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Labor Day 2015 at Lake Martin

lake martin bridge train

Lake Martin, Alabama, is the place to be on Labor Day.

What else would you expect me to say? I sell real estate here at Lake Martin. But the truth it the truth.

Here are a few things to do, a few events around Lake Martin for Labor Day 2015.  Keep in mind, they are not in order of importance, just order as they come to mind. If you want the best way to keep up with Lake Martin events, and an easy way to find the restaurants, shops, and landmarks I mention, download my FREE APP here.

Lake Martin Labor Day Weekend To Do list:

Friday Night On the Green – at Russell Crossroads

Saturday Pancake Breakfast – at Russell Crossroads

Saturday Lunch into Afternoon – watch football at The Landing at Parker Creek

Saturday Night – get your carb on at Lake Martin Pizza Co. or Oskar’s.

Sunday Night – Concert at The Amp – Railroad Earth is the headliner but my money is on the Vegabonds.

The above are all pretty easy spots to find. Are you up for more of a challenge?

If so, then pierce the mysteries of NOCR – North Of Chimney Rock, that is. There is a movement among its adherents that NOCR is always the choice of the Lake Martin fan with discriminating tastes. It’s been described as “the non-palooza side of the lake.”

OK.

So I will announce a few of its treasures with decided non-palooza vagueness. No websites. No hashtags:

  • Peanut Point
  • That Ice Cream Place at Wind Creek Park
  • Smith Mountain Fire Tower
  • Tying up at the railroad trestle

An alternative to all of this is to go on a boat ride, 1970s style. In the 1970s, little grasshoppers, there were no cell phones. There were no land line phones, either, pretty much, because there was no sense in paying for service (and leasing a phone) for only half of the year. So when we went to see friends, we could not call them to see if they were there ahead of time. We just drove over there, totally without notice and without a sound track. We were also probably drinking real Cokes, too.

Downside – yes, there were strikeouts. But the upside is that when you found someone at home, it was a real treat. As the person who is potentially being visited, I can tell you it is great. Back in the 70s, when you saw another boat driving towards you in your slough, well, it was better than a package from Amazon.

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July 2015 Market Report for Lake Martin

Lake Martin home sales have been great, but what is the magic statistic that lets us know if home prices are on the rise?

Is there a magic statistic that lets us know that Lake Martin waterfront home prices are on the rise? I decided to look at a months of inventory, which I think can give us a better inclination if prices will be rising. If you are not familiar with the term, months of inventory can be found by taking the number of homes for sale now and dividing it by current month home sales.

In the case of July 2015, we had 359* waterfront homes for sale at Lake Martin, and we sold 42 waterfront homes on the whole lake, that’s all agents, all brokerages. That gives a months of inventory statistic of about 8 1/2 months. This means that if we sold at that rate in 8 1/2 months, we would run out of homes to sell.

Lake Martin watefront home sales July 2015 market report

It’s hard to tell if that’s the magic number or not. I like to look at trends and see where that number is going. I don’t really peg my hopes on any one statistic. Looking over some of the past years, in 2014 there was 11.1 months of inventory with 376 waterfront homes for sale on Lake Martin. In a year, our ratio has gone down with less homes for sale and more sales, which is great for sellers. 

To get some perspective on this statistic, I wanted to look at the best and worst summer months the Lake Martin real estate market ever had. If you look at July 2007, one of our worst summer months, there were 475 homes for sale and a months of inventory number of 43.18.   Terrible. Our best summer month we have ever had, May 2005, there were 144 homes for sale which equated to a  4.11 months of inventory.

Looking at this year, we are doing a lot better than last year with a 23% decrease. I’m going to keep watching this statistic. Will prices go up as fast as they did in 2005? I don’t think so, because there is not as much pressure – a higher months of inventory. But, I do think home prices are going up here at Lake Martin in 2015. We just have tons of momentum.

If you have any questions, please contact John Coley with Lake Martin Voice Realty at 334 221 5862 or emailing directly at john (at) lakemartinvoice (dot) com.

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Copyright notice – the above, and every other post on this blog, is the property of John Coley, Broker, Lake Martin Voice Realty. Appraisers may use my information in their appraisals without charge or asking, but please give me credit by citing me, my company name and title, and website address of http://lakemartinvoice.com.  If anyone else would like to use this information, please contact me here and ask. I probably will let you do it, just please ask!

(*)Disclaimers: All of the above info was taken from the Lake Martin Area Association of RealtorsMultiple 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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Home For Sale: Kowaliga Area of Lake Martin

126 O’Daniel Point is a classic Lake Martin waterfront home in every sense of the word. Nestled among soaring trees, this three bed, two bath home is on a flat lot with a beautiful view. So many Lake Martin homes offer a great views, but you have to negotiate stairs or a long walk. Not so at 126 O’Daniel Point. Stroll easily back and forth, the home is a few flat steps away.

Located on the popular Kowaliga Bay area, the home is mere minutes from Kowaliga, Russell Crossroads, and Willow Point. By water, it’s close to Chimney Rock, and so many other fun locations.

From the street entrance, you enter into the living room with vaulted ceilings and tons of room, and the kitchen nearby ensures everyone stays involved. The home is all on one story, so there’s no need to hike up and down steps. Every room is accessible – the guest bedrooms and bath, the master suite, and all living room areas, No stairs!

The kitchen was updated in 2009 and features granite counter tops, stainless appliances, a deep sink, an island, and a great view of the water. The master suite also overlooks the water. The vaulted ceilings give the room lots of space, and sitting by the built in shelving can be a spot to relax, work, or just read a good book.

Outside, a huge screened porch offers a large area for more living. It’s a great place for outside meals, games, or just observing the beauty of the lake. The porch overlooks the Tallassee Slough area of Kowaliga, just off the big water. It’s the best of both worlds – seeing big water but not having traffic speed by just yards from your dock. When it’s time to boat, your covered boat lift has it ready to go. This home has so much to offer – great view, Kowaliga location, a neat home on a flat, wooded lot. Schedule your showing today!

For more information, CLICK HERE for the listing page for this property.

Or, just call me, John Coley, directly at 334 221 5862 or contact me here. I would love to show you all this home has to offer!

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Lake Martin Real Estate Report For June 2015

June waterfront home sales on Lake Martin were up 44% from last year!

June 2015 homes MONTHLY with percent

Yes, you read that right. The Lake Martin real estate market is doing well this summer. June of 2015 beat last year in sales by 44%. That’s not the only good news! If you look at the year to date, we are selling well ahead of the prior year. 2015 is beating 2014 by 26%! That is impressive because 2014 was a record year of home sales on Lake Martin, even better than 2005.

June 2015 homes year to date with percent

ACRE pointed out on AL.com that supply is down 6.8% and we are still having rising demand and sales even with a lesser supply.  You can read more from this article on AL.com by clicking HERE.

Another factor that is incredible is that lot sales are pacing far ahead this year as well. We have sold 46 lots through the Lake Martin MLS. That’s all realtors and all brokerages in the Lake Martin area. Last year at this time we had sold 25 lots through the MLS, and last year was a great year for lot sales.

Just to recap, waterfront homes are pacing ahead by 46% and lot sales are pacing ahead by 84%. Overall, we are doing great in sales so far! Keep updated with Lake Martin market statistics HERE.

June 2015 Lot sales with percent.jpg

If you have any questions or need real estate help on Lake Martin, feel free to contact me, John Coley, with THIS FORM or at john (at) lakemartinvoice (dot) com or  334 221 5862.

Would you like to search the Lake Martin MLS from your smart phone? Then download the Lake Martin Voice free app!

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You Just Saved $10,000

Happy Friday and Congratulations!! You just saved $10,000 on Lot 61, Phase II of The Ridge!

We just dropped the price on Lot 61, Phase II of the Ridge. It’s an awesome waterfront lot on Lake Martin. Just think of it, you didn’t have to lift a finger and you saved $10,000. The price has been reduced to $229,000 from $239,000. CLICK HERE for more info on the lot.

Lot 61, Phase II is on Eagle Ridge in one of Lake Martin’s most prestigious neighborhoods: The Ridge!

Waterfront lot and home sales are beating last year by 26% on Lake Martin, and 2014 was a record year. Now is the time to take advantage of a great new price on this  wonderful lot!

Call John Coley at 334 221 5862 or john (at ) lakemartinvoice (dot) com.

More Info: The Ridge in Lake Martin

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Buying A Lake Martin Home With A Leased Lot

lake martin leased lot homes

Photo credit: gambassa.com

A Lake Martin Leased Lot waterfront home is becoming an increasingly rare bird in our real estate market.

If you’re new to searching the Lake Martin MLS, you might have noticed a field in the information sheet that looks like this: Deeded: Deeded or Deeded: Leased. This is shorthand. If we had more room, it would probably look like: Is This Lot Deeded or Leased? and then have the answer either Deeded or Leased.

What is a leased lot home on Lake Martin?

A fair question. It’s a home where the seller is owns and is selling the improvements only, but they don’t own the land underneath it. They lease the land, usually from Alabama Power. Historically leased lot homes are less than 10% of overall sales. For more information, see the Leased Lot category of my blog.

Why are leased lot homes becoming more rare on Lake Martin?

About two or three years ago, Alabama Power began selling some of the homeowners the lots which they lease. Mind you, this was not Alabama Power opening up new lots to lease or sell, this was them contacting homeowners on existing leased lots, and saying, in essence, “hey, do you want to buy this lot at $X?” Because of this (relatively) new phenomenon, we Lake Martin agents are seeing fewer waterfront leased lot homes for sale on the market. Those that are on the market usually have an option to buy the lot. Often, you’ll see this noted in the (super secret) Agent Notes section of the Lake Martin MLS.

Recently, I had a buyer ask me about how one goes about purchasing a leased lot home with an option to buy the lot.

His Q: Is being able to secure purchase of the lot a reasonable contingency on a contract for the house? Would both transactions be handled together at one closing and with one mortgage or would they have to be separate?

My Answer:

“Excellent questions, I have closed a couple this way:

1.) That’s an absolutely reasonable contingency. In fact, I as your agent would insist on such a contingency, broadly worded like “contingent upon buyer’s obtaining an acceptable contract with Alabama Property company to purchase Lot X for $yyy,yyy and acceptable review of all lease documents.” The idea here is that if you can’t buy it for what you want, you’re out of there.
2.) closing at one time is doable. I have had one where technically it was two closings but they happened at the same time, where you sat down at the table and signed a bunch of docs to buy the lot first and then a bunch of docs to buy them all together. But it felt like one closing. I can recommend lenders around Lake Martin that are used to this concept. I would not recommend getting lenders from out of town because they have a hard time wrapping their heads around the concept. No slight against them, it is admittedly a weird concept and if I hadn’t seen it at Lake Martin I would know nothing of it myself. In fact, growing up here I didn’t know anything about it, it wasn’t until I started selling real estate that I learned about it.

FYI here’s everything I have ever written about leased lots: Leased

It’s a little outdated because of the above but it hopefully gives you a decent background.

Do you have any questions about Lake Martin real estate?  If so, please email me with this form or : info (at) lakemartinvoice (dot) com!

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Live With Bears In Shady Bay

Have you ever thought, “Lake Martin is almost perfect, but what if it were a little more like the Smoky Mountains?”

lake martin alabama BEARS

Photo Credit: Alex City Outlook

If so, your dream may have come true. Black bears have been spotted around Lake Martin. See this article in the Alex City Outlook. I must admit that I often have wished Lake Martin could be more Smoky like, but it has to do mainly with wild trout. If some mad plan could be hatched so that the Tallapoosa below Martin Dam could sustain trout, maybe we could become the next South Holston.

Back to reality, this story reminds me that I have many waterfront lots for sale in Shady Bay. They range in price from $57,000 (Lot 23 Ph I) to $190,000 (lot 5 Ph II). If you would like to see the entire list, see Shady Bay Lots For Sale. Or, if you would like to learn about Shady Bay real estate in general, see the Shady Bay neighborhood page.

Since the black bear article first appeared, the sightings have decreased. Maybe the bears have moved on, or maybe they are getting camera shy.

But one thing’s for certain – Shady Bay on Lake Martin is a great spot to build your waterfront home. There are homes underway on lots 9 – 14, and they are going to be some really nice ones!

If you have any questions about the lots in Shady Bay, or anywhere else, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I can put you in contact with builders and architects to answer your design and construction questions, if you would like me to do so.

 

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Fourth of July at Lake Martin

Lake Martin 4th of July events

July 4th at Lake Martin

Lake Martin is the place to be this Independence Day with plenty of activities for everyone.

Sure, there’s the fireworks show at 9 PM at The Amp. I challenge you to find a better one! But did you know about the concert before? See the Amp’s site for more info.

A few other fun events:
July 3rd: Fridays on The Green, Wine Tastings, Arti Gras at Russell Crossroads; Live Music at Chuck’s Marina
July 4th: Boat Parade at Kowaliga, Pancake Breakfast  & Arti Gras at Russell Crossroads.
July 5th: Worship God lakeside at Church In The Pines or Church of the Living Waters or any of the numerous Lake Martin area churches.

Why miss any Lake Martin events when you can download our FREE APP here?  Or go to your favorite app store and search “Lake Martin Voice.”

John Coley’s tips for a fun 4th of July at Lake Martin:

  1. Wherever you go, whatever you do, please be careful and have fun.
  2. If you are man enough to go see the fireworks by boat, have a sober driver and two sober spotters. Don’t take off instantly and create huge hole shot waves. Take it slow and easy when you leave.
  3. Don’t pack a huge cooler from home. Stop in and give the locals some business. It’s probably cheaper from wherever you are coming, is less of a hassle, and our economy is centered around tourism.
  4. Don’t complain about the boat traffic. We all know that you are so old you “can remember when…. “
  5. Spend 10% more on fireworks than you planned.
  6. Find a slough that is empty. Toss out a small anchor and float, if even for a few minutes.
  7. Know that the U.S. is still the greatest country in the world. I am quite sure that no matter your political flavor, in the past 12 months there has been something in our country that made you shake your head and think the whole thing is going down the tubes. Cheer up. Be thankful for today, and resolve to help change tomorrow. America wasn’t founded, nor was it made great, by apathetic whiners. That last bit is directed at me. I find myself saying “they ought to….” or “someone should ….” a lot these days. My resolution is to pitch in and help, not complain.
  8. Get a bad sunburn on purpose. Racoon eyes. Farmer’s tan. How else will the folks at work know you’ve been to the lake? (I wrote that to see how many in my family read to the end).

 

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April’s Lake Martin Real Estate Market Report

The headline on AL.com reads “Lake Martin Sales Have Slipped 2 Percent.” Should we be worried?

We shouldn’t be panicking quite yet. This number came from the Alabama Center for Real Estate. They do a great job at accumulating and reporting real estate market reports for the entire state of Alabama. That particular study was looking at the entire area of Lake Martin which includes off water property. If you dig into the details in their report, you’ll see that the Lake Martin waterfront home sales are actually pretty much the same as April 2014.

In April 2014, 25 waterfront homes were sold on the Lake Martin MLS*, this includes all brokerages, all real estate agents. This year, in April 2015, we also sold 25 waterfront homes, so we are dead even with last year from a monthly standpoint.

If we look at the cumulative sales from the whole year in 2015, in the Lake Martin MLS*, we sold 87 waterfront homes. Throughout 2014 in the Lake Martin MLS, we sold 72 waterfront homes, and 2014 was a record year. So far, we are tracking ahead of last year in sales by over 20%.

Now, if the Lake Martin waterfront market starts seeing months lose to the prior year and we see that cumulative total go down and we start tracking behind last year, then there might be reason to worry. But so far, we are doing great this year!

If you have any questions, please contact John Coley with Lake Martin Voice Realty at 334 221 5862 or emailing directly at john (at) lakemartinvoice (dot) com.

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Copyright notice – the above, and every other post on this blog, is the property of John Coley, Broker, Lake Martin Voice Realty. Appraisers may use my information in their appraisals without charge or asking, but please give me credit by citing me, my company name and title, and website address of http://lakemartinvoice.com.  If anyone else would like to use this information, please contact me here and ask. I probably will let you do it, just please ask!

(*)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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The Camera That Started It All

Lake Martin Real Estate Video Camera 0.1

My wife is in full spring cleaning mode. She has attacked the attic with a vengeance. Since I tend towards being nostalgic about my stuff, she knows she has to throw away some and then ask about others. She found this gem  – my old Sony Handycam.

It was the first camera I used to make Lake Martin real estate videos in 2008. It had these little tapes that I had to use to capture the footage. I remember thinking long and hard about whether to invest another twenty bucks in extra tapes. If I had known how the lord was going to bless my business, largely because of my videos about lake Martin real estate, I wouldn’t have been so cheap. Note how I had an after market wide angle lens. I bought that off of eBay and thought I was being pretty resourceful.

Sure, it is outdated now, but this little camera filmed many homes, neighborhoods, and places around Lake Martin.

May she rest in peace. 

Fast forward to now, three video cameras later, and I find myself in a quandary about by Canon 60d. It’s a nice one, but is its footage so nice that it beats an iphone six? The iPhone is so much easier to upload and transfer files. The other day I was in a pinch to record a Lake Martin Real Estate Market report, and I found that the quality on the 6 is so close to my DSLR, you can barely tell the difference. My guess is I will start to use the 60d less and less. In someone else’s more professional hands, the 60d is tons better I am sure.

It just reminds me that if you want to be proficient at anything, you have to keep sharp!

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