Mythbuster: Alabama Power Leased Lots – Lake Martin

Lake Martin Alabama power leased lotAlabama Power has leased waterfront lots on Lake Martin for decades.  Yet, so much rumor, speculation, and innuendo surrounds the topic it remains mysterious to many people, real estate agents included.

Allow me to try to bust the myth on this subject.

Why are there leased lots on Lake Martin?

Lake Martin dam alabama power real estateLake Martin was created in 1923 when the Southern Company (Alabama Power) built Martin Dam on the Tallapoosa River.  They bought up all of the eventual waterfront at the elevation of 490 feet above sea level.  Since old Mr. Ben Russell (founder of Russell Mills), already owned the damming rights to the Tallapoosa, the Power Company swapped him those rights for one half of the waterfront.  Pretty much every inch of the 700 miles of waterfront of Lake Martin at one time or another was owned by either Alabama Power or Old Mr. Ben.

When did Alabama Power begin to lease lots on Lake Martin?

Sometime around in the 1960s, Alabama Power allowed people to build homes on the waterfront, but they retained ownership of the land underneath the home.  The people own the sticks and bricks, the company owns the dirt.  The people paid a monthly lease to do so.  Over the years, depending on the opinions of officers at Alabama Power, the homeowners were given the chance to buy the dirt under their homes.  No rhyme or reason to it, some years they would decide to sell, other years they would institute leases.  That policy continues today.  Who knows, they may decide to start selling lots to leaseholders tomorrow.  They might not.

How does a lot lease work on Lake Martin?

These days, when Alabama Power leases a waterfront lot to homeowners, they have a written lease, just like you would for an apartment.  The lease specifies the monthly rate (currently around $400), the length of the lease (currently twenty years), and the yearly increase of the rate.  The key here is that every lot is different, so if you’re concerned, consult a lawyer.  Alabama Power assigns the lease amount when they offer new lots for lease.  They offer the lots in a bid system, meaning, the homeowners bid offers of cash to pay for the privilege of entering the lease.  If you are the top bidder, then you must pay the monthly lease rate on top of that.

What happens at the lease end?

Again, you must examine each lease to be sure of how it works.  But generally speaking, at the end of the lease, one of 4 things can happen:

1.  Alabama Power renews the lease
2.  Alabama Power sells you the lot
3.  Alabama Power buys the house from you
4.  You pick up the house and leave.

My family has been selling real estate in the Lake Martin area since 1953.  We have never heard of Alabama Power buying a house, or making someone move their house away.  Not that it is impossible, but it is, in my opinion, highly, highly, improbable.  Most of the time they either renew the lease or sell you the lot.  Once again, if in doubt, talk to a lawyer.

Can you sell a leased lot home?

One word answer – YES.  There are plenty of great leased lot homesLake Martin real estate for sale now (like this one) on Lake Martin and many that have sold in the past.  Generally speaking, you can get more house or view for your money on a leased lot house than you can on a deeded lot home, because of the existence of the lease. The transaction works just like a deeded lot sale, except you have the added step of transferring the lease to the new owner.  Alabama Power must approve this transfer, but usually it’s just a matter of paperwork.

Can you finance a leased lot home?

YES – easily.  I almost always recommend that Lake Martin buyers use lenders from around the lake.  Not because I am related to any many of them, but because lake financing is usually a bit different than your standard McHouse in McSuburbia.  Local lenders are especially handy when it comes to financing a leased lot home.  They are familiar with all of the documentation, so it’s a lot easier to work with them.

Do you own a leased lot home and have some advice to add?  Or maybe you have questions that I haven’t answered here.  If so, please comment on this post and I will do my best to answer anything else.

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Lake Martin Real Estate Spotlight: Bolton Cove Update

Lake Martin has a lot of development and new construction going on right now. One of the newest neighborhoods is called Bolton Cove. Below are some pictures of the construction progress, and how it compares to their plans.

Lake Martin Bolton cove real estate

Will the above be the site of the Bolton Cove Clubhouse?

Bolton cove ClubHouseStand-in
The above is a rendering of the planned Bolton Cove Clubhouse per the developer.

Lake Martin Bolton cove villaTo the left is an example of the “Tuscan inspired lake homes that will be the theme throughout Bolton Cove. I doubt you will be able to rent any of these.

Below is a pic, I assume of home sites, next to an existing Lake Martin home that is Lake Martin Bolton cove bordernot part of the project.

lake martin Bolton cove new constructionThe pic to the left was made standing on the south end of the cove, looking west to the back of that slough. I couldn’t easily tell by looking around how much waterfront the lots will have on Lake Martin. Maybe the next time I check I will be able to see some stakes or something.

Planned amenities of Bolton Cove:

The Bolton Cove Manor provides:

  • A community meeting room
  • Dressing areas
  • Swimming pool
  • Hot tub
  • Covered pavilions
  • Outdoor fireplace
  • Lake side beach

Concierge services:

  • Boat valet to the marina
  • Private slips
  • Lawn care
  • Hosting for Manor events

Directions to Bolton Cove:

To find Bolton Cove by land, from Birmingham you take 280 east, then take a right on highway 9 south at Kellyton, Alabama. Then take a left on Coosa County Road 20 east. Take Coosa 20 east until you take a right on the second Bywater Road, Bolton Cove is immediately on your left. You can take a left on Kowaliga Cove Road, it borders some of Bolton Cove, too.

From Montgomery, take Alabama highway 9 north, take a right on 259 north at Equality, then a right on Coosa 20 east, see above.

From Auburn take 280 west, then take a left on 22 west in Alex City, then a left on 259 south, then left on Coosa 20 east, see above.

By water, you need to be on the Kowaliga side of Lake Martin. Go north towards Willow Point. Pass by Sand Island. Head towards Veazy’s Marina and Scrushy’s house. When you see the point across the water from Veazy’s, hang a left and go west. Bolton Cove is almost directly west of Veazy’s.

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Lake Martin Builder Spotlight: Landmark Constr.

lake martin builder constructionLake Martin is bustling with developers, builders, sub contractors, and all types of people in the construction industry.  To shed some light on the life of one of the “good ones,” today we chat with Bradley Pemberton of Landmark Construction & Development, LLC:


1.  How do you get your sub contractors to show up on time?
 

I’m sure there’s a joke in there somewhere.  Seriously, I think it has to do with a number of things. First you have to know what “on time” means – proper expectations. You have to know what their work schedule will be on each project, because it will be different depending on the sub and job location.  More importantly, I think if you’re honest, pay them quickly, and accept their bid without trying to beat them down, they will respect you more and work as hard and be as productive as they can.

2.  Where do you find sub contractors that will work on Lake Martin?

These days subs will come from all over to work on Lake Martin.  I like to deal with those whom I know best and already understand their schedules and quality of work. So I will first choose subs that I like to work with that are based closest to the area.  For me that means Wetumpka, Eclectic, and Montgomery.  However it is easy to find subs in Alexander City and Birmingham.

3.  You have built all over Alabama.  What is different about building around Lake Martin?

I like several things that have been different.  I like that Tallapoosa County issues Lake Martin builder contractorbuilding permits for all projects outside of the city limits. I think this helps legitimize the contractors and maintains a level of quality for all builders.  I have enjoyed working on lots with a little change in elevation.  It’s a challenge but a lot more exciting.  You know, Montgomery is not known for its beautiful mountain views; it’s pretty flat.

4.  How do you build a spec house that is attractive to many people yet not so “cookie cutter” or clone looking?

I think you have to really concentrate on the details and the exterior.  I think custom details that either come from ideas from previous custom homes or details specific to that house that present themselves as an opportunity to make a mark, are what you have to look for.  I think you have to do the same thing either in exterior details like the eave, you know, around the roof, or on the site with landscaping or railing details. The look these days at Lake Martin is exposed natural wood, tongue and groove, stone work, with the house done in earth tone type colors.  I like a lot of stone both inside and out, cedar beams, tongue and groove ceilings, that type thing.

5.  What question did I not ask that you thought I would have asked?

I thought you would ask what I like most about construction.  And the answer is that I love to solve problems and work out the small, (seemingly) inconsequential details.  More than that, I like to see something created from a combination of materials and people’s God given abilities.  It is so fun to ride by a project and be able to proudly say “I built that.”

 

 

Thanks, Bradley, for your time.  We wish you continued success in the future.  If you would like to know how Bradley can answer your Lake Martin construction questions, call him at (334)356–2259 or contact him at Landmark Construction and Development, LLC’s home page by clicking here.

Free Boats At The Ridge Boat Show & Spring Home Tour

lake martin the Ridge marina boat showFree boats Lake Martin!!

Russell Lands’ big event is the Russell Marine In-Water Boat Show and Spring Tour of Homes at The Ridge. It is scheduled for two weekends, April 28 & 29 and also May 5 & May 6.

For the past couple of years, Russell Lands has done a couple of the Tour of Homes deals per year at The Ridge. This year they are combining it with a Boat Show at the Ridge Marina, hence the lengthy title “Russell Marine In-Water Boat Show & Spring Tour of Homes.

Basically you can go out to the Ridge Marina and test drive some boats. I understand theylake martin the ridge tour of homes will have ski boats, Hurricanes, pontoon boats, etc. Then, you hop in the car and go on the Spring Tour of Homes at the Ridge. Each of the featured homes will have a nice new boat parked out front.

Here it is – the payoff – the “free boat – : “if you buy one of the nine feature(d) homes you will also receive a brand new boat from Russell Marine.

Considering that the nine featured homes are all priced at over $1 million, the “free boat is a nice gesture, but it’s not like it’s worth 10% of the home’s value or anything.

But, if you or any of your loved ones need a house and a boat, and would like to buy one (or all!) nine homes, and would like to receive one or nine “free boats, just give me a call, I would be glad to arrange it!

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Hey Lake Martin Fishermen – Live Bait For Sale!

Kowaliga live bait and tackle - croppedLake Martin live bait fishermen have a new spot to buy bait.  Kowaliga Live Bait And Tackle is open for business.  The new store on Kowaliga Road (aka Highway 63) is south of Kowaliga Bridge.  In fact, it’s just south of my office, a tad north of the intersection with Highway 229.

The other day while driving to my office, I saw their sign, and I was so surprised that I chuckled.  I couldn’t believe my eyes.  I can’t remember the last time a new bait shop opened on Lake Martin.

Then, I was surprised that I was surprised.  Why not a new live bait shop?  Lake Martin has 700 miles of shoreline spread over 40,000 acres, and great fishing.  So why isn’t the live bait industry thriving right now?

When I was growing up on Lake Martin, if you wanted to fish, most of Lake Martin fishing real estatethe time you used bait.  You could stop by any old fillin station and at the very least they would sell crickets and worms.  It was commonplace.  In these days of clean, sparkly, mega-marts that sell hamburgers, haircuts, sub sandwiches, and also gas, the live bait selection has suffered.  You really have to hunt around to find it.  And even then, it’s hard to find the OSHA-defying oily tubs packed with minnows, and the stench, activity, and din of a room full of crickets.  To me, surviving a trip to the bait shop was half the fun of fishing.

Lake Martin is changing.  Is it just me, or are there really fewer live bait fishermen out there today?  The fish are still there.  Are they only being pursued by the plastic worm wielders and buzz bait boys?  Or are the fishermen being replaced by boaters?  I don’t fish as much as I used to; work is my excuse.  I’m looking forward to fishing a lot more this summer with my sons.

Lake Martin real estate cricketIncidentally, isn’t it also a sign of the times that the live bait guy has protected his business by forming an LLC?  Really – an actual legal entity was formed for the purposes, I assume, of “sellin crickets, worms, & minners.”  I applaud Kowaliga Live Bait And Tackle, and wish them the best of luck.  The next time my boys are at the cabin, our first trip will be to this new live bait guy.

If you have a tip on where else to find good bait – leave a comment / reply to this post and let us all know where to go…

Lake Martin Real Estate Spotlight: The Ridge

Lake Martin The Ridge LogoRussell Lands has developed neighborhoods on Lake Martin for over thirty years, but its newest, The Ridge, is vastly different from any one it has done before.

If you would like to see waterfront homes and lots for sale right now in The Ridge area, CLICK HERE to go to my Ridge Neighborhood page. I have a report that shows every waterfront home and lot for sale – by all agents, all brokerages, on Lake Martin. It pulls from the Lake Martin MLS so it will be current no matter when you visit the page.

Russell Lands has gated communities like Willow Point, and the Ridge is near to its other developments of Windermere, Windermere West, and Windover.  But The Ridge is a totally new animal.  Here are 5 Things That Make The Ridge Different:

1.  Heavy emphasis on selling through approved builders – Russell Lands started this Lake Martin trend a few years ago with Phase I of The Ridge, and continues it with Phase III.  They sell a certain number of lots to “approved” builders, who build spec houses and then turn around and sell them for the builders.  In prior developments, they sold almost 100% to the end homeowner.  The use of approved builders gives them much greater control over the quality of the homes.  They also get a lot of design consistency on the look of the homes by also having “approved” architects.  I think this also drives up the price so that their initial offering lot price to homeowners is pretty high.  As far as I can figure there is no real “pre-construction” pricing.

2.  The Ridge Marina – Russell Lands owns plenty of marinas around Lake Martin, but The Ridge Marina is the only one that is inside the gates of one of their developments.  It is a safe bet to say that The Ridge Marina is one of the largest marinas Ridge marina stack storage - smallon the lake.  The marina is close to Chimney Rock by water.  They sell gas, they have a huge line of boats that they sell, and also sell boating and skiing accessories.  Another big part of their business is boat storage.  You can rent a wet slip (a parking spot at a dock), but they are more expensive and rare than dry storage.  Dry storage is where they stack your boat on a huge rack inside their warehouse.  When you are ready to go, they come pick it off the rack with a forklift and put it in the water.  No matter how many times I see that it still makes me nervous.  They are adding on to the dry storage.  A company official was quoted as saying the The Ridge Marina will have the “biggest dry storage east of the Mississippi.”  That’s big, friends.

Lake Martin The Ridge Club3. The Ridge Club – Russell Lands is currently building a 9,000 square foot clubhouse called The Ridge Club.  While Willow Point has its Golf and Country Club, Willow Point residents are not necessarily members of the club, and vice versa.  In the Ridge, however, part of the homeowner association dues pays for membership to The Ridge Club.  Planned amenities include swimming pools, tennis courts, athletic fields, children’s play center, workout / cardio center, and a bar and grill.  From what I hear they have commercial lots set aside for possible restaurants, etc.  See the construction progress photos on the left.  It looks like it will be as nice as promised.

4.  Off water activities- Usually, in Lake Martin new construction developments, merely token emphasis is placed on off-water lots and properties.  At The Ridge, Russell Lands attempts to offer something to do off of the water, and (I assume) by association, raise Ridge club drawing - smallthe value of off-water residential lots.  They have designed sidewalks all through the Ridge, which is very different for the lake.  They also have cut in extensive walking trails through the woods around The Ridge.  I hear that the ultimate plan is to be able to walk, run, or bike on trails from The Ridge to Willow Point.  Look at a Lake Martin map to appreciate how huge of an area that is.  They also have plans for a town center located on highway 63, close to Windermere Road, that will have kitschy shops, a high end grocery store, and a gourmet restaurant.  (I will post more news as they confirm the details.)

5.  Marketing and Events – Russell Lands has promoted The Ridge like no other Lake Martin development.  If you haven’t received at least 3 mailers on it, you should have your feelings hurt, because they sent them to everyone in the area that pays taxes and has a pulse.  They also have been all over the home design type magazines.  Their homes have had multiple spotlights in Southern Living Magazine, and had tons of other regional media attention and write ups.  They also have really played up the Spring and Summer Tour of Homes.  This spring they have even tied the events in with a boat show at The Ridge Marina.  I have to hand it to them, it works. In the past ten years Lake Martin has gone from a regional treasure to getting attention on a national level.  This was due in large part to Russell Lands’ tirele$$ promotions.

If you wonder how long this will last, check the map.  They are selling Phase III now, with (I guess) a couple more phases left up the sleeve for The Ridge.  Then it’s on to the next big thing.  Does anyone have a guess on where the next one will be?  Comment below!

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Why I Give Away The Milk For Free

Lake Martin real estate changesThe Lake Martin Real estate market, like every other one in the country, has changed irreversibly. 

When my father Walter started in the business in 1973, the process was pretty much the same as when my grandfather Temple founded Coley Real Estate in 1953.  If you were a seller in the Lake Martin Area, and wanted to know what your home or lot was worth, you had to call an agent.  In 1953, in what is now the Lake Martin Area, there were two agents.  In 1973 I think there were three.  The process was – you called an agent, made an appointment, and physically came into the office.  Then you two would discuss your home.  He would tell you what home sales trends were.  There was no Lake Martin Multiple Listings Service.  No Lake Martin Homes Magazine.  Certainly no Internet.  You were totally dependent on the keepers of the information, the real estate agent.

Now, obviously, it is all different.  A Realtor’s office is no longer a thickly lake martin real estate agents guardwalled, heavily guarded fortress of information.  The web has enabled (almost) perfect information about sales prices and trends.  The MLS (Multiple Listings Service) web site is open to the public and easy to search.

So why do you still need a realtor now?  Especially if you’re a seller – you don’t need an agent if Lake Martin is still such a seller’s market, right? 

Wrong- the value of a great agent lies not so much in the mere possession of the data (MLS #s), but in how you interpret it, and what you do with it.   

It’s kind of like stock quotes.  Closing sale prices of stocks and mutual funds are free and public information.  When you pay a financial counselor to help you with your retirement savings, you are paying them to give you advice on how to interpret the data.  The value isn’t the knowledge of what XYZ Company’s stock closed for on a given day.  The value lies in knowing when and for how much to sell or buy and why.  Could you imagine picking a financial counselor based solely on the fact that he has access to stock quotes?  No, because a small mistake in interpretation can cost you lots of money.

The value of a great realtor lies not so much in telling you what the lake home on 123 Easy Street sold for, but how that relates to your lake home, or the waterfront lot / home that you want to buy.  Next, a great realtor executes a marketing plan to go out and sell your property instead of merely sticking a sign in the yard.

So, when looking for a realtor to help you value your Lake Martin property, don’t pick one that guards information like the sacred scrolls.  Pick one that is focused on you, that asks you questions about your want and your needs.  The more questions a realtor asks you, the better chance that he can get a feel of how to best serve you.

I work extremely hard to help people get what they want, but I don’t work for free.  I give away my advice and information on Lake Martin real estate because I want my clients to be a part of the sales process, not feel like I am posing as the wizard behind the curtain.  After I give them the information for free, then I can focus on marketing their home uniquely or finding them the home that matches their exact tastes. 

Lake Martin Sellers – Don’t Pick This Realtor

Lake Martin real estate agentsLet’s say you own waterfront property on Lake Martin, and want to sell it.  Let’s also say that you have the good sense to hire a Realtor to help you list and sell it.  What are your choices?  Whom should you pick?

Selecting an average agent instead of a great one could end up costing you major dollars.  You need to make sure to partner with one that fits you best.

Here are 5 Realtors that Lake Martin sellers should not pick:

1.  Don’t pick The Part Timer.  Would you let a part time financial guy manage your retirement account?  Okay then.  It may be easy to be average, but being great at selling real estate is tough work (even on Lake Martin).  It is more than a 40 hour a week job to do things like talk to buyers, show properties, scout new listings, scour FSBOs, research property sales, and stay educated on licensing, contracts, housing laws, etc.  The Part Timer has other priorities.  You deserve better.

2.  Don’t pick The Suck Up.  Given the high value of Lake Martin real estate, a small mistake in selling your property can cost you thousands.  Do you want your listing agent to tell you what they think you want to hear, or to tell you the truth?  The Suck Up:  “Sure, Mrs. Seller, I think it’s a great idea to have a palm reader on site to give mystical advice to buyers when they visit!”  Puh-leez.

3.  Don’t pick The Talker.  Like any successful partnership, sellers and their Lake martin realtorlisting agents must have great communication.  Good communicators listen more than they talk.  They ask a lot of questions, and then listen some more.  Some agents think that everyone loves to hear them spout off about themselves.  I happen to think that sellers want to hear about their own home, their own lot, and how their own problems will be solved.

4.  Don’t pick The High Bidder.  Most sellers only talk to one agent about listing Lake Martin home Sellerstheir home.  Be different.  Talk to several, and pick the one that fits you best.  Ask each Realtor to tell you what your property will bring on the market.  Wise sellers don’t always go with the one who gives the highest number.  Go with the one that backs up his / her number with solid, well thought out research.  Like #2 above, The High Bidder will tell you what he/she thinks you want to hear – a possibly unattainable high price.  After your home languishes unsold for months, The High Bidder might try and talk you down to a sensible number.

5.  Don’t pick The Lowballer.  Real Estate commissions are totally negotiable, no matter what conspiracy theorists tell you.  When you hire a Realtor to sell your Lake Martin home, you two can agree to a commission of a penny or 300% of the sales price, whatever.  The Lowballer will tell you he will charge you something less than 6% and give you the same service.  Hey – maybe it will work out fine.  But I am here to tell you that it takes money to properly sell a Lake Martin listing.  Do you want someone who will simply stick a sign on the dock and hope someone else will sell it?  During the listing interview, quiz The Lowballer on the marketing plan.  Ask follow up questions.  It’s the only way to separate the lazy or the cocky from those Realtors with A Real Plan.

Curious about what your Lake Martin property be worth, and how I would tailor a plan to sell it?  Holler at me.

Lake Martin Named Top Real Estate Market In AL

Lake martin real estate winnerHere we go again – Lake Martin was described as the top real estate market in the entire state of Alabama

The Central Alabama Business Journal – a sister publication of the Montgomery Advertiser recently interviewed J. Danny Cooper, the Executive Vice President of the Alabama Association of Realtors.  The article covered various topics from the condition of Alabama’s real estate market overall to the performance of specific areas.  Cooper singled out Lake Martin as the top market in the state.  In his words, “Lake Martin has surpassed any other market in the state in terms of appreciation and home value.”

I know what you’re thinking – this is just another propaganda puff piece from aLake Martin Cupcake rah-rah realtors’ rep.  I might be inclined to agree, on some points.  Anybody can have an opinion on what is a “good” or “bad” market.  What sets apart Cooper’s statement? It’s a fact, not an opinion.  The numbers have been crunched – and Lake Martin came out on top.

Not that the rest of Alabama is so much chopped liver.  This state is blessed with many great second home or vacation home markets – Orange Beach, Gulf Shores, Lake Eufaula, Lake Guntersville, Weiss Lake, Lake Logan – Martin, just to name a few.  Maybe you and I think none of them are better than Lake Martin.  Maybe someone else thinks that another lake or beach is prettier, or cooler, or whatever.  Everybody’s entitled to an opinion.  But here’s a fact – recently, none of them have appreciated in value like Lake Martin.

Even if you own a home or lot on Lake Martin and never intend to sell it, isn’t it nice to know – that if you did – it is in the top market in the state?  Wonder what it’s worth?  Drop me a line, I’ll run you a Comparable Market Analysis, no strings attached. 

And if you don’t own any property on Lake Martin yet?  I can help you with that, too.

 

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4 Great Lunch Meals Around Lake Martin

Lake Martin LunchtimeIt’s lunchtime on Lake Martin – where should we eat?  When I was growing up on Lake Martin, there weren’t many restaurants around the Lake, much less on the water.  Families had to pack their on provisions and make do.  You drove to the cabin, unpacked everything, and lived on ribbon sandwiches, chicken salad, hamburgers, and BBQ.

Today we have many places to eat, with more on the horizon.  I eat a lot of lunches around Lake Martin, so let me suggest four great lunch orders, in no particular order:

Lake Martin Cotton's Pig1.     Cotton’s BBQ – a couple of miles south of Kowaliga Bridge on highway 63.  In my humble opinion they have the best Q the closest to Lake Martin.  When I am really hungry I go for a double cheese with a BBQ sandwich and polish it off with a slice of egg custard pie.  Otherwise I go for the sandwich with fries.  I absolutely love good BBQ, but I detest bad BBQCotton’s passes every time.

Lake Martin Oskar's Catfish2.     Oskar’s – when in Lake Martin’s Blue Creek area, it’s a great spot.  I have tried almost everything on the menu, it’s hard to go wrong here.  If I’m in a big hurry I do the lunch veggie special.  Also I love the catfish fillet sandwich – but I get it blackened – not fried, with no sauce and no onions.  Oskar’s is a rare find in that they actually know how to cook fish correctly – juicy and hot yet not overdone.  Lots of restaurants, most of which charge quadruple their prices, could learn from Oskar’s.

3.     Kowaliga – You can call it Sinclair’s on the Lake or Cecil’s at Kowaliga or whatever, but it will always be Kowaliga Lake Martin Onion splitto me.  The name has changed over the years, but the best lunch order has not.  Order the same thing we have been getting since they were in that old building with the carpet hanging from the rafters.  Forgo the fancy stuff and order a plate of onion rings.  Wash it down with a cold beverage and soak in the ambiance.  If you’re really hungry get a burger.  The rings and the view are the best on Lake Martin.  You won’t be disappointed.  In the springtime they are only open for lunch Friday through Sunday, so you may want to call to make sure they are open.

Lake Martin Chuck's Pizza4.  Chuck’s – another Blue Creek gem.  Your order?  What else?  Pizza.  It’s very good, even by city folks’ standards.  Great atmosphere, too.  They sometimes have a band there, and it’s perfect for people watching.  Tip – call ahead from your boat to place your order if you want to grab and go.
 
Bonus meal – it’s a couple of miles north of highway 280 in Alex City, but Sho’ Nuff BBQ is worth a look if you are in the area.  Order the Sho’ Nuff Baked Potato.  It sounds weird but trust me, it will hit the spot.

 Can you think of a great lunch meal that I have left out?  Leave a reply, and share it with everyone else, too!