The vast majority of Alabama lakefront buyers are from out of state – primarily from Georgia and Tennessee. Several factors lend to this truth, but the main reasons are Alabama’s incredibly low property taxes in comparison to those states, and our abundance of un-crowded lakes. For Georgia buyers living in and around Atlanta, lakes Lanier and Allatoona have become so popular (and expensive) that buyers tend to widen their search. That net repeatedly lands on Weiss Lake and Lake Guntersville in Alabama, but there’s another lake that should be on your radar – Lake Neely Henry!
Lake Neely Henry is the second lake in the Coosa River chain below Weiss Lake. Geographically speaking, Neely Henry is around 35 minutes down US Hwy 411 from Weiss Lake. That reason alone is why I always mention it to out of state buyers. IF I can’t find your dream home on Weiss, rest assured we’re heading to Neely Henry next. The short drive also brings with it a completely different lake experience. Neely Henry is surrounded by several cities – namely the largest in Gadsden, AL, but also smaller cities like Southside, Rainbow City and Ashville. It’s location means that you’re never far from civilization, great nightlife and emergency services. Gadsden alone has two nationally ranked hospitals.
Neely Henry’s proximity to more populated cities would lead you to believe that this lake is crowded, but ironically it’s not. Though the lake is beautiful, with many protected coves and some areas of deep water and great fishing throughout, the perception among locals is that there just happens to be a lake behind their home. It’s not a well-known vacation destination. In fact, the town of Rainbow City doesn’t even allow for Airbnbs. Many locals work in Gadsden or the surrounding cities, their children attend local schools, and as a primary residence – living on Neely Henry is just a bonus. It’s not the destination. As such, we routinely see lower lake home prices that make us lakefront agents do a double-take. Houses sell cheaper on Neely Henry than on Weiss more often than not – simply because of the perception among sellers that the lake is not a huge draw for buyers. I know. Crazy.
One prime example is a lake home behemoth at 6,000 sf sold in 2019 for $550,000. The cost to build that home even at that time was in the $900,000 range. The house was amazing, but it sat on the market because buyers just didn’t see the value in Neely Henry. Perception matters. That perception is changing though as we’re seeing some spectacular homes popping up for sale – homes that would be much more expensive on say Lake Guntersville or Smith Lake.
Checkout two amazing properties on Neely Henry currently for sale!
If you’ve seen everything on Weiss and Guntersville, but skipped over Neely Henry you’re missing out. Get with your lakefront living expert today!