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For Our Clients’ Eyes Only: Private Home Video Tours By Lake Martin Voice

Laura’s husband signed a contract on a Lake Martin waterfront home, even though she’d never set foot on the property.  Sounds like a pretty trusting wife!  Well, that’s true, but  Laura also had a powerful tool that many Lake Martin buyers do not have access to: Lake Martin Voice Realty’s private video tour service.

We make a lot of videos.  If you roll through our video channels on this website, you’ll see testimonials, custom Lake Martin Voice listing videos, and community information segmentsBut what you won’t see are the many private tours we make for our clients eyes only.

Sounds a little weird, but it’s actually pretty simple.

As members of the Lake Martin MLS, we can show anything in the lake area.  We can’t market other Realtors’ listings, but we can make private video tours for our out-of-town buyers, and give them an exclusive link to view these homes online. Lake Martin has over 700 miles of shoreline, and it’s physically hard to see as many homes in a day as you can in the city.

Sometimes photos alone (virtual tours are photos, by the way) make it hard to “get the feeling” of a home or understand how the floor plan works.  Sometimes photos  just aren’t enough.  Many of our clients have used these private, walk-through, video tours to narrow their search, and make their house hunt as efficient as possible.

As our client, Brent, says in the video below, “I didn’t want to drive up here and look at 200 houses.”

These private tours are also helpful when a property hits the MLS that we consider an exceptional “Best Buy” that probably won’t last long. For example, if we know you’re looking for a great deal in, say, the Parker Creek area, and one comes along, we can drop by the house, create a video tour, and have it in your inbox very quickly.   You watch the video, and decide if it’s worth viewing in person.

There’s only one catch:  you have to be a Lake Martin Voice Realty clientContact us and put us to work.

Membership has its privileges, even if they are kind of geeky.

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Lake Martin Concrete Sea Wall Construction Part 3

To get this footage for Part 3 of the seawall construction project at Water’s Edge on Lake Martin, I braved some pretty harsh weather.  Let’s just say it has been cold this week at the lake.  I know my job looks glamorous – lapel mic and all – but I do, at times, suffer for my art.  If I help just one lake lover learn more about concrete seawall construction, though, it’s worth it.

The seawall around the huge peninsula at Water’s Edge is almost complete.  Since Alabama Power lowers the water level of Lake Martin by about 10 feet every winter, it provides a great opportunity to build and repair docks and seawalls.  Henderson & Coker construction of Alex City started from scratch on this one, and now this property is safe from the natural erosion that happens at the lake’s shoreline.

For more sea wall construction: Concrete Sea Wall Construction Part 1 and Concrete Sea Wall Construction Part 2.

I end this video standing beside the waterfront home for sale at Lot 2 of Water’s Edge. If you have not had a chance to see these homes, you really need to.  Lot 1 and Lot 2, Water’s Edge are for sale now.  We are finishing up the dock plans and work, but other than that, they are good to go.  Water’s Edge gives you a unique opportunity to buy a Lake Martin waterfront home that is technically a foreclosure, but, in reality, is a brand spanking new home.  These homes were designed by the award-winning Jones Pierce Architects of Atlanta.

So many times when looking at Lake Martin foreclosed homes, I see the typical wear, tear, and sometimes downright abuse that can happen with foreclosures.  At Water’s Edge, when the bank foreclosed on these lots, there were only concrete slabs.  So the bank finished them from the ground up, and they did it with the help of experts in vacation home design and construction.  Wade Wilmeth is the contractor who executed Bryan Jones’ design.  Anybody familiar with Wade’s extensive work around Lake Martin and sterling reputation will know the quality of the homes without even walking into them.


stack of cashWhere else will you get this big water view, this close to the water, on this side of the lake, with brand new, well designed construction, and at least 3 bedrooms – for this price??

I get asked all the time, “Are there still deals on Lake Martin?”  I’m telling you now, these are not deals – they are steals.

Contact me here, or give me a call at 334 221 5862 to come by and see them.  It is well worth the trip.

Related Videos:

Water’s Edge on Lake Martin, Lot 1

Water’s Edge on Lake Martin, Lot 2

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Tour of Trillium on Lake Martin

Trillium on Lake Martin is a Russell Lands development on the west side of the lake.  The first homes in Trillium were built around 1989, making it a well established community of high-end homes on large, wooded lots.

If you would like to see waterfront homes and lots for sale right now in Trillium, CLICK HERE to go to my Trillium 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.

Trillium is always a popular spot for lakeside sight-seeing. If you’re new to the lake, or if you like to look at homes while you boat ride, Trillium’s a great development to ride by.  Another reason Trillium is popular on the boat tour scene is that it’s on a popular stretch of Lake Martin: the area between Kowaliga Marina and Real Island Marina.  This is a major thoroughfare on the southwest part of the lake (also known as Little Kowaliga).

Click here to see a lot that’s currently for sale in Trillium.

At Lake Martin Voice Realty, we can help you with any property for sale in the Lake Martin MLS, including homes and lots in Trillium. Give us a call and put us to work.

Related Post:

Little Kowaliga area on Lake Martin

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Live With Black Bears At Lake Martin

“Black Bear Spotted In Dadeville” – when I read this headline in the Dadeville Record a couple of months ago, I literally did a double take.

What? Bears in the Lake Martin area?

lake martin black bear?I grew up here. I work here. I hunt, fish, boat, hike, and generally enjoy the outdoors here. While I am no Marlin Perkins, I at least have a pretty decent knowledge of our local flora and fauna. But bears? This is a first.

Apparently we have at least one black bear roaming the countryside around the Point Cloxson area of Lake Martin. This is on the north east section, generally near homes with Jacksons Gap or Dadeville in their addresses.

I am excited. I have seen wild bears before: grizzlies in Yellowstone National Park and plenty of black bears while trout fishing in the Smokies. But those were at safe distances and I was on the alert.

Black bears aren’t supposed to be around here

I want a picture.

The Outlook article quoted multiple sightings from plenty of credible people. But no picture. I would love one. I will be on the lookout myself, and would love to scoop Kenneth Boone on this story. Kenneth, known locally as “Mr. Perfect” for his dapper and occasion appropriate attire is our region’s newspaper magnate and a legitimately talented photographer.

Imagine his professional chagrin if, a lowly realtor like me that uses all auto settings on my camera, am able to get a picture of the bear first. Granted, I am relying totally on luck. The bear will literally have to walk out in the road in front of me and stay there for at least 30 seconds while I fumble for my iPhone.

I have one advantage – I have a waterfront home for sale near the bear’s lair. 173 Wood Duck Loop is right off of Point Cloxson Road, not 2,000 feet from the sightings. This may be the only time I ever get to use this tease:

Would you like to own a Lake Martin home near a known black bear habitat?

173 Wood duck loop lake martin

173 Wood Duck Loop is a nice one. It’s a 2 bed 1 bath home that is fixed up to the nines. The seller has completely renovated it. Completely new wiring, installed beautiful granite in the kitchen, put in stainless appliances, vaulted the ceilings, even put in a Rennai tankless water heater. All this for well under $300k.

Click here for more info on 173 Wood Duck Loop and watch the full motion video tour.

By the way, would you like an easy way to keep up with Lake Martin area news? Lake Martin Buzz is the way to do it. It combines news headlines from companies like the Alex City Outlook with tweets and status updates from local people and small businesses. It combines them all and tweets them here or posts them all on one website here.

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Deer Take Refuge In StillWaters

Cold weather means deer season here in Alabama. Whether or not you are a deer hunter, you can’t help but notice the increase of pickup trucks dragging loaded down trailers, driven by hunters in orange clothing.  It’s definitely a little more dangerous to be a deer this time of year.

Except in one neighborhood.

Deer In Stillwaters Lake Martin

You still see deer in the Lake Martin neighborhood of StillWaters.

StillWaters is a gated community on the Dadeville side of Lake Martin. It is large by Lake Martin standards, and has a mixture of off water homes, waterfront homes, and waterfront condos. It also has a golf course and marina.  If you would like to see waterfront homes and lots for sale right now in the StillWaters area, CLICK HERE to go to my StillWaters 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.

Stillwaters also has a large herd of whitetail deer. It is not uncommon at all to see them on the side of the road, placidly grazing, not a care in the world.

whitetail deer fawn in stillwaters lake martin

I have seen a doe in this same general area several times. I guess this is her fawn. They are almost tame. Check out this video to see how close I got to them in my car. I originally posted this on my media blog on posterous.

I filmed this when I was on the way back from one my listings. I have a waterfront condo for sale in StillWaters, inside one of the condo developments named Villas on the Harbor.

Would you like to see deer like this on your morning walk?

Just like any waterfront home, lot, or condo on Lake Martin, I can help you with it, regardless of who has it listed. I would love to be your real estate agent. CLICK HERE to contact me, or you can email me (info @ lakemartinvoice . com), or you can call me at (334) 221-5862.

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Water’s Edge Homes Featured In Lake Magazine

The December issue of Lake Magazine spotlights the homes for sale at Water’s Edge – click on the previous link and surf to it or check out page 25 in the online reader version here.

Photo By Kenneth Boone, Lake Magazine

Lake Magazine Editor Katie Cole wrote the article and Kenneth Boone supplied the pictures, as expected.

It is a really nice article, mainly covering the genesis of Water’s Edge at Lake Martin. Water’s Edge was called Eagle Point by the original developer, who put in the road, the lots, the private septic system, and some landscaping. But the only home construction was one spec home and two slabs. Aliant Bank foreclosed on the entire development, except for the spec home. They were left with over 2,000 feet of undeveloped shoreline, a Lake Martin rarity.

They also had two slabs of concrete – foundations for planned homes. I was really honored to be brought in on the early planning stages with Aliant Bank, along with architect Bryan Jones and builder Wade Wilmeth. After looking at the project as a whole, it was evident that today’s market would be unlikely to produce a developer, investor or speculator to buy the whole shebang at once. As rare as it is to have this much undeveloped shoreline on Lake Martin, and in a popular, big water view area to boot, we just didn’t see it happening very soon. The foundation slabs had sat dormant for almost two years.

The decision was made to go ahead and finish and sell the two homes, to get some momentum going for the lot sales. The problem was that the slabs were designed for larger homes that frankly would not sell in today’s market. Enter Bryan Jones. Bryan had the tough job of coming up with a smaller design that would sell at a more modest price point – only 1/2 of the original developer’s plans. Bryan hit a home run – the homes at Water’s Edge take advantage of the huge view, overcome the hill slope with layout, and incorporate cool “lakey” design features that let you know it was thought of as a lake home.

That is how Water’s Edge comes to offer a seeming paradox – two homes that are technically foreclosures, since a bank owns them. But they are brand spanking new – designed and built from the slab up. Many times when I show foreclosed waterfront Lake Martin homes, the buyers are a but turned off by the condition of them. Many of them need more than TLC, they need TNT. Not so at Water’s Edge. Nice and shiney. Scrubby dubby.  Wade went above and beyond the call of duty on the building side, using his Lake Martin home construction experience to add in quality and finish.

Price Drop!

In celebration of the completion of the homes, we have dropped the price of Lot 1 to $549,000 and Lot 2 to $529,000. Both homes have 3 bedrooms and 3.5 baths. The only difference is that Lot 1 has about 700 +/- more square feet in an 75% finished top floor that could be a huge bedroom.

Would you like more info? See Lot 1 Water’s Edge Lake Martin here and Lot 2 Water’s Edge Lake Martin here, or you can call me at 334 221 5862.

Looking For Undeveloped Land?

If you are interested in the more than 2,000 linear feet of undeveloped, prime Lake Martin waterfront, please also give me a call at 334 221 5862. Most of the rest of Lake Martin is owned by Russell Lands or Alabama Power. It is extremely rare to see this much contiguous land for sale, much less on such a popular area, with huge, huge views. We have already drawn up several possible development ideas, so we can help you run feasibility studies quickly and for little or no cost.

Stay Tuned For More Video

Much of the undeveloped land at Water’s Edge consists of a tree covered peninsula that looks for miles over Big Kowaliga section of Lake Martin. This part of the development has not had a seawall of any kind for many years. Naturally, a lot of land was lost by erosion. Local concrete contractor Henderson & Coker has been hired to fix it. It will be the longest wall, on the biggest water, that I have ever witnessed. Maybe they have done longer, bigger walls over in the Ridge, but I wasn’t around to watch.

Friday I went down and taped some footage of them pouring the footings. I plan to tape each phase of the wall’s construction, should make for some cool footage. Stay tuned!

Other Great articles in December’s Issue

Also, don’t miss these other really cool article from Lake Magazine’s December issue:

How to Choose a Boat – folks who know me know that I am saving up to buy a Sea Ray Sundeck. I think I have made my mind up on the selection, but this article really got me thinking..

and

Smith Mountain Tower – this is a huge opportunity to help the Lake Martin community, become a part of restoring a landmark!

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Lake Martin Sales Slump In September

Lake Martin waterfront home sales stalled in September 2010. Only 14 homes were sold through the Lake Martin MLS*, as compared to 24 in 2009 and 20 in 2008.

If you add this month to the previous year to date total, what does that tell us about the Lake Martin real estate market as a whole? We see that number of homes sold so far through September 30, 2010, is 158. This puts 2010 slightly behind the Sept. 30, 2009, number of 162.

The good news is that it puts 2010 far ahead of the entire 12 months’ worth of sales in 2008 and 2007, thus ensuring us against the fabled, never-seen, yet dreaded, double dip.

Lake Martin Market Momentum

If we compare this month’s waterfront home sales to the same month last year, we see that 2010 has been on a losing streak. We have had 5 straight months of either losing to (4) or tying with (1) 2009.

Should we be worried? Is this a legitimate trend now? I mean, come on. I used this graphic to prove that the Lake Martin real estate market had bounced back in 2009. Shouldn’t it now show us that we are headed back downhill after 5 “lousy” months? Let’s be honest!!

I don’t think so.

The main reason is that I am writing this Market Report for September so late (November 2). I have the luxury of looking at waterfront property sales results for October 2010, which tells me that October is going to be a really big month. Probably the best October in 4 or so years. If preliminary indications hold, it will be so much better than October 2009 it will just about erase the last 5 months’ lukewarmness. In fact, it may put 2010 in position to beat 2009 when it’s all said and done on December 31.

I hate to call a downward trend when we are still beating prior year.

I guess many September scheduled closings have been pushed to October due to lending red tape and inspections. I know that personally I have been blessed to have signed more business (closings and listings) this fall than ever before.

Inventory of Lake Martin Homes for sale

The number of waterfront homes for sale in the Lake Martin MLS decreased again this month. No surprises here, it’s a seasonal thing. I am considering publishing this chart only once a quarter, or near peak or trough times.  I don’t think it’s necessary to mention each month.

Why Do You Report Sales So Late?

As I have said in countless disclaimers, I take all of my sales numbers from the Lake Martin Area Association of Realtors’ MLS. Each sale must be recorded and reported by the listing agent. That means if you have a closing on September 30, the sale will show as a status of “Pending” until the agent goes into the MLS and changes it to “Closed.”

Many times it takes a couple of business days, if not weeks, to do this. That’s why I try to wait at least until the 15th of the next month before I do a Lake Martin Real Estate Market Report. Granted, for this month (September 2010) I waited a lot longer than that. Sorry.

Be on the lookout for the October 2010 report sometime the week of November 15 – 19, 2010.

Related Posts:

Lake Martin Real Estate Sales – June and July 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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Pictures Of A Pro Taking Pictures Of Homes

As a Lake Martin realtor, I get to take plenty of pictures. Most of them (obviously) are of waterfront homes.  Or people.

IMG_9651

But, I have never taken pictures of people taking pictures of other people in front of a home.

Whew.

Yesterday, Will Pollock came by the homes we have for sale at Water’s Edge.  Will is a freelance writer and photographer from Atlanta.  Will, whose work has been featured in Sea Ray Living (among other publications), was in town doing some work for a future article on Bryan Jones.  Bryan, of Jones Pierce Architects, is the architect for Water’s Edge.

They rode by a few of the Lake Martin homes that Bryan has designed over the years.  I was really pleased that they chose to include the homes for sale at Water’s Edge.

Will even was nice enough to give me a few pro pointers, like dealing with the glare off of the water, and trying to get the both the clouds outside and detail inside to look good on a shot in the kitchen.

But… I think he was done with it all by the time the below shot was taken. What do you think?

If you are interested in the beautiful homes we have at Water’s Edge, please see:

Lot 1 Water’s Edge
Lot 2 Water’s Edge

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Sneak Peek! Water’s Edge Lot 1 Home is almost ready!

I’ve been chomping at the bit to get you inside one of the two brand new Lake Martin waterfront homes at Water’s Edge!  Both should be completely ready in about 2 weeks, but I just couldn’t wait to let you inside.

A great architect and a dedicated builder make quite a statement with these homes;  these are not your run-of -the-mill spec homes.  Call me anytime for a tour!

Water’s Edge is located in the Alexander City city limits at the end of Coosa 20 near Willow Point and Parker Creek.  The big view you see is looking southeast over Big Kowaliga towards Sand Island.  The entry to Parker Creek is to the right,  and the old Veazey’s Marina is on the left.  Landscaping will be installed in a couple of weeks.  Check back for the official listing video of the finished project!

Related post:  Announcing Water’s Edge at Lake Martin

Related Video Tours:  Water’s Edge Architect’s Notes: Exterior Features

Water’s Edge Architect’s Notes: Interior Spaces

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How We Use Video to Market Your Lake Martin Home

At Lake Martin Voice Realty, we believe video is one of the crucial ways to market a home for saleThe days of slide show picture montages with Yanni playing in the background are over.  Pictures are better than nothing, but these days, with the money involved in waterfront homes on Lake Martin, sellers and buyers deserve better.

Research has proven that about 90% of buyers use the internet to look for property.  Buyers and sellers alike want a more authentic way to tour property online.  Especially in a second home market like Lake Martin, where most buyers live hours away.

Below are two great examples of what video marketing can do.  We can’t take all the credit – these homes at Water’s Edge are really cool, and we were able to meet with the architect on site and let him do the talking.  But the result is an architect-guided tour at every viewing.

You be the judge:   A John Tesh slide show or our version?

Realtors must do video, and they must do it well.  There is just no excuse anymore.

It’s so easy to do an “OK” home video tour that I can’t imagine why everyone isn’t doing it. But, I’ll admit it. It is pretty hard to do an effective one, and I still consider myself an amateur.

I’m not saying I am Francis Ford Coppola, or even Errol Morris, but if I were a seller, I would want an (albeit imperfect) agent that not only is trying  (cliche alert) “cutting edge” marketing techniques, but one that is pushing harder and harder to get better at it every day.

If you need more convincing, here are two of our latest property listing videos:

190 Pine Drive

14 Elysian Way

If you are a potential seller of waterfront property on Lake Martin, and you like what you see, give us a callWe can do the same for you. If you’re a buyer, use our website for research, and then let us guide you from research to relaxation!

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