Watauga Lake TN Real Estate and Area Information
Watauga Lake is situated in the Cherokee National Forest in Northeastern Tennessee. The lake sits at 1,959 feet above sea level bordered by the Appalachian Mountains to the southwest. Watauga Lake stretches over two counties, Johnson County and Carter County, with Elizabethton to the east, Bristol in the southeast, and Johnson City to the northeast. The breathtaking lake and mountain views attract many home buyers to the Watauga Lake TN real estate market. The quiet communities surrounding the lake are perfect to retire or purchase a vacation home.
Watauga Lake TN Real Estate Market
Watauga Lake real estate properties are always in high demand because there is only a handful of them available for sale at any given time. Over half of the lake's shoreline is protected by the Cherokee National Forest and therefore not available for development. Watauga Lake homes for sale can range anywhere from $200,000 to several millions of dollars, and lots can cost anywhere from $40,000 to over $200,000. The properties located on the shoreline are custom built and most of them have a private dock. There are some stunning lakefront estates designed to meet the overall theme of a neighborhood without affecting the natural surrounding and its wildlife.
Take a look at some of the unique Watauga Lake homes available for sale now:
The Watauga Lake Area
In "Myths of the Cherokee", anthropologist James Mooney stated that the true meaning of the name "Watauga" has been lost. However, over the years people came up with several assumed meanings of the word, such as "beautiful waters", "clear waters", "whispering waters", "running waters", "falling waters", "foaming at the mouth", "village of many springs", "broken waters", "river of plenty", and more. Indeed, this highest-elevated reservoir in Tennessee boasts very clean waters and some of the most brilliant lake views in the state.
Watauga is a man-made lake built by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) in order to prevent flooding of the low lying areas and to generate electricity with hydropower. Construction of the Watauga dam began in 1942 but it wasn't completed until 1948 due to World War II. The dam was built out of earth and rock in a valley between high rock walls. The structure is 331 feet high, 25 feet long, and 1275 feet thick at its base.
"The Town That Would Not Drown"
One of the most interesting facts about the Watauga Lake is that at the bottom of the lake lies the old town of Butler, Tennessee. The TVA decided to flood the town in order to dam the Watauga River. The residents relocated to the higher ground and formed the new Butler town. The Butler Museum features artifacts, exhibits and photos of the old Butler. In the past when the TVA performed a draw down of the lake to make necessary repairs the remains of Old Butler were exposed with dead trees and crumbled foundations. Many former residents of the Old Butler who then came back to the area could still tell where their own homes and businesses were located.
Things To Do
Watauga Lake offers nine public boat launches, seven marinas and two restaurants. The lake is perfect for all sorts of water activities such as swimming, fishing, power boating, houseboating, sailing, canoeing, kayaking, parasailing, water skiing, jet skiing, and wakeboarding. There are several National Recreational Areas with one of them featuring a public beach. If you wish to visit the lake for a few nights there are several options from rooms, cabins and cottages for rent to luxury camping tents and RV sites.
If you are a fishing enthusiast Watauga Lake will not disappoint. The most common fish you can catch here are black crappie, white crappie, bluegill, brown trout, lake trout, rainbow trout, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, spotted bass, and walleye. There are several fishing guides available such as the Trophy Water Guide specializing in fly-fishing. Anyone who wishes to fish in the area needs to obtain a Tennessee State Fishing License.
Apart from all the water and beach activities there are plenty of trails, waterfalls and more nature to explore in the area. Hikers who come to stay at the lake may use this opportunity to explore some of the Appalachian Trail which crosses Watauga Lake at the Visitors Center near the Dam.
Considerations When Buying Watauga Lake TN Real Estate
Owning a lake house in the magnificent Tennessee mountains is a dream come true for many prospective home buyers. However, the homeownership of a Watauga Lake TN real estate property may be more challenging than some buyers realize.
In spite of an abundance of natural beauty, the Watauga Lake area is visited by a relatively small number of tourists. The route to the lake leads through winding mountain roads which offer some stunning views but, at the same time, may be intimidating for inexperienced drivers. Less tourists means less traffic and more privacy for the residents. However, simple tasks such as getting groceries or running errands may take a substantial amount of time if you live in a remote location.
Most of the Watauga Lake lots are very steep with some homes actually residing on the side of a mountain. Additionally, most of the homes are located quite a distance away from each other so there is hardly any opportunity to see your neighbors. It is certainly a paradise for those seeking total privacy!
Moreover, if you own a Watauga Lake home with a dock you need to be aware of seasonal changes in the water level in the lake. During the summer, the Tennessee Valley Authority tries to maintain a "full pool" to allow for all the recreational activities. The water level in the lake usually drops by 10 feet off-season in preparation for spring rains and snow-melt from the surrounding Appalachian Mountains. Property owners need to make sure their docks can safely rise and fall as the water level changes.
Last but not least, there are some Watauga Lake TN real estate properties for sale which you won't find among MLS listings. Many lake homes in the area are "For Sale By Owner" (FSBO) properties. If you don't want to miss out on a great deal on a Watauga Lake home consider working with a real estate professional who works only for home buyers. An exclusive buyer agent doesn't have listings so they show their clients every property on the market as long as it suits the buyer's preferences, including foreclosures and FSBO.
If you have questions about the Watauga Lake TN real estate market or our exclusive buyer agency services please contact A Buyer's Best Choice Realty at 1-423-283-4677 or send us an email.