Lake Martin Voice Realty
A big part of wildlife identification is simply knowing where you are on this earth. If you are wondering if that bird is a small raven or a big crow, the first step is to ask yourself where you are standing. Do you know the native range of a raven?
Similarly, I get asked all the time about where on Lake Martin I sell real estate. In fact, I was asked this question twice this week, both by prospective sellers. So what’s my natural range? I answer, “All over the lake. Why?”
The Smallest Big Lake You Know
Lake Martin, geographically, is a big lake. It extends over three counties, about 770 miles of shoreline. It takes a couple of hours to drive around it in a car, and probably at least one and a half times that riding from one extreme nook to the other in a fast boat.
But waterfront home sales-wise, it’s small. Consider that in all of 2012, roughly 246 homes were sold on all of Lake Martin (per the MLS – not all sales are recorded on the MLS, but most are). We have (at this writing) about 100 agents in the Lake Martin Association. Not even counting that agents from outside the area occasionally sell here, that’s about 2.4 home sales per agent, per year. Once you decide to limit yourself to one particular area, you can expect to decrease that.
Obviously, as a full time agent, you hope to sell way more than that to build and sustain a business and support your family. The Lord has certainly blessed us to do just that. We have clients from all over the place, and we sell homes on all sides of the lake. That’s one of the reasons our Neighborhood Pages are popular – they help buyers get acquainted with the many neighborhoods/geographic areas of Lake Martin (maps, videos, histories), plus each page has a live MLS feed of homes currently for sale in that neighborhood.
So to be scientific about it, my realtor range is the entire lake. I can help you with any property in the Lake Martin MLS, regardless of who has it listed.
Give me a call at (334) 221-5862. I’d love to start the tour.
Sometimes a Lake Martin waterfront purchase is all about the lot. Sometimes it’s all about the home. In this case, for my buyers, it was all about where to put their three teenage boys plus their friends. Two summers ago, Kent and Andrea found a cabin with a large wooded lot and a great view of Parker Creek near Parker Creek Marina. The cabin was cute, but they really needed a little more room . . .
If you’re looking for a home on the west side of Lake Martin (Kowaliga Bay, Little Kowaliga / Real Island, Parker Creek), you’ll find a good number of older cabins that are dated or don’t have a modern, open flow. Some of these cabins have been added onto over the years and are a little wonky. But if you like the lot and the view, I urge buyers to be open minded about the home – that is the one factor you can change. Sometimes buyers have a hard time visualizing a remodeled home while standing in the midst of fake paneling and little choppy rooms, hence my recent efforts to share some recent renovations and give buyers inspiration.
I drove by Kent and Andrea’s house in my boat last week and took a few pictures. They graciously said I could share them with you, to give you a taste for what a remodel or facelift can do for an older lake home. They expanded the home, adding living and sleeping space, but did not stray far from the original footprint. The result is a fun home with modern conveniences and room for all the guys:
Pre Renovation View from the Water:
Post Renovation Water View:
Pre Renovation Street Side of the Home:
Post Renovation Street Side of the Home:
So how do you know how much money to put into a Lake Martin renovation?
Think about the LOT first. You don’t want to overbuild, so consider things like water depth, view, privacy, etc. On a lot like this, with a view like theirs, Kent and Andrea could not really overbuild. It’s an awesome lot. In the back of a tight slough without year round water, however, buyers need to be conservative.
If you’re looking for a home in the Parker Creek area, check out my Parker Creek Neighborhood Page. Here you’ll find all kinds of info on this part of Lake Martin, and most importantly, you’ll find a live MLS listing all the homes that are currently for sale in Parker Creek. I have Neighborhood Pages for most of the neighborhoods on Lake Martin, and they’re a great resource to utilize when house hunting.
If you’ve been searching the MLS and are feeling frustrated with the homes you see, give me a call. I can help you pinpoint the homes in your price range with most potential. That’s my job. My number is (334) 221-5862, or you can click here to email me. I’d love to be your realtor.
Attention Lake Martin Paddle Boarders and Paddle Boarding Fans:
Grab your boards and join us for a race this Saturday, May 11th at Children’s Harbor. If you’ve been part of a paddle board race at the lake before, you know you’re in for a good time. If you’ve never been to a paddle board race, or you don’t own a paddle board, come see what it’s all about.
It’s a race, for sure, but it’s also a laid back, family-friendly event that all ages can enjoy. My nine year old son hopped on a borrowed board last year at the Castaway Island race, and completed the 1 mile course with no trouble. I’ve even seen racers do the course with a kid on the front of their board! There is a $40 entrance fee, but you get a t-shirt, gift bag, and post race lunch, PLUS the proceeds benefit Children’s Harbor, so you know that money is going toward a great cause.
Racing is set to begin Saturday morning around 9:00 am, with a pre-race meeting at 8:30 am. There is a 1 mile and a 3 mile race, with trophies for the top three finishers in each category, plus door prizes. Lake Martin Voice Realty is a sponsor, so I’ll see you there!
For all the scoop, click on the links below:
Lake Martin Voice Realty agent, John Christenberry, won first place in the Fowl Division of the Lake Martin chapter of the Alabama Wildlife Federation’s Wild Game Cookoff. He and Paul Barry put together a wild turkey flatbread pizza that wowed the judges! I wish I could take some credit for his success, but my only contribution was the sign in the background. So congratulations, John and Paul!
Christenberry is known hither and yon as a great cook. I won’t say that’s his best skill, as he is a great Lake Martin agent as well. One time he a drove a crock pot full of red beans and rice in his boat over to my cabin – it was awesome!
Flush with victory, his fans have talked him into another AWf contest. If you are attending the Central Alabama chapter of AWF’s cook off in Prattville, stop by his tent and sample his wares.
I will bet you didn’t know that there is a home on Lake Martin that is a full 13 feet under the water’s surface.
I didn’t know about it either until my friend and fellow realtor Gordon Pickler at RealtySouth told me about it. I don’t know why the sellers are selling it, but Gordon has it under contract and is assisting the buyers. During the course of getting it closed, they found out that our good friends at FEMA have it listed as 13 feet below the flood plain line.
(Just so you know, FEMA is the sole agency that is the judge and jury of whether or not you need flood insurance at Lake Martin. They are also the only entity that sells flood insurance. And the obvious question is how can a home sitting up above the elevation of the top of the dam be flooded?)
Anyway . . . FEMA gave Gordon’s prospective home buyers a quote of $7,218 per year for flood insurance. That sounded a little steep to the buyers so they called FEMA to appeal. No dice. FEMA was firm. They had received the surveyor’s Elevation Report – where he shot the lowest elevation of the home. FEMA insisted they read these reports all day and have used it to come up with the quote of $7,218 per year.
Undeterred, Gordon convinced the engineer that did the report to call FEMA himself and beg their case. It worked. The engineer was able to help FEMA read the report correctly – the home is 13 feet above the flood plain. Not below.
Thanks, FEMA, for another day of serving the taxpayers. True, they didn’t get any flood insurance money out of the deal, but they were able to waste a full day’s worth of time for a realtor, an engineer, and a buyer. Score another for Big Brother.
For more information on this topic, see the posts below:
There’s no turning back – renovations on this waterfront Lake Martin home in Real Island are well underway.
(For the first installment in this series, CLICK HERE for Real Island Renovation Begins)
If you love home projects, these pictures will make you excited. If you’re not the project type, then you’re feeling a little anxious. But Lee and Amelia loved this Real Island lot, and knew right away they would update the home before moving in.
Great view of Lake Martin, by the way!
It is very common to see this kind of radical renovation on the western side of Lake Martin. The Little Kowaliga / Real Island area is one of the older parts of Lake Martin, and thus has slowly populated over time to include tiny cabins that are next to million dollar homes. Generally speaking, the lots in this area are a little bigger, more wooded, and less sloping, and the feel is more rural. (Of course I can always find the exception to that statement.) AND, there are really no undeveloped lots left. When you see new construction on a waterfront lot in Little Kowaliga, odds are that person has torn down an old cabin or mobile home.
Contractor Doug Fuhrman of Southern Traditions Construction helped Lee and Amelia rethink the floor plan of the existing cabin, adding only about 400 square feet to the overall footprint, but moving things around to make the home work better.
For example, by bumping out the bedroom side of the home, they were able to expand the third bedroom and bathroom, and add a master bathroom:
The homeowners knew they wanted to be in this area, and knew their budget, so renovation makes sense. But for those of you who are not looking for a construction project, there are also new homes to be found on Lake Martin – both in and out of official developments. For example, in April 2013 Alabama Property Company released twenty nine new lots in Emerald Shores on the eastern side of the lake, you’ll see new construction there. Russell Lands is always building new homes in their various neighborhoods, and there are even a few flippers around, though not nearly as many as in 2007.
A Lake Martin realtor can cut through the hundreds of MLS listings and quickly identify homes that are move-in ready, or tear down opportunities. I’d love to help you out with your Lake Martin search, so call me at (334) 221-5862, or CLICK HERE to contact me.
It’s hard to beat a Lake Martin sunset. I’ve been experimenting with this time lapse app on my iPhone, and the other week I recorded some pretty skies over Emerald Shores. The video below is the sunset view from Lot 18, a 1.26 acre lot with +/- 321 feet of shoreline that is still available for sale. For all the listing information on Lot 18, CLICK HERE.
Here’s an Emerald Shores SALES UPDATE, too.
As of April 23, seventeen of the twenty-nine lots that were released for sale by Alabama Property Company are under contract. Two additional lots are in negotiations. In thirty-eight days, sixty-five percent of the lots offered have gone under contract or are being negotiated (we at Lake Martin Voice Realty joyfully listed these lots on March 16, 2013). These are strong sales numbers, especially when you look in the Lake Martin MLS and consider that in the entire year of 2012, a total of 38 lots waterfront lots were sold on Lake Martin, by all agents, all brokerages, everywhere.
Like I’ve said before, if you’re interested in one of these lots, NOW is the time to call me. They’re moving quickly, but there are still some beautiful lots available.
Lot 18, featured in the time lapse video above, is a great example. It’s flat, wooded, and private. Alabama Property Co. has already installed a rip rap seawall, and that wall is included in the sales price. It’s also a flexible lot; there is a variety of ways to place and orient a home on this lot. Check out the pictures below:
For more information, give me a call at (334) 221-5862, or CLICK HERE to email me. Lake Martin Voice Realty is the listing company, so we can answer all your questions.
It was March 28th, our inaugural boat ride of 2013. We had come under the power lines and made the turn south so we could see the dam. Goat Island was on our right, and Ghost Hollow and the Overlook were on our left.
Just then we spotted a strange looking duck swimming madly on the water’s surface. As we got closer we realized it was not a duck at all, but the head of a deer. Her body, obviously, was under the water, and she was swimming faster than Michael Phelps toward Goat Island. Seeing a deer swimming is not that uncommon this time of year, but still – it was a sight to behold.
We then spotted two more deer swimming behind her in hot pursuit. But these deer turned out to be dogs, and suddenly it all made sense. The dogs must have chased the deer into the water off of Ghost Hollow and she was swimming across to the safety of Goat Island. We lost her for a little while, but then we spotted her climbing onto dry land at the end of Dopson Point Road.
What about you? Have you taken your first Lake Martin boat ride of the year? See anything interesting? Let me know; I’d love to post your pictures or let you retell your tale.
And if you need help with Lake Martin real estate, you know I’d love to hear from you, too! (334) 221-5862 or CLICK HERE to email me.
My clients, Lee and Amelia, are new owners of this lake home that sits on an amazing lot in the Real Island area. The lot is awesome, and they had been house hunting long enough to know that the value of a Lake Martin property is in the dirt, so they jumped on it. Even though the home was not exactly what they’d had in mind . . .
The house was built in 1980 and is pretty rough around the edges – 33 years of use and not much updating.
It’s a three bed / two bath home already, but the floor plan is a little wonky, and the space could be used much more efficiently. As part of the renovation plan, Amelia wants to keep as much of the original footprint, while bumping out a little here and there to make room for her family of five, plus their friends and extended family.
I think this renovation is smart. At the lake, the home is primarily used for sleeping and eating. These homeowners are making the most of the space for these activities, and the final product will be clean, spacious, updated, and functional. But they are also remembering that the value of the home is in the dirt, and they’re not going overboard on things that, ultimately, do not add a lot of value to their investment. This is going to be a fun house.
With the help of Southern Traditons Construction’s, Doug Fuhrman ([email protected]), this home is about to be gutted and transformed it into an updated, functional, vacation home. Stay tuned to see what choices are made along the way, and for the big reveal at the end.
If you’re interested in the Real Island / Little Kowaliga area of Lake Martin, check out our Little Kowaliga Neighborhood Page. Here you’ll find everything you need to know about this popular part of the lake – a history of the area, video tour, maps, and most importantly, a live feed from the Lake Martin MLS showing homes that are currently for sale in the area.
If you’re on the lookout for a good deal on a home at Lake Martin, give me a call at (334) 221-5862, or CLICK HERE to contact me and let’s talk waterfront real estate. I’d love to be your Realtor.
Of the 29 Emerald Shores waterfront lots that were released on March 16 for sale, NINE are already pending, and SIX more are currently under negotiation.
As the listing agency for Emerald Shores, Lake Martin Voice Realty is excited about the public’s interest in these lots, and we want to make sure you have the latest information on this east side development.
CLICK HERE for listing information on Emerald Shores.
Contracts on these lots have been brought by our company, along with several other Lake Martin real estate companies. My point in telling you this (I know this sounds like typical Realtor barking) is that you really need to give us a call if you have any interest in a lot in Emerald Shores. Don’t wait until you get around to it because the lot that you want, in your price range, and with the view you like, may be gone.
Why all the interest in Emerald Shores?
Well, there’s clearly a demand for lots in a deed restricted neighborhood on this popular side of Lake Martin. And frankly, Emerald Shores has really pretty lots on the big water of Blue Creek. It’s an established community with homes already built, so there’s a history of sales and construction.
For more information, give me a call at (334) 221-5862, or CLICK HERE to email me. Lake Martin Voice Realty is the listing company, so we can answer all your questions.
Quick Video Tour of Emerald Shores:
Video Tour of the Blue Creek Area of Lake Martin: