don't Apply

Before I became a buyer’s agent at Smith Mountain Lake, I worked with a wide variety of buyers and sellers in Roanoke and the surrounding area. I also bought and sold a substantial number of properties of my own in Virginia, Michigan and Ohio. Through this process, I learned that there is usually a homogeneity within a neighborhood or area that allows properties to be valued using relatively consistent criteria.

You know, the usual stuff like – the state of repair of the home and yard, the view, the interior features, and the construction. These factors exert a predictable influence on the assessment of a property.

The saying is usually true…the big issue is Location, Location, Location!

With this understanding in mind, my investment group began to purchase foreclosed properties at courthouse step auctions after merely driving by the home and checking comparable values in the neighborhood. We learned that there is usually not a huge cost difference between remodeling a somewhat dated home and a significantly neglected or trashed home. We were able to learn from a real estate trainer how to give a home valuation estimate over the phone after asking the owner only their address and a few additional questions.

BUT….The Rules are Different at Smith Mountain Lake

When I began to work at Smith Mountain Lake, however, things weren’t nearly so simple. Because of the significant number of critical variables for any given property, it would be virtually unthinkable for even a seasoned local agent to precisely evaluate a waterfront home or lot without a thorough personal inspection. At a place where a shabby trailer often sells for more than a nice new contemporary home, and a waterfront lot is sometimes more than double the price of the home built on it, it is clear that the rules are different here.

There are so many complex issues, including:

  • view
  • slope
  • waterfront
  • water depth
  • water quality
  • location on the channel or cove
  • rentability
  • permissibility for a dock
  • septic regulations
  • and much more!

That all means that it is critical for a buyer here to really understand the factors that drive the value and the functionality of a given property. It is my hope that this blog will help serve that function!

My team and I have worked with many buyers and sellers on the lake, and we have found that there are a number of frequently asked questions they pose when they are considering buying a property. There is also information we share with them that they wouldn’t know to ask about. The info on this blog will be organized along the lines of these typical questions and issues.

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