What is a normal water well in Western North Carolina

Over the past decade+, I’ve either personally had drilled, had clients that drilled, or been involved in transactions where a new well had to be drilled here in Murphy, NC. The one thing I’ve learned; there is no such thing as a normal well in Western North Carolina. Each one is different with several main components: depth, yield, and quality.

Fiberglass Well Cover
This fiberglass “fake rock” is a common well cover. It’s generally foam insulated to protect the well in Winter.

Depth: Perhaps it’ll help to understand where water comes from underground. There are aquifers, or creeks, and veins of water hundreds of feet underground that you want to collect and bring to your faucets. While many areas like Florida and Eastern North Carolina can hit water in 10-50 feet, the mountains of Western North Carolina is often 100-400 feet and can even be deeper. In rare instances, you can have a well drilled that never finds water or has a low yield; more on that in a moment. Some old-timers believe that “witching” a well will help you maximize your odds of finding the best spot to drill your well so you never have a dry hole. The deeper your well, the more “reserve” you have; meaning, your well acts as a storage tank and the deeper it is, the more storage space you have.

Yield: Depth is only part of the equation; how much water your well can produce is another major component. Yield is how many gallons per minute your underground aquifers and veins of water pour into your well. This one is easy – the more the merrier. I’ve seen yield of under 1/2 gallon per minute (GPM) to artesian wells that put out so much water the instruments to measure yield pegged out and we only knew that it was 100+ GPM. Those are rare and 1-10 GPM is far more common. If your well produces a lower yield than the well company recommends for household usage, there are some great options to maximize it like a buried storage tank or fracking, which expands the crevices to try to get more water flow.

This shows a common well arrangement under the cover.
This picture shows a lot under the cover! The well itself is to the right in the thicker pipe. The big blue tank is a pressure tank. This also has a rare feature – a hand pump on top of the well in the event of power or pump failure, you can still get water. Click to see a larger picture.

Quality: Western North Carolina is known for amazing water. In fact, many folks who live in Florida and other areas will tank water from here and bring it to their home because the water is so much better. pH is rarely a problem and any water quality issues we see usually are from rotten egg smell (sulfur) or red water (iron). The good thing about these water quality issues is they can almost always be resolved by a water filtration system. If it is needed, your well company can recommend the right system. They range from an inexpensive sediment filter (I think every home should have one. They protect your faucets and fixtures from sediment) to a tank-style system that costs around $1,650-3,200 depending on certain factors. Filtration technology has come a LONG way in the past decade and many of the systems require very little maintenance to produce the best water your taste buds have experienced.

Just a few personal experiences I’ve had:

  • The well I use daily produces 8 GPM and feeds two homes, a barn, and waters our animals with no issues. Other than a $100 sediment filter, we have nothing on it and it produces the most amazing water ever.
  • At our old house, the well was low yield with 3/4 GPM… and supplied about 10 houses. Fortunately, about 1/2 or better were part time occupants so it rarely had all 10 homes trying to get water. We CONSTANTLY had problems with water… until we installed a 1,500 gallon reservoir tank. That solved every problem we had because the storage tank supplied all the water to the houses and the well replenished it. It made the perfect buffer and we never had a supply issue again.
  • Well Tag on a Drilled Well
    This is a typical well tag that is supposed to be on a well casing. It shows all kinds of useful information to include Yield (bottom left) and depth (center right).

    A developer drilled a well getting an astonishing 100+ GPM that had very high iron. The homeowners on the well had issues with laundry turning red due to the high iron content. They installed a $2,000 well filtration system that cleans itself so it requires extremely low maintenance. The system completely resolved the iron problems and the water is now extraordinary. 

If you’ve wondered the basics on how wells work in Western North Carolina, I hope this helps! Looking for real estate? We would be honored to help. Give us a call at 1-866-687-7496 or contact us from our website and we’ll be there to assist.

Need a good well driller? Check out our Gotta Guy list with reputable local well drillers, contractors, and more.

We have private, shared, and community wells here. Learn the difference here.

John Poltrock 

5 Tips for Researching an Investment Property in Murphy, NC

Pinpointing the right investment property in Murphy, North Carolina is like looking for the proverbial needle in a haystack. Whether you’re searching for a mountain cabin, rental home, or commercial building, you likely have several MLS properties that interest you. So, narrow the field by doing some due diligence on your top-tier candidates. Next, partner with a leading realtor who will gladly provide you with additional details and professional guidance. Then, you’ll be in a better position to make an informed purchase decision.

 

Get Acquainted with the Area
Naturally, you want to learn as much as possible about your potential investment property’s location. So, get in your car (or truck) and take a leisurely drive around the county. Look for adequate access routes to surrounding communities, and notice the number and type of shopping venues. Make a mental note of parks, recreational activities, and medical facilities. In other words, take the perspective of a potential home buyer or business owner.

 

Next, let’s assume you’ve browsed the MLS listings, and you’ve found several houses for sale or commercial properties in downtown Murphy, North Carolina. Can you easily access that part of town? Cruise through the business district; and notice the number and types of shops, restaurants, and other establishments. Adequate parking is especially important, as residents and visitors want easy access to local businesses.

Now, park your vehicle, and stroll around town like you’re buying a home there. Visit with several shop and restaurant owners. Learn about the business climate, and get a sense of business owners’ and residents’ relationships with local governments. Walk to the town hall or city manager’s office, and learn about upcoming business and residential development plans. Ask your real estate agent for any “inside track” information. Simply put, you want to know that you’re investing in a vibrant community that’s continuing to grow. Finally, for an up-close perspective of the town and/or county, call or visit friends or family who own a mountain home or work in that locale.

Obtain Local Demographic Data
Put on your detective hat, and do some in-depth due diligence on the town’s demographic makeup. Your goal: to determine how this town stacks up against other towns in the county or surrounding region. Begin with the local Chamber of Commerce website. This valuable resource will likely contain useful data on the general economy, population makeup, median income, business ownership breakdown, and much more.

Next, browse the town’s official website for additional nuggets of information. Besides assorted local government details, you might find listings of upcoming events and points of interest. Again, you’re looking for a lively, growing town with much to offer current (and potential) residents and visitors.

Pinpoint Each Property’s Potential
Now, let’s open the zoning can of worms. For example, let’s say you’re interested in a property that currently carries residential zoning, but you think it would make a terrific business location. Before you proceed down that path, learn about current property usage limitations. Next, talk to town managers about the feasibility of a zoning change. Also, ask your realtor about other clients’ recent experiences with zoning issues.

If you decide to pursue that option, realize that you’ll incur some attorney’s fees. You could also face logistical delays that further complicate your plans. So, if your commercial project carries a tight timeline, decide if it’s still workable given those limiting factors.

Visit the Registry of Deeds
Let’s say you’ve found a home or commercial building that piques your interest. To obtain valuable mortgage information on the property, visit the town’s Registry of Deeds. With a little digging, you can get the property’s current mortgage and last selling price figures. Most importantly, learn about any outstanding liens that could affect your potential purchase. Although sifting through these public records will take some time, this information will provide an insight into the seller’s perspective during previous contract negotiations.

Comb through the Permit Records
If you’ve gotten to this stage, you’re seriously interested in a property, and you want your ducks in a row before possibly making an offer. More specifically, you want complete permit data on the property’s previous construction, addition, and/or remodeling projects. If you can’t find these details online, view the written records at the town government offices.

For example, maybe the seller put up a new roof, but never pulled a permit because he wanted to avoid construction delays. That speaks volumes about his mindset, and potentially provides you with an advantage during contract negotiations. Share these (and other) relevant details with your realtor, so you’ll be in the best position to make an offer that aligns with your business goals.

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

5 Reasons You Should Insist on Professional Real Estate Photography

When you decide to sell your Murphy, NC mountain home, you make every effort to attract potential buyers. Before listing the property, you give your walls a new coat of paint, complete unfinished projects, and de-clutter your rooms and closets for a more favorable impression. After your hard work, your home is all dressed up and ready to be photographed and listed for sale on a multiple listing site in 2019 – and maybe on Facebook as well.

Because photography has become such a valuable real estate marketing tool, and you want your home to receive the best possible presentation, contact a realtor who takes time to include professional photography in their marketing program. More than half of the real estate industry’s agents adhere to this philosophy. Here, we’ll share five common-sense reasons behind this approach.

Better Marketing Strategy
When an agent makes the investment in professional photography services, they show that they’re committed to adequately marketing their sellers’ properties. As with other products and services, a well-coordinated marketing program begins with a striking visual presentation that showcases the home’s strongest features.

For example, let’s say your home’s stunning mountain view is a major selling point. When a talented professional photographs the property using top-notch equipment and expert technical skill, they’ll capture the mountains’ palette of colors and textures – and that’s what will grab buyers’ interest.

Higher Visual Appeal
Generally speaking, a home buyer wants to visualize themselves living in a striking, well-coordinated home that reflects their personal style and is pleasing to their eye. A skilled real estate photographer takes time to zero in on your home’s finest features, carefully making them stand out with top-notch camera equipment and innovative techniques.

The photographer will work to highlight desirable elements such as spacious rooms, textural and lighting effects, and jaw-dropping mountain views. When your home puts its best foot forward, those professionally sourced photos make the property more appealing to potential buyers. Then, the stage is set for people to request new information or (even better) contact the agent for a showing appointment.

Increased Buyer Interest
In 2019, selling your Murphy, North Carolina mountain home really is a numbers game. You want the maximum number of people to experience your listed property online, which increases the pool of potential buyers who will respond positively to your home.

Professional real estate photography provides you with a definite edge in this competitive market. In fact, studies have demonstrated that listings that include professional photography receive 60% to 100% more clicks than comparable homes with amateur photography.

Faster Property Sale
Once you decide to list your mountain home for sale, you want to quickly find a buyer and bring the process to a swift conclusion before moving on to the next chapter in your life. When home buyers view relevant properties online, professionally photographed homes typically receive a larger number of views than similar homes with point-and-click photography.

As you might expect, a bigger group of potential buyers can increase your odds of a faster property sale. In fact, studies have shown that professional real estate photography can help a listing to go under contract approximately 50% faster than similar homes with agent-generated pictures.

Higher Selling Price
Naturally, you’d like to realize the highest possible profit on the sale of your mountain cabin. Not surprisingly, listings featuring professional photography tend to sell for higher market prices than comparable properties that include amateur photos.

In 2010, Redfin, a Seattle-based residential real estate brokerage, analyzed MLS systems throughout the United States. After the study wrapped up, Redfin concluded that professionally photographed properties sell for higher prices than similar homes with point-and-click photos. The study emphasized that this trend holds true whether the property has a low-end, mid-range, or higher asking price.

Subpar Photography Risks
But what happens if you choose an agent who uses the “do it yourself” approach to real estate photography? The answer is simple: If your property photos are taken with a point-and-click camera, the pictures won’t show your home in the best possible light. Without superb camera equipment and professional skill, your home’s expansive rooms will appear cramped and will lack interesting visual elements. Your incredible mountain views will lack textural detail, and your home’s striking architecture won’t have as much impact.

So, to market your Murphy, North Carolina home’s positive points, and increase your chances of a faster sale at a good price, insist on a realtor who uses a professional photographer. By choosing The Poltrock Team, your home will be showcased with top-notch photography, and you’ll also benefit from high-caliber professional advice. Best of all, your home will receive a second-to-none marketing program that sets you up for great results.

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

The Importance of Local Lender in Murphy NC with Lurree Pavis at Homestar Mortgage

When buying a home in the mountains, being able to obtain a loan often is the one of the largest pieces of completing your home purchase. The video below is John Poltrock with one of our local go-to mortgage brokers. It provides valuable insight on the process and ease of getting a loan and the importance of using a local lender to complete your real estate purchase.

Questions? Call us at 1-866-Murphy-NC and we’re happy to help.

The Benefits of a New Survey When Buying Real Estate in Western North Carolina

When you buy real estate in Murphy and Western North Carolina, the question ought to arise whether you pay for a new survey. It doesn’t matter if you are purchasing vacant land, a home, or a commercial parcel; you’ll get many key advantages from a new survey if you choose to do it.

  1. Remarked lines – this is the most obvious advantage. As part of the survey, the surveyor will go through and mark the perimeter of your land. Common markers are yellow, orange, or pink ribbons on a tree, “blazes” where they hack the side of a tree and paint it with spray paint, iron rods, or fence posts.
  2. A “map” of your land – when complete, the surveyor will provide a plat of your land, which is a big map showing the dimensions, direction of lines, and more on the land. Want to see a sample of what you receive from a plat? Click Here to see a Sample Survey.
  3. Verification of any encroachments/structure locations – in determining and marking lines, the surveyor will discover if there is an encroachment by your property or from an adjoining parcel. For example, he might find the neighbor’s fence, house, shed, garden, retaining wall, etc. is on your property. Even worse, what if the house or garage you’re buying is partially or wholly on another property? While it may sound unlikely, we’ve seen entire houses built on the wrong parcel of land. Normally, it is a matter of locating and showing your structures on the survey map itself.
  4. Review of Right-of-ways/easements – if the property you are buying has a right-of-way to it or through it (or easement. They mean essentially the same thing, some folks interchange the words), it can be a good idea to verify the location of it. Some easement locations are extremely specific of where they are while others are beyond vague; it can be beneficial to make sure you have good access to reach your property or that an easement to another property through your property does not go through your buildings etc.
  5. Verify acreage – want to ensure the size of your land is accurate? The only accurate way is a new survey. If it hasn’t been surveyed in a long time, acreage can vary wildly. I’ve seen 50 acre parcels that were really 80 acres and 50 acre parcels that were really 34. If properties have been surveyed within the last decade or two, it is generally accurate and varies within 1/10th of an acre. The older it gets, the more it can be off.
  6. Title Insurance to include boundary coverage – when you obtain a new survey prior to a real estate closing, the attorney can add boundary coverage to your title insurance policy at no additional cost. This is a huge benefit, especially on larger tracts. For instance, what if a neighbor builds a shed on or stakes claim to a certain portion of your property? With boundary coverage, the title insurance company will step in and protect your interests. They will not do this without boundary coverage specifically covered in your policy. Because of that, be certain to prompt and verify with your attorney they have included it in your policy. They MUST send in a copy of the survey to the insurance company.
  7. A new deed description – sometimes this is a huge benefit while other times it is unnecessary. For instance, a home built in a subdivision created with in the last decade or two likely will not need a new description as the description is accurate. If you’re buying an “old” parcel that hasn’t been surveyed in a very long time, a survey is priceless. Some old deed descriptions literally have a description that goes to the “old hickory stump” then fifteen poles to a barb wire fence. Those definitely need a new survey to be able to accurately know where boundary lines are located and the true size of your acreage.

A quick story – I purchase a rental house in downtown Murphy and did not get a survey. Whoops. Turns out the last time it was surveyed, that I could find, was somewhere around 1960’s. The neighbor, who I was fortunate enough to know, pointed out to me the carport, which is attached to the house, was partially on his land. I immediately called a surveyor, had it surveyed, and sure enough! The neighbor was kind enough to deed a small <0.01 acre triangle to me to correct it. Had it not been him, I may not have been so lucky to have such a good resolution. Since then, I almost always get a survey when I buy a property.

What’s the approximate cost of a new survey? Every surveyor has a different price structure and every parcel of land is different so there is no normal pricing. As a general guidance, the minimum cost is $550 and can be in the thousands the larger the tract of land is. The only way to get a true quote is to send in the parcel info and have it quoted.

Need a good surveyor? Check out our Gotta Guy List for our recommend contractors, surveyors, and more.

Click here to see a SAMPLE of a survey.

Written By: John Poltrock, The Poltrock Team at RE/MAX in Murphy, NC 1-866-Murphy-NC

Want to search homes and properties for sale in Western North Carolina? Search all properties 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”

5 Frequently Asked Questions About Real Estate Closings

Completing a Murphy, North Carolina real estate closing is like attending a stage play premiere. In both cases, the players have prepared for weeks (sometimes longer), perfecting their roles and working smoothly with other ensemble members. Support personnel scurry behind the scenes, handling endless details and the inevitable snafus that threaten to derail the production. Despite the obstacles, however, the big day arrives as planned, and everyone eagerly awaits a reward for their hard work.

If you’re buying or selling your Murphy, North Carolina home, land, commercial building, or investment property, you (and your realtor) want a smoothly executed outcome so you can begin the next chapter in your life. For a general real estate closing overview, including the roles played by buyers and sellers, view this snapshot of the players and the process. Continue reading “5 Frequently Asked Questions About Real Estate Closings”

Advantages of Choosing a Realtor with a Closing Coordinator

Simply put, real estate is a demanding business. No matter if you’re in Murphy, North Carolina or any other corner of the United States, having a Realtor who is effective in getting everything done for you, and done well, is virtually impossible for a single real estate agent. That is why The Poltrock Team at RE/MAX embraced the Team Model as opposed to inefficiently trying to do everything individually.

When you’re selling real estate, hiring a Team with a Closing Coordinator is a huge advantage. From contract to closing, our Closing Coordinator ensures you have the most seamless closing possible. There is an incredible amount of moving parts behind the scenes you may never even realize must happen to ensure your property closes. 

What can you expect from our Closing Coordinator?

  • Sandy Payne is our amazing Closing Coordinator.

    Personal Point of Contact to answer the many questions that arise.

  • Coordinates any and all inspections with all appropriate parties.
  • Helps execute any necessary repairs.
  • Ensures all necessary documents are executed and delivered to the closing attorney’s office for closing preparation.
  • Coordinates & Schedules closing appointments with the attorney’s office. Continually follows up and reminds all parties to ensure your closing is as timely as possible.
  • Coordinating, Managing, and responding to the constant communication between parties to ensure a smooth transaction
  • Assists in timing to change, order, and/or cancel utilities and insurance.
  • And many more unseen duties and tasks.

With a single agent, do you think your closing would be smooth and happy if they’re out showing, at an open house, on vacation, or simply not answering the phone? If you read many of the feedback responses, our closing coordinator is constantly referenced as one of the best parts of the buying and selling experience.

Having a closing Coordinator is invaluable as we move your property from For Sale, to Under Contract, and ultimately to CLOSED. While you may read this article and have an idea, you won’t understand how much of a strategic advantage it is for you until you experience it for yourself! The best part? It costs you nothing extra to have our whole Team working for you. Our fee structure is identical to that of a single real estate agent. 

Ready to sell your property and experience the advantage of having a Closing Coordinator working for you? Have more questions? We’re ready! Contact us today by clicking here or calling 1-866-687-7496.

5 Reasons to Buy a Log Cabin in Murphy, NC

Log cabins really are an authentic slice of Americana. Whether you’re in a cozy little house tucked into the woods in Murphy, NC, or in a soaring log home in high mountain terrain, log cabins can evoke images of our country’s hardy settlers’ abodes. And log cabins certainly offer a rustic, earthy type of charm while often containing space for a vegetable or flower garden. As an added bonus, these distinctive houses offer five extra advantages that make them worth a serious look when you’re buying a home.

Warmth During the Colder Months
During the colder fall and winter months, you’d like your log cabin in the mountains of Murphy, NC to be toasty warm inside. If the interior walls are warm to the touch, that’s even better. Fortunately, wood’s “thermal mass” enables your log home’s walls to gather and store valuable energy, releasing it back into your home and making chilly walls a thing of the past. The bottom line: your family will stay more comfortable when it counts the most.

Highly Energy Efficient
“Home energy efficiency” has become a much-discussed topic among homebuilders nationwide. In its simplest form, “home energy efficiency” means decreasing unnecessary energy use and lowering the demand for non-renewable resources. Besides providing measurable cost savings over buildings with conventional energy usage, energy-efficient homes ideally provide residents with a healthier living environment.

Not surprisingly, properly built log homes can be highly energy efficient. To achieve this optimum outcome, the wooden home must be properly sealed between the foundation and the first course of logs. Log-to-log connections, and the junction between the roof system and log wall, must also be completely sealed.

So, just how energy efficient is a correctly built log home? Some log and timber homebuilders construct homes that meet the United States Department of Energy’s desirable “Energy Star” standards. In other words, an Energy Star home will be 30 percent more energy efficient than mandated building code requirements. If that’s your log home in Murphy, NC, you’ll reap considerable cost savings over time, giving you more cash to enjoy life with your family. Continue reading “5 Reasons to Buy a Log Cabin in Murphy, NC”