Deep=Steep: A Tip for Buying Lake Martin Property

Our initial conversation about your waterfront real estate search sets the stage for our journey. I’ll ask you a million questions about your lifestyle, your goals, your treasured lake memories, and your motivation to own property on one of the Southeast’s premiere lakes...Lake Martin.

You’ll have a well-concerted list of wants and needs, your vision of lake living, and a few questions for me regarding my experience at the lake (almost 30 years, and I live, breathe, study, work and play on our water EVERY day.)

I often hear, “We want year-round deep water.”

Lake Martin has it!

The deepest part of Lake Martin is around 200 feet. The man-made lake was built in the mid-1920s as a hydroelectric power source, managed by Alabama Power.

Our waters fluctuate 7-10 feet annually, depending on a stringent formula of variables, determined by Alabama Power Shoreline Management, and shared in this episode of the show.

Deep water is attractive to people who want to boat or fish year round (water lovers), or those who simply do not want to see bare shoreline in the fall and winter (water watchers).

Not long after selling the water, I was taught a valuable lesson about the lay of the land:

Deep = Steep

You must remember that below the water mirrors above the water. If it is a flat, beachy land, it will usually gradually continue under the water as shallow.

There’s a good chance that if you see tons of stairs leading to the water, you would need several “underwater stairs” to touch the bottom of the water in front of the home.

Makes sense, right?

Sometimes my clients will inquire about depth of water while searching for property online. This is tricky to address when we are not at the water’s edge together.

It’s all relative: what is considered deep to you, may not be deep to someone else. The type of boat you have will make a difference in the water depth you need to launch from your pier or boat slip. Tritoons need about 18-24 inches of water depth and ski boats or other deep-v hulls need around 3 feet.

Depth can change along the shoreline. One edge of a property’s seawall area can be shallow, while a few feet along the wall, there may be a dip.

REALTORS® are not qualified to answer this question for you. I highly recommend bringing a measuring tape and literally dipping it into the water along several places at properties you may be interested in purchasing.

This is a perfect opportunity to share who owns what at our lake:

The Land that touches the water belongs to the homeowner. The shoreline and the bottom of the lake belong to Alabama Power. And the 44,000 acres of water belongs to the state of Alabama

Paige Patterson is a REALTOR® with Lake Martin Voice Realty, specializing in waterfront properties. Contact Paige by email or call 205-616-8046.