Big Canoe, GA Real Estate News

By Karin Elliott, 14 Years as a Broker & Making Dreams Come True
(IBA Realty Group)
North Georgia cabins seem to be the latest and the greatest in true getaways. The simple life has a quality that leads us to challenge our inner Survival tactics. What if all you had was a deck of cards, some board games, a stack of wood, a fireplace, your family or some friends and one change of clothes??? Add a copy of Walden, a crockpot full of chili and your toothbrush? There is just something special about going outside in the morning on the rocking chair porch with a cup of coffee and a good book. You see the sunrise, hear the birds instead of the traffic and you can walk your dog in your PJ's! That's living in Big Canoe! As rustic as it all seems we do have our necessities, golf, tennis, swim club, restaurant, fishing, hiking and a very short one hour drive to Atlanta. 6152 Trout...
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By Peter and Margo Vallone, Georgia Mountain Property Specialists
(Mountain Home Resales, Big Canoe, GA)
Have you driven around in Big Canoe lately with no particular purpose except to observe what's going on around us in this lovely sanctuary we gratefully call home?  Peter and I did that the other day, and we were struck by all the activity happening just outside and inside the gates.  Beginning with Foothills Village, renovation has begun for the expansion of the IGA store with the much-anticipated addition of a pharmacy.  We're all excited with the progress of the beautiful new "Clubhouse at Lake Sconti" and pro-shop rapidly taking form, with a July grand opening.  A new, beautifully landscaped tiered parking lot for the Chapel and play field events has just been completed, along with additional parking for the newly renovated tennis center. Looking down on Lake Petit, you'll notice th...
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By Charlie Ragonesi, Homes - Big Canoe, Jasper, North Georgia Pros
(AllMountainRealty.com)
Our company name is All Mountain Realty. Our motto is Capturing the spirit of the mountains. This is rather an interesting concept.In todays world and with folks looking to move to the mountains ,What is the spirit of the mountains? I believe we are blessed in the North Georgia Mountains. The blessing has taken the form of late development. Late development has caused us to look at other areas and say , wait a minute. Fannin County is almost 50 percent deeded or in trust Green. Union County, Gilmer and Pickens counties boast some of the best green conscience communities. Lumpkin County has been touted as one of the best counties in the U.S to retire in. None of these counties take in the Georgia side of Lookout Mountain which has been constantly raved about in numerous mountain magazine...
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By Charlie Ragonesi, Homes - Big Canoe, Jasper, North Georgia Pros
(AllMountainRealty.com)
For us year rounders in the mountains winter can be a tough time. Now it is not so tough as say being further North but still. It gets cold. Nights are even colder . Days are short.  Still if you are in communities like Big Canoe , Benttree, or Talking Rock Creek Resorts. There are things to do. People moving to the mountains need to consider how winter will effect them . If you are in an area that has lots of amenities ,indoor activities and things to do then winter in the mountains is great. The example I use is with those folks who move here from Florida . We call them half backs. They came from further North went to Florida and then after a couple of wonderfully hot hot hot humid summers moved halfway back.So the point is consider the weather if you are like most who can only afford...
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By Karin Elliott, 14 Years as a Broker & Making Dreams Come True
(IBA Realty Group)
Tonight, I posted a short article on our main site as a follow up to last night's vent regarding the really rude cold call I received from house.com.  Tonight's blog went over my basic procedure for cold calling potential clients, and I want to thank Ron Parise for pointing out that cold calling is not bad.  In fact, cold calling something I do a lot, and something I suspect most agents do from time to time.  You can read both the original article where I gripe about house.com and tonight's blog regarding some basic rules of the road for cold calling on our main site at IBA Mountain Homes.In the event you don't want to click to the article, I'll sum it up.  The main problem with the people that are cold calling is that they forget they are talking to other people.  They aren't calling i...
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By Karin Elliott, 14 Years as a Broker & Making Dreams Come True
(IBA Realty Group)
Over the past couple days we have had House.com calling our home line repeatedly.  Today, we finally took the call from them, and we were treated very rudely by the sales rep.  We tried to lay out the exchange as best as could be remembered on our main blog site for Big Canoe real estate - you can read the story at: House.com - Real Estate Marketing Gone Awry?In case you dont want to read the story on our site, I'll give you the short  version of why I am writing about it here.  When I told the House.com sales rep that we were on the no-call list and requested to have our number taken off the house.com call list, he told me "Your number is plastered all over Active Rain.  That's where I got it from."  So, make what you will of that statement, but apparently not everyone reading Active R...
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By Linda Carrig
(All Mountain Realty)
I was looking at log cabins yesterday, previewing for a customer, and it started to snow. Not a big deal for a lot of the country but here in the mountains of north Georgia a real event...The grocery stores have been jammed in anticipation of this  for a couple days; meetings canceled long before the first flake; flights delayed, the list goes on, but it sure was beautiful! Again it reminds me of why I moved here and what a brilliant move it was! Standing in my front yard I could hear the flakes fall through the trees, I have never heard them before, it was that quiet.  It was a Norman Rockwell moment; snow, trees, fireplaces, the way I like to think of "home". What was special today for you? Please stop by my web site and view some gorgeous mountain properties:www.SimplyScenicHomes.com...
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By Charlie Ragonesi, Homes - Big Canoe, Jasper, North Georgia Pros
(AllMountainRealty.com)
Who says Mountain property has to be billy goat steep. There are some great valleys in the mountains. The picture above show a great setting . It is 61 acres . The pond is stream fed and full of fish. This is a winter picture and the pond has been recently dredged. So there is great top soil for spreading. The price ??? 7,500 an acre. On a paved road. Could be divided into a few horse farms. Great stuff!!This second picture is obviously not winter. But you can see how the green valleys and the mountains just go together. So if you are interested in Mountain property but want some flat space it can happen. The evenings are cool and our land is great for horses as well as people looking to get away from it all
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By Karin Elliott, 14 Years as a Broker & Making Dreams Come True
(IBA Realty Group)
Thank you and HAPPY NEW YEAR to all the potential Big Canoe real estate buyers out there who have called and emailed me over the past 14 days. Another thank you to all the renters/buyers who have needed a weekend of peace here in Big Canoe (the calls for Big Canoe rentals has been on the upswing as well).My faith in real estate has been restored with the number of buyers who are holding cold hard cash in their hands and are looking for a quick and painless deal. They are looking for North  Georgia weekenders with rental potential, and a few of them are looking for full time high end property after spending "X" amount of years "storing their nuts" for a market like this! Agents, don't be discouraged, because some of the smartest buyers are looking ALL over the net for the deal of a lifet...
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By Charlie Ragonesi, Homes - Big Canoe, Jasper, North Georgia Pros
(AllMountainRealty.com)
I am a wordy cuss so with a little help from Rick I thought I would let the images do the talking.When you look out into the mountains the leaves are down. But the sky is crisp and blue. This is some of the best time to be in the mountains. You can see the land and what is around you. You are not masked by the foliage.        Some times it happens that instead of Flowers on tress you get a frost. The beauty of the North Georgia Mountains are that the winters are pretty, as opposed to harsh. Walking around and looking at the ice in the tress is great. You smell the smoke from the fireplaces and it is very quiet and peaceful.     This is my first blog with pictures so I promise it will get better. But the point is winter time is a great time to shop in the mountain. Especially here. Walki...
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By Charlie Ragonesi, Homes - Big Canoe, Jasper, North Georgia Pros
(AllMountainRealty.com)
A big question here in the mountains is how will the gated communities do in 2008. Typically the gated communities have amenities and homes are priced higher than their surrounding competition. The gated communities often draw  buyers from outside the area as well as outside the State.So number one the prices will be higher. In a tight market this will have some effect.We draw from outside the State so we are effected by markets, for good or bad, in other States.Amenities attract people and retiring baby boomers do not want to sit around. Golf, Tennis, swimming, hiking, and boating will draw.I think the market will be mixed. I think homes will sell but not command the premium they did in the past. Folks are looking more closely at Association fees and tightening their budgets. To the ex...
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By Charlie Ragonesi, Homes - Big Canoe, Jasper, North Georgia Pros
(AllMountainRealty.com)
When you look for an agent in the mountains what do you look for? If you are shopping for Big Canoe Homes do you go to the real estate company inside the gates. Maybe you are looking for Lake Arrowhead homes, or Benttree homes. When you shop for a Realtor you should be looking for one who can show you all the communities. Someone who listens to you and provides you with information on what you want to buy. Not some one who is selling a community. When we formed All Mountain Realty this is what we had in mind. Right from the beginning we wanted to convey the notion that we worked in the mountains. All the mountains within an area of North Georgia that we are comfortable with.We are happy with the way we are evolving. If you have mountain clients we will work with them in all our North Ge...
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By Karin Elliott, 14 Years as a Broker & Making Dreams Come True
(IBA Realty Group)
There are a lot of agents in this slow market that are filling up their tanks with gas and driving all over Georgia with their prospects praying that they will sell something. What they are also praying for is that they wont get lost or slammed with a neighborhood question that they can not answer; for example schools, garbage pick up, nearest grocery store, neighborhood clubs and so on. These are the questions I would ask if I were moving into a new neighborhood. How many agents shoot out the standard reply of "I'll get back to you on that"? I know I have personally said the same thing when I wandered out of the Big Canoe real estate nest. Some agents comment on how I can survive in just one subdivision but the answer is not very complex. I HAVE an answer for every question. I KNOW my ...
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By Charlie Ragonesi, Homes - Big Canoe, Jasper, North Georgia Pros
(AllMountainRealty.com)
OK, so you want to buy land. You are singing , "Don't  fence me in"  and got the bug. If you are looking in our North Georgia Mountains and maybe elsewhere there are some things you should watch out for. There are two broad categories to choose from Developed and undeveloped land. Developed. This word can mean many different things. Usually it means that electricity is some where near by. It also means that the lot you are looking to buy is bordered by similar lots. The zoning is probably residential.  There may be some covenants in place aimed at protecting your investment. However it does not mean that you have water, you may or may not, nor does it necessarily mean building is controlled. More on all this laterUndeveloped is exactly what it says. Usually you are dealing in larger tra...
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By Karin Elliott, 14 Years as a Broker & Making Dreams Come True
(IBA Realty Group)
Last night I witnessed a true spectacle of Nature.  We sat in our front of  our home in Big Canoe, husband and wife, and sipped wine in the chilled air while small grains of cosmic dust burst into fiery streaks of flame that blazed across the North Georgia sky.   About 2 AM, we decided it was definitely time for bed, but both felt we should share our experience.  We also talked about how happy we were in our decision to move away from the 'burbs to the North Georgia mountains of Big Canoe.We added an entry to our site blog "Life in Big Canoe, Real Estate in the Mountains".  Until last night, we had never seen anything quite like that. It was really one of those unusual moments in life where you get to witness something sublime.  Prior to living in Big Canoe, we lived in suburban metro A...
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By Charlie Ragonesi, Homes - Big Canoe, Jasper, North Georgia Pros
(AllMountainRealty.com)
The year is almost over. Hard to believe I am saying that. What is in store for us in the North Georgia Mountains for 2008. The crystal is cloudy but I think there are some interesting trends. Let's start with the gated communities.Big Canoe is in my opinion the best overall mountain community in North Georgia. It is gated and about 10,000 acres. It has more amenities than you can imagine. Another great thing is all the green space. You can see bear, play golf, watch deer, play tennis, swim in one of 3 pools or fish in one of the great lakes in the community. The community is also only about 50 miles from the Northern fringes of Atlanta. With elevations up to 3300 feet Big Canoe is a truly unique community. 2008 will be a year of discovery for Big Canoe. With all the baby boomer's looki...
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By Karin Elliott, 14 Years as a Broker & Making Dreams Come True
(IBA Realty Group)
We posted on our site blog tonight regarding a co-op we started up earlier this year.  We feel it a definite positive.  Our client's listings receive added exposure, we allow potential buyers to become interested in our listings, and we are keenly aware of the other co-op agent's listings.  It is almost a sort of "mini-caravan".  We are all aware of the other agent's listings, and while we would love to sell our own listings, our buyers may not see it that way.  Frankly, one our competitor's listings may suit the taste of our buyer  better than our own listing.  The bottom line is we want to get our listings noticed and sold (check!), and we want to attract buyers due to a variety of listings (check!).I realize not everyone is going to agree with this approach.   I am really interested ...
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By Karin Elliott, 14 Years as a Broker & Making Dreams Come True
(IBA Realty Group)
While activerain.com certainly enjoys a robust community, it does suffer from one failing in that it does not really promote customer/client traffic to any site other than activerain.com!  While I really enjoy reading opinions and posts from other agents across the country,  I also would like to generate as much traffic as I can to my own personal site, so in the spirit of activerain, I created an additional blog for my own site.  I would really appreciate anyone that stops by the new IBA Realty Group Blog.  Feel free to drop us a comment too!Thanks,-Karin  
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By Karin Elliott, 14 Years as a Broker & Making Dreams Come True
(IBA Realty Group)
We did some rough calculations earlier from data acquired via FMLS and figured that Big Canoe resales are down roughly 40% in 2007 vs 2006.  Not surprisingly, there does seem to be a basic bell curve of agents and their respective sales.  Some are doing better this year, some much worse than 2006, and most seem to be down 30%-40%.  I did not run the figures on Bent Tree, but I would be interested if anyone has that data readily available.  Seeing the data for Jasper, Ga would be interesting as well.  I would be interested to see what other agents and brokers around the country are experiencing.Even with the overall decrease in market activity, there IS still a pulse in the Big Canoe real estate market.  It certainly is far from deceased...it's just slower than last year.  Interestingly,...
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By Karin Elliott, 14 Years as a Broker & Making Dreams Come True
(IBA Realty Group)
I am curious if other agents are seeing any differences in activity for their particular market in relation to season.  When IBA Realty Group first started listing and selling Big Canoe real estate, we were told by established agents to expect a big slow-down once the leaves dropped from the trees.  Once the more inclement weather of winter settled into the mountains, we were told everything pretty much shuts down until the daffodils of late February and early March let us know that spring is not that far off.For IBA, this pattern has not been even close enough to score a near miss.  So you have a point of reference, peak leaf season for Big Canoe is roughly late October through the first week of November.  Keeping that in mind as well as the fact that 2007 has been off by about 30% com...
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