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Aliant Bank Auctioning Water’s Edge Development On Lake Martin

Aliant Bank is auctioning the Water’s Edge neighborhood.

Water’s Edge, formerly known as Eagle Point, was a proposed waterfront development on the Big Kowaliga section of Lake Martin. It was (by my unscientific estimation) one of the largest, if not the largest, waterfront loan in Aliant’s history. It is located at the end of Coosa County Road 20, directly across the water from the old Veazey’s Marina near Willow Point.

Aliant loaned the money to real estate developers that tried to market it as Eagle Point, but the bank ended up taking that land back, and now has hired auctioneer JP King to auction off the whole shebang.

I have read JP King’s promotional materials and also called and emailed them for more information. At the time of this writing, they did not have a location map, neighborhood covenants and restrictions, but did have about 15 photos. Here are the major points:

Date: Saturday, March 10, 2012
Time: 10:00 AM Central Time
Place: “On Site” – I don’t know which part of the property that means, but if you take Coosa County Road 20 all the way east, surely they will have signage up.

Disclosure Of My Extreme Bias

I have a lot of personal bias when it comes to both Aliant Bank and Water’s Edge, nee Eagle Point.

Firstly, growing up in Alex City, I either know or am related to just about everyone that works there. Fine folks and experts at Lake Martin lending. In fact, they are about the only source that I know of right now that will loan on Alabama Power leased lot homes.

Secondly, I have a lot of personal history with Water’s Edge / Eagle Point. I helped Aliant do much of the homework (market studies, comparable sales, realtor stuff, etc.) when they first foreclosed. I also listed two of the spec homes that they had for sale. I had those homes listed during the construction phase and for several months after they were completed.

However – and this is a big however – I never listed any of the lots nor the Island parcel. Not the lots close to the spec houses (which the auctioneer is calling “The Cottages at Eagle Point”), nor the “island” portion (which the auctioneer is calling “Narrows Point at Water’s Edge”).

The only time (to my knowledge) that Aliant has put any of these lots on the market was when they listed lots 3 and 4 with Rhonda Gaskins at RealtySouth, the brokerage that listed the homes on lot 1 and lot 2 after my listing period expired. As was apparent in our Lake Martin MLS, they listed the lots for $195k and dropped the price to $159k before that listing expired late this fall.

Why The Water’s Edge Auction Will Be Interesting

I think Aliant’s auction of the foreclosed Eagle Point / Water’s Edge waterfront development will be interesting for three major reasons:

1.) Waterfront auctions on Lake Martin homes, lots, and other property have not gone well in the past. Foreclosed or not, I can only think of one auction where a sale has been consummated in the last five or so years. I sell Lake Martin real estate for a living, and that’s the sole example of success, but I can also recall five or six aborted attempts. One in particular, the auctioneer allegedly marched off in a huff after no one submitted an opening bid.

2.) The auction is not absolute. This may change, but as of this writing, according to auctioneer JP King, none of the parcels is being sold absolute.  Selling absolute means, essentially, if you bid $1, and you’re the high bidder, you get to buy it at that, regardless. If it’s not absolute it means that the bank has a minimum price, and if the bids don’t meet their minimum, they are not compelled to sell to you. Granted, this may change. When I talked to the auction company, they admitted that their information was incomplete right now. (Sidebar – the auction is in about 10 weeks. When will it be complete? Who will bid without complete information?)

3.) Only two of the lots have ever been on the market. As mentioned above, they last asked $159k each for lots 3 and 4 on the “Cottages” parcel. They have never – repeat never – put the island portion on the market (that is the parcel they call The Narrows).

Would you like to bid on waterfront lots or homes at Water’s Edge? Please contact me using this form or call me at 334 221 5862.

More Information about Water’s Edge At Lake Martin

I have written extensively about Water’s Edge in the past and also taken tons of video. PLEASE KEEP IN MIND that these are old posts from when I had the homes listed, so the pricing etc. NO LONGER APPLIES:

 Lot 2, Water’s Edge

Does Ceiling Color Keep Away Bugs?

Water’s Edge Featured In Lake Magazine

Lake Martin Seawall Construction

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New Foreclosure Field In Lake Martin MLS

Those interested in waterfront foreclosure homes or lots for sale on Lake Martin, Alabama, should take note of an interesting development.

The Lake Martin Area Association of Realtors’ MLS has made a new rule that any waterfront foreclosure home, lot, or condo should be designated as a foreclosure by selecting “Yes” in a new field of input in the MLS called “Foreclosure.”

Click here –> to request the Lake Martin Foreclosure List

FAQ related to this new development in Lake Martin waterfront foreclosures:

Photo By: randrflyfishing.com

1. What is a “field” in the Lake Martin MLS? A field is just an area of input.  List price is a field.  Number of bedrooms is a field.  Number of baths is a field, etc.  Now, Foreclosure is its own field, with the only possible answers being Yes / No.

2. So what?  Why should I care that Foreclosure has its own field?  Anything that has its own field can be searched easily and accurately.  An easy search that yields good results is a good thing.  Just ask Google.  This will allow you, if you like, to view only waterfront foreclosures by searching in the MLS and looking for 3 criteria: 1. Status = Active, 2. Waterfront = Yes, 3. Foreclosure = Yes.  This is how I search now instead of combing through each new listing and looking at the seller’s name.

3. How does this affect Lake Martin Voice’s foreclosure list? I have switched the search results now to show any waterfront homes or lots for sale that have Yes in the Foreclosure field.  So – if you have requested my foreclosure list in the past – THERE IS NO NEED TO RE REQUEST IT.  Just go to that same web address I gave you before.  It will still work.

4. Are the same homes and lots that were on the old foreclosure list, now showing up on the new list?  Mostly.  There are a few lots on the old foreclosure list that the listing agents have not properly changed that field.  But it’s mostly accurate.  Obviously, any MLS is only as good as the agents that use it, so it is still possible for a listing agent to enter a new home for sale and accidentally click “No” in the Foreclosure field.  But it’s not very probable.

5. How often is your Lake Martin waterfront foreclosure list updated?  Whenever any realtor enters a new listing, or changes an old one, my new list is updated almost instantly.  That is the beauty of a field driven search list versus the old list where it depended on me going in there and designating each waterfront foreclosure by hand.  Again, if you have requested this list before, THERE IS NO NEED TO RE REQUEST IT.  Just go to that same web address I gave you before.  It will still work.

6. If it is so easy to search for waterfront foreclosures on Lake Martin now, why do I need you or your stinking list? Well, since you put it like that – you don’t.  You can search for yourself as described in #2 above.  Of course, I don’t need a trout fishing guide.  I know how to get to the river.  I know how to cast.  Sorry guides don’t help me at all.  But great guides – well, I hire them because they teach me.  They tell me which fly is working today, and the 90% of the water I can skip to get to the 10% that’s the best.  When it comes to my own deal, I haven’t set my business up to tell that tired old real estate tale that we agents guard this secret treasure of info.  That is so pre 2002.  Hogwash.  Information is out there and free. You don’t need me for mere raw data.  You can search here in the Lake Martin MLS and call me with your whittled down list and I can advise you then.  Or you can contact me through this form or call me at 334-221-5862 and I can save you the trouble.  Either way, I aim to more than earn my keep.

7. How can I request to see Lake Martin waterfront foreclosure list?

Fill out THIS FORECLOSURE REQUEST FORM.  Feel free to comment on this post, but please note that COMMENTING ON THIS POST DOESN’T GET YOU THE LIST.  You must fill out THIS FORM Thanks. Again, if you have requested this list before, THERE IS NO NEED TO RE REQUEST IT.  Just go to that same web address I gave you before.  It will still work.

8. Where is the entire list? I requested and received your list, but there are not many on there.  Joe Biden, Matt Lauer, AND Ryan Seacrest all told me that every home for sale in America is a foreclosure and costs 10 cents.  What gives?  Despite the collective economic wisdom of those guys, there are some areas that are NOT still being rocked by foreclosures.  Lake Martin is one of them.  We are averaging about 5% of waterfront homes for sale being foreclosures, not 30% like in other markets.

Please stay tuned to this blog for later posts where I will try to make some how to videos to help you search.  In the meantime, please call me at 334-221-5862 if I may help.

 

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Lake Martin Best Buy Lists: Pick Your Price and Find Home Value

A lot of Lake Martin buyers request my waterfront Foreclosure List.  You may be one of them.  If you’ve seen it recently, you know that the Foreclosure list is steadily dwindling.  Does this mean that there are only a few good deals left on Lake Martin?  Not at all.

Don and Kristie are a great example of clients who originally called me about foreclosures, but quickly realized that there are plenty of good buys out there in the regular market.

It can be overwhelming to sort through the hundreds of waterfront properties in the Lake Martin MLS, but I’ve found that a lot of buyers want to do their own research before they call a Realtor.  My goal with this website is to give you the best tools for that research. 

Enter my Best Buy Lists.

Very few buyers come with a carte blanche checkbook, so I’ve created 2 3 lists based on price range.  (I’m working on just created a $600k to $1m list, so if that price range speaks to you, be on the lookout, or just go ahead and call me): 

1. Best Buys $350K and Under

2. Best Buys $351-599K

3. Best Buys $600k – $1 million.

Click here to request a Lake Martin Best Buy List

Each list is a compilation of waterfront properties that are worth considering based on a combination of price, features, and my professional opinion.   A lot of these homes are not our listings because I pull from the entire  Lake Martin Area MLS.  You’ll find the Best Buy Lists button at the top right corner of this page.

So this is real estate 2011.  Buyers used to have to call a Realtor before they could get the goods.  We can’t hoard information anymore – it’s  all over the Internet.  I’ve decided that if I organize it for you and make it available with no strings attached, you might appreciate it enough to contact me when you’re feeling serious.

Plus, the real value in a good Realtor is his/her ability to point out the best deals and crucial trends that will affect your purchase.  Would you go to a stockbroker merely because he knows what stocks are selling for?  No.  You want a stock broker that can advise you.  Same deal here.  The information age is over.  Information is free and ubiquitous.  You need advice and that’s what I like to provide.

In the meantime, please feel free to contact me if I can help you with Lake Martin real estate in any way.

 

 

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Attack Of The Accountants

In my opinion, real estate advice that is based on folksy anecdotes is for chumps.

lake martin accountants are buyingI mean to say – buying any sort of real estate, much less a waterfront home or lot on Lake Martin, is a big decision.  You shouldn’t rely on other people’s whimsical stories or vague opinions as evidence to buy or not.  In fact, this is one of the main reasons that I started this blog back in 2007 – to give hard facts…. verifiable evidence… the real story of what is going on with Lake Martin waterfront home, condo and lot sales.

That being said, please allow me to indulge in an anecdote once in four years.  Please don’t take it seriously:

Accountants are attacking Lake Martin!

A couple of weeks ago I had a stretch of seven days where I showed homes to five different accountants.  Two of them were actually  married to each other.  That’s right, a husband and wife CPA team.  One of them joked that the CPA stands for “Can’t Pass Again.”  Maybe, but in her case I doubt it.  I majored in Accounting in college and after I graduated I didn’t sit for the CPA exam. I took and passed the CMA – which for me stood for “Scared of the CPA Exam.”

Spending college and the first phase of my career in the accounting world taught me that the cliches are mostly true.  We accountants are a nerdy, math-brained, hyper analytical, careful with money bunch.

Here comes the anecdotal advice:

lake martin buy real estate waterfrontIf a bunch of unrelated CPAs think that Lake Martin is a good buy, isn’t that a good sign?

Sure, it’s folksy, I know.  But it’s a cute story.  Think about it – isn’t it a good testimonial for Lake Martin?  Like if your doctor actually exercised as much as she nags you to do?  Like if your insurance agent actually bought those awful whole life policies at full retail prices instead of trying to sell these “great investments” to you?  Like if the Turtle Man said, “Wow – there’s no way I’m swimming in that nasty pond,” would you swim in it?

Sit on the sidelines if you want, but, as your CPA will tell you, The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth.

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Rent Vs Buy – Lake Martin Math

One of most enjoyable parts about writing this blog about Lake Martin real estate are some of the questions and comments I get from readers.

A couple of weeks ago I guy emailed me to ask me what I thought about his plan of renting a home on Lake Martin next year from May to September for $3,750 per month.

I thought that it was an interesting concept.  I don’t know if he was planning to rent a Russell cabin or not.   Regardless, here is how I answered him:

“Thanks for your your email.  My guess is that you will probably have a tough time finding someone to rent to you May through September.    That is the peak season here on Lake Martin.  Most long term renters require 12 months.  This goes double for Russell cabins.  If you want to hear someone get tickled, call them and tell them you only want to rent during those months.

If you are really serious about renting a home, I would try lakemartin.com and go to the rentals section.  That is how most people rent their homes on Lake Martin, either long term or short (nightly or weekly) term.

However, one thing to think about – if you assume 5 months rent at $3,750 – at the end of which you would have nothing and it’s (probably) NOT tax deductible.  that’s 5 * $3,750 = $18,750 in total cash out for rent.

If you divide $18,750 by 12, it gives $1,562 you could pay per month on a bank loan.  Assuming 4.25% interest you could service the debt on a $320,000 loan.  At an 80% loan to value ratio, that assumes you can buy a $400,000 lake house.  You can buy a nice waterfront home on Lake Martin for $400,000 these days.

In other words, for the money you spent in rent for only 5 months, you could pay for a $400k waterfront home for a year.  At the end of the year, you are still the owner.  You can deduct your mortgage interest (probably, check with your CPA).  About $13,200 of that is mortgage interest payments, so if you assume a tax of 35% that’s a net effect of a $4,620 discount (35% * 13,200).  Again, check with your CPA to be sure.

All this assumes that Lake Martin home values don’t rise between now and December 2012 (which I think they are likely to do).  If / when they do, you gain on your home value as a direct result.  If you are renting, your landlord will just raise the rent.

With home prices this low, and rates this low, it really makes the case against renting.  Even for 5 months.  Much less 12 months.”

What about you?

Have you thought about renting a home on Lake Martin, and are wondering how it compares to buying one?  I would be glad to help you consider your options. Please use this contact form to email me or call me at 334 221 5862.

Maybe you weren’t thinking about 5 months at $3,750 per, but I am sure you still might like to entertain the notion of buying.

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Aquapalooza At Lake Martin 2011 – Setup Tips

Sea Ray and Russell Marine are once again bringing Aquapalooza to Lake Martin, Alabama, – on July 23, 2011.

Aquapalooza is a free, on the water concert that you can boat up, anchor, and go dance by the stage.  It is tons of fun, and, in my opinion, becoming the 4th big lake holiday behind Memorial Day, 4th of July, and Labor Day.

Lake Martin has experienced two really big Aquapaloozas – the nationally promoted signature event in 2009 featuring Alan Jackson, and this pretty doggone big event in 2010 with John Anderson.

In 2011, the headliner is Sawyer Brown.  Here’s the full lineup:

Lake Martin Aquapalooza 2011 Lineup

Sawyer Brown
Rhett Atkins
Chase Rice
Derek Welsh and the Cold Hard Truth

Lake Martin Aquapalooza 2011 Schedule

11 AM – 7 PM on July 23, 2011.

Memo to all you fast timers – we’re on Central Time.

Click here for the Official Aquapalooza Site

Lake Martin Aquapalooza 2011 Setup Tips

The prior years of fun have given us all some valuable experience. I shot a quick video below to go over some tips for Aquapalooza on Lake Martin.

Here are some more Lake Martin Aquapalooza 2011 tips:

  1. Have a sober driver and sober spotter – I say this in the video but it’s worth repeating. The driver will need someone at the front of the boat that is looking out for other boats, swimmers, kayakers, etc.
  2. Obey all Alabama laws – if you’re coming from out of state, study up.
  3. Idle speed only – west of Kowaliga Bridge is idle speed only until you get to Governor’s Island. The surest way to get pulled over by the AL Marine Police is to be above idle in this zone. Make even the smallest wake and they will hammer down on you.  Quite frankly, you deserve it.
  4. If you anchor up, use an anchor line – so many times I see folks throwing out their brand new mushroom anchor that is tied to ski rope.  Bad idea. It may be easy going down, but at the end of the day when you are hauling in 75 feet of it, and it’s slick, that thin ski rope will burn your hands.
  5. If you swim to the stage, use a PFD – it looks like a short swim, but trust me, you will get tired. Swim with a life vest on your person.
  6. Bring twice as many boat bumpers than you think you will need – even if you only use 2 to attach to your pier, you will need a bunch more when your friends (old and new) sidle up to you and anchor with you.
  7. Buy all your provisions locally – OK, so I’m a big believer in supporting the Lake Martin locals, yes.  But on the practical side, I can tell you that the local C Stores will have plenty of ice, snacks, and beverages.  It’s the same price as your hometown’s.  Unless you just like to load a cooler 2 days in advance, the smart move is to get it in theater.
  8. Take plenty of pics and video – you won’t believe how much fun it is to look at them later.  Local Lake Martin photographer Kenneth Boone usually has the best ones on his SmugMug account here.
  9. Tweet it out – if you’re on Lake Martin and hip to twitter, use hashtags of #lakemartin and #aquapalooza and @SeaRayBoat
  10. Check in on FourSquare – there’s a musical event set up on Foursquare – Aquapalooza on Lake Martin

Homes For Sale On Lake Martin Near Aquapalooza 2011

Do you have some time to kill, and maybe would like to cruise by some waterfront homes that are for sale near Lake Martin’s Aquapalooza site at Kowaliga Marina?

Click on the Request List link below:

CLICK HERE TO REQUEST HOMES FOR SALE

You will be asked for your name and email, and then you will be emailed two lists we have compiled of waterfront homes for sale on Lake Martin right now. One list is east of Kowaliga Bridge, the other is west of it. This list is from the Lake Martin Area Realtors’ MLS, so it’s any brokerage’s listings, not just mine.  Also, don’t worry, we DO NOT SELL, GIVEAWAY, or otherwise distribute your info.

Have a fun and save Aquapalooza 2011 on Lake Martin!

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Lake Martin Home Sales Post Best May Since 2006

May, 2011, was a great month for waterfront home sales on Lake Martin. A total of 24 lakefront properties were sold on the entire lake – all brokerages, all agents.  This is the highest number of Lake Martin homes sold in the month of May since 33 were sold in 2006. It beats the 22 sold in May of 2010 and 2009, the 14 sold in 2008, and 23 sold in 2007.

When I pull the numbers from the Lake Martin MLS*, I find that 2011 is trending to be yet another strong year for us, perhaps to be the third year in a row that we will have bested the prior year in waterfront home sales.

Please note that in the above chart, and for the all charts going forward, I plan to quit showing 2005 – 2007 data, unless I am trying to make a specific point.

My reasons for this are:

1.)  Visually, it’s hard (for me at least) to look at so many years on one chart.  They just all mix together and lose context.

2.)  It is my sincere belief (backed up by the numbers) that 2008 was the bottom of the Lake Martin real estate market.  “The bubble” is old news. Instead of focusing on how off we are from 2005, I think the more pertinent topic to people interested in buying or selling on Lake Martin now is: how high up are we from the bottom? And, are we in danger of dipping back down again? To highlight these topics I need more space, and 2005 – 2007 must go.

I’m not throwing away the data or anything, I can always trot it back out of needed.

The below chart will show you the trend of waterfront homes sold on Lake Martin for 2011. We are trending about 10% above 2010, which suggests that we will end up selling about 50% more homes this year than in the bottom of 2008.

See The Momentum

I am a firm believer that in order to understand the direction any real estate market, anywhere, at any time, one must study the comparison of year to year monthly sales.  In other words, did the number of homes sold this month beat the same month last year? And how many months’ of victories have been tallied in, say, the last running 18 months? The answer to this will tell you that market’s momentum, and give you insight to the likely direction of pricing.

Yes, that’s right.  I’m saying pricing trends follow sales trends. If home sales go up, so will prices.  Dropping sales will drop prices.

What is the real estate sales trend for Lake Martin? Why am I so confident that we are at a low (relative) risk to a double dip?  See this chart:

The above is  a chart of the numbers of waterfront homes sold on Lake Martin since January 2008.  It shows the result of taking the current month homes sold and subtracting the same month in the prior year. Take January 2008 for example.  It sold 5 fewer homes than January 2007, thus the -5 position on the chart.  Ditto February 2008.  But in June 2009 – we see it sold 19 more homes than June 2008, so it registers a big blip up.  The key here is to focus on that zero line on the y (vertical) axis. Anything above that is “good” – aka an increasing sales momentum. The reverse is also true.

I have often cited this chart, but it is proof positive to me that Lake Martin is still on an upswing from the real estate bottom. Furthermore, you can see from the chart that in 2008 it swung from mostly negative numbers to mostly positive.

This is excellent news.  We are very fortunate here.

Waterfront Lot Sales On Lake Martin

Another bit of big news is the huge increase in waterfront lot sales for 2011. Looking at the entire Lake Martin market, 4 lots were sold in May, 2011.  This equaled May 2010.  If we consider the entire calendar year, we are trending above 2010, which was a boom year for lot sales.

Looking Ahead

Obviously, we have many more months to go so it doesn’t pay to get too ahead of myself.  But I do think that so far we can draw two conclusions:

1.)  Lake Martin waterfront home sales for 2011 will be strong again, matching or beating 2009 and 2010.  Personally I would not be surprised if it ends up at 10 – 15%  higher than last year. I think this also gives a little upward pressure to prices, if not this year, maybe 2012. Preliminary looks at June numbers look strong.

2.) Lake Martin lot sales in 2011 will again be strong. I think 2009 will be the bottom for lot sales, and it’s interesting to me that its bottom happened 12 months after the waterfront home sales bottomed.  If lot pricing follows home pricing behavior, then we will see that 2011 will be the year that Lake Martin waterfront lot prices stop dropping.

One Final Tidbit

I always puzzle a bit when the numbers don’t match my gut.  For the last 60 days or so something has been gnawing at me. We know that real estate prices are still low on Lake Martin.  Check.  We know that there are many waterfront homes for sale right now.  Check.  So:

Why am I having to hustle so hard on the last 3 or 4 deals I have done?

By hustle I don’t mean work in general. Not looking for pity. What I mean is that on these deals it seems like each one of them has had 2 or 3 other buyers at the sixteenth pole.

To drop the sports analogies, it seems like the “good deals” are being snapped up faster.

Am I correct? If so, that would mean that we have a high majority of homes that have been for sale for a really long time. The dogs (bad deals or junky situations) and the dreamers (sellers that are being ridiculous) are so numerous that it clouds judgement of the market as a whole.  But is that a fact?  And how can I go about proving or disproving my gut?

If anyone out there has a suggestion for metrics, please let me know.

Related Posts:

Lake Martin Real Estate Sales 2011 – Through April
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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A Secret Weapon for Lake Martin FSBOs

Screen shot 2011-05-19 at 9.06.34 AM

Are you selling your Lake Martin waterfront home “For Sale by Owner” (aka FSBO)?

Then let me tell you about a secret weapon.

Posterous.com is the best way right now to market your Lake Martin home, condo, or lot on the internet.  I agree with its legions of fans that use it because it is SO easy.  Once you set up your free account, it’s like having your own blog.   It’s simple to add new info and update pages about your property, and it’s also easy to get that valuable information in front of potential buyers.

I use Posterous myself as a way to distribute pictures and quick videos.  I’m such a big believer in Posterous, I’ve actually taught a couple of classes to Lake Martin area small business owners on how to use it to help their marketing.   Lake Martin FSBOs  can also use Posterous to help them sell their homes.

Surveys by Realtor.com prove what common sense tells us – internet marketing is a huge part of the real estate industry90% of home buyers use the web before they ever call a Realtor.  So if you choose to sell your lakeside home yourself – you need to tap into this marketing engine.

4 cool things about Posterous.com:

Screen shot 2011-05-19 at 9.18.54 AM1.  FREE – it’s free to get an account.  Once you have an account, it’s like having your own blog.
2. Easy to add info – if you can send an email, you can add web pages to your Posterous blog.  Take a few pictures of each room. Attach them to an email, let the subject be “kitchen” or “lake view” or whatever.  Type description in the body of the email.  Send the email to [email protected] Do this for every room or vista of your lakefront property.  Each email will create a new blog post, and thus go a long way to describing your property.
3.  It cuts down on a lot of curious types and can also serve to qualify your buyers. When those tire kickers, or even legitimate buyers, call you for a showing, refer them to your Posterous blog first, so they can check it out before they come physically.
4.  Email a video, too! Shoot a clip and email it to your Posterous blog.  Posterous will embed the video.  So easy.

Granted, a free blog like this will not gain the instant attention from the search engines and social media that an established site like Lake Martin Voice will.  Years of work and hundreds of posts have built up credibility for Lake Martin Voice.com and my related pages on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter.  I don’t blog for vanity, I do it to sell homes, lots, and condos.

Obviously, I would love to help anyone on Lake Martin. But hey, if you choose to sell your Lake Martin home yourself, Posterous is a great tool.  So great, in fact, that I rank it as a secret weapon.

If you think you might need some help selling your Lake Martin property, we would love to hep.  Contact us here or call at 334 221 5862.

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Lake Martin Spring 2011 Real Estate Sales Results

Lake Martin has seen strong waterfront home sales for the first four months of 2011.

Forgive me for the boring title to this post, but sometimes straightforward is better. It’s also tough to make up a headline that encompasses a four month period (January 1, 2011 – April 30, 2011).  The reason I wait so late to give the first Lake Martin MLS* real estate market report is that sales are typically low in January and February.  Plus, I around that time I am compiling the much more statistically significant 2010 year end review. This year is no exception.

I am pleased to see that the overall Lake Martin real estate market reflects my gut feeling of a very swift sales season for waterfront homes. Personally for me, and also for my fellow Lake Martin Voice Realty agent John Christenberry, 2011 has been a year of tremendous blessing thus far.  We have been able to help more buyers and sellers this year than ever before, and we thank you for that!

2011 Looks Like Another Strong Year

I read and watch a lot of so called real estate experts that predict a “double dip” – or another wave of foreclosures, or some such other phantom menace that will upend the market once again. Who knows? Maybe they are right. But one thing’s for sure – if it does happen again, we will see the fundamental market indicators start to weaken. By “fundamental market indicators” I simply mean the important statistics we all should be watching: homes sold versus last year and average prices.  We haven’t seen those indicators weaken since their low of approximately July of 2008.

Since we are in such a small real estate market here at Lake Martin can only look once a year at pricing trends in order to have any degree of certainty. And when we look at homes sold versus last year, we see a strong market.

In the first four months of 2011, 56 waterfront homes were sold through the Lake Martin MLS – this is almost 8% over the 2010 total of 52.

If you look at the waterfront home sales by month, you see that 2011 beat 2010 three out of four of those months:

Lake Martin 2011 home sale results

I realize with so many years’ worth of Lake Martin MLS sales on this graph, it’s starting to be a bit busy looking. I might drop anything pre 2008 in the future, just to make it more readable.

Here are the same monthly numbers in a chart, in case you are more of a numbers person than a graph person:

chart of lake martin alabama waterfront home sales 2011 since 2006

When you look at cumulative sales, you can see that 2011 is already way ahead of the trough year of 2008, and the comeback year of 2009:

lake martin alabama waterfront home sales

Here are the numbers, once again taken from the Lake Martin MLS and filtered for waterfront home sales only:

cumulative waterfront home sales on Lake Martin Alabama

Obviously, it is way too early in the year to say for sure that we will beat 2008 again. But at the pace that Lake Martin is on currently, and when I look on the MLS now and see how many sales are pending, I think it’s pretty safe to say that 2011 will be a good year for home sales, at least as many as 2010. And, when a market, whether we are talking about Lake Martin homes or yearling thoroughbreds, beats the previous year, that’s the definition of a rising market.

Number Of Waterfront Homes For Sale On Lake Martin

Over the last six months Lake Martin has seen the typical, seasonal rise and fall of homes on the MLS that are “Active” – aka For Sale. At April 30, 2011, that number stood just under 500.

lake martin alabama active listings

It’s a total guess, but my feeling is that we will peak out at the low to mid 500s in 2011. We don’t have any big condo projects that are about to dump a lot of units on the market at once, that I know of.

Lake Martin Waterfront Lot Sales

As of April 30, 2011 has been the best year for waterfront lot sales since 2006 at Lake Martin.

lake martin waterfront lot sales

A total of 15 waterfront lots have been sold on Lake Martin in 2011, through April 30.

lake martin waterfront lot sales

In short, it looks like 2011 will be another good year for Lake Martin real estate.  Barring a huge blip in the road, we look to avoid the low of 2008 and continue to look like a post real estate bubble market.

I am not sure what kind of evidence people need to finally move past the mentality that we are in a crisis market. If three straight years of strong sales don’t do it, what will?

Related Posts:

Lake Martin Real Estate Sales 2010
Lake Martin Real Estate Sales 2009 – Waterfront Lots
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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Real Island Home For Sale Featured In LAKE Magazine

“Southern Charm” is the perfect description of our Lake Martin waterfront listing at 10 Boulware Drive in Equality.  It’s also the title of LAKE Magazine’s recent article about the house, detailing its unique “Southern sensibility.”  As usual, Kenneth Boone’s photography is amazing, and the story by Katie Cole gives a great “history” of the home (built in 1993). Our thanks to both of them for putting out such a quality Lake Martin resource.

Screen shot 2011-04-05 at 3.47.09 PM

The 4,245 square foot home sits on 3.9 acres of Real Island waterfront (that’s 440 feet of shoreline), and was modeled after George Washington’s Mount Vernon estate.  With 5 bedrooms and 5 1/2 baths, it’s perfect for a large family, or a multi-generational family.  If you’d like to know more about this home, check out the links below.  You can also contact us through this website, or give us a call at 334 221 5862.

Video Tour of 10 Boulware Drive on Lake Martin

Video of Waterfall Feature at 10 Boulware Drive on Lake Martin

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