Lake Martin Voice Realty
Archive for the 'Lake Martin' Category
Why choose Lake Martin?
George and Lea had been looking for years to find that perfect spot for a vacation home. Once they found their Lake they knew they could find their home. Watch the video above to see why George and Lea call Lake Martin a destination, a happening place with a resort feel.
They loved that Lake Martin was so big and beautiful with so many places to eat with access by water or land. For example, below is a video that I made a few years ago about How to Get to Catherine’s Market and Spring House Restaurant by boat.
If you want to keep up with new restaurants in the area, or just find a new place to grab a bite to eat, check out our “Eats” tab on the Lake Martin Voice Realty App. The App will also help you know about Events, Shopping, Marinas, Weather and Water Level and of course help you find your new home at Lake Martin!
Note from John Coley: “As most will know, I am very happy that Lake Martin was granted a new winter water level of 484’ MSL (483 MD). I have written extensively about my support for this. However, it is interesting to note that a few folks around the lake have a different perspective. One of those is my friend Scott Henderson of Henderson and Coker, Inc., a local construction company. Scott penned this essay below to offer another opinion on the subject. My blog and business might be called “Lake Martin Voice,” – but I don’t claim to be THE ONLY voice of Lake Martin, just A voice. Also, since we are in the middle of a (in my opinion) very nasty national campaign season, I thought this would be a good time to present another view in a calm and rational way. I thank Scott for his thought provoking, candid opinion below.”
Want to hear a different perspective on the new low pool level for Lake Martin?
As you know we install seawalls and sometimes build piers “in the dry”. This seawall season; I looked at replacing several wooden walls as I do every year. As of January 20th when the new licensing went into effect and the water began to rise to the new low level several changes within our operation changed with it. Our normal strategy in completing our work load of seawall is to begin constructing the shorter walls as the lake recedes. As the lake drops to its lowest level we construct the taller walls up to 10 feet tall in the past. Unfortunately for us and a few of our clients; we were unable to build the taller walls this season. The taller wooden walls that we intended to replace were never in the dry. In other words; we couldn’t remove the existing walls nor could we begin the work by digging a footing because those beaches were under water. No big deal, right? My company loses the potential revenue but in reality; that is of no concern other than for the principal owners of my company. The good thing for us is that seawalls are only 10% of our annual sales. There are other concerns, not only for us but for several property owners around the lake. The walls that we were to replace are in terrible shape. The wood has failed over time as any wood does when exposed to extreme temperature swings when out of the water. The lake water itself takes its toll on the wood over time which is apparent in noticing how many piers are replaced on Lake Martin year after year. Piers are not subjected to the hydro static pressure that a wall is subjected to. Rain water swells the soil which pushes against the wood wall weakening the structure. Gravel can be put behind the wall where allowed to reduce the pressure but walls are typically backfilled with material from the lake bed. It is of my opinion that the only materials that will hold up to the pressure is concrete and steel.
With that said; those walls that we were unable to get to will most likely end up in the lake floating aimlessly until coming to rest in some slough with other debris such as driftwood or garbage. Hopefully, the wood from the wall will not end up being a hazard for a boater or skier. There are a few other contractors that install walls and I would think that they have several jobs that they were unable to do.
So what happens with the land that was once protected by the wooden seawall? It is my understand that the lake will only be dropped 10 feet every five years. After the wall fails completely; the property behind the failed wall will continue to erode away and it too will end up in beautiful Lake Martin. Unfortunately for the property owner; I would think that the loss of property translates into the loss of value. One wall in particular that I looked at replacing actually had fissures behind it where the soil is giving way with the wall five feet or so behind it. That means that rather than the soil slowly eroding away; once the wall fails completely, that five feet of embankment will cave off entirely into the lake.
Is there a way to keep us from losing our valuable property? What about rip rap? Alas, a simple inexpensive way to protect our shoreline under most any circumstance! With the water up, it can be placed from above the embankment, right? It can, but not in some particular cases. What contractor will place machinery on an embankment that is about to fall? I know I would not attempt it with our equipment! What about placing the rip rap from a barge? It could be done. The problem with using a barge is that there is a limit to how much material can be transported on a barge. When placing rip rap by land, it is usually hauled in by large dump trucks and stockpiled on the property being worked or somewhere close to the job, scooped up with machinery, then placed on the embankment. We do not own a barge yet, but we have rented one from the dock companies and they are understandably expensive to rent. In doing the math, it is of my assessment that rip rapping by barge would be terribly expensive and a very slow process if achievable.
In some cases rip rap can be places from the top as long as the soil is stable enough to support the necessary machinery. When placed from the top, it takes room to work. Sometimes there are trees in the way so the trade off in placing from the top may be losing established trees.
From a contractor prospective; I am not thrilled about the new low pool. Since I am and have been a part time or full time resident of Lake Martin; I have somewhat mixed emotions about the change. I am truly for what ever is best for Lake Martin in the long run. I am just not sure that the rest of the residents are aware of the potential property loss that the new change could bring. Plus, with the limited access created by the new rule curve, I am not sure how many contractors will continue to stay equipped to build seawalls. I know that our plan is to continue installing walls and rip rapping where we can.
Stillwaters Homes & Lots For Sale
Information deemed reliable but not guaranteed.
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.
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!
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!
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!
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
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!
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.
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!
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!
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!
Will 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.