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This blog is done as a service to our clients and those searching for information on a variety of topics. The information here is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed. Upon entering the site, you accept that we hold no liability in any form for anything located in this blog – whether you have seen/read this post or not. All recommendations, information, and anything else is as accurate as we can make it. We do recommend you do your own research and verify any information herein.

With all that legal mumbo-jumbo out of the way, please enjoy! This blog is here for you to use and for us to transfer the information, thoughts, and experiences in our brain to you. We look forward to helping you and being your resource in the mountains of Murphy, North Carolina!

Please visit our real estate website located at www.MyMurphy.com.

The Benefits and Beauty of Lake Hiwassee

Lake Hiwassee is a beautiful lake situated in the mountains of Murphy, North Carolina. Being the largest lake in Cherokee County, it offers a lot to boaters, fisherman, campers, and more. It takes up 6,280 acres and is made by dams on either end. The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) is the government agency responsible for regulating and maintaining its integrity.

Almost entirely surrounded by U.S. Forest Service, there is very little land available on the lake itself. In order to find a lake lot or home, you almost have to buy in Bear Paw Resort in the Hiwassee Dam area of our county. Many of the lake houses have an amazing view of the water and look on to Forest Service land on the other side of the lake. Because of that, their view will likely remain natural for our lifetimes.

Many skiers love the lake because the water is like glass most of the time. The mountains and fingers on the lake keep it smooth and prevents it from being choppy like many lakes with large open channels. It starts close to downtown Murphy and extends for 22 miles. Since it is surrounded by the Forest Service, you can camp all along the shoreline. Not only that, it is not heavily trafficked since their are very few homes on the water. It truly is a place where you can take your family and be safe, comfortable, and have a good time.

*Note* – You will find a common misspelling reading Lake Hiawassee.

You can also read our newer article with more specifics on Lake Hiwassee in Murphy, North Carolina

Where You Can Expect Your Best Return on Investment in Murphy NC Mountain Real Estate

I’ve been working with a couple today who first called me on Lake Homes and Lots then did a total switch up on me. We ended up looking at homes with a great mountain view, and they now have two choices they really like. One in Hibberts Mountain and the other in Indian Rock Springs.

Anyway, I digress before I even get started. In speaking with them, it brought me to a great point which I have been relaying to my customers for some time. There are three types of properties in Murphy that have an exceptional appreciation rate and do well historically. The three types are: 1) Lakefront 2) Mountain View 3) Water front – i.e. creek, branch, and river frontage.

Lakefront – As with many markets all over the U.S., it’s a great investment and property you can enjoy simply by being on the water. Here in our area, there’s several differently lakes to enjoy. Lake Hiwassee (you’ll see some misspellings, Hiawassee is a common one), Appalachia, Lake Chatuge, Blue Ridge, Nottley, Nantahala, and Santeelah are some of the the lakes people enjoy here in the North Carolina Mountains. I’ll go more in depth on some of these in a later blog.

Mountain View – Just like the quality of anything you can buy, mountain views vary. You could have a little glimpse of a mountain or one where someone else’s trees could grow and block your view. The best views are generally considered multiple layers of mountains where you control the views – in other words, you can cut trees or whatever is in your way because you own the property in front of you where the trees could grow up. Close up mountains are also great, depending on the ridge line and other factors.

Water Front – Think varying ranges of moving water here. A "branch" is the smallest, usually considered to be 4-6 inches at most. Over 4-6" would be considered a creek and can get several feet wide. Rivers are, well, rivers. In Murphy, we have three main rivers: Hiwassee, Nottley, and Valley. All of which are beautiful and quite clean and clear water.

These are great investments for the long term and in some cases, the short term. It’s quite common to see double digit returns on these properties (annually). If you love the water or mountain views, fear not! Your purchase today can lead to a lifetime of enjoyment, or at the least, a better return on your money than you can find in any CD.

John Poltrock, CRS – Call Toll Free 1-866-687-7496 to make your real estate investments – www.MyMurphy.comJohnPoltrock@gmail.com – The POLTROCK TEAM at RE/MAX Mountain Properties in Murphy, NC

Information on Drilling A Well in Murphy and Cherokee County, NC

How much does a well cost? Who can I use to drill my well? Should I buy land without a well? How deep will I have to go to get water? What’s the chance I won’t get water? What happens if it goes dry? What kind of minerals are there going to be in my water? Will my water be good?

These are all questions I hear regularly when my clients and customers are looking buy real estate in Murphy, North Carolina. The truth is, these are all very pertinent questions that every buyer and investor should ask. The mountains make “hitting” water much different than flat land. The real advantage here in Cherokee County is that we have some of the purest, best tasting water come straight from a well and to your tap.

When it comes to wells, here’s a good summation – there are no guarantees. There’s good news though – experienced well drilling companies are a tremendous, and quite reliable, resource that can give you answers to your questions depending on the area you find your property. We frequently use and recommend Cherokee Well Drilling due to their extensive knowledge and many, many, many wells they have drilled.

Certain areas are prone to mineral deposits that can show up in your water supply. On the same note, certain areas are notorious for having deep and/or low yield wells. For example, parts of Hanging Dog, Wolf Mountain, Indian Rock Springs, and a few others are notorious for having deep and low yield wells. These really aren’t the norm but illustrate how you can ask to make sure the piece of real estate you choose is in a “safe” location.

Here’s the answers to many of those common questions. Yes – you can buy land without a well. People do it every day and end up just fine. Many swear they have the best water in the country. The answer to the rest of the questions? Ask your local well source, look at the neighbor’s well, and find out the history. The beauty of well water is that it is clean, pure, and reliable source of water. I, too, have a well I use every day and love it! You can also send your water to the state for a nominal $25 fee and find out the mineral content and whether there is any contamination from bacteria for only $10 more.

To sum it up, wells are a great source of water. Just ask a professional when you find the land you love and you won’t have to worry about sleepless, or thirsty, nights.

John Poltrock – The POLTROCK TEAM at REMAX Mountain Properties – Murphy’s #1 Real Estate Team – www.MyMurphy.comJohnPoltrock@gmail.com – Call Today Toll Free at 1-866-Murphy-NC or 1-866-687-7496

Murphy has new bank offering great land loans

Many of our customers and clients come to the mountains of Murphy looking to purchase real estate they can hold on to for many years and enjoy. Quite a few are specifically looking for an acre lot or more and want to build their cabin in a couple of years when they retire or have more “spendable” money.

Great news! Nantahala Bank has just had their grand opening (in their new, full service office) and offer exceptional loan programs. I have personally used their products (checking, land loans, and construction loans) with great results. They have an excellent team that truly works together for the client.

In regards to the land loans, they have many options. 3-15 year amortization, interest only, great rates, and a whole lot of others in between. They’re a great local bank and you can find them on the web at www.NantahalaBank.com

Nantahala Bank Logo

Image Courtesy of NantahalaBank.com

We need YOUR help naming our Building!

Good evening all! We have been mulling over what to name our new office building, and we can’t figure out! Perhaps you can help by telling the name of an office complex you have seen or by making up a new one. Here’s a few facts that might help you come up with a name:

-3 stories, 6,000 sq. feet on each level

-RE/MAX will be on the second floor (sorry, one rule is that RE/MAX can’t be in the name)

-It’s a professional building – the 1st floor/basement is rental space and stores. The third floor is partially ours, but mostly going to be rented out to builders and other professionals (individual offices)

-it’s designed with A LOT of stacked rock, a beige colored stucco, and looks REALLY sharp

-it’s on highway 64 West in Murphy, North Carolina (Cherokee County)

-It’s either the largest or really close to the largest professional building in the county

Please feel free to ask me any questions – I’ll be watching this post carefully. We need to name it ASAP and haven’t got a name we like.

Our building has been named Cornerstone, and you can find Directions to Cornerstone and RE/MAX Mountain Properties in Murphy NC Here

Solve Your Computer Back-up Problems Effectively and CHEAPLY!

If you have the same problems I had with computer back-up, this is for you. I bought a 100 gig hard drive to backup all my client folders, pictures, music, and everything-else-known-to-man. The only problem is to protect the drive, I had to always keep it disconnected from power and my laptop. Then I had to go through the hastle of reconnecting it, transferring everything over, and then disconnecting it when I was done.

No more! For less than the cost of a back-up drive, you can back up your computer AUTOMATICALLY and securely using an online service. Merely tell it what drive(s) you want to back up, and it will do the rest for you all the time. There’s no space limit whatsoever. My back up is over 21 gigs and there are no complaints from them.

Check it out – it’s well worth the investigation and the money because you never know when your computer will takes its last breath.

Use this link to download a free 15-day trial subscription to Carbonite, and get an extra free month of service when you buy:  www.carbonite.com/raf/signup.aspx?RAFUserUID=77443&a=0

Satellite Internet Brings High Speed Internet to ANYWHERE in Murphy NC!

Satellite Internet is nothing new – but it is certainly new to me. Many of you probably have heard of, or perhaps even use, this great service. It will work in any part of rural America where dial-up has long been our only option.

Here in Murphy, North Carolina, I live just a couple miles from where the DSL line stops. I’ve used dial up, but it is painfully slow. Using it for anything, especially the MLS, is a lesson in perseverance and probably results in a dependency on Zoloft. Even desolate regions no longer need to worry! Forget your antidepressant and keep reading.

I signed up to use to WildBlue, which seems to be the best bang for the buck. Go to www.WildBlue.com for more info. Their equipment and monthly subscription was cheaper (yes, you have to pay for your equipment up front) than HughesNet, which is the only other real competitor.

The largest problems with it? 1)It can be cost prohibitive. 2) Web pages load a little slow. 3) They limit the amount of bandwidth you can use each month.

It is fairly expensive to sign up, but that is only determined by what the value of high speed internet is to you. The second problem is one of my main issues. It can download files amazingly fast to not be hard wired to anything, but yet the average web page seems to take quite a while to be up and running when compared with the speed of say, DSL. The third issue is the other thing you have to be aware of – both companies actually cap the amount of bandwidth you can use in 30 day period. For most people, we will come no where near the amount they allow. For those who download a lot (more than 5 gigs a month), this could be a barrier. If that’s you, make sure you ask what your limits are with each monthly package.

What does this have to do with real estate? A lot! With much of the population being more and more internet savvy, they want the ability to not be tied to dial up. No matter who you are, where you live, or where you work, you now have the option to have high speed. It’s a great thing to know when looking for real estate in other outer regions where it has never been available before.

Septic Permits Bog Down Buyers in Murphy – But Do They Really?

Obtaining septic permits in Cherokee County has become an issue shrouded in controversy and political pitfalls. I’ve found many of my buyers have been very disgruntled in the fact it takes an average of 6-8 months to get a standard permit. Hold it! Clear your head and use it to your advantage!

One of the most important things to understand is what got us to this point in the first place. This is a very small nutshell of what all has been occurring behind the scenes. We have lost several soil scientists to counties offering to pay them more and provides more benefits. To offset the losses, several younger scientists were hired, but they must train under a veteran in order to eventually work on their own. Coupled with many political issues, the problem snowballed into more than 600 outstanding permits and an average of 6 months wait time.

Now how can you turn this dilemma into a benefit? The fact is most land buyers (especially in the Murphy, North Carolina area) who intend to use their new found property to build their second home, or cabin in our local market, don’t want to build right away. If you’re planning on taking a year or more to build, PERFECT! In this case, you’re making a smart call to buy a tract that doesn’t have a permit.

Now, I’m not saying that buying a piece with a permit is bad – it’s not in any way. What I am presenting is you write an offer on land contingent upon getting a septic permit (FYI – it’s rated by the amount of bedrooms your home will have). That way, you only put up some earnest money and have the property tied up while you wait for the Cherokee County Health Department. You don’t even close on the land till a couple weeks after you have the permit in hand.

The benefit to the buyer? Lots! While the county is working to get you a permit, You’re not paying interest on a land loan, you’re not paying the real estate taxes, you many times get to enjoy appreciation on the property you’re getting, and some investors have even used this time to find a new buyer! There’s a lot of opportunity in what may initially seem like a “bad thing.” We live in an instantaneous age, but if we can sometimes slow down, great things can come to those who wait.

John Poltrock – REMAX Mountain Properties – www.MyMurphy.comJohnPoltrock@gmail.com – Call us Toll Free at 1-866-Murphy-NC or 1-866-687-7496

The State of the Market Address – June 2007

As the second installment of the State of the Market, we venture
into what has happened in the month of June for the market here in
Murphy. North Carolina has been overall very fortunate in its ability
to retain a stable market in relation to many other states – especially
Florida. The majority of our second home buyers come from the Florida
area, and we have seen an indirect effect on our market. Many of the
younger investors from Florida who made significant amounts of money in
real estate have been tapering off. We’ve seen the “normal” buyers who
have historically bought vacation and full time residences in both
Murphy and Andrews coming back and regaining their strength as our
primary buyers.

In a brief summation, there were 144 total
transactions that were not a result of hand-me-downs, quitclaims, or
other non-cash transactions. Of those 144 transactions, land
represented 87 total and homes were 57. Land was down by six
transactions while homes were up by 10 transactions from May.  28
homes and 36 land tracts were transferred by the Mountain Lakes Board
of Realtors. From May, we have seen a 2.9% increase in total transfers.
From the beginning of the year, we’re at a 9.1% increase.

2007
is turning out to be an excellent real estate year. Historically, our
numbers are up significantly even though some consumer confidence seems
to be flaky. What I find
to be one of the most interesting factors is that the largest real
estate investors are buying while the market is staying “down.” They’re
going against the grain and are going to find the greatest increases in
their investment when buyers begin to come back in full force.

Although
Murphy is small drop in the bucket in America’s real estate market,
it’s great to see the media is over exaggerating the results of the
market. I’m sure many other agents and investors are experiencing and
finding these same results. For those of us who enjoy and love what we
do, this market will prove to be an excellent change of pace and a challenge that we are sure to enjoy.

 John Poltrock – REMAX Mountain Properties in Murphy NC – www.MyMurphy.comJohnPoltrock@gmail.com – 1-866-687-7496