Lake Anna Real Estate is Virginia’s best kept secret. A large and picturesque recreational lake nestled into the rolling hills of central Virginia, this dreamy escape offers real estate that is beautiful, desirable, valuable, and very unique. Therefore, if you plan to purchase, sell, or own real estate at here, it is critical first to learn and understand certain things about this place, its history, its operation and surroundings.
In this guide, we’ll cover:
History of Lake Anna
A Big Man-Made Lake. This man-made lake was created in 1972-1973 to support the operations of the North Anna nuclear power plant that generates electricity. In 1968, Virginia Electric and Power Company (VEPCO, now Dominion Power) purchased about 18,000 acres of farmland on which to make the lake, which would provide cooling water for the operation of a nuclear power plant. The lake hole was dug out by 1972, and 18 months later was filled by the North Anna River and Hurricane Agnes.
Size of the Lake. The Lake is roughly 17 miles long, has 200 miles of shoreline and is roughly 13,000 acres in size.
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Lake Anna Private Side and Public Side
Two sides of the Lake. The Lake is divided into two separate bodies of water, commonly called the public and private sides. The general public may lawfully use and access the public side of the lake through various marinas or the State Park. By contrast, use of the private side is limited only to property owners on the private side and their guests. These rules result in more boat traffic and water activity on the public side and less on the private side.
Size of public and private sides. The Lake Anna public side is approximately 9,600 acres and the private side of the lake is approximately 4,000 acres, or roughly half the size of the public side.
Water temperature differences. The water temperatures are different on the public and private sides of the lake; these temperature variations serve the power plant operations.
Commercial activity on the Lake. The other significant difference between the private and public sides of the lake is the presence of commercial activity, mainly in the form of waterfront restaurants and marinas. Commercial activity is permitted on the public side of the lake, but is prohibited on the private side of the lake.
Lake Anna Swimming is safe. The water is safe for swimming and boating. When the water circulates through the power plant, the lake water does not get close to the nuclear parts of the power plant. Different water chambers containing completely different water (not water from the lake) are closer to the nuclear material.
Homes At Lake Anna VA
Lake Anna touches three different counties, so you can find homes for sale in Louisa County, Spotsylvania County, and Orange County. Louisa County has the lowest property taxes of the three counties.
Waterfront Homes for Sale. Waterfront homes are built on pieces of property that touch the shoreline of the Lake. Here, you have direct lawful access to the lake. The prices of these homes range from approximately $750,000 up to multiple millions of dollars.
The primary factors that determine the value of waterfront homes at Lake Anna are (1) the size of the water view, and (2) the amount of water frontage / shoreline. That is, the better the water view and more shoreline a property has, the more valuable the property becomes. Unlike other real estate markets, the size of waterfront homes (the square footage) impacts the value less than the waterview and shoreline.
The Dominion Easement. Dominion Power owns a margin of the land (usually about 50-75 feet) all the way around the shoreline of the entire lake. More specifically, on the public side, Dominion Power owns the land against the water up to an elevation of 257 feet above sea level. That is, Dominion Power owns the land between 257 feet above sea level to the shoreline.
On the private side, Dominion owns the land between the shoreline and 255 feet above sea level. However, when you purchase waterfront property, Dominion gives you an easement over that margin of land owned by Dominion, between your property and the lake, which gives you full use and enjoyment of that property. You are not permitted to build a home inside the Dominion easement, but you can construct a boat house and other things with their permission.
- Boathouses. Boathouses on waterfront properties are permitted and encouraged. Dominion Power provides public guidance on boathouse construction.
- Bulkhead. Waterfront property owners may construct and install bulkheads to protect waterfront properties against erosion. There are three common types of bulkhead: wood sea wall, concrete sea wall, and rip-rap (rocks). Dominion Power provides public guidance on the construction of bulkheads.
Water Access Homes. Water access homes at Lake Anna are homes that are close to the water, but not physically touching the shoreline. These homes are located within subdivisions that have shared common water access areas with boat slips, beaches, picnic areas, and more, all for the use and enjoyment of the residents of that subdivision. Most of these properties are within walking distance and golf cart distance of the lake.
Many of the water access homes come with their own dedicated boat slips in the subdivision common areas. Other subdivisions offer boat slips that are available for lease or on a first-come-first-serve basis. Water access homes at Lake Anna generally range in value from roughly $300,000 up to $700,000.
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Subdivisions. When it comes to Lake Anna real estate, not all properties fall into subdivisions, but many do. There are over 150 subdivisions, the largest of which has over 400 properties (The Waters At Lake Anna on the private side). Most subdivisions have fairly low-key and flexible homeowners’ associations, with low annual dues ($100-$500 per year) and relaxed rules. Most subdivisions have common water access areas for use by residents of the subdivision.
Well and Septic Systems. All homes have their own water provided by wells as well as their own septic systems.
Internet. High speed internet is available, but the type of internet access varies depending upon location, and is a mix of broadband (Comcast and Verizon) and high speed satellite and cellular data service providers.
Buying A Condo
There are a few communities here where you can purchase townhomes and duplexes. Contact us to see if any of these are available for purchase or to ask any questions about these types of properties.
Land for Sale
Land without houses is also available for purchase. This includes water access lots, waterfront lots, and some RV lots. We can help you find reputable and trustworthy local Lake Anna home builders, as well. Waterfront lots at Lake Anna touch are those that touch the shoreline, while water access lots do not, although they are close in proximity to the lake. Good waterfront lots range from roughly $200,000 up to a million dollars, and water access lots range from $30,000 up to $100,000.
Things to do at the Lake
There are a wide variety of things to do at Lake Anna, both related to the lake and away from the lake. Some activities include:
- Boating (and boat rentals)
- Jet skiing
- Watersports, including water skiing, tubing, kneeboarding, wakeboarding, wake surfing, etc.
- Fishing (recreational, tournaments, instruction, guides, etc.)
- Lake Anna State Park (hiking trails, camping, beaches, swimming)
- Golf (courses at the Lake, and in nearby Louisa, Zion Crossroads and Montpelier)
- Wineries and breweries
- Ice cream and coffee
- Flying (two local airports!)
- Restaurants & bars (on and off the water)
- Miniature golf
- Triathlons and other organized racing events
- Live music
- Community centers with swimming pools, exercise classes, sports and more.
- Local churches
Contractors and Builders at Lake Anna
There are numerous contractors and home builders in the area, and some are much better than others. If you contact us directly, we would be happy to recommend trusted and preferred home builders and contractors; these home builders and contractors are located in Louisa, Orange and Spotsylvania Counties, as the Lake sits in all three counties.
Final Thoughts on Lake Anna Real Estate
Lake Anna real estate is Virginia’s best kept secret, with a wide variety of unique real estate options. If you plan to purchase or sell real estate at the lake, therefore, it is important to select a local and experienced real estate agent based at Lake Anna, one who is intimately familiar with the real estate at the lake.
The top producing real estate group at the lake is The Ashley Hoffman Group; Ashley was born and raised right there, and is THE Lake Anna expert for real estate in the area – contact her to schedule a free consultation or ask questions about selling or buying real estate at the lake. If you are considering selling real estate at here, contact Ashley for a free market analysis showing the current estimated value of your real estate.