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Old 01-20-2009, 07:56 AM
 
59 posts, read 191,246 times
Reputation: 33

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We want to find a retirement lake lot at one of these two lakes, to purchase now and build on in the future. We lived in Charlottesville for years in the 90's and have many friends there. Both lakes are about two hours drive from Charlottesville, so that is a wash.

We vacationed for several years on Smith Mountain Lake and thus have a familiarity with it, and have heard many good things about Lake Gaston, also, although we've not visited it yet.

Prices seem a tad higher on Smith Mountain Lake. I've spoken with realtors on both lakes and they both speak of having very large inventories of properties for sale right now. Of course, this softens prices.

Pros for Gaston: water level seems to be controlled and is more consistent and stays fairly high due to Kerr Lake releasing more water when necessary. Prices seem better. One to one and a half hours to either Richmond or Raleigh. Good water quality.

Cons for Gaston: taxes in NC are higher. The water is somewhat shallower (not sure if that makes a difference). Not quite as beautiful as SML's small mountains, but Gaston's lots are therefore more sloped to the lake.

Pros for SML: gorgeous and we've seen it. We're used to it and we like it. Normally deeper water. Lower taxes than Gaston in NC.

Cons for SML: the last few years there's been quite a drought effect on SML, with water levels down several feet and some docks are dry. Prices are higher. Between Roanoke and Lynchburg, nice small cities but not the greatest metro areas to visit for culture, shopping, etc.

Thoughts? Have I missed anything? Anyone spent time on both?
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Old 07-24-2012, 11:50 AM
 
5 posts, read 26,165 times
Reputation: 19
Lake Gaston waters are infested with Hydrilla. Not a single realtor will mention this fact and will actually try to show properties when it not the growing season. Do your own research, it an invasive plant that can ruin your waterfront make making it completely unusable.
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Old 07-24-2012, 09:07 PM
 
Location: Sneads Ferry, NC
11,225 posts, read 19,670,603 times
Reputation: 5062
Quote:
Originally Posted by Periwinkle04 View Post
Thoughts? Have I missed anything? Anyone spent time on both?
I haven't spent time there, but my husband an I considered both areas for retirement homes.

You need to consider the geography and the relative isolation of both areas. We ruled out Smith Mountain Lake after seeing the steep slopes on waterfront lots. I visualized trying to climb slopes on an icy winter day. The lots we looked at were at least 5 miles from groceries and 15 or miles from a hospital.

While the climate is milder at Lake Gaston, it can be as isolated. We found it unattractive overall.

We settled on a coastal NC area where there is mimimal snow, and the basic shopping is closer.
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Old 07-25-2012, 04:04 AM
 
2,179 posts, read 6,602,670 times
Reputation: 1675
smith mountain
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Old 08-30-2012, 12:02 PM
 
5 posts, read 26,165 times
Reputation: 19
Default Lake Gaston dying

Update: Despite hundreds of thousands dollars of herbicides dumped into Gaston over the last decade, hydrilla not only has survived, it has flourished. A 2012 lake survey found the invasive weed to be more prolific than even University's models predicted. Many waterfront homes found their docks and boat lifts unusable because of the infestation. Not to mention their property values plummeting.

Stay as far away from the waters of Lake Gaston as you possibly can. Fluridone is a poison and shown in studies to have adverse affect on reproductive systems. Anyone that tells you it is safe has a financial interest otherwise....homeowners, real estate agents, herbicide applicators, even university reps who are funded via large chemical companies, chamber of commerce.

Herbicides are designed to KILL. Lake Gaston is dying as well. Take your money elsewhere, their prices are lower for a reason.
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Old 08-30-2012, 12:10 PM
 
5 posts, read 26,165 times
Reputation: 19
Not to mention Gaston is littered with single wide trailers. I understand that that is affordable housing, and in some cases, the only viable option. BUT if your trying to attract investors and infrastructure to support the economy you can't have the waterfront homes on wheels. Good Gawd people, stop acting like rednecks and we'll stop calling you such
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Old 11-01-2012, 07:36 PM
 
5 posts, read 26,165 times
Reputation: 19
2012 was the worst season in decades for hydrilla on Lake Gaston. A child drowned from being entangled in the weed only yards from shore. Many outboard motors ruined, property values down 50%. Stay far far away from Gaston.
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Old 08-29-2013, 10:39 AM
 
5 posts, read 26,165 times
Reputation: 19
I've seen kids darn near drown from becoming entangled in the Gaston hydrilla.
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