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Lake Lanier on the Rise

Increase water levels on Lake Lanier means some homeowners may be able to obtain a much wanted dock permit for their lake home.


There is good news for Lake Lanier home sales as we get closer to spring. Thanks to all the recent rain, Lake Lanier has hit 1064 feet. Although this is still 7 feet below full pool, it is an important benchmark for many Lake Lanier homeowners. At 1064 feet, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers can begin issuing dock permits again. About four years ago, the corps switched to a lottery method to issue the remaining permits - which is less than 180.

A dock permit can add significant value to a house, according to Steve Shultz, a Georgia Certified Residential Appraiser. If you have two similar lake homes side by side and the only difference is one has a dock permit and the other doesn’t, then clearly the permit adds value. The actual amount varies on the type of permit, the depth of the water, etc.

For those Lake Lanier homes that already have a permit, the increased level of the lake is also a very positive factor. The marketability of a lake home is severely impacted when the dock sits on dirt. Even though there have always been cycles to the water level, the average buyer is not going to pay the same for a lake home that doesn't have water right now!

Looking back at the sales activity in 2012, the lake had its busiest year in quite some time. There were a total of 208 Lake Lanier home sales in 2012. This was the highest total since at least 2006. The most popular price point was between $400K and $499K with 19 percent of the sales falling into this range. There are 233 homes for sale on the lake right now as we head into the busy spring and summer season.

So let’s all appreciate the rain (and pray that it falls between midnight and 5 a.m.). As we get closer to full pool it will be great for our local economy as more families will be able to enjoy the lake for the entire summer. And having all the docks sitting on water will definitely mean an increased value of the lake homes and a much more robust season for Lake Lanier home sales.

Editor's Note: Tim Hopkins is a licensed realtor since 2001 and blogger on Cumming Patch.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

snappin tom February 16, 2013 at 02:47 PM
Where do I apply?
Tim Hopkins February 17, 2013 at 06:21 PM
You can call the Army Corps of Engineers directly at 770-945-9531.

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