3 Things Everyone Should Know Before Buying Property on Lake Norman


Welcome, future homeowners of Lake Norman! If you’re itching to discover the hidden gems of this beautiful lakeside paradise, you’ve come to the right place. If you’re considering purchasing property on Lake Norman, there are three crucial aspects you should be aware of. As a real estate attorney based in Mooresville, North Carolina, I’m here to provide valuable insights to help you make an informed decision, before you put an offer in.

The 760 Line

Lake Norman’s water levels are controlled by Duke Energy via a dam. And so believe it or not, the water level in the lake can actually fluctuate by almost eight feet over the course of the year! When we’re at full pond, this means the water level is at one hundred feet elevation to the 760 line. The 760 line represents the full pond level that water should never get any higher than. 

Typically, property rights extend to the 760 line but in rare cases, small slivers of land can exist between a property survey line, and the 760 contour line of the lake. This left over land is typically not usable and falls under the domain of Duke Energy’s license.  Also, it is important to note that there is a vegetative buffer that extends 50 feet inward from the 760 line. 

Pier Permits

For potential buyers interested in a newly subdivided lot on Lake Norman without an existing dock, the availability of shoreline is a critical factor. According to guidelines, you must have at least 100 feet of shoreline to be eligible for a dock permit. If your lot falls short of this requirement, obtaining permission for a dock may be challenging or impossible. It’s important to verify the shoreline measurements before making a purchasing decision, particularly for lots created after the guidelines were implemented.

Pier Projection Lines:

As you can see in the photo below, even though Lot #3 may have enough shoreline to build a pier, the placement of the pier may intrude on the area where Lots #2 and #4 are entitled to build their own piers. If your dock’s placement interferes with neighboring lots, Duke Energy will assess the situation and may grant permission based on individual circumstances. It’s essential to evaluate pier projection lines and potential neighbor cooperation before proceeding with dock installation plans.


Before buying property on Lake Norman, it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with the 760 line, pier permits, and pier projection lines. Understanding the regulations and restrictions associated with these factors will help you make an informed decision and avoid any future complications. Consult with a real estate attorney and conduct thorough research to ensure compliance with guidelines and make the most of your investment on Lake Norman!

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