The Most Expensive Lakes in Virginia to Buy a Second Home

Written by Katarina Betterton
Updated: July 28, 2023
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The market for owning a second home is on the rise and interested homeowners are on the prowl. Second homes offer a comfortable vacation, a lucrative rental property, or a valuable asset to keep. Where is the best place to buy your second home? 

Depending on lifestyle and budget, the answer will vary. However, if you’re interested in owning a second home in one of the most expensive lakes in Virginia, you’re in luck. 

Explore the top four most expensive lakes in Virginia to buy a second home, and discover what makes Virginia’s lake property so expensive.

What Is the Draw of Lakes in Virginia?

Lakefront living in Virginia offers a beautiful and serene atmosphere at which you can relax and unwind. Depending on the lake, Virginia’s location offers accessible travel to destination cities like Washington, D.C., Baltimore, and Philadelphia. 

Virginia lakes provide their residents with many advantages, including reduced stress, water-based recreation, luxury amenities, and gated communities. Demand for lakefront property continues to rise as more young professionals move from their busy urban dwellings to seek out calmer suburbs with the amenities and lifestyle they want as they start a family.

In addition, Virginia lakes tend to have better air and water quality than their city counterparts, so some clear health benefits exist to living on a lake in Virginia — even part time.

Most Expensive Lakes in Virginia to Buy a Second Home

Ready to discover the most expensive lakes in Virginia to buy a second home? Here are the top four, with some fun facts and an example house for each.

Lake Anna

Lake Anna encompasses 13,000 acres of liveable, fishable, explorable land.

Did you know that Lake Anna isn’t as much of a lake as it is an inland reservoir? In fact, it’s the largest freshwater inland reservoir in Virginia at over 13,000 acres. Formed in part by the North Anna and Pamunkey rivers to cool nearby nuclear power generating plants and provide freshwater, now Lake Anna ranks as one of the most popular recreational lakes in the state.

Lake Anna lends itself to the adventurous for a half-year or year-round set of outdoor adventures. The lake’s extended water sport season enables locals and tourists to enjoy jet skiing, sailing, canoeing, kayaking, swimming, and fishing. If you’re not keen on getting wet, take a stroll through Lake Anna State Park or stay on the sandy shores. 

As for festivals and events, Lake Anna doesn’t disappoint. The annual Kinetic Race weekend happens in May, consisting of a half-distance race, coupled with a sprint-distance race. During the autumn season, the exhilarating Giant Acorn Triathlon weekend takes center stage, comprising an international/Olympic-distance triathlon, succeeded by a sprint-distance triathlon on the subsequent day.

Locals will also enjoy craft beverages when they live in the area. The Lake Anna Winery is the oldest of the bunch, with roots reaching back to 1983. 

Example residence: 60 Carrie Court in Mineral, VA, priced at $3,640,000. This exceptional waterfront oasis in Lake Anna offers luxury and privacy on a triple lot with 450+ feet of shoreline. The five-bedroom masterpiece features a private beach, a two-slip boathouse, and stunning landscaping. It’s perfect for entertaining with its high ceilings and gourmet kitchen.

Smith Mountain Lake

Fishing on Smith Mountain Lake in Virginia.

Fishing on Smith Mountain Lake in Virginia.

©Virginia State Parks / Flickr – License

This man-made lake lays claim to the illustrious title of the largest lake contained entirely within the Commonwealth of Virginia. It’s also the second-largest freshwater inland reservoir in Virginia behind Lake Anna.

Smith Mountain Lake provides plenty of indoor and outdoor opportunities to love lake life. New residents can join 22,000 other owners with a primary or secondary residence on the lake. Life at Smith Mountain Lake combines the best parts of serene lake living with the amenities of a big city. Around town, you’ll find:

  • Regional airports.
  • Modern supermarkets.
  • Dozens of restaurants, banks, and churches.
  • Two libraries.
  • Physicians, dentists, and veterinarians.
  • Marinas.
  • Independent retail stores.
  • Urgent care center and Scruggs Volunteer Fire Department.

Residents will also step into the sets of famous movies when they buy a home at Smith Mountain Lake. The lake has mentions — or real footage — in blockbusters like “Lake Effects” and “Lawless.”

Example residence: 1114 Shady Point Road in Huddleston, VA, priced at $3,725,000. This turn-key property features a 9,000-square-foot stone main house, a guest house, and an RV garage on a fully-fenced and gated 3.38-acre. You’ll also get 356 feet of shoreline with this house. Enjoy the gourmet kitchen, great room, lakeside breakfast nook and family room, master suite, hot tub area, and two-slip dock with this luxury home.

Claytor Lake

Claytor Lake Virginia

Anglers buying a second home in Claytor Lake are in for a treat with over 60 miles of shoreline to explore.


Located in Pulaski County, Virginia, Claytor Lake has a small-town feel with a ton of heart. Claytor Lake was named after a former vice president of the Appalachian Power Company, the business that contracted the construction of the dam that created the lake. 

While the nearby state park has rental cabins and a campground for tourists, the area boasts mountainside and lakefront homes that cater to a calm lifestyle. With a plethora of activities to engage in during the summer, residents of Claytor Lake can look forward to annual festivals and routine boating events that make the lake such a tight-knit community.

Example residence: 2530 Saddleridge Circle in Pulaski, VA, priced at $2,850,000. This lavish home sits on over four acres with two lots, featuring two covered docks, a tennis court, and a boat house with a full bath. Recently rebuilt with luxurious amenities and stunning lake views, the owner can enjoy its extensive outdoor living space with a hot tub, waterfall feature, outdoor kitchen, and fire pit. The entry level of the home offers an open floor plan with a gourmet kitchen and a primary suite, while the lower level includes three en-suite bedrooms and a theater room.

Lake Chesdin

When it comes to living, Lake Chesdin provides the best of luxury living — including fishing opportunities just out of your front door.

©Art Anderson / CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons – License

Chesdin Landing — a private community near Lake Chesdin — says it best: “Live where you want to vacation.” 

Lake Chesdin offers luxury living, a 55+ retirement community, and more real estate opportunities. Premium waterfront lots at Chesdin Landing can range between $450,000 to five million dollars — but the amenities that come with the price tag make it worth the shock.

In addition to a private golf club, Lake Chesdin living at Chesdin Landing affords residents some of the best elementary schools in the area, personal docks and boating activities, world-class fishing, boutique shopping experiences, and close proximity to big cities like Richmond, VA.

Example residence: 13425 Chesdin Landing Drive in Chesterfield, VA, priced at $1,680,000. Thoughtfully designed with high-end features, including a chef’s dream kitchen with Thermador appliances, this home boasts panoramic lake views and elegant details like rounded wall corners and hickory wood flooring. Enjoy outdoor spaces like a Trex deck, a screened-in porch, an in-ground pool, and a dock with a Mastercraft boat.

What Makes Virginia Lake Property So Expensive?

In 2023 especially, the housing market’s volatility has swung significantly toward the seller’s market. Tight inventory and increased demand means high prices and closing costs for lakefront houses in Virginia. In addition, the size and location of homes may run up their prices; especially when considering flood or storm insurance for coastal residences. The number of amenities included will affect the price of a home too; gated communities, country clubs, and private retirement communities that own lakefront homes will require more investment than homes being sold by the owner.

As the state of Virginia continues to grow in Americans’ minds as a viable long-term residence option, homes will maintain or increase their high prices. 

Summary of the Most Expensive Lakes in Virginia to Buy a Second Home

Lake in VirginiaExample Home Price
Lake Anna$3,640,000
Smith Mountain Lake$3,725,000
Claytor Lake$2,850,000
Lake Chesdin$1,680,000

Swim, Boat, Or Drive On In

Ready to upgrade your slacks to swim trunks? If you’re interested in buying a second home at one of the most expensive lakes in Virginia, don’t forget to learn more about the state and its wildlife before you move. Discover the Virginia flag’s origins and the snakes you should watch out for while on the lake.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Jon Bilous/

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About the Author

Katarina is a writer at A-Z Animals where her primary focus is on dogs, travel, and unique aspects about towns, cities, and countries in the world. Katarina has been writing professionally for eight years. She secured two Bachelors degrees — in PR and Advertising — in 2017 from Rowan University and is currently working toward a Master's degree in creative writing. Katarina also volunteers for her local animal shelter and plans vacations across the globe for her friend group. A resident of Ohio, Katarina enjoys writing fiction novels, gardening, and working to train her three dogs to speak using "talk" buttons.

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