Shady Bay on Lake Martin: Walking the Neighborhood

Last week we at Lake Martin Voice Realty announced the release of 14 new waterfront lots for sale in Shady Bay.

Below are some pictures I took as I walked up and down these lots:

If you’re interested in Shady Bay, we invite you to walk the lots, too, but bring your bug spray and perhaps a walking stick.  These are not 100′ x 100′ feet city lots;  they’re thickly wooded with all kinds of hardwoods and pines and they slope from Amber Drive down to the water.  They are raw and untouched and ready for buyers to envision their perfect lake home.  Buyers may bring their own builder and house plans, and covered boat docks are allowed.

If you’d like more info on Shady Bay, give me a call at (334) 221-5862, email me at [email protected], or click here to fill out a contact form.  I  can help you with Shady Bay and all properties on the Lake Martin MLS, regardless of the listing company.

Here’s a quick video tour of Shady Bay:

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Shady Bay Waterfront Lots for Sale

Lake Martin Voice Realty is excited to team up with Alabama Power and offer 14 new deeded waterfront lots for sale in Shady Bay

Shady Bay is a waterfront neighborhood on the northeastern shores of Lake Martin. These are big, wooded lots with views looking south toward Young’s Island.  They’re part of an already established neighborhood (entrance sign, paved roads, utilities, HOA), and they’re close to all the in-town conveniences of Alexander City and Highway 280.

Shady Bay Plat Map Lake Martin

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

The first phase of Shady Bay began in the early 1990’s.  32 of 33 waterfront lots were sold at that time, and now 14 more are available.  There’s a lot of choice for buyers here: lots range in size from almost an acre to to 2.3 acres, and waterfront footage ranges from 130 feet to over 350 feet of shoreline per lot.

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

Lot owners may bring their own builder and house plans in Shady Bay, and there is an 1,800 square foot minimum requirement for all homes.

Shady Bay on northeast Lake MartinShady Bay location on Lake MartinFor more information on these deeded lots, CLICK HERE, or give us a call at (334) 221-5862.  We have plat maps, tax maps, photos, a video tour – everything you need to learn the lay of the land.

Shady Bay is on the northeast side of Lake Martin, so it is convenient to Alexander City, Atlanta, Auburn, I-85, and Highway 280 By car, drive east over the Highway 280 River Bridge.  Then turn right  onto County Road 40 at Lakewinds Golf Course.  At the stop sign turn left, then take your first right on Shady Bay Drive. Then right into the Shady Bay Subdivision. Phase II lots are on Amber drive – the first right once you enter the neighborhood.

By boat, Shady Bay is 12 miles from Chimney Rock and less than a mile from Bay Pines Marina.

For a quick video introduction to Shady Bay, click below:

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Suddenly All My Videos Seem Lame

I used to think Lake Martin Voice Realty was pushing the forefront in real estate video until I saw the video below of a property in Napa from Realty World’s Christine Dwiggins.  Wow!

Sure, they had a huge budget and hired actors and a production company. But can’t I do the same thing in a small volunteer way?

Aren’t there some of my friends that would volunteer to be in my listing videos? Or local aspiring actors to tap?  So I guess the real title of this post should be, “Do my friends love me enough to act in my real estate videos?”

These are the type of videos I’m impressed with.  The production quality is great. There are a lot of agents nationwide that are working very hard to give their clients serious exposure.  I saw an interview with Christine Wiggins about this Napa video, and she said they filmed for 16 hours to get all the shots they needed.  And that was just the filming.

So I’m trying to learn from people like Christine.  Even though I’m the only Lake Martin Realtor who currently creates video tours for all listings, I can still improve.  I’ve been using video since 2007, and while some of those early clips make me cringe, I had to start somewhere.  See these 2 videos, both of the same home I sold in 2007, and again in 2012.  My narrator had clearly not discovered coffee in the  first version.  I’d like to think there has been some growth in all aspects of production.  But in 2007, the idea of a video tour seemed revolutionary.

2012 Video Tour

2007 Video Tour

Sure, it’s more work, but I truly believe video tours tell a more complete story of a property.

So who’s in for the acting gig?  Comment below and let me know if you’re available.  I pay in Lake Martin Crazy gear, but your exposure will hopefully be tremendous.  Just this past month (Dec. 26 – Jan. 24), my YouTube viewers spent 2, 363 minutes watching my real estate videos.  That is pretty strong for what is considered an off season for Lake Martin real estate.

If you’d like to see your property get exposure like this, give me a call at (334) 221-5862 or CLICK HERE to contact me and let’s talk about marketing your Lake Martin home. 

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Emerald Shores Waterfront Lots for Sale

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

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

Emerald Shores Sat Map

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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2012 Lake Martin Home Sales Resemble 2006

Lake Martin waterfront home sales look a lot like 2006. That may catch you by surprise if you follow the real estate market merely in general and think that every market is suffering right now. Other real estate markets around the country my still be reeling, but not for lakefront property sold at Lake Martin, Alabama.

November 2012 waterfront home sales on Lake Martin show us that right now our market is a lot closer to 2006 than 2011.

November 2012 Shows Strong Sales

Lake Martin had a good November and a great October in waterfront real estate sales. The number of homes sold during October was 21, which was the best October since 2005. November posted a good sales amount of 10, equaling many months as the best since 2006.

The above chart shows that 2012 has consistently beat the prior years in almost every month this year. I pulled these sales numbers from the Lake Martin Area Association of Realtors’ MLS* on December 10.

2012 Year to Date Waterfront Home Sales

Through November, 222 waterfront homes have been sold through the Lake Martin MLS. A quick glace at the below chart, which gives you the cumulative results, easily shows you that 2012 has been the best market since 2008. In fact, if I had gone back far enough, you could see that it was the best since 2006.

Please see the below property sales results for Lake Martin in numerical form. I went back to show, month by month, how the banner years of 2005 and 2006 looked.

If we see a typical December sales amount of say, five homes, that will put Lake Martin at 227 for the year. Very nice.

When compared to last year’s total homes sold of 207, we see that the estimated 227 would be 9.6% above last year. If we look at our estimation versus 2006’s actual total of 235, the eight homes’ difference computes to 3.4% below that year.

That’s why I am saying that 2012’s real estate market on Lake Martin resembles 2006 much more closely than it does 2011. That should be good news for people looking for a confirmation of a comeback, and even those who recognize our market’s comeback yet fear a backslide, or double dip.

Never Is a Strong Word

When the real estate market around the nation was going through the correction in 2007 and 2008, it always rankled me to hear people, from the so-called experts to the armchair economists, proclaim that real estate values had “never fallen this fast.” Even more irritating to me is when folks say “sales will never get back to where they were at the peak.”

“Incorrect,” I say very simply, “incorrect.”

Never is a strong word and you had better have a lot of proof when you use it. It is very foolish, in my opinion, to utter sweeping macroeconomic statements like “the real estate market will never get back to where it was in the peak.” If this people meant the numbers of homes sold, well, I can tell you by pointing at the numbers, we are equal (materially) with 2006 right now. Value wise, we are still below the prices that were paid back then, but it’s only a matter of time, at this pace, that we will catch up.

I might note, I was equally critical of the bullish statements in 2005, 2006, and 2007 when people said real estate would “never crash like it did in the 1970s.”

There is nothing new under the sun.

Note: Once again I have failed to post my market reports column that I wrote for Lake Magazine. Sorry about that. Here’s a link to the report I wrote on Lake Magazine’s November 2012 issue where I analyzed home sales statistics through September 30, 2012:

The Numbers Are In

Lake Magazine (for some strange reason) did not publish the graphs I gave them to use in the print edition when they put it on their site. No worries, just refer to those above.

Related Posts:

Debunking The Labor Day Price Drop Myth
July Sales Cool
Lake Martin Lot Sales 2011

Lake Martin Real Estate Sales 2011 – Year In Review

Lake Martin Real Estate Sales 2010 – Lot Sales
Lake Martin Real Estate Sales 2010
Lake Martin Real Estate Sales 2009 – Year In Review
Lake Martin Real Estate Sales 2008 – Year In Review
Lake Martin Real Estate Sales 2007 – Year In Review

All Lake Martin Market Reports

(*)Disclaimers: All of the above info was taken from the Lake Martin Area Association of Realtors Multiple Listing Service. Accuracy is not guaranteed but deemed reliable. The above does not include sales by   FSBOs or developers that sell privately and not through the MLS. But, I do think that the above represents a very large majority of all waterfront sales on Lake Martin, Alabama.

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Year Round, This Trillium Room Says, “Unwind”

Another favorite image from a LakeMartinVoice active listing  . . . This time it’s 600 Trillium West Parkway on Lake Martin.  This is the house I like to call the Garden and Gun home – a great mix of rustic and sophisticated on an awesome lot in Trillium.

We also just happened to have a huge price drop on this home.  We just dropped the price $75,000 to $1,075,000.  Someone will take advantage of this new price and get a great deal on this very cool home.  If it sounds good to you, or anyone you know, please give me a call (334) 221-5862.

This image is the corner glass porch, lakeside, where the view of the sunset over Little Kowaliga is amazing.  I cheated on the single image concept and added the actual sunset picture for you to admire as well.  This unique room is as close as you can get to being outside while still comfortably indoors.  Warm and cozy in the winter, air conditioned and humidity-free in warmer months.

CLICK HERE to see all the pictures and info for this listing, as well as the VIDEO TOUR of the property.

To learn more about Trillium, the Russel Lands gated development that this home is a part of,  CLICK HERE.

If you’d like to know more about Lake Martin real estate, give me a call at (334) 221-5862, or click here to contact me anytime.  I can help you with any property in the Lake Martin MLS, regardless of who has it listed.  I’d love to help you find your sunset view, too.

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Book Nook on Lake Martin’s Parker Creek

 As the weather turns cooler  around Lake Martin, I think about time spent by the fireplace (or fire pit), and reading a good book.  The picture above is from a waterfront home I have for sale in the Parker Creek area of Lake Martin at 128 Orchid Drive.

This is an upstairs loft that’s currently used as an office, and they found a way to tuck a bookcase and reading nook into this cozy space.  This loft really caught my imagination;  I love that you can see outside through the great room windows, but still be cloistered away from the hubbub.  I bet you can hear the fire crackle in the great room fireplace from here, too!

If you’d like to see ALL the pictures and listing information for this four bedroom, three bath home, CLICK HERE.

And click on the following link for the VIDEO TOUR128 Orchid Drive in Parker Creek on Lake Martin

This home makes it easy to live year round at Lake Martin.  I’d love to show it to you, so call me at (334) 221-5862 or click here to contact me and we’ll make it happen.  I can help you with any home in the Lake Martin MLS, regardless of who has it listed.

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Lake Martin Dinner Party on the Deck

Rarely do I feel like I live a life that would be featured in Garden and Gun magazine.  Somehow, when they feature folks that harvest herbs from their own yards, they come off as locavore specialists, whereas I feel sort of cheap.  These experts create handcrafted bird houses with wood from reclaimed Amish barns;  I buy mine at Wal-Mart.

The one time I felt as special as they are was when some friends invited us to eat al fresco at their Lake Martin home.  Both the husband and the wife are artists per se, who also know how to cook and entertain.  Eating outside on the deck at night at their Lake Martin home felt purposeful and special.  At our cabin we only eat outside when there are too many people, or when someone has burned something in the oven.

This picture, taken from the upper deck of 102 Grandview Lane, says “Dinner Party”  to me.  You’ve got the shady, secluded, tree house atmosphere, and then there’s the view of Willow Point across the water . . . some places just invite you in.  I can see friends gathering in late afternoon, and lingering here well into the evening.  Throw in a fire pit or one of those chiminea things and you have a favorite autumn hangout.

This house is a great buy for the Parker Creek area.  Deeded homes in this price range – in this area – are usually what I call match stickers (aka most people would burn it down or tear it down), but this four bedroom, two bath home is a tooth brusher (as in . . . move in ready, just bring your toothbrush).

Take a peek at the rest of the photos and listing info for 102 Grandview Lane by clicking here.

And click here to watch the VIDEO TOUR of the entire property.

Give me a call (334) 221-5862, or click here to contact me if you’d like to know more about this home, or any property in the Lake Martin MLS. 

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Can One Picture Do It?

If I had to summarize an entire Lake Martin property with one image, which photo would I choose?  That’s a question I think about a lot.  Images matter with online marketing, and telling the “story” of a home via pictures is important.

Example:  This picture below was taken from the dock of one of my listings, 35 Sterling View Drive, and you can see out into the big waters of Kowaliga Bay.  It’s funny that here, in one of the busiest parts of Lake Martin, it feels secluded and calm.  35 Sterling View Drive is within walking distance of Castaway Island and Anchor Bay Marina – there’s plenty of life in these parts.  But this slough is like a little refuge.

If this is the kind of refuge you’re looking for, and you want to know more, CLICK HERE for the rest of the photos of 35 Sterling View Drive, plus all the MLS listing information.

CLICK HERE to view the full motion VIDEO TOUR.

I’d love to help you find your perfect piece of Lake Martin – be it calm and secluded, or right in the middle of the social scene.  Give me a call at (334) 221-5862 or click here to contact me via email.

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Why Do You Want a Lake Martin Home?

I have a client who has narrowed his search down to two Lake Martin waterfront homes his family likes.  This is great!  But because this is Lake Martin real estate, deciding between the two homes is proving to be tough.  A quick MLS property search in any price range will confirm that shopping for Lake Martin homes is not like comparing apples to apples.  There are so many variables to consider, that even 2 homes next door to each other can have radically different qualities (water depth, house condition, waterfront footage, view, etc.)

It boils down to the simple question: “Why do you want a lake house?”  That sounds obvious, but really thinking about their expectations for a lake home forces buyers to make choices:  Where is the best location for them?  How will they use it?  What do they like to do at the lake? Why are they even buying one in the first place?

The video below is of Lake Martin Voice Realty clients, John and Wendy, who have just closed on their home, and had to make similar decisions.  I think they offer some great advice:

Back to my current client with a choice to make.  Our conversation goes something like this, and it is:

Buyer:  “John, what do you think?  House A or House B?”

John:  “I have been selling long enough to realize that different people have different priorities. I think House A is a good choice if you prioritize newer home construction and the location in the west side of the lake.  I like House B if you prioritize size of waterfront and length of view, or a North Lake / close to Highway 280 location.

If you are undecided about location, my advice is to ask yourself where you would like to be closer by water? Whereas House A might cost you 12 more minutes to drive from Birmingham, it might be only 7 minutes by boat from friends.  Or House B might be 15 minutes faster drive from Birmingham, but 30 minutes from friends by water, but 10 minutes to shopping and restaurants in Alex City.  You just have to ask yourself what you will be doing and how you will be spending your time.”

What about you?  What are your priorities?  Why do you want to buy a Lake Martin home?  I’d love to be your realtor and help you think about these question – whether your time frame to purchase is two months or two years.  Give me a call at (334) 221-5862 or click here to contact me. 

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