Real Estate Information Archive


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Don't Forget to Turn Off your Water

by Jay Hufnagel
I’ve been praying for rain and higher water levels. Maybe I should have been more specific. I should have added the location of where we needed the water.
Who would of thought that a little $3.00 pipe on the back of our upstairs toilet could cause the type of damage we experienced over the 4th of July weekend. What was planned to be a beautiful escape to our lake cabin turned out to be a nightmare when we got home.
My brother Andy and I stayed at the lake on Monday to golf at the Chickasaw Point Trails Golf Course. On the 5th hole, after hitting the best tee shot of my life, my cell phone rang. It was my wife Chris, out of breath, asking “how do you shut the water off”. She had just opened the door of our home back in Georgia and found that water and ceiling material was falling from everywhere. After a couple failed attempts to direct her to the water shut off, she called the fire department, and they eventually arrived and shut off the water and electricity.
Now, it’s a couple weeks later. We’ve had to move out of our home, most of the rooms in our house have been demolished, dryers are still running where tile had to be pulled up, and the prospects of moving back in is probably three months out.
Thank God for Orlando and Nelson Ojeda from Full Circle Restoration. They came in and provided a complete restoration plan that will have us back to normal (whatever that is) in a short amount of time. 
So why am I telling you all this? Many of my loyal blog readers have similar life styles that we do. You work all week and then escape to your lake, mountain home or maybe the relatives. Here’s a suggestion that could save you thousands …… “turn off the water before you leave”. After talking to people that have experienced similar catastrophes, it’s surprising how many homeowners turn off their water (at the street) before they leave for extended periods of time. I wish we would have, and you can bet “we will in the future”.

What Does MLS Auto Notification mean?


Recently I received an email from a potential Lake Hartwell property buyer stating that they received a listing that wasn't quite what they were looking for and didn't understand what "auto notification" was. Here's my response:

Auto Notification is a Multiple Listing Service (MLS) term for providing new listings automatically when they’re entered into the MLS program from members (Real Estate Agents) of the MLS system. When you get a new or changed listing from this service, you’re getting it directly from MLS and receiving it the same time as your Agent.  Some customers/clients feel that their Agent is selecting and sending these listings. That’s not correct. Your Agent lists your search criteria in the MLS system, and the system sends the new listing usually within hours that it’s entered. For new buyers, this is a wonderful service, and most Agents will be more than happy to provide it to you.


Usually I set up the Auto Notification criteria fairly broad so that my customers and clients can get a better feel of the lake and what’s out there. Once we visit a few properties, and they get more familiar with the lake, then I narrow the search and specifically pick out select properties according to what they prefer.

For example, most lake properties are less then ½ acre, but some Lake property buyers want an acre or more. By putting this into the MLS system, the Buyer may not see great properties that normally they’d fall in love with and would give them the privacy that they’re looking for.

Another example:  Some buyers want 4 bedrooms only. In this case, I usually explain that many homes around the lake are listed as 3 bedrooms, but have bonus rooms that also serve as bedrooms. Limiting the search field to 4 bedrooms will eliminate those homes from the search.

Because Auto Notification comes directly from the MLS Service, I ask my customers and clients to have a little patience with what they see, knowing that I may not have previewed the property yet. I’ll be happy to follow up and look at the ones that appear interesting. Those that aren’t what you’re looking for… please forgive me and disregard.

I'd be interested to know your thoughts on this service. Please comment below.

By: Jay Hufnagel ...Just "Say Jay" for Real Estate 770-757-2799

If you’ve been reading the newspaper and watching the news, you know that the overall housing market has really slowed down. So what does that mean for the lake property market?


Real Estate Lake Specialists will tell you that lake home sales have slowed as well, but there are still deals out there. And, that’s exactly what the majority of lake property Buyers are looking for … that “really good deal”.


I’m asked by potential Buyers, “Do you feel lake property Sellers are starting to drop their prices?  Is now the right time to buy lake property”?


It’s interesting to note that, at the same time, I’m getting Sellers asking, “Should I reduce my price or wait until Spring? I know my property is over priced, but why am I not getting any offers, even low ones?


It’s obvious that there are not as many Buyers looking right now. Many of them have been caught in the same situation… trying to sell a property before they can buy another.  But, many lake property and second home buyers, plus Baby Boomers, have money, and they're waiting to take advantage of the market.


In reviewing recent listings on Lake Lanier and Lake Hartwell, I’ve found that many prices have been reduced by 10-20% or more. Plus, in at least one instance, a lake lot on Lanier sold for one third of the original list price. Go figure! I guess the bottom line is still…everything is negotiable, and it’s always going to be a “supply and demand” market.

My suggestion to Buyers, when you see something that “floats your boat”, look at recent comparable sold listings, discuss with your Agent what a good price would be (and what it’s worth to you), and then make an offer (even when it doesn’t come close to the asking price). Some Buyers feel offering a price that is 10% or more below list price is an insult. I don’t agree with that. Things have changed (a slower market, rising interest rates, low water levels and fewer legitimate Buyers). So making an offer now may be your best option.

My suggestion to Sellers… if you’re serious about selling, price your property to sell. Sometimes that’s not what the property next to you is listed for, or what your property was appraised at last year. My opinion has always been, “good lake properties that are priced right will sell” (even in this market).

 So when it comes to buying your dream lake property, find the property you want, decide what its worth to you (the max you’ll pay), and then make the offer. You never know! It could be that “really good deal”.

By: Jay Hufnagel ... Just "Say Jay"

Displaying blog entries 1-3 of 3

Contact Information

Lake and Home Group
Keller Williams Realty
4878 Manhattan Dr.
Buford GA 30518
GA: 770-757-2799
SC: 864-287-7530
Fax: 770-504-5509