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Lake Murray’s Winter Drawdown

Here’s the latest on the winter drawdown of Lake Murray and our hot market.

As of January 25, the date of this recording, Lake Murray was 354.5 feet above sea level (sea level is used scientifically as a fixed point to base lake levels). That said, maximum operating conditions—“full pool,” as they call it—for Lake Murray is about 360 above sea level, so we’re about five feet shy of that. Every winter they usually draw the lake down to 353 or 354, and as I found out from a conversation with lake management last week, they are indeed going to draw it down to 354 this time. That’s great news for me because I’ll still be able to get my boat off the lift and enjoy the lake throughout the season. (My boat has a 1.5-foot draft, so I need a lake level of at least 353.5 to get my boat out on the water).

The tentative plan, according to lake management, is to start bringing the lake level back up in late February. That, of course, depends entirely on the weather; a drought or heavy rains would certainly call for a switch-up. As you may recall, summertime operating levels are typically 357 to 358 above sea level. This lake is very consistent, unlike many other lakes in the Southeast that go up and down all the time, rendering a lot of docks suboptimal. I’m lucky to come home to a beautiful view right outside my window but also to live on such an accessible, well-managed lake like Lake Murray.

That’s why it’s no surprise to me that appropriately priced houses in good condition on Lake Murray are absolutely flying off the market right now. If you own a home on the lake and have thoughts of selling, pick up the phone and give us a ring. We’ll likely get you multiple offers by leveraging our marketing strategy and network of eager homebuyers.


You don’t have to take the highest-priced offer; price is just one of several key factors contributing to the overall strength of an offer.


However, multiple-offer scenarios are not exclusive to lakefront properties. We’re seeing plenty of bidding wars in the Columbia market as well. While having your home receive that kind of attention on the market is always a good thing for sellers, wading through offers and determining which one is truly the best for your needs can be a challenge in its own right.

When the very first offer comes in on my seller’s house, I’ll reach out to all those agents whose buyer clients have also seen the home, and I’ll gauge their interest; the goal is to stir up activity and generate as much buzz around your home as possible so that the offers start pouring in. Not every agent takes this sort of proactive approach—in fact, most don’t. There are tons of insider tricks to triggering multiple-offer scenarios, so it’s important that you work with an experienced agent.

Once those offers pile up, you have a few options. The first—and simplest—route you could take is to just look them all over and select the best one right there on the spot. Or, you could instruct your agent to reach out to all interested parties and call for everyone’s “highest and best” offer by a deadline of your choosing (usually 24 to 48 hours away). Even when those highest and best offers come in, you still don’t have to pick anything if you’re not satisfied. Remember: You don’t have to take the highest-priced offer; price is just one of several key factors contributing to the overall strength of an offer (e.g., closing date, reliability of the buyer’s financing, contingencies, closing costs, etc.).

So, to synthesize today’s multi-topic message: Lake Murray will be drawn down to 354 feet above sea level, but at 1.1 months of inventory, our supply of available homes for sale on the market has been drawn down to a record low. The lake drawdown will allow me to kick my feet up and coast on the lake this winter, and the low inventory will ensure smooth sailing for sellers, too.

Again, if you have any thoughts at all about selling your soon, just call, direct message, or email us—the market is clamoring for your property. Also, if you simply have a few questions or concerns about the market in general, we’re to be a resource and would love to hear from you.

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