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Top 5 Biggest Markets of 2018

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2018 was quite a year for Lake Homes Realty! In the last 12 months, our corporate headquarters relocated to a larger, multi-tenant business complex; ranked on the Inc.5000 list of fastest growing, privately owned companies in America for a second consecutive year; and opened operations in six more states.

Across the nation, the year has been good to many lake real estate markets as well, including these five markets, which ranked among the largest lake real estate markets in the country in 2018.

Lake Michigan, Michigan

From the beginning of 2018, No. 1 Lake Michigan’s overall market value (or the combined listing value of all the lake’s properties for sale) increased by nearly 35 percent, according to’s Fall Lake Market Report.

Individually, the lake’s home and land markets saw overall value increases of 45 percent and 9 percent, respectively. This rather wide margin between the two markets can be attributed to uneven increases in listings and average home price.

While land listings on Lake Michigan increased from 822 in January to 900 this fall, residential listings more than doubled, up from 673 to 1021.

This spike in homes for sale increased Lake Michigan’s total market by approximately $293 million over the year. This market also saw its average home price increase by about 10 percent to roughly $1 million.

As of fall 2018, the Lake Michigan real estate market is valued at more than $1.2 billion. Its home market currently boasts listings totaling nearly $957 million, while Lake Michigan land listings total about $267 million.

Lake Norman, North Carolina

The second-largest lake real estate market featured in the Fall Report, Lake Norman has an overall market of roughly $795 million, up 24 percent since January 2018.

Lake Norman’s home market increased by more than 28 percent this year to $654 million.

This is likely due to an increase of 181 residential net listings since January; however this increase also resulted in a drop in average home price, which is down from $876,000 to $849,000.

The lake’s land market also grew by about 9 percent to $141 million, despite a slight drop (4 percent) in listings.

In total, Lake Norman currently has 1,225 listings along its 520 miles of shoreline.

Lake Lanier, Georgia

Lake Lanier, ranked No. 3 among’s largest lake markets, reports a total inventory of 1,397 listings valued at roughly $650 million.

This market saw increases across the board in both number of listings and market value. Its average home price, however, remained virtually unchanged compared to winter 2018 data.

Most significantly, Lake Lanier’s home market rose more than 46 percent in listing value, up from $329 million in January to $482 million in the fall. Homes for sale increased as well, by nearly the same amount, 48 percent, from 591 to 872 listings.

Land listings increased from 459 to 498 this year, driving the market’s value up almost 10 percent to $139 million.

The Fall Market Report puts Lake Lanier’s average home price at $553,000.

Lake Travis, Texas

At $616 million in lake real estate, Lake Travis is the No. 1 largest lake in the Lone Star State, and the fourth-largest featured in the Lake Market Report.

Since the beginning of 2018, this market has increased by more than 22 percent in overall market value and almost 30 percent in total inventory.

Much of this influx of net inventory is homes for sale, which almost doubled this year from 242 listings to 354. Because the home market increased by only about 23 percent, Report data indicates the average home price on Lake Travis dropped 12 percent.

Currently, this average home price is $1.4 million, the third-highest in the state.

The Lake Travis land market value increased by 18 percent over the same period, with listings increasing by about 14 percent.

Land listings now total $120 million.

Lake Oconee, Georgia

Rounding out our list of the Top 5 biggest lake real estate markets of 2018 is Georgia’s Lake Oconee.

Its 1,207 total listings combine for a total market of $496 million, up 14 percent from $434 million at the beginning of the year.

The lake’s land market increased slightly to $147 million from $141 million in January. Land listings decreased by only one property compared to winter data.

Approximately 18 percent more residential properties are on the market at the end of 2018 than were for sale at the beginning of the year.

Currently these residential listings combine for a total lake home market value of $328 million.

Lake Lanier’s average home price only increased by about 2 percent.

About the Lake Market Report

Each quarter, publishes an in-depth Lake Market Report, that analyzes real estate data pulled from the approximately 100 MLSs of which they are members, to feature the Top 10 lake real estate markets across 16 states in the Central and Eastern U.S.

The 2018 Fall Lake Market Report reflects values of current listings across each lake’s home, land and commercial markets as of Sept. 1, 2018, at which time Report data was pulled.

These figures – market value, average home price, etc. – represent only those properties currently on the market.

According to Lake Market Report Methodology, lake property is defined as “any home or land/lot listing adjacent to a recognized inland body of water, has a view of any of these lakes, has designated access to a lake, or is within a community that considers itself a lake-focused community or development.”

For more information about your local market please download your free copy of the Lake Market Report here!



Lake Home Tips: Keeping Your Kitchen Energy Efficient

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Energy efficiency helps the environment, but did you know investing in energy efficient home appliances and best practices can add value to your lake home?

According to Zillow’s Consumer Housing Trend’s Report 2017, 48 percent of buyers list energy efficiency as one of the most desirable features a prospective home can have.

But even if you’re not selling just yet, practicing energy efficiency and upgrading your space with energy efficient appliances can help save you big money.

So, take a look at how you can save money and save the world with these helpful tips:white and wooden kitchen with lake sign


Refrigerators are the biggest source of wasted energy in your kitchen.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, this appliance alone uses 100 billion kWh, and is responsible for 7 percent of your home’s energy use.

Some tips for keeping your fridge efficient include:

  • Ensuring that the refrigerator is in good repair and the seal around the door(s) is undamaged. An improperly sealed fridge door requires the appliance to work overtime, thus using more energy and wearing out it out more quickly.
  • Keeping lots of food in your refrigerator will help the appliance maintain its proper temperature.  The less empty space in your fridge, the less air needs to be cooled.
  • Allow foods to cool off before putting them into the refrigerator.

To upgrade your kitchen, buy a new refrigerator that is “Energy Star” certified. Certified appliances can help save more than $270 in energy costs over a five-year span, according to the Energy Star website. The site also reminds consumers that a fridge more than 10 years old could be costing owners close to $110 per year.

At the lake, you can avoid over using your refrigerator by having a cooler outside with drinks and snacks in it. That way, there’s no need for your guests to keep going in and out for refreshments.


The next energy waster in your kitchen is your stove and oven unit.

Mindful cooking may help you save money in the long-run as well as conserve some of your home’s energy.

Some tips for keeping your range energy efficient include:

  • When you are cooking on a range, use only burners that you absolutely need. Use as few as possible.
  • Turn down the heat once water has reached its boiling point. Normally, you do not need the full heat in order to maintain a boil.
  • Do not open the door of the oven too often. Instead, use the oven light (if your model has one) to check on food.
  • Do not preheat your oven unless you absolutely have too.

Energy Star does not currently certify stove and oven units, as they consume significantly less energy than refrigerators. In fact, cooking units only account for roughly 2 percent of a home’s entire energy use.

It’s easy to avoid using your range at the lake: just fire up the grill! You might be surprised how much you can cook outside, like grilled veggies, baked beans, grilled potatoes and more.

Washing the Dishes

Dishwashers also consume about 2 percent your home’s energy, however, this might be the easiest area in which to conserve energy in the whole kitchen.

Some tips for keeping your dishwasher energy efficient include:

  • Rinse your dishes to avoid having run them through the dishwasher multiple times.
  • Wait until your dishwasher is completely full before you operate it.
  • Consider hand drying your dishes. The dishwasher’s drying cycle uses a tremendous amount of energy.

Energy Star-certified dishwashers can save an average 3,870 gallons of water over its lifetime and cost an estimated $35 a year to operate.

Depending on the number of guests at your lake home however, you might be able to avoid using the dishwasher all together. Instead, hand-wash your dishes or use biodegradable disposable plates and utensils.

Smaller Kitchen Appliances

Even if the appliances in the kitchen are turned off, they may still be using energy for no purpose.

Things like coffee makers, microwaves and even bread makers use energy. This is a slow type of energy drain, but it adds up quickly.

Unplug your appliances when they are not being used. Especially if your lake home is a seasonal residence.

Even when you aren’t there, you are still paying for this unused electricity.


For more tips on how to make your lake home energy efficient, read our “Inexpensive Quick Tips to Save on Energy Costs” and other efficiency-related articles here!


The Lake Home Essentials Checklist

December 26, 2018

Preparing to stay a while at your lake home can be hectic, and the last thing you want is to forget the toilet paper or toothpaste. While it’s easy to let the little things slip your mind, going without some lake home essentials can make for a miserable experience. Having a good, solid list of […]

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Lake Home for Sale? Weigh These Open House Pros and Cons

December 19, 2018

Open houses are a continual topic of debate in the real estate industry. Many sellers question who benefits most from them, and if they’re worth the time, the money and the exposure. The bottom line is simple: the more actively your home is marketed, the better your chances of finding a buyer sooner rather than […]

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What to Expect From Home Design in 2019

December 18, 2018

The new year is the perfect opportunity to give your home a fresh look. Check out the home design trends experts predict will gain popularity in 2019 and help increase the value of your lake home! Dark Exteriors In 2019, expect to see more dark home exteriors   in combinations of navy, steel grays and flat, […]

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Know the Difference: A Buyer’s Market vs A Seller’s Market

December 14, 2018

In recent years, there has been a lot of uncertainty surrounding the housing market, both locally and nationally. Thanks to the Great Recession of 2008, the last decade has been a roller coaster of bidding wars, increasingly tightened inventory and escalating home prices. This is particularly true for vacation homes, which have been slower to bounce […]

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Why FSBO Isn’t Worth Your Time

December 12, 2018

In the name of self-sufficiency and independence, choosing for-sale-by-owner is an admirable attempt. But at the end of the day, that’s all the majority of those choices are: attempts. In 2016, more than 90 percent of all for-sale-by-owners failed, leaving the sellers to ultimately opt for a real estate agent. That same year, the typical […]

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4 Reasons You Need a Lake Home on Oneida Lake

December 5, 2018

So you want a lake home but aren’t quite sure where to buy? Why not on New York’s Oneida Lake? Check out these top four reasons why you need a lake home on Oneida Lake and get shopping! Convenient Location The largest lake located entirely within the state, Oneida Lake is surrounded by some of […]

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Fishing in the Winter: An Essential Guide

November 30, 2018

One of the biggest advantages of owning a lake home is that, unlike beaches, lakes don’t close up shop when colder weather creeps in. This is especially great news for fishermen and women who aren’t quite ready to hang up their rods for the season. Surprisingly, there are a significant number of fish that remain […]

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4 Best Novels for Autumn at the Lake

November 21, 2018

Rest and relaxation are major components of the lake lifestyle, which is all about enjoying life and leisure. When the weather’s cool and the leaves are falling, what better way to do that than curling up with a good book? In the summer, we gave you a list of some light-hearted novels to enjoy while […]

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