Lake Martin Voice Realty
Archive for the 'Lake Martin Living' Category
What is shiplap? It has nothing to do with ships regardless of its name.
Shiplap (a type of wooden board used on exterior walls) is a hot decorating trend that has seen “…a serious surge in popularity in new renovation, thanks in large part to its extensive use on shows like HGTV’s Fixer Upper” – according to several home renovator blogs. However, it is often confused with tongue-and-groove siding.
Sorry Chip and Joanna – you got it wrong. I love you and everybody I know loves you but shiplap refers to a groove not the look of the finished product.
Doug Furhman of Southern Traditions Construction helps explain the differences of shiplap siding and tongue-and-groove siding in the video below.
As a Lake Martin realtor I can help you find your Lake Martin home and quickly identify homes that are move-in ready, tear down opportunities or just in need of some shiplap siding. 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.
Does Lake Martin Area Association of Realtors (LMAAR) have ALL the listings for Lake Martin or are there some listed through realtors that are not on that site?
Several months ago I had a potential client ask me the question – “Where are Lake Martin homes listed for sale?” He told me that he and his wife were constantly looking (more looking than anything) for a home to purchase at Lake Martin. They checked the LMAAR website several times a month to look.
LMAAR has 99.5% of all properties that actually sell on the Lake. If you look on the Montgomery Area Association of Realtors (MAAR) website you’ll see 10 to 20 at any given moment but all of them are also listed on LMAAR. Occasionally there will one on MAAR that is not on LMAAR, thus my < 100% number. All of the agents that are serious and full time about Lake Martin (like me) live and breath the LMAAR MLS.
To help my clients I can set up an account on my LMAAR MLS feed. Click here for the link. It is not public and no one else will see it.
Setting up your account will help you save the properties you have seen and share feedback with your spouse. It can also be set up to auto alert you by email when something pops up in your area and price range. If you aren’t interested in registering, no sweat, but some folks like to be alerted so they don’t miss anything, and properties in some Lake areas are going fast these days.
Here is helpful information from one Lake Martin couple who purchased a fixer upper.
When I met with the homeowners back in December, I had no idea (and neither did they) that they would decide to sell their Lake home. I wanted to write an article for Lake Magazine about remodeling at the Lake and stopped by the cabin to take some “after” photos and ask a few questions.
Remodeling is popular these days. If you are unaware of this trend, just flip on the TV. Waco, Texas, has the adorable Chip and his wife Joanna. Los Angeles has Christina and whatever male she decides to include on her show.
So in going along with the trend of “old to new,” I thought I would write about lake home remodeling. When homebuyers come to Lake Martin, they often wrestle with this issue.
“Do I want to buy a brand new home? Or am I up for a remodel of an older home? How large of a remodel project would I like?” they might ask themselves.
I thought it might be helpful to talk to a couple that has actually been through the process and hear what they have to say. Granted, their experience is personal and limited to one home. But, they did put considerable thought into their remodel, and it might be entertaining and enlightening for all.
Here is their story:
Don and Kristie are from Birmingham, Alabama. They bought their home in 2011. It is located on the north side of Lake Martin and was originally built as a fish camp style home with concrete block construction. It was extremely functional but short on refinement.
The home’s original construction date was listed at 1960, but subsequent owners had made improvements along the way. While Don and Kristie loved the home as it was, they naturally sought to personalize it. Here’s a Q&A of their Lake Martin remodel story:
When you first started your home search, did you want to buy a home that was move-in ready, or were you looking for a fixer upper or a project?
Our first priority was to buy a home with great water frontage with pretty view and a level lot for kids to play. At our price range, that dictated a fixer upper.
When you bought it, did you envision fixing it up this much?
Yes, but not with any definitive timeline. It was just as we could afford with money and time. There was no rush because we did not live there full time, so it was nice to do a little and walk away for a bit. Being patient helped us to get to know the house and what we really wanted out of it.
What was your first project, and was that the same project you planned when you bought?
The house was quaint and charming, but we wanted to personalize it to our tastes. We pulled out all carpet and baseboards and slowly started to replace with a floating floor and new baseboards. During that process, we took what furnishings came with the house to refurbish pieces with paint and distressing. That helped to clear some stuff and allow for flooring. It also helped us to visualize how to put each space back together from a decorating standpoint.
Which part gave you the most instant gratification?
Paint. Paint will transform a space. If the ceilings in a lake house are not that special, consider painting them the same color as walls. It really opens up a room and makes it feel larger. That is something many people will look sideways at you for suggesting until it’s actually done.
Which part was the least fun to spend money on?
Electricians and plumbers.
Did you experience “project creep,” e.g., “as long as we are fixing X we might as well fix Y?”
A tad but not tremendously. To offset the creep, we would look for ways to do things inexpensively but still with good impact, things that we might not otherwise do if it was our primary home. For example, in the kitchen, we had white Formica countertops that were fine for a lake house. But we added the pass-through and purchased a remnant of honed granite for the bar top. Instead of spending thousands on the kitchen countertop, we found Formica that was basically identical to the granite. It only cost a few hundred dollars, and it looks fine for the small space.
How did you budget for this? Did you decide on a total amount to spend and wait until you had it and then start, or did you know that you wanted to do this or that project and just did it?
The rule was, if we couldn’t pay for it out of pocket, we were not doing it. That governed our time and pace. With it being a second home, we were not so antsy to ‘get it done’ immediately.
Anything you would change?
I wish I had peeked at the ceilings in the oldest part of the house during renovation. I always wondered why the ceilings were lower in the old original camp house. Far down the road after interior was done, we were working on the sun porch that required us to reveal part of the ceiling, and it was discovered there was old tongue and groove on the ceiling. It was one of those moments of “who the heck covers this up!”
What was the hardest part of remodeling from afar?
Just having to be patient knowing we had limited time to work on it and making ourselves stop to enjoy the view every now and then.
Note: I originally published this article in my monthly column in Lake Magazine. I am proud to write about Lake Martin Real Estate for Lake Magazine.
Have you heard the news? We are excited to hear that two cool businesses are coming to downtown Alexander City.
You are already familiar with one of them – Lake Martin Pizza. Its current location in Dadeville will remain open. They have signed a lease on a Broad Street location in downtown Alex City for their second location. We can’t wait!
Lake Martin Pizza is known for their New York style pizza, fresh local ingredients and great service! One of my favorite pizzas at Lake Martin Pizza is named Kira’s Favorite.
If you love craft brew beer like I do then the second new business to downtown Alex City will be one you will be excited about! Fermenter’s Market on the Green will be opening soon.
Sylacauga is the home to Fermenter’s Market at the Rex. So if you have been lucky enough to have visited that location you will have an idea of what to expect in Alex City – an excellent selection of craft beer, great wine and your favorite cocktails.
Click here to read the article from the Alex City Outlook for more information.
To stay in the loop about all things Lake Martin be sure to download the free Lake Martin Voice app!
When I helped Pat & Betsy buy their waterfront home on Lake Martin, I set a personal sales record of which I am very proud.
Before you groan and think I am just another real estate agent boasting about my earnings, this record is not about the money. It wasn’t a gajillion dollar sales price and commission (although it was very nice).
No, they set my record as my longest looking buyers. I’ve been working with them to find their perfect home on Lake Martin for a while. Take a second to watch the video and see how long it has been and what the first thing they planned to do after closing. It seems there was a slight disagreement.
The reason I mention this is I find that when helping some Lake Martin home buyers they feel they can’t start talking with me because they aren’t ready to buy tomorrow and don’t want to “waste my time.”
I always tell them 1.) there is no way you are going to set the record for my longest looker, and 2.) that it’s not a “waste of time” and we can look at their pace.
I am not a high pressure real estate sales guy. I understand that finding a lake house can sometimes take a while, especially here at Lake Martin. That being said, there are plenty of people that I help that find their dream home on the first day. But the majority of successful outings happen like – they contact me (through phone, web or the Lake Martin MLS) – we start talking, we prioritize for matches that come on the market in the future. We talk some more and they give me feedback, then come up to see some homes. That way, when we are looking, there’s a good chance we are looking at “maybes.” If they don’t find their one on that trip, we rinse and repeat.
Just so you know, Pat and Betsy weren’t Lake Martin newbies. In fact, they were two of the more experienced “lakey” buyers I’ve ever had the pleasure of helping. They knew exactly where they wanted to be on the lake, knew how they would use the home, and knew when it was right for them and their family to pull the trigger.
It wasn’t a nine year frantic search, instead it was a slow and steadily monitoring, knowing what was right for them.
Are you ready to break their record? I hope someone is! Contact me here or at the number at the top of the page and let’s get started.
2026 will be here before you know it!
Would you love to live on Lake Martin and near a golf course?
This contemporary Lake Martin home is great for a large family or lots of friends – four bedrooms, three bathrooms, two living rooms, two fireplaces, a screened porch, year round water, gentle slope lot, boat lift, boat ramp, covered dock with a cool slide, covered gazebo – the list goes on and on.
Watch the video below for a quick tour of 452 Locklear Drive.
Are you familiar with Lakewinds Golf Course? Lakewinds is a public, old style golf course owned by Alexander City. It is located five miles east of downtown Alex City – click here for the google map link.
Watch the video below for a quick aerial tour of Lakewinds Golf Course.
Golfers are welcomed 7 days a week – call 256-825-9860 for a tee time.
Don’t tell anyone, but a few weeks ago I played hooky from work.
I fished with Drew Morgan of East Alabama Fly Fishing. We floated the Tallapoosa River, just above Lake Martin.We put in at Horseshoe Bend and floated down to the boat ramp at Jaybird Landing. He took me down on his boat, which is perfect for fly fishing like this.
It was a beautiful day! The weather was clear and warm for October. The Lake Martin area is suffering a drought, so river levels were low. The flow was at about three feet when we started. Low, clear water makes fishing a little tougher, and we had to get out and drag the boat over a spot or two. But other than that, it was picture perfect!
We caught a few spotted bass, a few redeye bass, and several bluegill. White poppers seemed to be the most popular fly of the day. I had to catch my breath when I saw a big (fifteen pounds or so) striped bass cruising the shallows by Jaybird. We were trolling a “Game changer” fly at the time, which I thought might incite a strike. No dice. In hindsight, I sort of wish I would have pulled in the line and cast in his general direction. At the time, however, the fly was trolling and tracking to go right by his line of travel, so I let it go. Seeing a big fish like that sometimes makes me freeze up!
How hard is it to sign a contract to buy waterfront real estate in Lake Martin?
The answer – I try to make it as easy as possible!
These days most Lake Martin buyers are 2 1/2 – 3 hours away. They come to the Lake to real estate shop and enjoy a little mini vacation. On their drive home they spend time talking, texting or calling about lake property.
When ready to make an offer and (hopefully) sign a contract they don’t have to leave the comfort of their home. It is not like the old days: come to the office, sign mimeograph copies of the contract, etc.
One of the ways this process has gotten easier is using DocuSign. DocuSign is electronic signature technology letting you electronically exchange contracts or other signed documents.
An awesome example of how well this works happened earlier this year.
While the husband was moose hunting on the Alaskan pipeline aka The Haul Road he received a call telling him, “You got the house!” He had to hike a little ways to get a better signal to sign his sales contract but hey – he was able to get right back hunting! Watch the video for the full story.
Welcome to Lake Martin, Bobby and Darla!
I was so honored that Bobby and Darla allowed me to help them find their dream home on Lake Martin. I would like to welcome them to the Lake!!!
They even sent me this picture they took on their first weekend at Lake Martin, and told me, “Having devotion and coffee. First morning. Couldn’t get much better than this. Thanks John!”
Earlier this summer I took a little video footage of Lakewinds Golf Course at Lake Martin with my drone and thought it would be a great time to share the video with you.
With the weather being so mild it is a nice time of year to be on a golf course. Lakewinds Golf Course is a public golf course owned by the City of Alexander City.
It has a nice layout around the Lake and is regulation length 18 holes. Lakewinds is open 7 days a week from 7 A.M. until dark.
Lakewinds is located about five miles east of downtown Alex City and just south of Hwy. 280 – the address is 95 County Road 40, Jacksons Gap.
Make your tee time today by calling 256-825-9680.
If you would like the best app for Lake Martin, Alabama, complete with events, eats, home search, and landmarks, please see my Lake Martin Voice App. It’s free! Just search “Lake Martin Voice” in the app store.