Archive for the 'Lake Martin' Category

Interview: StillWaters RA Manager Kevin Eason

Kevin Eason has been the General Manager of the StillWaters Residential Association for several years now.  Kevin is extremely competent and helpful, and the neighborhood has benefited from his expertise.  Recently I sent Kevin an email, asking him some general questions about StillWaters.  In the course of selling waterfront real estate around Lake Martin, I get asked for information I don’t have, and it is really nice to have someone like Kevin to lean on for good answers.  I am extremely grateful for his advice below!  The best way to reach Kevin directly is to call him at his office at 256-825-2990 or see the equally informative StillWaters Residential Association website here: StillWaters RA.

If you would like more info on my site on StillWaters, see the page here.  It includes a live, ever-updated list of every waterfront home for sale and every lot for sale inside StillWaters.  There is also a video tour!

Q: How many total acres are inside StillWaters?  How much of that is waterfront?

A: StillWaters is approximately 2,400 acres and we have 23 miles of private roads.
I do not know how much is waterfront but we have several miles of waterfront.

Q: How many homes are in StillWaters?

A: There are 1,815 property owners in StillWaters. 1,056 residential units, this includes single family homes, condos, and villas. There are 568 single family homes and 488 condos/villas. We also have 14 timeshare units that are not included in the total number of units. During the busy season we have 14 new guests, mostly families, check into the timeshares every Friday.

Q: How many unimproved lots?

A:There are currently 759 vacant lots; however, a few lots are very large and could be subdivided into several more building lots.

Q: What is the breakdown on waterfront lots vs. interior lots that are unimproved?

A: I do not have a breakdown of waterfront to interior lots. I can tell you there are only 14 vacant waterfront lots left, a few are listed for sale by their owners.

Q: What do the homeowner association dues cover?

A: The SWRA annual dues include the maintenance of the private roads, gates, pool, tennis courts, park, and other common areas.

Q: What percentage of your residents are permanent?

A: We think we have approximately 600 permanent residents. This is difficult to determine because a portion of our residents live in StillWaters six months out of the year and then somewhere else the rest of the year. There are 954 registered voters inside StillWaters.

Q: What frequent questions do you get from new or prospective owners?

A: The most frequently asked question by new interior owners concerns access to the water. The marina has plenty of boat slips for rent and you can pay an annual fee to use the boat ramp. We do not have a beach or other access for owners. The most frequently asked question overall is where can I rent more storage space.

Q: And lastly, how are the sales in StillWaters?

A: We had 157 properties sell in StillWaters in 2015, 136 sold in 2014, and 132 sold in 2013.

If you see anything you like in the list above, click on the picture, then click on the star beside it on the MLS list, register, and the MLS will automatically notify me.  Or, you can contact me through this form, you can email me ([email protected]), or you can call me at (334) 221-5862.

 

 

 

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Jazz Fest 2016!

Jazz Fest 2016

 

The 2016 Alex City Jazz Fest is being held on June 10 and June 11 this year.

And it’s almost time again for a weekend of great live music!  And it’s free!  This music festival has earned a great reputation for top notch artists and this year is no exception.  Lake Martin Voice Realty is proud to be a sponsor again this year.

Friday night the festival is held in downtown Alex City at Strand Park and it moves to Lake Martin Amphitheater on Saturday.  Click here for the Alex City Jazz Fest website.

The line up this year:

Friday, June 10 – 6:00 Jonathan Bloom, 7:30 Roman Street, 9:00 Tab Benoit

Many of you know Jonathan Bloom – a resident of Alex City.  He plays songs from bands like the Allman Brothers, Kings of Leon, Marvin Gaye and Tom Petty (and I went to high school with him). Roman Street, founded in 2006 in Daphne, Alabama by two brothers – Noah and Josh Thompson, has been called the “next generation of Jazz Fusion.”  Now as a larger instrumental band you will enjoy their jazz, Latin and acoustic sound.  And Tab Benoit?  He hails from New Orleans and is a blues guitarist, musician and singer with primarily a Delta blues sound.  You are in for a treat with this musician.

Saturday, June 11 – 6:30 Gravy, 8:00 Brass-A-Holics, 9:30 Wet Willie 

Created in 2004 Gravy is a Funk & Soul band from New Orleans.  Also from New Orleans is Brass-a-holics – a “brass funk band.”  And of course lots of you will know Wet Willie, from the Daphne/Mobile area. Founded by brothers Jimmy and Jack Hall in the 70’s they “…have opened for everyone from A to Z: Allman Brothers to ZZ Top.”  Their music like “Keep on Smilin’ ” (top 10 hit), “Weekend” and “Grits Ain’t Gravy” will have you out of your seat dancing and singing along in no time!

Keep up with all of the Events around Lake Martin!  Download my free Lake Martin Voice app!

 

 

 

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Buying a Lake Martin Home from Long Distance

Is it hard to buy a Lake Martin home from far away?

Our waterfront real estate market here at Lake Martin is a second home market. In fact, Alabama Power estimates that about 80% of waterfront homes here are second homes.  Since we are in a rural area here in central Alabama, we get a lot of buyers that are coming from greater than two hours away.  Vacation home buyers are typically a more real estate savvy bunch – they have been around the block.  They don’t have first time jitters, but there are still a lot of questions to be answered.

That’s one of the fun things about selling real estate here at Lake Martin.  As an agent, I am getting people that are coming down to the lake to fulfill a dream or just have some fun.  Nevertheless, buying any home can have its stressful moments.  Add to that fact that most people are buying from a distance, and sometimes the questions can be overwhelming to say the least.  You can’t just take off during your lunch hour to see a home or meet a home inspector.

Please take a second to watch George and Lea in the above video – they will explain their experience with long distance home buying.

I try to make the process as easy as possible by utilizing the latest tech. Click here to read my recent blog post on 3D Tours. Watching home tours on video, text messages, emails, phone calls, research, lots of negotiations, inspections, – buying a home can be a time consuming process.  I am willing to do anything I can to help my clients feel great about their purchase.  Sometimes I get my best ideas from them, so if you know any, give me a call at the number at the top of this page or contact me through this form. Thanks!

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Main Street Farmers Market

Main Street Farmers Market

The Main Street Farmers Market in Alex City will have tomatoes and other locally grown produce and fruit on Saturdays from 7 – 11 AM starting June 11 until October 29.  Located on Broad Street in downtown Alexander City, the Market will also have honey, baked goods, fresh eggs, goat cheese, jellies, herb plants, and much more.

Enjoy the best picks of the garden and real flavors! For better quality at a good price shop the Main Street Farmers Market.

Lewis Grizzard once said “It’s difficult to think anything but pleasant thoughts while eating a homegrown tomato.”  Let’s try it and see!

Interested in keeping up with other events around Lake Martin?  Or are you interested in places to eat, homes and lots for sale, where to shop, marinas around the Lake, places to have fun and more?  Check out the free Lake Martin Voice app!

 

 

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Best Memorial Day Events at Lake Martin

The number one event at Lake Martin on Memorial Day 2016 is napping. Yes, napping.  If you can catch some ZZZZs like this “leetle guy,” then go for it.  Time well spent.  For you active types, I have plucked 3 interesting events around the Lake that will serve you well.

  1.  On the way to Smith Marina to enjoy some birthday cake yogurt and celebrate Smitty’s 60th birthday (gotta love a guy who throws himself a birthday party like Bilbo Baggins) stop by my new listing at 510 Woodvine Road located in the Parker Creek area.  Doesn’t this look like a great location in a quiet area of the Lake?  Lots of room for parking and plenty of privacy.
  2. Then ’round the corner be sure to spend some time at Art on the Lake at Children’s Harbor.  This annual art exhibit is always fun with over 50 artists and all kinds of art.
  3. Back out on the Lake, watch for the Dixie Sailing Club McFadden Cup Club Race sailboats.  What a sight!  Next stop – another new listing of mine 40 Cottage Loop at The Village.  Can you imagine spending the weekend here?  No worries with yard work – just enjoy your day relaxing on your porch or taking a dip in the Village pool or lounge at the Village beach.  Or hop in the boat for a short ride to Chimney Rock!

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Memorial Day weekend at Lake Martin is all about family fun and kicking off the unofficial start of Summer!  Please take time to remember those who died while serving in the U.S. military but also enjoy plenty of lighthearted time with your family and friends at the Lake!

Interested in keeping up with other events around Lake Martin?  Or are you interested in places to eat, homes and lots for sale, where to shop, marinas around the Lake, places to have fun and more?  Check out the free Lake Martin Voice app!

Have a great Memorial Day weekend at the Lake!  And enjoy that nap!

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Lil’ Calypso Art Fest

Lil Calypso scene from 2015

Lil Calypso Art Fest scene from 2015 at Chucks Marina

Looking for a fun way to spend a Saturday at Lake Martin?  Enjoy some art!  Mark  your calendars for Saturday, June 11 from 10 – 4 for the Lil’ Calypso Art Fest.  And yes, how about the coincidence – this is the same weekend that you marked your calendar for the Alex City Jazz Festival.  Before going to the Jazz Fest swing by Chuck’s Marina for the 14th annual Lil’ Calypso Art Fest!

Over 50 vendors will set up tents all along the grounds of Chuck’s Marina and shore of Lake Martin.  A wide selection of art will be represented such as handmade jewelry, pottery, folk art, oil paintings, watercolor paintings, handmade furniture, yard art and much more!

While you can come by boat (just don’t expect to see any Banana Boats) or by car – the admission to the show is free. Donations will be accepted for the local Union Volunteer Fire Department.  Some of the members of the Fire Department will be on site to help by running a golf cart shuttle, grilling hot dogs and helping in any way they can!

And of course Chuckwalla’s Pizzeria is serving their famous pizza and subs. Also enjoy live music on the tiki bar deck from 1-4.

For more info call Jane Harris at 334-233-0724 or click here for Chuck’s Marina Facebook page.

For Google Maps location – click here.

Don’t miss anything going on at the Lake!  The best way to keep up with all events at Lake Martin is to download my FREE app, Lake Martin Voice.

 

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Want to learn how to sail on Lake Martin?

Dixie Sailing Club

Here is the 411 – how, when and where! The Dixie Sailing Club at Lake Martin offers a free “Introduction to Sailing” class each year. This year the event will be held Saturday, June 4 from 10-3 at their location on Lake Martin near New Hope Baptist Church.  For directions click here.

Intro to Sailing is held each year in early summer to introduce you to sailing and to the club. There will be classroom instruction (basics of sailing, learn parts of a sailboat) and practical sailing instruction (what to do if you capsize and how to recover). To test your skills they will let you sail on Lake Martin on either a Sunfish or Laser sailboat or go sailing on large boats with club members.

Picture this – the sun is beginning to set, there is a breeze pushing you along, a perfect day on the water – you can understand why Yacht Rock Pioneer Christopher Cross “…If the wind is right you can sail away and find tranquility.  The canvas can do miracles just you wait and see.”   Explore the waters, learn sailing now!

 

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The Dixie Sailing Club has been around a long time – over 50 years. For more info about scheduled cruising, racing or sailing with the club – visit their website or send an email to [email protected] or find them on Facebook.
Interested in the current Lake Martin water level? Or Lake Martin area weather? Also want to keep up with events from around the lake, places to eat, homes and lots for sale, where to shop, marinas around the lake, places to have fun, and more? Check out the Lake Martin Voice app!

 

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The Next Big Thing In Real Estate Tech

The “Next Big Thing” in real estate technology is 3D Tours By Matterport. It is a new, breakthrough tool that I think will become indispensable in helping Lake Martin home buyers and sellers.

I know you might be thinking, “Big deal, John. Another cheesy, flashy item that will mesmerize realtors like a cat plays with a ball of yarn: vapidly and without understanding.”

I will let the pudding give the proof on this subject. Please click on the 3D tour above for my awesome home that went under contract recently at 236 Delilah Lane. Matterport has made a huge leap in presentation by marrying advances in the 3D camera with software that smooths it out. It looks wonderful and is the closest I have seen to actually walking through a home.

If you are reading this on a smart phone or tablet, so much the better. It looks even nicer on handhelds because you are able to touch the screen. Much more intuitive.

Pretty Is As Pretty Does

Today, successful technology in any field shares two traits: simplicity and helpfulness. In other words, pretty is as pretty does. The Matterport tours do this in spades. You don’t need a PhD to use it, and the tours look really nice and actually are helpful.

For Lake Martin home sellers, Matterport Tours give a marketing edge on par with full motion video tours. And like full motion tours, they represent a quantum leap into another level of presentation. What seller would not want this? Show me the Lake Martin homeowner that would tell an agent, “Nah, just go halfway on the marketing. Let’s mail this one in.”

For buyers looking for Lake Martin waterfront homes, the benefit is as obvious. Today’s real estate buyer wants more. More homes to view, and more details about the homes they like. I have not talked to a single buyer that has said, “no thanks, I don’t want to use that 3D tour.” They appreciate being able to walk through a home and really get a sense of the floor plan – and not get dizzy in the process by staring at some photo stitched, poor excuse for a “Virtual Tour.”

It Has Already Sold A Lake Martin Home.

I have been slowly rolling out these 3D tours on all of my listings. I wanted to take them one at a time to make sure I understand the process and how best to serve my clients and customers. Despite its infancy in my marketing quiver, I have already sold a home directly because of the 3D tour. I was on one side of Lake Martin showing a couple one home and they asked me if anything else was available. Because I had a 3D tour up and ready on one of my listings, they were able to view it quickly and confirm that they wanted to tour it physically. I wrote up an offer after their trip!

Lake Martin 3D Home Tours FAQ

How can I get a 3D Tour for my Lake Martin home? I can give you a free Comparable Market analysis for your lake home. Just contact me through this form or call me at the number at the top of the screen. I can come by your lake home and let you know what I think its likely sales point will be, and how I would use 3D tours to help sell it.

What do 3D tours cost? – Nothing. Right now, I am paying for the 3D tours’ filming and hosting for as long as you list your Lake Martin home with me. Who knows, maybe one day I will have to go with an a la carte situation, but right now your 3D Tour is part of the many other marketing efforts I perform on behalf of all of my Lake Martin waterfront homes.

Are you giving up on videos or photos? No. Photos will still be a big part of real estate marketing, mainly because MLSs are set up with them as a prime cog. And they do a great job in pointing out prime angles or features. Videos- they are here to stay as well.  I do think Matterport 3D tours are better at giving a person a walk through feel, but videos are better at hitting key features and mixing in things like location shots. Plus, until Matterport figures out how to put a 3D camera on a quadcopter, “aerial camera” shots will still be a huge part of my marketing here at Lake Martin Voice Realty. In other words, gone are the days of “either / or” marketing. Today’s seller deserves the very best of everything, and buyers want all the information we can throw at them.

Do I need special googles or glasses to view the tours? No. Just start clicking and turning. If you’re on a laptop or desktop, use your arrow buttons. If on a smart phone or pad, just touch the screen!

3d glassesWill 3D Tours replace Open Houses? I think the internet replaced open houses a decade ago. Bringing the listing to life with a 3D tour lets you tour from anywhere, anytime.  It is like attending an always open – open house (minus the crowd and cookies).

The difference between 3D tours and virtual tours? Virtual tours allow you to do a 360° pan from a single point in the room but 3D tours let you move around in the room and from room to room.

 

As a real estate agent I want to have the latest real estate marketing technology and Matterport is a company that offers this great new tool. Interested in seeing the floor plan? Matterport offers a complete layout of the house and offers homebuyers the ability to move thru the property and see it from every angle.

May I help you sell your Lake Martin waterfront property? Please call or text me at the number at the top of the page or contact me through this form.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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You Can’t See This Foreclosure at Lake Martin

lake martin foreclosure 2016There are not many waterfront foreclosures right now in the Lake Martin market. I haven’t run the numbers yet, but my feeling is that they peaked in 2009 or so. However, my Lake Martin Foreclosure list is still extremely popular with my readers and my real estate clients. I get a fair amount of folks who are only curious, but I also connect with people that end up buying later. Since I try and followup with everyone, I spend a decent amount of time explaining that buying a foreclosed home, on the water, at Lake Martin these days is a long shot. (Yes, there are plenty of good deals that are not foreclosures).

When I was setting up some waterfront homes to see tomorrow, I ran across a home on the MLS‘s Hot Sheet – I was initially interested because the house looked nice from the outside and it looked to be on a flat lot with a good view of Lake Martin. It was a foreclosure to boot- despite my generalities above.

I called the agent to show it, and he said, “you can’t show that one. I haven’t even been inside of it.”

Huh?

Apparently there are people still in it and they are objecting to the sale. Agents can’t show it. Buyers can’t walk through it. You can enter a bid online, cash only, please sir.

OK.

If this one sells it will be one for the record books, sportsfans.

 

 

Can I help you find your dream Lake Martin home or lot? Contact me here or call me at the number at the top of the page.

Please download by FREE LAKE MARTIN VOICE APP before you call, or I will be so sad….

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New and Improved Floating Dock at Lake Martin

The Alexander City Boat Ramp floating dock on Stowe Ferry Landing has undergone some updates – bumper and deck boards were replaced.  Great news huh?  The picture below from the Alexander City Public Works Facebook page shows the work being done.  Read more here.

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But that is not the only good news for the boat ramp – there will also be a sign welcoming visitors to Alexander City to the area.  Read this article from the Alex City Outlook to learn when the idea originated. Members of  Leadership Lake Martin have adopted the sign project and will also add an enclosed bulletin board with a map of Lake Martin.

Interested in knowing about other boat ramps around Lake Martin? Interested in the current Lake Martin water level? Or Lake Martin area weather?  Also want to keep up with events from around the lake, places to eat, homes and lots for sale, where to shop, marinas around the lake, places to have fun, and more? Check out the Lake Martin Voice app!
Lake Martin VOICE app

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