Things to Do in the Lake Harding, Georgia Area

20 March, 2014 (17:29) | Uncategorized | By: Keith and Mary Williams

Lake Harding spans state lines from Georgia to Alabama with over 156 miles of pristine shoreline. As a 5,850 acre reservoir located on the Chattahoochee River, Lake Harding is just north of Columbus, Georgia in Harris County, with portions spilling over into Alabama. Lake Harding reaches depths of over 100 feet and was originally designed to generate hydroelectric power by the Columbus Power Company in the 1930s. There are also several islands, one of the most popular being Huston’s Island. Lake Harding spans an area of great recreational and relaxing activities, perfect for taking a day trip or longer vacation.

If water sports are of interest to you or your family, Lake Harding offers exceptional fishing, swimming, boating, and other watersports. Bartlett’s Ferry Reservoir has many idyllic coves with excellent fishing, with both largemouth and spotted bass. There are also multiple locations for boat rentals and outstanding beach areas for swimming. You can even stay at one of the many campgrounds in the area such as Blanton Creek Park or Whitetail Ridge Campground at West Point Lake.

For visitors interested in history or art, there are a number of museums in and the around the area. The Chattahoochee Valley Art Museum, also known as the LaGrange Art Museum, is located in downtown LaGrange in a renovated Victorian built in 1892. Beaming historical charm on the outside, this museum hosts around fourteen exhibitions yearly, with pieces ranging from local to national all from well-known artists. With four galleries and a sculpture garden, there is something here for everyone to enjoy.

Nearby Callaway Gardens offers everything from water sports to trail walks, and resort style golfing to biking. There is even the Day Butterfly Center and Birds of Prey exhibit where you experience these creatures in an up close and personal, all new way. With 6,500 acres to enjoy, there are endless options to enjoy the great outdoors. Treetop adventures and zip lines through the forests near Mountain Creek Lake is a popular option for thrill seekers, or you can just enjoy a peaceful kayak or canoe trip down the 175 acre Mountain Creek Lake for some of the best fishing in the Southeast.

The Lake Harding area also features natural beauty, free of charge, to enjoy. You can go exploring the little islands and coves or relish a nature hike through some of the beautiful and serene areas surrounding the lake. Because Lake Harding retains its rustic charm, you are free to do as much or as little as you want. Lake Harding is truly a diamond in the rough.

If you are interested in more than a one-time visit consider making Lake Harding your home. There are many beautiful Lake Harding homes for sale now. Lake Harding Real Estate pros, Keith and Mary Williams know Columbus, Georgia real estate and can make lakefront living a reality for you.

Reasons To Buy A Lake Front Home This Year

20 March, 2014 (15:50) | Relocation | By: Keith and Mary Williams

Imagine waking up and walking out to a placid, serene and tranquil lake front scene, all in your own backyard. There are many benefits to owning your very own lakefront home and it is easier than you might imagine.

One benefit to lakefront living is access to a number of water related recreational activities such as fishing, boating, and swimming. Entertain friends and family by taking them out for a boat ride or enjoying a dip in the lake off your very own dock. On the weekends, enjoy the sun and water without ever leaving your own backyard. Lakefront living is also perfect for children or young adults who like to play outside and stay active with friends. When you live on a lake, you are never without entertaining and fun things to do.

Resale value for lakefront property is among one of the top factors for people when it comes to looking at lakefront homes. Lakefront homes retain their value better than most other properties and there are also more opportunities to increase the value of your home. You can add a dock, a boathouse and even create a beach area. You can also help to improve the view through landscaping.

With interest rates still lower than ever, owning your dream waterfront home is possible. So what should you look for in a lakefront property? Here are a few questions you may want to consider:

  • What is the neighborhood like? Is there an association of homeowners who regulates maintenance and upkeep of the neighborhood? Is the neighborhood relatively new or old?
  • How is the growth in the area? Is there any new construction nearby or are there any open areas near the property that could be turned into residential or commercial properties in the future?
  • What are the regulations on building from your property out into the lake (for building a dock or boat house for example)?
  • Are there any regulations on water sports, owning a boat, and other water use related activities, and if so what are they?

Sharing borders with Georgia and Alabama, Lake Harding is 5,800 sprawling acres and 156 miles of pristine shoreline, tranquil water, and private coves. There are beautiful homes for sale on Lake Harding, and now is a great time to find your lakefront dream home. The Lake Harding area offers remarkable homes in great communities to fit everyone’s preferences that give you all the benefits of owning lakefront property. Contact the leaders in Lake Harding real estate, Keith and Mary Williams, and let them help you find your ideal Lake Harding home now. The Williams’ team, Columbus, Georgia real estate experts and area residents for over 30 years, specialize in customer satisfaction and finding you the ideal Lake Harding property.

Having a Lake Home in the Winter

19 September, 2013 (21:02) | Relocation | By: Keith and Mary Williams

When most people think about having a lake home, thoughts of lazy summer days spent jet skiing, swimming, and cooling off in the water that surrounds their property is what generally comes to mind. Having a lake home offers all these warm weather benefits. There are also winter benefits to owning a lake home, especially with Lake Harding real estate in Columbus, Georgia. Consider these advantages to calling the lake side your home in the winter months:

Winter fishing is bountiful

Bass fishing is a great benefit of considering lake homes. Lake Harding is often listed as one of the best places for freshwater bass fishing, especially in the winter months. The temperate climate ensures that bass are plentiful and respond to the lure of fishermen and fisherwomen who long for the sport and nourishment provided by the bass that live in the lake. Patient fishers will find these fish in the harder to get to spots, easier to fish when there are no water sports going on in the cooler months. Crappie are also abundant, all year round.

Temperate climate

If the harsh northern winters are getting you down and you want to live out of doors during the winter, Lake Harding homes can give you exactly what you need. With an average winter temperature in the 40s, a winter lake home can also provide respite from the pseudo winters often found in deep southern locales. If you still long for a little snow during winter, you just may get some in the northern parts of Lake Harding.

Slower pace

The pace of living at a lake house is slower than in other communities. The expanse of water provides the one of the best therapies nature provides, with calming water surrounded by foliage. Winter activities at Lake Harding tend to be low key, not without excitement, but without the hustle and bustle of city living. Many residents are in full time residence, so the community has more of a lived in feel rather than a touristy atmosphere.

Tax breaks

The mortgage interest paid on your lake home can come in handy when it comes time to fund your vacations and other expenses. The IRS allows homeowners to receive tax breaks based on the mortgage interest paid. If you own your home and vacation home, you’re able to take advantage of this money saving situation.

Fewer people

Although many of the residents in lake communities call the property home all year round, there are a number of residents who only come during the warmer months. The busy activity of water sports and play wind down into idyllic days with slow moving boats on the water, quietly seeking fish or solitude. When the activity of summer slows, the winter brings fewer crowds and more time to contemplate. There is also more privacy with fewer people on the lake surrounding the homes.

More family time

Having a lake home in the winter can give you somewhere relaxing and different to entertain your family and loved ones. Most of the memorable moments you spend with those you care about will be in your homes, and a lake home can help to create more memories. Many people find entertaining in a home overlooking a beautiful body of water fulfilling.

If you are considering lake homes in Columbus, GA, contact Keith & Mary Williams to help you find the perfect lake home for you. We live in Lake Harding and we love our community. We know you will love it, too, if you come out and let us give you a tour.

What you need to know before purchasing a lakefront home

10 May, 2013 (15:21) | Relocation | By: Keith and Mary Williams

Purchasing a waterfront property is a tantalizing dream for many people and it is a sizeable investment for most people to make. If due caution is not exercised before purchasing that dream home of yours in a fairytale waterfront setting, you could end up burning a huge hole in your finances. So if you are about to make a move on that attractive Lake Harding real estate deal along the Chattahoochee river in Alabama or Georgia, just keep few things in mind:

  • Never go by hearsay alone. Make a thorough inspection of the Lake Harding home in question. Find if it is part of any flood zones. Also ensure that it is not part of any state regulated/protected areas.
  • Ascertain the status and availability of utilities like power, water and gas. Waterfront properties are not renowned to be the most well connected when it comes to these things, their primary purpose being that of idyllic country retreats more often than not.
  • Take a look around the community. Most waterfront real estate, including those in the Lake Harding area is spread out across extensive areas which are shared by multiple properties. Make sure to get a feel of how your neighbors are before making a final decision. You don’t want an over-inquisitive and intrusive community to spoil your private retreat.
  • Understand your core needs for choosing waterfront property. Is it for year-round stay, or as a holiday retreat? What are your preferred recreational activities? For example, Lake Harding real estate is ideally suited for fishing and boating enthusiasts alike, with its depth and sheer size.

The best idea is to take a look at multiple real estate deals and properties before making your decision on the lakefront home of your choice.  

Housing Market Made Better because of the Approved Senate Bill

14 January, 2013 (16:19) | News | By: Keith and Mary Williams

On January 1st, 2013 the U.S. House of Representatives approved a bill to avoid the fiscal cliff and make the current housing market more stable. Congress extended the tax relief on mortgage debt forgiveness for an additional year and left the mortgage interest deduction rate alone.  The fiscal cliff is a term to describe the economic consequences the United States will face if certain provisions aren’t made by congress.

To help prevent a disaster scenario, the government helped by holding the federal funds rate target at zero and created programs to help home owners reduce their monthly mortgage payments to more sustainable levels.  The latest loan modification will also help homeowners to refinance when home values go up. Mortgage defaults in conjunction with home closings; this will help to strengthen the housing market to hopefully make a rebound. Consistent low interest rates should also encourage people to buy more.

While some areas are recovering quicker than others the market as a whole seems to be improving. Housing prices seem more appealing in many large housing markets, and prices are being driven down by an increase in property listings. With the mix of high, low-end homes selling lower and higher than they were over a year ago it should directly effect to our economy by generating more income from the sale of the higher-priced homes. Larger commissions, higher mortgage interest payments, higher lender fees and other higher expenditures on higher priced homes should all help to generate more income.

Demand for housing should also be improved by cheap borrowing costs. Low averages on 30-year fixed rate mortgages could help to spur recovery as well.

Booming Film Industry in Georgia Helps Local Real Estate Market

1 November, 2012 (19:33) | Agents | By: Keith and Mary Williams

Georgia has recently passed a tax credit giving the film industry a big boost in the lucrative film industry.
This month the Georgia Department of Economic Development said the film industry in the state of Georgia alone came in at $3.1 billion. The state is currently hosting 32 film and TV shows including some popular scripted dramas and feature films.
In February 2007, Georgia only had one project filming in the state: the MTV reality show “Yo Momma.” Since then, Georgia’s film industry has grown 1,100 percent in five years. This is largely due to the Georgia Entertainment Industry Investment Act, a tax credit incentive of up to 30 percent for film projects.
The model to bring in the film industry was designed to follow the recently successful film boom in Louisiana, which started the first competitive domestic incentives in 2002. In 2005, the Ray Charles biopic (a Georgia native) was filmed in Louisiana. This caused legislators to decide enough was enough.
In the current market, many movie studios are finding it much more popular to film outside of Hollywood. Tax incentive saving are typically rolled back into the budget, which raises the overall spending level on a movie. Accounting departments now have a large say in where a movie is filmed.
The film industry boom has had a positive effect on the real estate market. To produce a project, crews need to rent warehouses, offices, homes and apartments. The film business also supports hotels, restaurants and rental car facilities.
One 2011 study indicates that for every dollar the state spends on tax credits, they earn back $1.24 in state and local taxes.
One Georgia town that has seen a large economic boom is Senoia, which hosts the AMC hit “The Walking Dead.” Businesses in the town’s downtown district have increased from sic to 47 in just a few years.
State officials hope the temperate climate and diverse topography will be a huge draw to bring in more projects.
Those looking to rent or buy properties in Georgia should contact Keith and Mary Real Estate today.

Home Equity

24 October, 2012 (21:36) | Relocation | By: Keith and Mary Williams

When it comes to buying a home, nothing is more important that home equity. Home equity can help your credit score, be leveraged for borrowing and will boost your personal net worth.
With home equity, people should realize that in getting a mortgage, they pay themselves back with every payment. However, the benefits of home equity are often overrated by home ownership proponents. Here’s why:
First of all the housing market has risks. For generations, home equity has been the holy grail of wealth accumulation for most families.
In 2007, the average family possessed almost $100,000 in home equity. Some sources say that home equity was responsible for nearly three quarters of family wealth.
This all has changed since 2010, where the recession has since ravaged median family wealth. Home equity plunged nearly 40 percent and was responsible for creating the lowest levels of middle class wealth in 10 years.
Home equity has value in two ways: when a person sells a home or as leverage for a loan. Usually, the amount of money a person gets from converting equity to cash is much less than a number calculated on paper.
Selling a home also comes with a number of costs. People usually pay 6 percent commission to realtors, plus legal fees and potential selling concessions. It is hard to receive 100 percent of the equity when selling a home. For more information about the market in Columbus, Ga. contact Keith and Mary Williams Real Estate.
Borrowing against equity often comes with bank fees and interest costs. Those who utilize a reverse mortgage usually can only borrow up to 80 percent of the equity’s value.
Home equity requires work to maintain. To hold value, owners will need to do things such as repaint the house and repair the house when things break. Letting a home’s curb appeal slip can kill home equity.
Even considering these risks, buying a home can be a wonderful experience with the right real estate agent, such as Keith and Mary Williams. Just be sure to consider all facets of home equity before making a long term decision.

Sharpie Party

21 September, 2012 (15:06) | Relocation | By: Keith and Mary Williams

Sharpie Parties are the newest rage sweeping across the county.  Party revelers are using Facebook and Twitter to attack foreclosed homes with their weapon of choice: magic markers.

Invitations are sent out via social media and the guests receive Sharpie pens on arrival.  The parties are usually fueled by alcohol and loud music.  The party goers collectively go on a destructive binge and draw graffiti on the walls, rip up floors, punch holes through walls, and flood bathrooms.

Sharpie parties are sprouting up in towns across America due to the housing crisis of the last decade. At least six parties have been reported in the Alabama and Georgia areas in the past year.

According to experts, Sharpie parties are a growing fad among young people.  “They throw a big party, everyone gets a Sharpie and is invited to write on the walls and spray paint.”

Many speculate the phenomenon began with the movie “Project X” which told the story of a house party made possible by online invitations.  Reports show that many copycat parties have sprung up throughout the area.

The destruction parties are lethal on these already abandoned homes.  Foreclosed properties struggle to find takers as it is.  If damaged badly, their chances of ever finding occupants becomes even slighter.

Keith & Mary Real Estate have been in the real estate business in the Columbus, Ga., and Alabama areas for more than a decade and both hope the trend doesn’t start here.  A blighted home is a cure for a neighborhood and a street, and can ruin the “curb appeal” of other houses nearby.

Contact Keith & Mary today if you are trying to sell a home near houses such as these, and they will help you with all your needs.

Buying Your First Home

14 September, 2012 (19:40) | Relocation | By: Keith and Mary Williams

It’s time to buy your first home. You have listened to your friends and family, and weighed the benefits and have finally made the decision. That’s a major hurdle now passed, now you are focused and certain. Here’s how you can expect the process to go:
First define your search parameters for the home you want. 80 percent of all home searches begin on the internet and researchers agree this is a great way to find your dream home. With just a few clicks of a mouse, home buyers can search through hundreds of online listings, view virtual tours and sort through dozens of pictures and aerial shots of neighborhoods and homes.
Make a list of all the features the house should have and ones that you would like to have, but aren’t necessary for the purchase. Making a list like this can also be helpful for a real estate agent, like Keith and Mary Williams Real Estate in Columbus, Georgia, to help them find homes you would like to see and cut out the ones they know you will hate.
A good real estate agent like Keith or Mary Williams will listen to your needs and arrange to show only those homes that fit your particular parameters. Often a motivated buyer can find a home within two weeks, and often within two days.
When looking at homes, we recommend not seeing more than seven in one day. Any more than that and the brain become overloaded. While it’s physically possible to see 20 homes in one day, it will be hard to remember specific details about each.
Be sure to pay attention to the home’s surroundings. Make note of homes next door and their residents. Are the streets busy with traffic, is there nearby train track or an airport? Ask yourself if you like the location and if this house is in good proximity of work and fun things to do in town.
Go visit a house several times before you purchase. Often you will find you will find new things you didn’t notice last time. At this point the agent will call the listing agent to double check the price and make an offer.
After touring homes for a few days, you will probably instinctively know which one or two homes you would like to buy. Ask to see them again. You will see them with different eyes and notice elements that were overlooked the first go-around. Remember prices are negotiable, so make sure you get a price you like – Especially in this market.

How To Find A Good Real Estate Agent

9 August, 2012 (20:18) | Agents | By: Keith and Mary Williams

Finding good real estate agents like Keith and Mary Williams in Columbus, Ga. can be hard to do.  You need someone you can trust and that can do the best job for the cheapest price available.  Here are a few tips to look for when deciding on a realtor.

First meet agents out in their working environment, not in their offices.  Good agents rarely spend time at their offices and should be instead showing homes, checking on properties and hosting open houses.

Check on the agent’s experience and find out how long they have been working for and how many properties they have “closed the deal” on.  An average real estate agent closes about 1 or 2 houses a year.

Ask your friends and family about their past experience with a realtor, this is a great way to find one with a proven track record.  Also try visiting open houses, even ones you aren’t interested in, as these are realtors you can see, at first hand, work hard.

Make sure the agent is internet savvy as over 85 percent of all buyers initially see their homes online.  The best agents know how to use craigslist and other sites to sell or find homes and often have mobile technology to assist on the go with emails and texts.

Interview several agents if you must, but be wary of the agents telling you what you want to hear.  Also, don’t sign a buyer’s agreement form before looking at properties.  Look for signs that the agent may be too busy as well.  If you get referred to an assistant it is time to look for another agent.

Lastly make sure your agent work real estate full time.  Many agents do the job part time to supplement their income. While they can also be good agents, your best bet is to go with an agent who can work with you full time and you are the first priority.