Smith Mountain Lake, VA Real Estate News

By Deborah F. Beran Inc., Your Smith Mountain Lake Real Estate Specialist
(RE/MAX Lakefront Realty Inc)
Spend much time at Smith Mountain Lake and you’ll quickly notice how many transfers the place attracts. A beautiful, retreat-like lake setting in the scenic Blue Ridge is the second home or retirement dream of many, particularly natives of northern cities and states such as Washington D.C., Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York. Such residents will tell you they worked hard in a busy city to then retire or relocate to a tranquil setting where their friends children and grandchildren can enjoy the open countryside, water recreation and Mayberry-like neighborhood in safety.  A recent article in our local Laker Weekly newspaper illustrates how popular Smith Mountain Lake is with east coast transplants. Several SML women with roots in New Jersey have formed their own club to make ...
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By Deborah F. Beran Inc., Your Smith Mountain Lake Real Estate Specialist
(RE/MAX Lakefront Realty Inc)
The year is young and if you’re like us, you’re hoping to accomplish a few goals soon to get you set up for a great 2012. As long as the weather is chilly, the Smith Mountain Lake water is not so inviting and the neighborhood is quiet, it’s a great time to stay inside and check off your list of home interior changes.  We mentioned before that there’s a bright, bold color trending this year, but fresh color isn’t the only transformation you’ll want greeting you and your family members when they walk through your front door. Country Living Magazine has a few decorating ideas intended for a calm atmosphere, while remaining family-friendly. These interior ideas, perfect for the antique collector, country design lover and “welcome home” comfort seeker fit with the overall atmosphere of peace...
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By Deborah F. Beran Inc., Your Smith Mountain Lake Real Estate Specialist
(RE/MAX Lakefront Realty Inc)
Often, second home or retiring buyers are in a position to achieve a property that meets not only their needs, but longtime dreams as well. Perhaps you are in the market for something more upscale than what you’ve lived in previously, the spacious luxury home you’ve been working hard toward and dreaming of for years. You’ve spent a long time envisioning high ceilings, open entertainment areas, a wine cellar, theater, custom cabinetry, additional bedrooms for your growing family, bathrooms with special tiling, kitchens with granite countertops, and especially those small touches such as crown molding and wainscoting that complete a high quality interior.  Perhaps you’ve also dreamed of looking out vast windows to see breathtaking mountain or lake views - or both. A charming dock on the w...
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By Deborah F. Beran Inc., Your Smith Mountain Lake Real Estate Specialist
(RE/MAX Lakefront Realty Inc)
Residents of Smith Mountain Lake will tell you, this is a charitable place. A place of such high quality living produces high quality giving. The people of SML know they are blessed - our breathtaking window views, great neighbors, beautiful homes and peaceful properties make for a good life. And we love to give back to the community we treasure all year long.  There are several beloved charities in the three counties connected to SML, several of which were founded by lake locals and managed in facilities right next to the lake. The SML Good Neighbors group is a nonprofit organization that works with younger school-aged children from less fortunate families to develop reading, writing and communication skills while providing food and activity during the summertime. SML supports the effo...
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By Deborah F. Beran Inc., Your Smith Mountain Lake Real Estate Specialist
(RE/MAX Lakefront Realty Inc)
The Smith Mountain Lake community looks forward to a good New Year’s Eve celebration as much as anyone. A time to make resolutions, plans and the feeling of a fresh start invigorates the soul. The outdoor view is particularly serene this time of year, with twinkling holiday lights casting glow on a quiet lake. If you’re a fan of the calm, cool and collected, Smith Mountain Lake’s off-season stillness is a special kind of wonderful.  With the backdrop of a hushed lake to remind us of the promises of a new year, local residents and SML visitors will celebrate new beginnings in a variety of ways. An evening at home with friends and family, counting down the hours and uncorking champaign is always popular. A short drive to the downtown festivities in Roanoke or Lynchburg are tempting too. O...
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By Deborah F. Beran Inc., Your Smith Mountain Lake Real Estate Specialist
(RE/MAX Lakefront Realty Inc)
This is a special time of year for people everywhere, and it’s no different at Smith Mountain Lake. The SML community enjoys an eventful season, and one that  offers wonderful memories to all ages. Here are a few of the ways Smith Mountain Lake celebrates the holiday. Santa comes to town - he makes several appearances between Thanksgiving and Christmas, even arriving by boat for the first big debut. You can find him at Bridgewater Plaza. For more information, see the SML Chamber website.  Light Displays - Aside from a casual tour of the lit-up lake neighborhoods, the Franklin County, Roanoke and Bedford/Lynchburg communities host holiday light displays throughout the month. The extensive display at Elks National Home in Bedford is of particular draw. Visit elkshome.org for more informat...
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By Deborah F. Beran Inc., Your Smith Mountain Lake Real Estate Specialist
(RE/MAX Lakefront Realty Inc)
While everyone is in a gift-giving frame of mind, we’d love to reveal a creative and satisfying way to support the Smith Mountain Lake community and please your friends and family with a fantastic holiday gift. Surrounding SML are several charming, family-owned and operated farm stands, homestead stores and foodie outlets. Since you can never go wrong with a farm-fresh foods gift, consider paying a visit to a place like the Homestead Creamery, The General Store, The MouseTrap at Bridgewater Plaza, or a roadside farm stand to fill a basket with wholesome meat, dairy and garden items and Virginia-made sauces and dips to please any palate.  While you’re shopping Smith Mountain Lake’s wonderful local foods selection, add in a visit to a neighborhood winery. A savory fruit wine from Brooks M...
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By Deborah F. Beran Inc., Your Smith Mountain Lake Real Estate Specialist
(RE/MAX Lakefront Realty Inc)
On this week of recognizing our blessings and giving thanks for all we have been given, we’d like to highlight a few things we are particularly thankful for in living at Smith Mountain Lake. One of the priorities of any family is excellence in education. At SML, a high standard of learning is prevalent in both the larger bordering counties of Franklin and Bedford. Each offers well rated public school opportunities, along with supplemental facilities that encourage older high school students to pursue higher education and explore career interests.  One of Franklin County’s biggest educational offerings is the Gereau Center for Applied Technology and Career Explration. The center, which students and parents casually refer to as CATCE, helps middle school students go beyond the core curric...
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By Deborah F. Beran Inc., Your Smith Mountain Lake Real Estate Specialist
(RE/MAX Lakefront Realty Inc)
‘Tis the season for holiday shopping once again. Oftentimes, the thought of picking out that perfect gift for a loved one is overwhelming. Do you present them with a new sweater? A pampering gift certificate? A fishing rod? The most popular toy? What will that special someone like? What will they use? There are many ideas to choose from but few that are as distinctive as the individual you’re shopping for. At Smith Mountain Lake, residents are at a holiday shopping advantage. Retail outlets surrounding the lake are distinctive on purpose.  Here, shopping opportunities match the unique character of SML - providing gifts that are a refreshing change from the norm.  As you head out in search of hall-decking decor, children’s toys, beautiful apparel, one-of-a-kind jewelry, home interior acc...
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By Deborah F. Beran Inc., Your Smith Mountain Lake Real Estate Specialist
(RE/MAX Lakefront Realty Inc)
Smith Mountain Lake boasts plenty of the common attractions - boating and water sport fun, exotic homes that fascinate and popular annual events such as the SML Charity home tour, SML wine festival and last weekend’s chili festival. But did you know that Smith Mountain Lake is an arts haven year-round?  Paintings, photography, graphic art, dance, music, theater and crafting are all alive and thriving forms of art in this area. In fact, local art gallery owners will tell you that Smith Mountain Lake has some of the biggest variety and most talented artists anywhere producing art right at their lake home and selling exclusively from community businesses and shows.  In addition to painted, digital, musical or crafted works of art you can buy to enrich your home, local dance groups, music e...
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By Deborah F. Beran Inc., Your Smith Mountain Lake Real Estate Specialist
(RE/MAX Lakefront Realty Inc)
Last week’s blog brought attention to a couple of national trends embraced by the Smith Mountain Lake community. We pride ourselves on being on the forefront of lifestyle trends, not unfamiliar with helpful health, financial, family and property advice and resources that really make a difference. Another popular national trend found at SML is Hot Deals.  The Smith Mountain Lake Chamber of Commerce has partnered with its business members to provide hot deals for residents and guests of Smith Mountain Lake. Like many towns and cities, getting a good deal on food, entertainment, vehicle service, beauty treatments, and lodging accommodations are in demand. Everyone wants to spend less to get more these days. The chamber and local businesses are helping SML do just that. To access these hot ...
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By Deborah F. Beran Inc., Your Smith Mountain Lake Real Estate Specialist
(RE/MAX Lakefront Realty Inc)
Though Smith Mountain Lake is tucked away in the sanctuary of the Blue Ridge Mountains, untouched by big city traffic and noise, the community is not closed off from the latest health and wellness trends popular across the nation and world. In fact, SML residents are keen on being at the forefront of knowledge and resources that will benefit them and their entire family.  Clean eating and local buying are two popular trends in the United States and at Smith Mountain Lake. Many lake locals appreciate the option to buy organic or naturally produced foods right in the community, both for convenience and to support the prominent agricultural scene.  Both grocery businesses and neighborhood farmers are meeting the need for environmentally-friendly, natural food every day. Just a few miles in...
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By Deborah F. Beran Inc., Your Smith Mountain Lake Real Estate Specialist
(RE/MAX Lakefront Realty Inc)
Smith Mountain Lake has many distinctive icons and several must-do activities for visitors. One of our favorites is the Virginia Dare 19th century replica side wheeler cruise boat. The two-story dining charter carries locals and guests on routes around the lake in true Mississippi River style. The flotilla has been showing passengers the best of Smith Mountain Lake’s attractive shoreline, exquisite homes, seasonal changes and tranquil nature scenes for more than 20 years.  The Virginia Dare is popular during the warm months, of course, voyaging themed cruises such as the weekly Hawaiian cruise and wildlife cruise from May through October. In addition to these, the Virginia Dare offers special event cruises on Mothers Day, Fathers Day, July 4th and the annual charity Flotilla for Toys ev...
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By Deborah F. Beran Inc., Your Smith Mountain Lake Real Estate Specialist
(RE/MAX Lakefront Realty Inc)
Our last blog featured an interesting new trend of long distance home building at Smith Mountain Lake and other popular second home and retirement home locations. Property buyers are able to oversee house and dock building projects from their computer or smart phone - eliminating the need for constant travel to the construction site and making long distance home building more convenient than ever.  Perhaps you are interested in buying property at Smith Mountain Lake for a second home or retirement home. Before you begin the search for a local builder, we have some helpful tips.  First, you can find a list of area contractors through the Smith Mountain Lake Chamber of Commerce website and the Laker Magazine’s home builders directory. It’s a good idea to select a handful of builders to st...
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By Deborah F. Beran Inc., Your Smith Mountain Lake Real Estate Specialist
(RE/MAX Lakefront Realty Inc)
As experts in Smith Mountain Lake real estate, we are frequently asked about the tax costs involved in owning property here. We are always glad to inform potential buyers and investors that Smith Mountain Lake’s taxes are comparatively low. In fact, low taxes are one of the highlights of settling down at SML, a key reason USAToday recently named Virginia as the best state to do business and a distinct reason our area has maintained strong real estate standings in a difficult market.  Three counties border the lake, Bedford, Franklin and Pittsylvania. According to the most recent Smith Mountain Lake  Chamber of Commerce Visitor’s Guide, Franklin County boasts the lowest real estate tax (at 100% assessment), $.48 per $100. Bedford follows at $.50 per $100 and then Pittsylvania at $.52 per...
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By Deborah F. Beran Inc., Your Smith Mountain Lake Real Estate Specialist
(RE/MAX Lakefront Realty Inc)
Upon visiting Smith Mountain Lake for the first time, newcomers are awed by its beauty, peaceful atmosphere and endless lake activity opportunities. Beyond these obvious traits, however, is one that keeps people coming back, and often convinces them to make the lake their permanent residence. Smith Mountain Lake locals make the best neighbors.  The people of Smith Mountain Lake are as welcoming as its calm, beautiful waters. Area residents have built their homes and their lives around being in community with one another. Just drive through our lovely neighborhoods and you’ll see multiple community centers, country clubs, public pools, public picnicking, public piers and docks and more evidence to support its community-orientation.  Lakers, as we often call ourselves, appreciate knowing ...
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By Deborah F. Beran Inc., Your Smith Mountain Lake Real Estate Specialist
(RE/MAX Lakefront Realty Inc)
Spend much time at Smith Mountain Lake and you’ll notice its surrounding properties offer a particularly significant draw - character. Unlike many popular lake or waterfront living destinations comparable to Smith Mountain Lake, SML offers its residents freedom in home customization and property use. Most home owners associations are not as stringent as buyers from larger cities or more populated communities would be used to. Many neighborhoods have no associations at all.    As you tour the SML area, take note of the many custom homes along the water line and roads. Architecture and design tastes abound - from traditional to modern to contemporary, farmhouse , Mediterranean, craftsman cottage or colonial style - homes of every nature decorate Smith Mountain Lake’s land.    Freedom to c...
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By Vicki Millehan, Vickinulls Lake Homes - Smith Mountain Lake, VA
(Prudential Waterfront Properties)
What is the best way to keep vacation costs down? Consider vacationing in your local area. If you live in Virginia, Smith Mountain Lake is the perfect vacation spot. There are so many wonderful activities for you and your family to enjoy. If you follow these tips, this beautiful vacation spot can be very affordable: First, with the rising price of gas, take advantage of one of the credit cards that offers rebates or rewards when you purchase gas using their credit card. In order to reap the most benefits from credit card offers, make sure these charges are included in your vacation budget. Second, consider planning your vacation during mid or low season. Peak season at Smith Mountain Lake is from June through August. Peak season demands the highest rental rates and the least amount of f...
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By Deborah F. Beran Inc., Your Smith Mountain Lake Real Estate Specialist
(RE/MAX Lakefront Realty Inc)
Though summertime at Smith Mountain Lake is known for peak tourism, our beautiful fall season is right on summer’s heels. People are quickly discovering the enchantment autumn brings to SML’s already scenic landscape. After a hot summer like the one we’re currently experiencing, cooler temperatures and clearer skies make sight seeing, events such as weddings or reunions and waterfront dining more pleasant. The addition of rich red, brown and gold colored leaves is enough to make anyone fall in love with Smith Mountain Lake in the fall season. To make it even more wonderful, several annual highlights happen during the fall as well.    The Annual Antique & Classic Boat Show kicks off the fall festivities in a big way. It’s a hit with the community, attracting antique and classic boat-love...
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By Vicki Millehan, Vickinulls Lake Homes - Smith Mountain Lake, VA
(Prudential Waterfront Properties)
In a recent article in the Smith Mountain Eagle, our local American Red Cross was reaching out to blood donors. The article pointed out that its blood supply remains at a critically low level, even though hundreds of local residents donated blood after a national campaign reached out to them. As a long-time resident and top Realtor of Smith Mountain Lake, I wanted to do my part in assisting Virginia’s American Red Cross by reaching out not only to Smith Mountain Lake residents, but all Virginia residents to donate blood. The recent heat may be part of the reason why blood supplies are so low. Many don’t want to venture out into the heat, while those who do may have elevated temperatures that disqualify them from donating. On a daily basis 38,000 blood donations are required to meet the ...
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