Property Value Factor #5: Location
This issue is way down the list here at Smith Mountain Lake because the location is already established. Everyone choosing to buy at Virginia’s Jewel of the Blue Ridge already has THE location, wherever they are on the lake! So the specific area of the lake is typically less important in the valuation of the home.
That being said, there are still various reasons why owners may want to be in a certain part of the lake or a particular subdivision. For example, buyers who want to live in a private country club community with one of the top golf courses on the East Coast would want to buy a home at The Water’s Edge. Buyers looking for upscale homes in a private wooded community may choose Waverly, among many others. A buyer looking for a Nantucket-style home that gives a feeling of being at the beach may look at The Boardwalk. Someone wanting to sail may try to be near the Pelican Point Yacht Club. Others may want a more rural feel, a subdivision feel, be close to certain amenities, be in an area of many rentals, or be away from rentals.
Driving time is also an issue. However, buyers often find that this is less important once they truly time the drive from home to various parts of the lake. It seems the spots that appear least convenient have the straightest access roads, so the actual drive times are similar from many locations to most lake destinations.
For example, it is about the same drive time from the south (say from Raleigh, North Carolina) to parts of Huddleston, in the northeast corner of the lake, as it is to parts of Union Hall, in the southern part of the lake. One would not guess this when looking at a map. Similarly, it is about the same time to drive from north of the lake (say from Roanoke) to both Huddleston and Union Hall. The drive time from D.C. to many parts of the lake is about the same, though one would not guess this from a map. As George Clooney said, “This is just a geographical oddity!”
The issue of a property’s location on the channels may also come up. Some buyers prefer to be right in the middle of the action, say in the area of Smith Mountain Lake State Park on the main channel. Others don’t care about wide water and would rather be in a private location way up the Blackwater or Roanoke Channels. All else being equal, home values are often higher in a more central part of the lake.
Another issue is the proximity to shopping and other services. When the Westlake Corner area of the lake, in Franklin County, was one of the few with shopping and other commercial services, that area experienced booming growth. Now that a public sewage system is installed in Bedford County and the south side of the lake is getting more retail and commercial development, this is not as much of an issue.