Lake James – Where Lake and Mountain Life Meet

Lake James, located in Western NC is one of the most picturesque lakes in Western NC and all of the Southeast. Once people visit Lake James, many of them choose to make this place their forever home. Lake James straddles both Burke and McDowell counties and is nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains. No matter what season, residents can experience the best of lake life with the charming mountains in the background.

Lake James Water View

Lake James is conveniently located 15 minutes from Marion, NC – the closest town to Lake James. The delightful town of Morganton, NC also neighbors Lake James and uniquely offers an abundance of dining, shopping and recreational activities. Both Marion and Morganton have been designated as a “Main Street” cities by the North Carolina Department of Commerce. While Lake James is close to Marion and Morganton, it is also ideally located at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains, between larger cities like Asheville and Charlotte. Lake James is only 45 minutes from Asheville and 90 minutes from Charlotte.

Lake James was created by Duke Power between 1916-1923 as a hydro-electric project. It still generates power today and is the uppermost lake on the Catawba River system. The lake has an average depth of 65 ft and in some places can reach upwards of 120 ft. Lake James contains over 10 miles of surface area and more than 150 miles of shoreline.

Lake James is not just the deepest on the Catawba, it is the clearest and cleanest. Being at the top of the Catawba River Basin, lake levels remain relatively constant year round so the water can be enjoyed without interruption. The lake is fully recreational and makes one of the best spots to enjoy the outdoors in the foothills of Western North Carolina. Lake James State Park is the largest waterfront state park in North Carolina. The park offers an abundance of activities such as hiking & biking trails, camping, swimming, fishing, boat rentals, picnicking and much more!

Lake James NC Real Estate

Lake James offers some of the most premier real estate options in North Carolina. Lake James is a peaceful retreat with endless opportunities to enjoy nature. Living at Lake James, residents are able to experience the elegance of upscale waterfront real estate in spectacular forested subdivisions. Lake James offers high end and residential homes of all styles, and many of the lakefront homes including private docks.

Featured Lake James Neighborhoods

The River Club
South Pointe
East Shores
Dry Creek
Cottage Park
Laurel Pointe
Holiday Shores
Mallard Cove
Mallard Pointe
Peninsula at Lake James
Enclave at Lake James
Black Forest
Old Wildlife Club
Waters Edge

Many visitors come to vacation on Lake James via North Carolina Cabin rentals, fall in love with the area and never leave! 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.

Lake James Recreation

Home sites with amenities.

Looking for the best Lake James NC real estate? 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.

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 SceneryLake James 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

Purchasers of Lake James real estate praise the pristine nature of the Lake, the scenery and the close proximity to several charming small towns. Many feel that Lake James has 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.

Contact Engel & Völkers Foothills Lake James today for inquiries about Lake James NC real estate!