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The Lake and Home Group Blog

Jay Hufnagel


Displaying blog entries 121-124 of 124

Lake Lanier "Half Full" or "Half Empty"?


Recently we’ve been seeing multiple articles on Lake Lanier water levels and how they may drop to record lows in the coming months.  Stacy Shelton of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution wrote Thursday, October 11, 2007, that state and local officials reported that Lake Lanier has about three months of storage left.


Wow, that’s scary. If that doesn’t wake people up now on how important Lake Lanier is to the people that depend on it, I don’t know what will. Up until recently, the main source of concern was coming from Lake Lanier property owners and the Lake Lanier Association. After reading the latest articles, it appears that millions of people in and around Atlanta, plus Alabama could be affected. Isn’t it about time that we, as interested parties in the future of Lake Lanier, find out what we can do to have a say in it’s future.


I’m urging my Lake and Home Realty blog readers that know who the decision makers are within the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, to respond with their names, telephone numbers and email addresses so we can share our suggestions and concerns for the welfare of the lake.


Eventually, the rains will come, and the lake will start to fill up again. Let’s be proactive now, so we can sustain a “full” lake in the future. 

By: Jay Hufnagel ... Just "Say Jay"

My wife and I just celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary by taking a trip to Charleston, South Carolina for the weekend.


We left our Lake Hartwell cottage on Friday, drove about four hours, and spent a couple of days enjoying the sites, history and great food that Charleston has to offer.  We had lunch at Hank’s and dinner at Hyman’s, two of the finest Seafood Restaurants in Charleston.


You would think we’d hate leaving such a beautiful city, but to tell you the truth, we couldn’t wait getting back to the lake, picking up our Golden Retriever (Blondie) from Red Creek Kennels, and relaxing down at the dock to watch the sunset.


It really makes you appreciate what you have. Even with everything Charleston has to offer, it couldn’t compare to the quiet evenings on the lake, boating to dinner at Weinackers or The Galley, sunsets, and watching our resident Great Blue Heron (we call him “Fraser Crane”) stalking his prey.


Thank God for our special Lake Home.

By: Jay Hufnagel ... Just "Say Jay" for Lake Property


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"

Fishing on The "Hooch"

by Jay Hufnagel
I work with so many customers and clients that are buying and selling lake property that have no idea of the great fishing around Lake Lanier and the Chattahoochee river.   Ever since I was a little boy I have fished the “Hooch” and it has turned out to be successful. I believe Gwinnett County has the best trout fishing in all of Georgia. I am going to attempt to give insight on the how to’s and what to’s when trying to fish this awesome river with unbridled success.
            One of the first and often questions I receive when on the river is “having any luck"? I find this a humorous question and what I think it translates into is “I’m not catching a darn thing how about you.” I will hold up my stringer with an impressive array of rainbow and brown trout. The next question comes immediately. “What are you using?” This, my friends is where it gets interesting.
            Buford Dam is always our starting point. We put the kayaks in there and float about ten miles to Settles Bridge.  The Georgia DNR has rules and regulations about what kind of bait is permitted and in what areas. Buford Dam to Highway 20 is free game to use any bait you choose. I will not fish with anything other than Berkley three inch artificial trout worms. These worms are considered live bait based on the fact they have a protein attractant in them and if used past Highway 20 carry a fine of $150.00. They come in all different colors, but the most successful colors I have found are pink, chartreuse (yellow with whitish bottom), and natural. The only place I have been able to find these locally is at Bass Pro Shop ( Discovery Mills Mall ). One small sinker about 18” away from the small hook (smaller the better), and the worm is all you need. The old saying, “If you build it they will come”, applies to these worms (if you use them they will come). The best way to use this bait is to allow the current to drag this bait on the bottom. No reeling or popping needed just sit back and enjoy the ride. After Highway 20, I use a trout colored floating Rapala. You will catch your limit with using these techniques.
            Not everyone has a kayak. Neither do I. The good news is there are two full service places that are at your fingertips (they will drop you off and pick you up). Up The River Outfitters (UTR) and the Buford Dam Store have all you need. Up The River is located off Highway 20 right next to the Chattahoochee. Both have nice kayaks.  UTR kayak rentals are approx $35.00 vs. Buford Dam $10.00. 
            I really hope this helps in terms of catching trout on the “Hooch.” I feel for the people I talk to that tell me they fished all day and caught one fish. It does not have to be that way, and if my techniques that I have provided are utilized, the return should be great.  
Written by: Jay Daniel Hufnagel - Just "Say Jay" 

Displaying blog entries 121-124 of 124

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