Enjoy The Poltrock Team’s November 2018 Newsletter


Nov. 22-29Mountain Country Christmas Lights GA Mountain Fairgrounds, Hwy. 76, Hiawassee, GA. Every Thurs, Fri.,
Sat. 6-9 pm.  $5.00 per person, children 12 and under Free.

Nov. 23 – Blue Friday in Blue Ridge, GA 10 am – 7:30 pm. All merchants will be offering discounts, and downtown will be filled with food vendors and live entertainment along with Christmas characters strolling throughout the day. SANTA arrives on the train at 11 am. 6 pm will start town-wide Christmas Caroling. Join the fun!

Nov. 24 – Christmas Parade Downtown Blue Ridge starts at 5:30 pm. The Great Tree Lighting starts at 7 pm. The GREAT TREE is back. It is 27 feet tall, and will wow kids and adults alike. Also, every Saturday from Nov. 24 – December 15, there will be entertainment and strolling Christmas characters around town and in the park.

Dec. 1- “A Very Murphy Christmas” Downtown Murphy 10am-8pm.  Vendor Festival, local shopping, and “Murphy Gets Lit”, our first lighted Christmas Parade starts at 6 pm. Annual Tree Lighting and Santa Photos!

Dec. 7 — Murphy Art Walk 5-8 pm Downtown Murphy. Stroll through historic downtown for shopping, live performances, working artists, fine dining, and more. Something for everyone!


Murphy’s High School football coach, David Gentry (left), was presented with a commemorative football in a pregame ceremony Friday night to celebrate his 400th coaching victory, which came on Oct. 19 against rival Swain High School. Presenting Gentry with the football is Murphy High School Principal Jason Forrister (right).

Gentry was nominated for the Class of 2019 National High School Hall of Fame. Only six other North Carolina residents have been inducted. Gentry will find out later this year if he is selected. We want to congratulate David, and wish him the best of luck in the selection process. Also, our own Donna Srabian’s son, Barron, plays tight end on the Bulldogs football team.


Photo courtesy of the Cherokee Scout, Kevin Hensley photographer.

The most popular Christmas song, “WHITE CHRISTMAS” written by Irving Berlin, wasn’t full of Christmas cheer. Berlin usually spent Christmas Day visiting the grave of his 3 week old son, who died on Christmas 1928, which explains the melancholy feel of the song. Bing Crosby made the song famous on a broadcast in 1941, just 18 days after the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Songwriter Hugh Martin was fooling around with a melody back in 1944, but it wasn’t working. He played it for 2-3 days, then threw it in the wastebasket. His writing partner made him get it out of the trash and it was a good thing……the song ended up being “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”. 

Periodically we will post favorite recipes of The Poltrock Team. We hope you enjoy.

2 tablespoons active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 – 4 cups flour
1.Combine the yeast, water, oil & sugar in a large bowl. Gently mix and allow to sit for 5 minutes.
2. Stir in the salt, egg & enough flour to form a soft dough. Turn out onto a floured work surface, and gently knead in additional flour until your dough is no longer sticky.
3. Divide into 8-10 equal pieces, and form round balls. Place in an oiled iron skillet or round cake pan, and cover with a clean towel. Allow to sit for 10 minutes while you preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
4. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown.

Thank you for your business and the opportunity to serve you! We appreciate your business, and please recommend us to others. We’re always here for you and never more than a phone call away.

www.iLoveMurphy.com       1-866-Murphy-NC      1-866-687-7496

View this newsletter PDF here.

John Poltrock (Again) Snags the “Best Real Estate Agent” Reader’s Choice Award

When it comes to buying or selling a home, land, or commercial property, you want the very best real estate agent in your corner. You want them to be on top of local and regional market trends, have a solid grasp of technology, and provide top-notch client service from start to finish.

Here in Murphy, NC and Cherokee County, John Poltrock checks all these boxes and more. John heads up The Poltrock Team, a dynamic eight-member group working within Re/MAX Mountain Properties in Murphy. And, for the second year in a row, John Poltrock has earned the Cherokee Scout’s coveted “Best Real Estate Agent” Reader’s Choice Award. Once again, John faced stiff competition from other area agents – including three standouts from The Poltrock Team.

So, how did John Poltrock earn his “Best Real Estate Agent” award? The answer is simple: With over a decade in our regional real estate market, John has served hundreds of satisfied clients – and these happy buyers and sellers take every opportunity to give John the credit he deserves. This year (and also in 2017), John’s many supporters helped him dominate the field in the Cherokee Scout’s Reader’s Choice competition. John truly enjoys helping his clients achieve their real estate goals, and he’s grateful for their ongoing support.

John Poltrock also knows that many notable achievements are the result of impressive teamwork. On The Poltrock Team, each person has their own area of expertise, providing the agency’s clients with stellar service from the first contact through final settlement. John sums it up very clearly and succinctly: “There’s no doubt about it, it’s not just me. It’s the entire Poltrock Team. We have the best people!”

The Poltrock Team – REMAX Mountain Properties – Murphy NC – www.ILoveMurphy.com – Call us Toll Free at 1-866-Murphy-NC or 1-866-687-7496 – Murphy’s #1 Real Estate Team

7 Simple Tips for Winterizing Your Home in Murphy, NC

Fall’s cooler weather and shorter days mean winter’s frigid temperatures are just around the corner. And when it’s really cold (and maybe snowy or icy) outside, you want to stay warm and cozy inside your Murphy, North Carolina mountain cabin. To ensure that your house is nicely buttoned up against the elements, here are seven easy steps for winterizing your home and property. And here’s the best part: you can prepare both large and small homes using the same guidelines.

Add Insulation in Strategic Spots
Adding insulation to your home can make the house feel warmer during the winter months. This is especially important in the attic, where beefing up the insulation prevents warm air from migrating to your roof, where it can lead to ice dams. Throughout every season, this extra insulation can help you conserve energy and save money, according to the United States Department of Energy.

While you’re focused on insulation projects, take steps to protect your water pipes and water heater. This is most important if your water pipes are routed through an unheated or very chilly basement, potentially leading to frozen pipes during super-cold weather. Taking time to winterize the pipes and water heater now can help prevent expensive repairs down the road. Continue reading “7 Simple Tips for Winterizing Your Home in Murphy, NC”

Finding the Perfect Pastureland Property

Ken and Wendy Braden’s search for the perfect Murphy, North Carolina property was quite a whirlwind experience. They thoroughly enjoyed working with Donna Srabian, who happily accommodated the couple’s tight schedule and shared their commitment to finding the ideal mountain acreage.

After trekking through several parcels of wooded land for sale, Ken and Wendy realized that they were really more interested in pasture land. Donna quickly switched gears, changing her schedule to allow a return to a property that deserved a second visit. As the Braden’s weekend trip wrapped up, they knew they had found the perfect piece of land that would be ideal for a house.

Ken and Wendy’s real estate transaction also moved along without a hitch – thanks to The Poltrock Team’s stellar client service. Today, Ken and Wendy are looking forward to the next chapter – in the beautiful Murphy, North Carolina mountains.

“We found The Poltrock Team on Realtor.com, and we decided to work with them because they listed properties that interested us. Donna Srabian showed us several pieces of land, and she was great working with our schedule, as we were only in Murphy and Cherokee County for the weekend. During our short visit, Donna climbed mountains, trudged through poison ivy, and walked through swamps in 90-degree temperatures to find a property we liked.

After we had climbed through acres of wooded properties, we changed our minds and asked to see pasture land instead. At the end of the day, we realized we hadn’t seen very much of the last lot, so Donna rearranged her plans so we could return on Sunday morning.

Once we found the perfect property for sale, The Poltrock Team was most helpful in communicating with the seller to answer our questions. Overall, we had a fabulous real estate experience with The Poltrock Team, and we would give them a “10” for their service. We would definitely work with them again.”

Ken & Wendy Braden
Locust Grove, GA

Another Satisfied Real Estate Client

After owning their Murphy, North Carolina cabin for several years, Charles and Jean Titcombe made the decision to sell their mountain property. Although they had their choice of real estate agents, the couple wanted to work with a highly successful agent with a proven record of results. Naturally, they chose John Poltrock and The Poltrock Team, and they’re delighted with the outcome.

In fact, you might say the Titcombe’s experienced the best of both worlds. After they had enjoyed their mountain home’s beautiful view and cozy ambience for several years, The Poltrock Team sold the very desirable property in just one day. Even better, the buyers happily paid the asking price – in cash. After the transaction was complete, Charles and Jean were very happy clients, and they gladly expressed their satisfaction with The Poltrock Team’s impeccable service.

“We learned about The Poltrock Team though a mailing, and we decided to work with them after visiting with John. From a client perspective, we were very satisfied with our real estate experience. Our house sold in one day at our asking price, and the transaction was a cash sale. You can’t get better than that!

During the real estate transaction, we found Cowan & Cowan, PA’s expertise most helpful, and Friends Moving Company provided us with terrific customer service. Everything was great, and we would give The Poltrock Team a “10” for their efforts. We would certainly work with them again.”

Charles and Jean Titcombe
Palm Harbour, FL


How to Coexist with the Wildlife around Murphy, NC

When you’re living in the mountains around Murphy, NC, you’re surrounded by lush green forests and sparkling mountain lakes. You’re also sharing your life with a diverse population of native wildlife.

On most days, you’ll likely spot a group of deer munching on tasty bushes and trees. Wild turkeys perform seasonal struts across nearby driveways, and squirrels and raccoons scurry about looking for food and mischief. On rare occasions, you might even glimpse a lumbering black bear. Because some residents might wonder how to peacefully get along with the local wildlife, here are general tips that should apply to most situations. To resolve a specific issue, contact a local wildlife expert.


Limit Their Landscape Impact
Deer are voracious vegetation eaters who often gravitate to desirable trees, bushes, and groundcover plants. To discourage deer browsing, make your landscape less attractive to the hungry grazers. If possible, add deer-resistant shrubs, flowers, and groundcover to existing greenery. Protect individual trees, bushes, and groundcover with stiff plastic netting that still permits sunlight. These tactics should reduce the deer’s impact on your landscape.

Banish Them from Your Garden
If you’ve carefully cultivated a vegetable garden, or planted colorful flowers around your home, you want to discourage hungry deer from decimating your plants. First, trim the grass and underbrush around the garden. If you have nearby fruit trees, promptly harvest your ripe fruit and remove fallen fruit from the ground.

Properly fencing your garden’s perimeter should effectively stop most deer in their tracks. Choose durable fencing with sturdy metal, wood, or fiberglass posts. Ensure that the fencing is at least eight feet high (yes, deer can jump that high), and set at least one foot below ground (yes, deer can stomp flimsy fencing into the ground). Allow no more than four inches between fence components. Visual stimuli such as mylar tape, strobe or bright lights, scarecrows, and motion-triggered water sprays might also help.

If a persistent deer somehow navigates your fence, discourage their snacking behavior by surrounding vulnerable edibles with deer-repellent plants. Examples include lavender, sage, spearmint, thyme, catnip, chives, garlic, and onion. For more information, contact a local plant nursery or your Cooperative Extension Service’s Master Gardener Program.


Wild turkeys are constant grazers who naturally consume leaves, berries, seeds, nuts, insects, small frogs, lizards, and even snakes. Traveling in small family groups or flocks, they scratch their way through an area while searching for food. Next, they move to another spot and repeat the exercise. At night, they roost in convenient trees. Left alone, wild turkeys should cause minimal damage to surrounding residential areas.

How Human-Supplied Food Changes Turkeys’ Behavior
However, wild turkeys’ behavior can change when they’re given human-supplied food, such as deer corn or other tasty snacks. This new food source will first alter the turkeys’ foraging habits, and then their flock size may increase as other birds arrive to enjoy the bounty. The turkeys’ roosting behavior can also change, and they’ll likely decrease their travel range. The net effect: more turkeys will be living in a smaller geographic area.

If wild turkeys settle near your home, and continue their scratching and foraging behavior, they can tear up your landscape and damage your vehicles, decks, and shingles. Male turkeys can show aggression when they’re expecting a handout or during breeding season.

How to Resolve Your Turkey Problems
The answer is deceptively simple: Stop feeding the turkeys. Feeding them smaller portions will only cause the problem to continue. Once you stop providing any food, the turkeys will gradually return to their natural activities.

Or, maybe you haven’t actively fed the turkeys, but they’ve been gorging themselves on leftover dog or cat food that you’ve left outside. Opportunistic turkeys also gather under bird feeders, methodically scarfing up stray seeds dropped by careless birds. To discourage this scavenging, promptly remove your pets’ food dishes, and keep your bird feeding stations squeaky clean.


Squirrel-proof Your Bird Feeders
Clever little squirrels naturally gravitate to any potential food source. In fact, you’ve probably seen them gorging themselves under your bird feeders. Although this seems harmless, it conditions the squirrels to expect free handouts at your house. If you really enjoy feeding the birds, buy “squirrel-proof” feeders with metal baffles that prevent the squirrels from climbing up to the feeding stations. If possible, locate the feeders in an open area so the little gymnasts can’t jump on a feeder from a nearby tree limb.

Banish Them from Your Roof
If a squirrel jumps onto your roof from a nearby tree, they’ve surmounted a major hurdle in the quest to access your home. To deter them, trim tree limbs so they’re six feet (or more) away from your house. Although squirrels can also climb along cables or wires attached to your home, decreasing the rodents’ potential access points is a step in the right direction.

Keep Them Out of Your House
Chances are, you know someone who has experienced a squirrel home invasion. These determined little rodents often sneak into houses, settling in the attic to nest and raise their young. They can access a home through an existing entry point, such as a chimney or open vent. If another animal has created a hole, a squirrel will happily use it to get inside your home. If necessary, they’ll gnaw their way in, often chewing on electrical wires and drain pipes in the process.

To prevent the squirrels from entering your house, regularly check for potential openings, especially signs of active chewing. After confirming that no squirrels are in the house, block all openings with half-inch wire mesh. If a mother squirrel is raising her young in your house, wait until the youngsters have departed the nest. Then, place a one-way gate over the opening so the squirrels can leave but can’t return. Once everyone has exited the building, permanently seal the opening.

Finally, remember that squirrels don’t usually launch unprovoked attacks on humans. However, if you attempt to catch a squirrel, it will probably scratch and/or bite in self-defense. To avoid that unpleasant outcome, contact a wildlife removal expert with the equipment and knowledge to safely resolve the situation.


Discourage the Crafty Creatures’ Visits
Raccoons are shrewd little problem solvers who will seize any opportunity to grab some food. To discourage them from visiting your property, securely fasten your garbage can lids. Remove your pet’s food and water dishes each night. If your property contains fruit trees, harvest the ripe fruit and quickly collect fallen fruit.

Finally, don’t feed the raccoons under any circumstances. By providing them with regular meals, you’re acclimating them to humans, and possibly giving the quick little animals a chance to get inside your home. So, keep the “raccoon restaurant” closed, and the hungry little diners should look for a more hospitable location.

Raccoon-proof Your Garden
Keeping raccoons out of your carefully tended garden might be an ongoing challenge. To increase your odds of success, consider acquiring a dog. Your pooch’s barking, and possibly their scent, may discourage raccoons from exploring your property.

Inside the garden, grow a generous crop of squash, as raccoons don’t seem to like walking on the prickly vines. Sprinkle cayenne powder, or a 50/50 mix of garlic and chili powder, throughout your garden. Place motion sensor lights around the garden, as bright lights might discourage raccoons from prowling through the plants at night. Install a motion-detector sprinkler system, which you’ll activate during nighttime hours.


Promote Your Personal Safety
Our mountain region is home to numerous black bears, which typically stay in their forest habitats and avoid human contact. However, on rare occasions you might spot a bear wandering through your property, searching for food. If you give the bear a wide berth, and don’t provide any food, the bear should eventually leave the area. If you make the mistake of feeding the bear, however, it’s likely to become dependent on human food handouts. As a result, the bear will increase its presence near your home, and will likely exhibit bolder behavior over time.

If you do encounter a bear, don’t attempt to become “The Bear Whisperer.” Instead, remain calm and back away slowly while making as much noise as possible. Don’t ever approach or corner the bear, as it’s an extremely powerful animal that can move with incredible speed. Finally, as a general guideline, if the bear seems to alter its natural behavior while you’re there, you’ve definitely gotten too close and should carefully leave the scene.

Minimize Your Bear Problems
To discourage bears from hanging around your property, eliminate all potential food sources. Store your trash cans inside your basement, garage, or other inaccessible area. On trash pick-up days, take the trash outside that morning – not the night before.

If you (or a neighbor) has spotted a bear nearby, minimize your outdoor pet feeding, and ensure that all bowls are removed each evening. Also, bears are notorious for vandalizing bird feeders and gorging themselves on tasty seeds and suet. To prevent this carnage, remove all bird feeders (and hummingbird feeders), even the “bear proof” models. Finally, clean your barbecue grill after each use, as bears are attracted to the enticing food and grease odors.

Now that you’ve gotten acquainted with the Murphy, NC area wildlife, and learned how to share their natural environment, relax on your deck and enjoy living in our beautiful mountains.

The Poltrock Team – REMAX Mountain Properties – Murphy NC – www.ILoveMurphy.com – Call us Toll Free at 1-866-Murphy-NC or 1-866-687-7496 – Murphy’s #1 Real Estate Team

Murphy, NC Mountain Cabin Makes a Great Second Home

For several years, Evalee and Jose have been searching for their ideal second home – a beautiful cabin in the mountains. After viewing many North Carolina cabins for sale, they found a great vacation property in Murphy, North Carolina – and they couldn’t be more delighted. Now, they can relax on their deck and soak up the mountain breezes and sunsets, and Murphy is just a short drive away.

We have been looking for a mountain vacation home for several years. We learned about The Poltrock Team from a listing, and we decided to work with them because of Wayne’s courteous response to our inquiry. Wayne spent a few days taking us around Murphy, showing us EXACTLY what we were looking for. He went above and beyond to find a house we wanted, and then assisted us in every way to make it happen.

Because we were 700 miles away, Wayne handled everything for us. He conducted negotiations and inspections, and helped us find the perfect person to do minor repairs uncovered during an inspection. He helped us execute our plans, and he kept us “in the loop” at all times. Wayne even sent us a “Walk Through” video in the rain, I must add!

We can’t thank Wayne and The Poltrock Team enough. They helped us realize our dream of buying a mountain “log cabin” vacation home. We would absolutely work with them again.”

Evalee and Jose Prada
Hialeah, FL

Sellers’ Mountain Cabin Got Optimum Market Exposure

After Cheryl and Michael decided to sell their Murphy, North Carolina mountain cabin, they knew The Poltrock Team would again deliver great results. The couple’s beautiful mountain home received statewide and national exposure, bringing an excited buyer who wanted their own cabin in the mountains. Now, the new owners are relaxing on the deck of their dream house near Murphy – and they’ve got their own little slice of paradise in the mountains.

We had previously worked with The Poltrock Team, and we decided to do so again because of our positive experience. During our real estate sale, we were most impressed that The Poltrock Team gave our home statewide and national selling exposure through the Internet. Overall, we found the team to be pleasant, receptive, and cooperative in meeting our needs. Based on this experience, we would absolutely work with them again.”

Cheryl and Michael Bessette
Murphy, NC

Couple Excitedly Plans Relocation to Their Murphy Mountain Home

William and Cynthia had been planning on relocating to Murphy, North Carolina, and they gave The Poltrock Team’s Donna Srabian an important mission: find their ideal mountain home far away from the city. Donna happily showed the couple quite a few properties, but they didn’t make a commitment at that time.

In June 2018, William and Cynthia returned to Murphy, and Donna showed them some great new properties in the local area. Finally, they experienced that “Aha!” moment, when they knew they had found their perfect mountain home. Even better, The Poltrock Team was there to smooth out the logistics required to purchase the property. After moving to their new home, William and Cynthia love living in the beautiful North Carolina mountains. They’re looking forward to many more years enjoying the cool breezes and warm sunshine while visiting with their family.

We began considering a move to Murphy in May 2017, and we decided to work with The Poltrock Team after our friends’ rave reviews. Donna at Poltrock took us to see a number of potential properties, but we did not make a decision at that time. We reconnected in June 2018, and over a whirlwind week visited a number of properties. On almost the last day of our visit, we found a great property that we have since purchased!

The Poltrock Team assisted throughout inspections, repairs, and the final closing. They also provided a lot of additional services information, recommendations, and references to great contracting companies. During our real estate transaction, we were most impressed with the amazing amount of patience and effort Donna put into working with us to find what we wanted. We would give The Poltrock Team a “10+” for their service, and would definitely work with them again.”

William and Cynthia Gelert

Satisfied Mountain Home Buyer Gets Top-Notch Service

Eduardo was searching for his mountain vacation home, and he knew that he could find it by working with an exceptional realtor. Fortunately, The Poltrock Team’s Donna Srabian stepped up to the plate, listening closely to Eduardo’s needs and showing him some beautiful cabins in the mountains. Her due diligence paid off, as she located a top notch mountain property at a great price. Today, Eduardo looks forward to spending his vacations relaxing on his deck and soaking up the mountains’ peace and quiet.

I found out about The Poltrock Team through the Internet, and decided to work with them because of Donna Srabian’s excellent follow through. During our real estate sale, Donna showed me some wonderful homes, and she was very helpful in providing excellent communication and service. Overall, The Poltrock Team was very pleasant, hardworking, and professional. I would give them a “10+” for their service, and would certainly work with them again.”

Eduardo Rodriguez
Miami, FL