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Archive for the 'Lake Martin Area Info' Category

Real Island Renovation Part Two: Peeling off the 1980s

There’s no turning backrenovations on this waterfront Lake Martin home in Real Island are well underway.

Real Island Renovation 7

(For the first installment in this series, CLICK HERE for Real Island Renovation Begins)

If you love home projects, these pictures will make you excited.  If you’re not the project type, then you’re feeling a little anxious.  But Lee and Amelia loved this Real Island lot, and knew right away they would update the home before moving in.

Great view of Lake Martin, by the way!

It is very common to see this kind of radical renovation on the western side of Lake Martin. The Little Kowaliga / Real Island area is one of the older parts of Lake Martin, and thus has slowly populated over time to include tiny cabins that are next to million dollar homes.  Generally speaking, the lots in this area are a little bigger, more wooded, and less sloping, and the feel is more rural. (Of course I can always find the exception to that statement.) AND, there are really no undeveloped lots left.  When you see new construction on a waterfront lot in Little Kowaliga, odds are that person has torn down an old cabin or mobile home.

Contractor Doug Fuhrman of Southern Traditions Construction helped Lee and Amelia rethink the floor plan of the existing cabin, adding only about 400 square feet to the overall footprint, but moving things around to make the home work better.

For example, by bumping out the bedroom side of the home, they were able to expand the third bedroom and bathroom, and add a master bathroom:

Real Island Renovation 5

Real Island Renovation 4

 Real Island Renovation 10

The homeowners knew they wanted to be in this area, and knew their budget, so renovation makes sense.  But for those of you who are not looking for a construction project, there are also new homes to be found on Lake Martin – both in and out of official developments.  For example,  in April 2013 Alabama Property Company released twenty nine new lots in Emerald Shores on the eastern side of the lake, you’ll see new construction there.  Russell Lands is always building new homes in their various neighborhoods, and there are even a few flippers around, though not nearly as many as in 2007.

A Lake Martin realtor can cut through the hundreds of MLS listings and quickly identify homes that are move-in ready, or tear down opportunities.  I’d love to help you out with your Lake Martin search, so call me at (334) 221-5862, or CLICK HERE to contact me.

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Emerald Shores Waterfront Lots for Sale

Lake Martin Voice Realty is excited to team up with Alabama Power and offer 29 new deeded waterfront lots for sale in Emerald Shores. 

Emerald Shores is a waterfront neighborhood on the eastern shores of Lake Martin. These are big, wooded lots surrounded by the big water of Blue Creek.  They’re part of an already established neighborhood (entrance signs, roads paved, utilities, boat ramp, common area trails), and they’re close to all the east side Lake Martin restaurants, marinas, and landmarks.

Emerald Shores Sat Map

Lake Martin Voice Realty is proud to be the Listing Agency!

The first phase of Emerald Shores began in 2004.  17 lots were sold at that time, then six after that, and now 29 more are available.  There’s a lot of choice for buyers here: lots range in size from 0.6 to almost 2 acres, and waterfront footage ranges from 115 feet to over 1,000 feet of shoreline per lot.  At the center of Emerald Shores is a 17 acre wooded common area with a paved walking trail.  A neighborhood boat ramp makes it convenient to launch your boat.

Another big perk for many buyers:  covered boat docks are allowed in Emerald Shores.  That’s a big deal on Lake Martin.

Emerald Shores Plat Map RevisedFor more information on these deeded lots, CLICK HERE, or give us a call at (334) 221-5862.  We have plat maps, tax maps, photos, a video tour – everything you need to learn the lay of the land.

Emerald Shores is on the east side of Lake Martin, so it is convenient to Atlanta, Auburn, I-85, and Highway 280 By car, take Highway 49 and turn onto Highway 34.  Turn left onto Win Blu. At the stop sign, turn left onto Holiday Drive.  Take 1st right onto South Holiday.  Follow all the way to Emerald Shores entrance.  By boat, it’s on the north side of Blue Creek as you drive toward StillWaters.

For a quick video introduction to Emerald Shores, click below:

And for a video tour of the Blue Creek area, click below:

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The Tunnel to Somewhere

Unlike some crazy civil engineering projects I’ve seen, this tunnel under Highway 63 has major significance for the Lake Martin area.  Most of you know that there’s been road construction near Russell Crossroads for about 3 years now now.  Part of this construction project is a nifty tunnel.

Highway 63 Tunnel, Lake Martin, AL

This tunnel is a really big deal for Russell Lands and therefore, Lake Martin real estate.  It’s a huge part of Russell Lands’ plan to link together their waterfront neighborhoods of Windermere, Windover, Windermere West and The Ridge to west side of Highway 63’s Willow Point.  The central hub of all of this will be Russell Crossroads.

Right now the idea is to open the tunnel road to hikers, runners, bikers, golf cart and horse riders. I love the it.

I think this will be especially transformational for Windermere, Windover, and Windermere West which do not have neighborhood amenities.  After the trails and roadways are complete and christened for use, homeowners in Windermere, Windover, and Windermere West will  figure out that Saturday morning coffee at Catherine’s Market is a five minute golf cart ride away. Big things will happen.

I can envision a lot of other things happening along this trail system.  The fact that you don’t have to cross Highway 63 opens up a realm of possibilities.  Willow Point people can ride to The Ridge Marina on their golf carts.  People in The Ridge can mountain bike through the tunnel and explore Russell Forest trails.  Homeowners in Windermere and Windover neighborhoods can do all this, plus go to SpringHouse restaurant or Willow Point Country Club.  The ease and sense of community will be a great thing.

This really reminds me of Sandestin in the late 1970s.  If you are old enough, like me, to remember the original Sandestin, it used to only be a residential development on the bay side, and an unconnected beach on the gulf side.  You had to get in your car to cross Highway 98, and the whole thing was disjointed.  Then they put a tunnel under the highway, developed out some commercial space, and suddenly everything in between flourished.

I’m not saying the Russell Lands is about to have a mega development like Sandestin, but I am saying that all of these neighborhoods are going to truly be able to use Russell Crossroads.  I think it will increase property values in all of these developments.  Russell Lands has pumped millions into this project, but homeowners will reap the benefits over the next 5-10 years.

Path to Highway 63 Tunnel IMG_3071 Tunnel at Russell Crossroads

If you’d like to know more about homes in the above mentioned neighborhoods, check out my Neighborhoods page, give me a call at (334) 221-5862, or CLICK HERE to contact me via email. I can help you with any property for sale in the Lake Martin MLS, regardless of who has it listed.  

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A Typical StillWaters Neighbor at Lake Martin

I take Lake Martin wildlife pictures all over the lake, but I need to create a specific photo file for “Wildlife I Have Seen in StillWaters.”  Lake Martin is a rural area, so animals coexist with lake lovers on all sides.  StillWaters is a huge gated golf/lake community with on and off the water homes, townhouses and condos, and it seems that wildlife like the deer I spotted last week call it home, too.

StillWaters Button Buck Feb 2013 - 04

This one was grazing on the side of the road as I drove to a new listing of mine in StillWaters, 100 Harbor Point Place Unit 613.  If you look closely you can see the early formation of his antlers.  It’s amazing how deer were created to blend in so well with their environment.  You can barely see his back in the photo below:

StillWaters Button Buck Feb 2013 - 02

If you like the idea of being in an established, gated golf  and waterfront community, and enjoy neighbors of all kinds, StillWaters might be a good fit.  If you’d like access to all StillWaters’ amenities, but prefer to leave the yard work and home maintenance to someone else, check out my listing, 100 Harbor Pointe Place Unit 613.  It’s a 2 bed/2 bath off-the-water condo with a deeded boat slip, and it’s right across the street from Harbor Pointe Marina.

It’s currently listed for $131K – a great deal when you consider its location within StillWaters and all of the amenities owners can access.

Here’s one more parting shot of our friend and StillWaters neighbor.  If you’re interested in homes or condos in StillWaters, or real estate anywhere on Lake Martin, give me a call at (334) 221-5862, or contact me by CLICKING HERE.  I’d love to be your realtor.

StillWaters Button Buck Feb 2013 - 07

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Lake Martin: A View From Above

I spotted these pics on Lindsey Harris’ Twitter feed, and thought they were super cool. I don’t get to see Lake Martin from this vantage point very often.

Her cousin, Eric, took Lindsey and a friend for a Sunday afternoon joyride over Lake Martin in his plane.  I always want to know what kind of camera people use, and Lindsey said she used her Canon t3i to take the pictures.  She graciously said I could share them with you.

Can you spot some Lake Martin landmarks?  If you have any cool pictures of Lake Martin from above or below the water, send them to me and I’d love to post them.  Or, if you have them on a site like Flickr, here’s a link to my Flickr account.


If you’re interested in Lake Martin real estate, give me a call at (33st4) 221-5862, or CLICK HERE to contact me via email.  It doesn’t matter is you’re in the earliest stages of dreaming about a future lake home, or if you’re ready to buy in the next week –  I work with people for weeks, months, and often years.  Give me a call and put me to work!

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All Trails App Maps the Cherokee Ridge Alpine Trails on Lake Martin

Around Lake Martin, if I can’t be in a boat, put me on a hiking trail.

The cooler months at Lake Martin are perfect for hiking.  We’ve got lots of elevation here, and I never miss an opportunity to remind my kids that Lake Martin is at the southern tip of the Appalachian Mountains.  These trails include great views from high points, and woodsy paths that take you right down to the water.

If you want more info on hiking the Cherokee Ridge system of trails at Lake Martin, go to CRATA.org.  This is the Cherokee Ridge Alpine Trail Association’s website, and they’re the folks who maintain these trails.  Please don’t call me – I am but a realtor who likes to hike.

I also wanted to review and plug a cool smartphone app that I downloaded from AllTrails.com.  AllTrails is a database for thousands of trails across the U.S., plus it allows you to map and save your own trails, and view and rate trails that other hikers have entered. FYI –  I hiked the Chimney Rock Loop trail and here’s what the app recorded:

Pretty cool!  I hope to enter more trails and share them with fellow Lake Martin hikers.  If you get out there, try the AllTrails app and let us know where you’ve been!  A comprehensive record of Lake Martin trail hikes would be a useful tool for hikers, plus it would be a great marketing tool for businesses looking to attract new visitors to the area.

If you see a great Lake Martin property for sale while on your hike, give me a call at (334) 221-5862 or click here to contact me and put me to work.  I’d love to be your realtor, and I’d love to help you find your Lake Martin home.

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Extreme Sea Wall Failure Part 2: Rebuilding

In the first installment of this three part series (Extreme Seawall Failure at Lake Martin), we looked at a wooden sea wall in the Jacksons Gap area that had completely failed.  Scott Henderson of Henderson & Coker Contractors in Alex City is rebuilding a new concrete seawall in its place, and he was nice enough to let me peek at the guts of this project. During the summer, when Lake Martin is at full, or nearly full pool, we only see the tops of these hugely important structures.  There’s a lot going on beneath the surface, though, and winter is the time to check it out.

A lot of folks are surprised by the cost of a new seawall, and I think this video will give you an idea of why it’s so expensive, and what’s involved: a whole lot of work, and the kind of work that is best left to the experts.  But if you do it right, like the homeowners of the wall under construction in this video, you won’t have to do it twice.

If you’re thinking about buying a waterfront home or lot on Lake Martin, it’s important to check out the condition of the existing sea wall, or get an estimate for a new sea wall.  Home inspectors do not include sea walls in the scope of their inspections, so call a professional contractor and let him check it out for you.  And, as always, you must contact Alabama Power for approval of ANY shoreline projects, including seawalls.

I’d love to help you find your Lake Martin home, so give me a call at (334) 221-5862, or click here to contact me, and let’s get to work!

Related Posts:

Extreme Sea Wall Failure on Lake Martin 2012

Lake Martin Concrete Sea Wall Construction 2011

Lake Martin Concrete Sea Wall Construction 2011 Part 2

Lake Martin Concrete Sea Wall Construction 2011 Part 3

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Extreme Sea Wall Failure on Lake Martin

This is a failed sea wall.  No doubt about it.  When the waters of Lake Martin are at full summer pool, structural problems like this may by hard to spot.  But when the lake level is lowered in the winter, mayhem is revealed.

That’s the bad news.  The good news is that winter is a great time to work on these issues.  Henderson & Coker Contractors of Alex City have been hired to replace this failed wooden seawall with a concrete sea wall, and they’ve agreed to let me video the process.  I followed a project of theirs in 2011 where they built a new seawall around a large peninsula that had never had a seawall.  This time I thought it would be interesting to see how they deal with replacing an existing seawall.

Stay tuned for Parts 2 and 3 of this series and I bet you’ll have a new appreciation for the importance of a seawall, and the importance of a professional sea wall installation.  So much of the value of a Lake Martin waterfront property is tied to the dirt it sits on.  It pays to get it right.

While I don’t build sea walls at Lake Martin, I do sell homes.  I’d love to be your realtor, and I’d love to discuss Lake Martin real estate with you.  Give me a call at (334) 221-5862, or CLICK HERE to contact me.

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In Search of Striped Bass on Lake Martin, Part 3

In continuing my quest to catch a Lake Martin striped bass on my fly rod – on purpose – I offer this following video.  In it, guide David Hare of Alex City Guide Service gives advice to people like me who are crazy enough to try it.

I say crazy enough to try it, not because fly fishing for stripers around here is death-defying.  I say it because after I’ve seen David catch them on live bait, I’m probably a fool to try this.

David is admittedly not a fly fisherman, but he is an expert on striped bass at Lake Martin.  That’s why I figured it would be profitable for me to ask him these questions.  Hopefully they are helpful to you, too, and if you have any tips for me on fishing for striped bass in Lake Martin, or any other fresh water lake in the South for that matter, please comment below.  I would appreciate it.

Like I’ve said before, if you have any questions, please do not call me.  You will get a lot of dumb answers.  Please contact David directly at (256) 401-3089  or via their Facebook page.

If you didn’t catch Parts 1 and 2 of David’s interview, here are their links:

In Search of Striped Bass , Part 1

In Search of Striped Bass, Part 2

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Signature Coffees, MooWalla, and Paninis at 1220 Cafe in Tallassee

1220 Cafe in Tallassee may not be a waterfront bistro, but it is located on one of the gateway corridors to Lake Martin.  Tallassee natives and veterans of the restaurant industry, Pam and Noah Griggs, opened 1220 Cafe as a “fast casual” restaurant, and since I’d heard so many good things about it, I decided to check it out myself.

I was really surprised by how big it is.  They have a lot of room both inside and outside, so even if you see a lot of cars in the parking lot, they can fit you in.  In small towns you often find local places that simply reheat frozen foods from distributors, but not here. They have put a lot of thought and effort into creating foods that are fresh and unique.  Noah’s mom has even contributed the recipes for many of the homemade desserts.

My parents travel through Tallassee all the time and my mom is an avid coffee fan.  Neither she nor my dad will pass by without stopping, and the 1220 Cafe folks make them a special frozen coffee drink that is not on the menu – that’s something that doesn’t happen at a chain eatery. And, at Lake Martin you can count the number of restaurants with cool cappuccino machines on your toes, so this is definitely a special experience for this area.

Next time you’re on the south side of the lake, or driving through Tallassee on the way to the lake, check them out.  You can also find them on Facebook.

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