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 

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!

Importance of Removing Family Pictures to Sell Your House

Family Portraits are great for memories, not for selling your house.
Family Portraits are great for memories, not for selling your house.

Whether you are an HGTV fan or not, you have likely heard this tip before: remove family pictures before selling your house. This is a good rule of thumb whether you are selling real estate here in Western North Carolina or anywhere in the nation.

This does not mean strip your house of all artwork. You want to stage it properly, and artwork can play a role. Scenery, decorations, etc. can make it perfect. The end goal is to ensure prospective buyers walking through your house admire your home, not the people you know and the places you’ve been. Having them picture themselves in the home, notice its features, and admire the quality is key to their buying process.

Go ahead and box up all the family pictures and get them ready for their next home. If you have lots of holes in walls as a result of taking them down, you’ll want to patch them. If you like, you can always find a handyman on our Gotta Guy list.

Ready to sell? We can help! Call us today on the number below or contact us here and let us know what we can do for you! Any time you need us, we’re never more than a call or click away.

John Poltrock – The Poltrock Team at RE/MAX – Murphy NC – www.iLoveMurphy.com – 1-866-Murphy-NC or 1-866-687-7496 – Murphy’s #1 Real Estate Team

Pray Forest Fires End in Western North Carolina

It’s hard to believe Western North Carolina is experiencing so many wild fires. As you drive through Murphy, the smoke is so thick, its hard to see in some places. Although there are no fires in Cherokee County NC (and I hope we have none), the area is experiencing a 100+ year drought. I spoke with my mother-in-law and she does not recall it ever being so dry in our beautiful mountains.

I went to Hayesville NC on Veterans Day and had the privilege of watching so many incredible folks try to put out the fires that our plaguing our area. I literally saw a dozen helicopters fly to refill and drop water on raging fires over and over and over again. There are so many heroes who have fought these fires and saved so many homes. I saw smoke that was 100 yards from a home and I can’t imagine the fear and concern some people have for their dreams.

Please keep your prayers up: both for rain and for the brave men and women working so hard to eliminate the fires.

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 2015 Leaf-Peeping Season Promises Stunning Fall Colors in Murphy NC

28DFB110-1DD8-B71C-0700A2AF4F1BD004-largeLet’s face it: we live in a drop-dead-gorgeous part of the world. When you drive around Murphy NC, Western North Carolina, and North Georgia, the tree-covered mountains and valleys literally take your breath away. Of course, the landscape changes colors throughout the all parts of the year, except for our reliable evergreens. However, there’s nothing like the brilliance of Fall’s fireworks show of reds, yellows, oranges, and everything in between.

In late September, many deciduous trees’ leaves have already changed from a bright to a muted green shade. Next, the leaves turn a striking orange, yellow, or red color, depending on the tree species. That’s the result of fall’s cooler weather that causes the leaves’ chlorophyll to break down, allowing those other pigments to emerge. Because the leaves don’t all change color at once, our residents and visitors have the privilege of searching for the perfect fall colors for weeks on end.

So how does the 2015 Leaf-Peeping Season look? Well, the experts at Western Carolina University predict an absolutely brilliant fall leaf season full of colors this year. Because leaves are taking in less water through their roots, they’re more likely to produce those stunning red pigments. Add a generally quiet hurricane season, and we’ve got the setup for some fall foliage for the history books. Although they predicted this earlier, we are quite hopeful last week’s rains don’t disappoint the show.

So when can you see these beautiful fall leaves? At elevations above 4,500 feet, you’ll see peak colors during the first two weeks of October. If you plan a trip through the Cherohala Skyway in Graham County, or hike to Wayah Bald and Wine Spring Creek in Macon County, you’ll likely get frame-worthy pictures.

As fall marches on, look for mid-elevation trees (from 2,500-4,500 feet) to put on their showiest costumes. During the third week of October, visit viewing spots along U.S. Route 64 in Macon and Clay counties. Consider the Standing Indian and Shooting Creek areas. In Graham County, NC Routes 28 and 143 from Fontana Village to Stecoah Gap should provide spectacular views.

Lower-elevation viewing will be more spotty, but should include some mid-elevation tree species. During mid/late October (and even early November), you’ll probably find some nice colors while driving along Joe Brown Highway in Murphy, NC or U.S. Route 64 in Cherokee County and Clay County.

Of course, the best part of a leaf-peeping trip is getting yourself back in one piece. Keep yourself and your family safe by pulling off to overlooks for videos and selfies. We want to see you for next year’s leaf-peeping season!

And while you’re here, you may decide to call these mountains home! Whether it be part time or full time, we can help you find your home in the mountains. So feel free to search all the available listings for sale in Murphy NC and surrounding or contact us and we will get you the perfect spot! We love it when we have new neighbors and help other discover every amazing season the mountains have to offer.

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

Blue Ridge Parkway Quarter Released Honoring Western North Carolina

Blue Ridge Parkway Quarter 1It’s rare places in Western North Carolina are honored by the likes of the Unites States Treasury. However, 2015 is the year it does! I was handed change at the store and noticed it and was very pleasantly surprised!

The Blue Ridge Parkway stretches 469 miles from the mountains of North Carolina all the way to Virginia. If you’ve never had the privilege of driving it, you certainly need to! You’ll see amazing views and scenic sights that will never leave your memory. It is stunning! And now when you get change at the store like I did, perhaps you’ll end up with a little piece of Western North Carolina in your pocket.

Blue Ridge Parkway Quarter2The Poltrock Team – REMAX of Murphy NC – www.MyMurphy.comJohnPoltrock@gmail.com – Call us Toll Free at 1-866-Murphy-NC or 1-866-687-7496 – Murphy’s #1 Real Estate Team

The Poltrock Team Sells My Home in Andrews NC in Only NINE Days!

Nancy after her Real Estate Closing

I found The Poltrock Team well informed and knowledgeable on market conditions and the Western North Carolina Area. Best of all, they got my house in Andrews NC under contract in only nine days and closed in 39! I couldn’t believe how good it went. It’s SOLD!

When I first met with John, he was very prepared. He had done his homework. He had documented information to support his answer to my questions. Also, he had done research on similar properties and presented it to me. John didn’t give me a “pie in the sky” answer, but rather documented information. Also, when he felt I was wrong in my assumptions, he not afraid to tell me I was wrong and guide me so I could make good decisions.

John and his team made the experience of selling my house and the closing stress free. This was greatly appreciated after dealing with other real estate companies in the Murphy NC area that were not enthusiastic or customer driven. John always returned my calls and followed up on all my questions. Not only that, he was always professional and enthusiastic!

Should I ever have the opportunity to use The Poltrock Team again or recommend them, I certainly will!

Nancy Copeland
Lewisburg, TN

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

Scholarships Are Being Given in Murphy NC and Surrounding Areas

At this time of year, I have the privilege of sitting on several scholarship committees where we get to interview many of the areas High School Seniors and award them with scholarships. The best part is, many of the scholarships cover not only the Cherokee County/Murphy NC area, but Robbinsville, Hayesville, and beyond. It’s an amazing opportunity. Every year there are some outstanding graduates who have accomplished unparalleled feats – all before they even go to college. The talent, skill, and genuine-ness (is that even a word!?) is something to be admired. Not only that, our local teachers need to be commended for helping them grow to be the person they are and the future that lays before them.

Mountain Lakes Board of Realtors Scholarship this one is provided by our local Board of Realtors to a graduating Senior. Many area Realtors contribute this fund to give to a worthy graduate in the area covered by the Board of Realtors. This is always the one I contribute to as I get to have active roll in the process and get to meet the recipients.

The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina – this is a non-profit group that manages not only one scholarship, but many that cover all of Western North Carolina. They issued several to Cherokee County Students, and an astounding  106 awards to 101 students with a grand total of $284,500 scholarships – for 2010 alone. I’ve worked and/or met with many of the staff here and they are an amazing group of professionals who help make higher education possible for many of WNC’s best and brightest. Thank you for all your help and hard work!

With all this said, Congratulations to all graduating Seniors.

We’re rooting for you!

Read the 2013 and 2014 article showing the winners for that year.

John Poltrock – The Poltrock Team – REMAX Mountain Properties – JohnPoltrock@gmail.com – Call us Toll Free 1-866-687-7496 – skype: johnpoltrock

High Mountain Elevation and Peaks of Cherokee County and Murphy, North Carolina NC

Mountain View of the Appalachian Mountain RangeThe mountains of Murphy, North Carolina yield spectacular mountain views that can leave any mountain lover in sheer awe. In fact, I don’t think you can ever grow tired of the mountain views that God has blessed Western North Carolina with. We are asked a lot of questions about the elevations here, and here are some answers to the many questions we receive. If you have more, please be sure to email me at JohnPoltrock@gmail.com and we’ll help you any way we can.

Where is Murphy in relation to the North Carolina Mountains? Cherokee County is the westernmost county in North Carolina and has wide range of elevations. Murphy boasts the Appalachian Mountains and all the beauty they offer.

What’s the elevation of Murphy NC itself? Downtown Murphy is at one of the lowest elevations in the county at 1,600 feet. It is actually situated right by Hiwassee and Valley Rivers.

What’s the highest elevation? They highest part of the county is at two different points at 5,040 feet at the corners of Cherokee, Clay, and Macon counties and at the Cherokee, Graham, and Tennessee line. Many of the extremely high summits like these are part of US Forest Service Land.

At what elevation can I get great mountain views? This is a bit of a loaded question. There are SPECTACULAR mountain views at 2,000 feet. You can see for miles and in many cases see into Georgia and/or Tennessee at 2,000 feet. Anything above that is one of the greatest icings on the cake. Are you looking for properties that have great mountain views? Search our listings, the entire Murphy NC MLS System, or use our Dream Home Finder and we’ll send you the properties that fit your wishlist!

I don’t want to be at the top of the mountain – but I want views. What can I do? If you don’t want to be on a steep mountain, fear not! We can certainly find you a property that is lower elevation looking out at the mountains. That’s the beauty of Murphy – we’ve got views like this too!

Where can I find a map of the elevations in Murphy NC? We are blessed with a great mapping department. You can view and download the map of “Predominant Summits” in Cherokee County and Murphy NC by clicking the link. It’s a large PDF file at almost 20 MB, so please be patient during the download. I can assure you it’s worth the wait!

If you need help with real estate in the Mountains of Murphy, NC, get in touch with us! You can email JohnPoltrock@gmail.com or call toll free 1-866-687-7496.

John Poltrock, Certified Residential Specialist – The POLTROCK TEAM at REMAX of Murphy NC – www.MyMurphy.com – Murphy’s #1 Real Estate Team

Elizabeth and Reginald Poole Support The POLTROCK TEAM in Murphy NC

I would like to thank John Poltrock and The POLTROCK TEAM for the personal and professional way in which they handled the sale of my property in Western North Carolina.

Because we live in Florida, all of my contacts with John were by telephone. I relied heavily on his advice and knowledge of the area. He was honest with me and answered all of my questions and concerns. I really appreciate his frequent feedback about the sale and subsequent closing on the property.

I would highly recommend John and The POLTROCK TEAM at REMAX to anyone interested in buying and selling property in Murphy, North Carolina.

Elizabeth & Reginald Poole
Margate, Florida