[email protected]

12 More Weeks of Summer at Lake Martin

I’m sure you’ve already seen this on national news and the interwebs, but just in case, the breaking news around Lake Martin is that Kowaliga Kevin, the Poodle of Prognostication, has predicted twelve more weeks of summer here at Lake Martin. So even though the calendar says “Fall,” – Mr. Kevin says we will have more summer to enjoy.

Here’s the video of a local news department covering the event:

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So there’s no need to pack up and leave Lake Martin as the calendar ticks toward January first. You can have plenty to do and explore around Lake Martin in the cooler months, too. Now that Mr. Kevin has guaranteed the time, you can plan with confidence.

I have to say, after witnessing this event many years in a row, Kowaliga Kevin is always right. No offense to Punxsutawney Phil, but maybe dogs are better at this sort of thing.

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Stormy Monday Blues at Lake Martin

They call it stormy Monday, but Tuesday’s just as bad.

It was raining yesterday at Lake Martin and I don’t care. We need the rain, and it was Monday after all, post Labor Day. Traffic will be light regardless of precipitation. Things change after Labor Day around here, regardless of weather.

Hot Dog Salesman at Lake Martin

Hence my pic. This guy has been selling hot dogs since around July Fourth. He’s set up in downtown Kowaliga, just across from my office at Nails conveneince store. I’ve never been tempted to buy a dog, despite some pretty good reviews I’ve heard. But when I see a guy selling hot dogs on the side of the road at 10:00 am on a rainy Monday in post Labor Day September, maybe I ought to buy one out of sheer principle.

About the time I took this picture, the clouds lifted and it turned into a beautiful almost-fall day.  In fact, the past two days have been so achingly perfect (clear, just warm enough, high water, no crowds) I have given serious consideration to pulling my kids out of school and living some sort of home school farm-to-fork existence at the lake.

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Lake Martin Striped Bass Report

Do you like to fish for stripers on Lake Martin? Then you definitely need to contact Captain David Hare of Alex City Guide Service. He sends out his Striper Reports every month or so and I think they are invaluable. David is a really nice guy, plus a great guide.

David Hare Striper Fishing Guide Lake Martin

I always slightly mourn the passing of summer, but one of the many fun things to do on Lake Martin in the fall is to try and catch a striped bass. I am already looking at some dates to try and book David or one of his other guides. As I have written in previous years, my big goal is to figure out how to catch these monsters on my fly rod.

While David is not a fly fisherman, he can put you on the striped bass here at Lake Martin.

If you would like to buy some Lake Martin property, call me, I would love to help you out.

If you want to catch striped bass or other fish, call David at the number below, and let him know John Coley said hi!!

Here’s a sample report from September 1o, 2014:

Lake Martin
September 10th,2014
488.76(490.00 full pool)
Surface Temp: 85-88
Water Clarity: Clear to very clear

October is really nice fishing weather for the most part and here on Lake Martin in Alabama is no exception. The fall temps should start cooling the water down some and in return should produce more bites overall !

This October I am predicting it to be one of the best yet for stripers on Lake Martin. One of the reasons I feel this way is because I’m already seeing some transition in the stripers both small and trophy size. I think you are going to have a little easier time finding them than in the past few Octobers and I think you are going to be pleased with the quality of the catch.

The days are getting shorter and will continue to do this for several more weeks which means you can stay until dark for that last minute bite and still make it home for supper with the family !

I will be checking all of the hot spots for October stripers but don’t be surprised if you see me in the abnormal locations too. I am leaving nothing uncovered this fall because this summer I scouted a lot of areas that I have been overlooking and found some areas that I think will produce in October !

Here at Alex City Guide Service we want to thank everyone that did night trips this summer with us and looking forward to seeing everybody this fall for the day trips !

Until next time get off the couch and wet a hook!
Captain David Hare
Alex City Guide Service
Lake Martin
256-401-3089
[email protected]

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A New Restaurant for Parker Creek!

My Saturday was spent with a fun couple from Georgia, showing them Lake Martin waterfront homes for sale in Parker Creek.  Around lunchtime, we had an hour break in between showings and I was starving.  But with only an hour to spare, our lunch options were limited: bottled water and peanut buter crackers at the Parker Creek Marina were the best we could do.  And I was thankful for those.

Fast forward a year to next summer, same situation, except I plan to have lunch with my clients at Parker Creek Marina’s new restaurant.  That’s right – Parker Creek Marina is opening a restaurant in 2015, and I think it’s a great addition for the west side of the Lake Martin.  Below is a picture I took of their plan.  It’s on a bulletin board inside the ship’s store, so it’s available for everyone to check out.

New Parker Creek Restaurant

The back story on this restaurant has to do with the elusive Parker Creek food boat I’ve been searching for.  There were plans for a food boat (like Nibblers Float Thru Grill near Blue Creek), but the marina was told it had to install new septic in order to run this boat and be up to code.  They decided if they had to have new septic, they might as well have a permanent restaurant on their premises.  Parker Creek is such a popular area of the lake, and there just aren’t many restaurants close by.  I hope they have wild success, and I will gladly swap in my bottled water and crackers for whatever fare they decide to serve.

If you’re looking for a waterfront home in Parker Creek, the addition of this restaurant makes this area even more attractive. Give me a call and let’s talk Lake Martin real estate. I’m a full time agent at Lake Martin, and 100% of my realtor time is devoted to helping clients buy and sell property here.  I can help you with any listing in the Lake Martin MLS, regardless of who has it listed.  I’d love to help you, too.

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YeeHaw!! Will 2014 Be Great or Incredible at Lake Martin?

I originally wrote this article about Lake Martin waterfront real estate sales for LAKE Magazine’s August 24th edition. As summer winds down, we have a chance to look at the Lake Martin MLS sales numbers and try and get a picture of what has happened with waterfront sales so far this year . . .

If this month’s real estate market report was a Dukes of Hazzard episode, this would be the moment when Bo and Luke, driving furiously in the General Lee, round a curve and spot a “Bridge Out” sign that spans a muddy river. The camera would freeze on their expressions of “uh oh.” Waylon would say something witty, and the network would cut to commercial.

General Lee blueinkfiction.com

The question in the viewer’s mind: Will this be great? Or mind blowing?

With Roscoe in hot pursuit, there is little doubt that the Dukes would jump the creek and escape.  But, there’s a slim chance that the car might roll three times while Luke shoots a dynamite-laden arrow at a falling tree, saving some innocent bystanders in its path. Incredible!

We would still be amazed if they merely jumped the creek.

We find ourselves in a similar spot this month as we review the Lake Martin real estate market reports.
I examined the Lake Martin Multiple Listings Service (MLS) waterfront home sales for Jan. 1, 2014, through July 31, 2014. These results include all agents in the area but none from private sales between individuals or developers.

After reviewing the numbers, I have no doubt that the Lake Martin area is going to have a great year. But will it be incredible? Will we see the most homes sold since the record year of 2005?

The careful reader will recall that last year, in 2013, we were asking the same questions (“Lake Martin Lots Selling Hot in 2013″).  Through the end of July in 2013 there were 138 homes sold. That year did not end up beating the record of 2005, but it came close while trouncing the second place effort of 2006.  If we fast forward to the present, we see that through July 31, 2014, 168 homes have been sold, or 22 percent above 2013. We are tracking above last year, which was the second best year on record. Not bad.

But what if we look at how many waterfront homes were sold at this same point in 2005? Through July 31, all agents, all brokerages in 2005 sold 178 homes on the MLS, which is about 6 percent greater than this year.  We are not on a winning pace, but we are close. We are stalking the leader and coming down the stretch.

What about waterfront lots?

Shady Bay Lot 13 Phase 2

The year 2013 was a record breaker for waterfront lots sold on the Lake Martin MLS. For the entire year, area agents combined sold 71 lots, whipping the previous record of 55 in 2005 and almost doubling the prior year of 38 in 2012.

Are Lake Martin waterfront lot sales still hot in 2014?  In a word, yes.

The year 2014 is tracking just behind 2013. Through July 31 last year, we had sold 37 waterfront lots in the Lake Martin MLS. At the same date this year, 34 had been sold. I think that a difference of only three is not much to worry about, statistically, so it’s safe to say we are on pace with last year.  At any rate, we have all but guaranteed that 2014’s lot sales total will best 2012 and 2011.  I also think it is safe to say that this year will beat 2005.

So we return to the original question: Will 2014 be great, or will it be incredibleWe will know in a few months. My guess is that, on the home sales front, we will come really close to 284 waterfront homes sold but will not beat it.  There are 60 homes under contract at this writing, but not enough inventory, I think, to beat the record. Similarly, I think Lake Martin will see very close to 71 lot sales, but not materially more.

Don’t be disappointed if Luke doesn’t fire a dynamite-tipped arrow, we still will have had a great year if sales approach those numbers.

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Updated Tour of Parker Creek Marina

If you’re looking to buy waterfront real estate, that means you probably want a boat.  And if you have a boat, you probably need some gas.  When showing Lake Martin waterfront homes, I often get these questions, “Where is the nearest marina?” ” How do you get there by land?” and “How do you get there by water?” If you’re looking for waterfront homes for sale in the Parker Creek area, then take a look at what Parker Creek Marina has to offer:

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I’ve heard all about this food boat that is operating out of Lake Martin’s Parker Creek Marina.  I haven’t seen it yet, so I thought I’d drop by.  I went during the week, so the marina was closed and I didn’t learn anything about the food boat.  But it was a pretty day and it gave me a chance to video their new dock.

I don’t know exactly what Parker Creek has in store for next summer, but something’s going on.  If you have any updates, let me know.

If you’re looking to buy Lake Martin waterfront real estate in the Parker Creek area, check out my Parker Creek Neighborhood page.

Lake Martin Voice Neighborhood Pages

Lake Martin is huge, and it can feel overwhelming to search the entire lake for a home.   I created these Neighborhood pages to simplify the process.  If you know exactly where you want to be on the lake, quickly skim the live feed of current homes for sale in that area.  If you’re not sure where you’d like to buy, use these pages to learn about Lake Martin in manageable chunks.  Each Neighborhood page has a video tour, a history of the area, a map showing boundaries, and most importantly, a live MLS feed of homes and lots currently for sale.  These are not just my listings – these are all listings from all agents and brokerages.

And if you see something you like, or you want help sifting through the info, give me a call and let’s talk Lake Martin real estate.  334 221  5862.  I’d love to work with you!

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Destination Peanut Point

One of the things that I love about Lake Martin is that I am constantly learning about new spots - rope swings, skiing sloughs, hiking trails, fishing haunts.  Despite the fact that I’m a full time real estate agent here, and despite the fact that I grew up in Alex City, rarely does a week go by where I do not learn of a new road or a new slough on Lake Martin.

For example, I read a recent issue of LAKE Magazine, and I learned about Peanut Point (“A Visit to Peanut Point” July 2014).  I know, I know, many of you readers are rolling your eyes right now.  How could I not know about Peanut Point??  But after I read about it, I had to seek it out.  I realized I had driven by there once before, last May, and wondered, “What in the world is going on here?”

We have some good friends who have a lake house on what they call the “Non-Palooza” side of Lake Martin, and they are Peanut Point regulars.  They offered to bring us by, and it was a lot of fun! There’s something exciting about driving up by boat and getting boiled peanuts.  Lake Martin + boiled peanuts = Fun.

Peanut Point

Granted, I am a huge fan of boiled peanuts.  A couple of football seasons ago I boiled a bushel of my own one Saturday for a marathon session of watching SEC football.  I ate so many that the next morning I awoke convinced I had a stomach virus.  My wife gently reminded me that my sodium intake the previous day was gargantuan.  Never-the-less, she let me lay out of church that morning.

To find Peanut Point:  There’s a very small cut thru on the west side of Woods Island.  It separates Woods Island from the mainland where the Alex City version of Young’s Ferry Road peters out into a dirt track.  If you don’t know where that is, go to Bay Pines Marina and ask them.  They will tell you to travel south/southwest, or about seven o’clock on the clock face.

Map to Peanut Point Lake Martin, AL

A gentle reminder to my readers that I am a Lake Martin realtor, and I do not sell boiled peanuts.  If you call me to ask if Peanut Point is open, I will tell you “Yes!” 100% of the timeI’d love to help you research Lake Martin real estate, but I’m leaving the boiled peanuts to the experts.

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What Your Kids Think about the New Lake House

Kids like Lake Martin.  They like waterfront homes on Lake Martin.  And they are naturals at giving their testimonials on video – no coaching necessary.

This video below was sent to me by my buyers, the new owners of a lake house in Parker Creek.  Their daughter volunteered to give their family’s testimonial for me, and I think she does a great job.  Most adults cringe when asked to be in front of a camera, even if it is just my iPhone.  The fact that some agree to do it, I hope, is proof that they valued my help in the transaction.  But a kid?  Why didn’t I think of this before?

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And on the flip side, I’ll bring back this video from 2010, where a mom (and friend of our family) talks about why she, as a parent, loves Lake Martin. There’s a lot of wisdom in what she says – see if you agree:

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So – if you’re looking for a way to bond with your kids, try Lake Martin.  As a full time Lake Martin real estate agent, I’m happy to hook you up with a home or lot here.

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Lots to Do at Russell Crossroads at Lake Martin

Lately, when selling Lake Martin waterfront real estate, I’m talking a lot more about the growing number of off-the-water Lake Martin activities – things to do that add to the fun we have year round and simply make life here more convenient.  Our exceptional on-the-water activities are the obvious sell, so it’s fun to get to brag on our fall, winter and spring attractions, too.  We are becoming a well-rounded second home market.

Take Russell Crossroads, for example.  There’s been so much going on there this summer: Yoga on the Green, Friday night concerts, wine tastings.  But did you know that a lot of what Russell Crossroads offers is not summer specific – the restaurants, the grocery and deli shopping, the stables, the trails.  You can enjoy these all year long.

I realized I had not shot a video from Russell Crossroads in a couple of years, so here’s quick, updated tour.  For buyers out there who are wondering what Lake Martin offers in the non-summer months, check it out:

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I’m a full time Lake Martin real estate agent, and I can help you with any property in the Lake Martin Area MLS.  Give me a call (334 221 5862) and lets talk about making Lake Martin your year round vacation destination.

Related blog posts and videos:

Grab Your Bike and Meet Me at the Market

Russell Forest Trail Hike Video

How to Get to Catherine’s Market by Boat

When at Springhouse, Follow Sam’s Advice

Warning: Catherine’s Market Has Ice Cream

 

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When at Springhouse, Follow Sam’s Advice

That would be Sam Fonte, the Restaurant Manager and Certified Sommelier at Lake Martin’s Springhouse restaurant.  In early July, my wife and I left our kids at the cabin with their grandparents and had a date night dinner at Springhouse.  The whole evening was outstanding, and Sam was a big part of the experience.

That Springhouse can exist at Lake Martin is pretty incredible.  The food is so good, the staff so competent, and the atmosphere so elegant, it is easy to forget you are in rural, central Alabama.  Even our Atlanta foodie friends are impressed – one couple compared the quality of food and service at Springhouse to upscale Atlanta restaurants that charge a whole lot more.  Hats off to all involved who make this restaurant work so well.

Cheese Plate Springhouse Lake Martin

Cheese Plate with local honey, blueberry jam, walnuts, angel biscuit.

I’m smart enough to realize that liking good food and wine, and knowing about good food and wine are two different things, so when I eat somewhere nice I ask a lot of questions.  My wife usually cringes when I start peppering the staff with queries, but even she gave in once the food and drinks began to arrive at our table.  The highlight of the meal was dessert: Sam recommended a Sherry to pair with the Samoa Ice Cream sandwich and Wow!  I must rethink my Lake Martin + Food associations.  I love a blackened catfish sandwich with hush puppies, but I also like the 1985 Don PX Gran Reserva with vanilla ice cream.

Dessert at Springhouse Lake Martin

Samoa Ice Cream Sandwich with Sherry

And now we can all have both!

If you haven’t tried Springhouse, I highly recommend you go.  They serve dinner Wednesday-Saturday from 5:30pm – 10pm, and brunch on Sunday from 10am – 2pm.  Call a few days ahead for reservations  (256.215.7080) during the summer.  Please do not call me, however, for I am a Lake Martin real estate agent, and I cannot make a reservation for your party of four.  Ask Sam if you have any questions and enjoy fine dining at Lake Martin!

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