Lake Petit

Lake Petit

Hooray for coats, hats, and fluffy mittens! They can hide that extra serving of dressing like nobody’s business. Right around October I start to go into a holiday frenzy that usually doesn’t end until St Patrick’s Day! There is something magical that happens after Halloween when the weather gets cold and we can bundle up in sweaters as if we were suddenly given cart-blanche to throw our diets to the wind and enjoy life for all it is worth. We dust off our cookbooks and gather with friends we haven’t seen in a while. Up in the North Georgia Mountains there is rarely a dull moment during this season.

Fall weekends in Big Canoe are full of excitement whether it is a wedding reception or a family football game out on the play field. Weekend drives to festivals, farm markets, vineyards, or just to explore seem livelier knowing that you may be able to find the perfect gift for that special person. Coming home to a warm fireplace or stopping off for a bite first at one of the friendly restaurants is true nirvana.

Holidays are synonymous to celebrating, and in order to host a proper party with plenty of guests you will need some room to gather. After living up here for 10 years I have become very fond of a big open floor plan. It makes last minute drop-in gatherings as easy as pumpkin pie! The homes up here seem to follow through with my theory and if you throw in a finished basement then the kids have a place to watch movies.

So kick up your heels and prepare for the holidays Big Canoe style, with open arms and a warm heart. Cheers to all!

Here are some links to open floor plan homes in Big Canoe. Enjoy!

November 19th, 2014

Posted In: Big Canoe Real Estate

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Halloween Snow

Halloween Snow in Big Canoe

Halloween is the official kickoff to the holiday season. This guilt free holiday beckons all Big Canoers both young and old to put on their favorite costumes and roll down to the Wildcat parking lot in a Cadillac converted into a coffin, or a Trick or Treat Truck.  However, this year we had quite a surprise and Trunk or Treat was shut down a bit early.

Just to set the tone, my kids are at that age where I let them go to town making their costumes. They make their lists, and I purchase whatever gruesome and bizarre things appear on it. This year was busy and last minute. I didn’t have time to shop. They pulled their costumes together from every nook and cranny in the house. We arrived fashionably late in our truck full of pre-teen Trick-or Treaters. I had to make some real estate calls, so I sat in the truck for about 30 minutes while the kids visited with friends and gathered up all the candy they could find.

As I walked up to the crowd I was just in time for the Costume Contest! The first was the Boy’s Costumes. I saw the competition and thought OK bring it on. The boys fidgeted on stage as the judges made their thoughtful decision. Oh the joyful swelling of pride I felt as they announced the winner, my son in his home gathered costume, a horse headed banana. He won $10 and still has it 24 hours later. The girls contest had more competition. My daughter was an Animal Hoarder/Crazy Cat Lady but sadly she was beaten out by a pirate with a sword. As they say, you can’t win them all!

As soon as the contest was over it started to pour down rain and the forecast was calling for snow! We made it home in time for scary movies and got to watch some flurries on HALLOWEEN! That is amazingly early even for the North Georgia Mountains. Happy Halloween and Happy Fall!

November 6th, 2014

Posted In: Big Canoe Real Estate

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Who could ever say no?

The last thing that you think about when you move is which new vet to use. However, if you have pets you are going to need a decent vet up here. Luckily there are plenty of great vets in the Big Canoe area and their prices are much lower than in town. I don’t like to admit that I am that crazy dog lady with 3 dogs and then some, but I have come to terms with it and accepted that badge. I also have a cat, 1 horse, 5 goats, and 17 chickens. Did I really admit that out loud? So, when it comes to vets I am your go-to Gal.

There are several great vets around here that handle more than just cats and dogs. Dr. Haberman in Dahlonega has state of the art equipment and specializes in surgery.  He also takes care of the Big Canoe Animal Rescue pets. There are other options that are closer for quick trips, check-ups, and minor emergencies. Dr Crow in Marble Hill is great and just down the road from IGA.  Paws on Main in Jasper is unique because they are an after hours vet which is perfect since my pets only choose to get sick after hours.  We had to go there a few times, and they were very kind to all our animals. There is a big animal emergency hospital in Canton. I had to take my fake border collie there once when he got into a yellow jacket nest.

I just had to run my beagle, Brandy, to an emergency vet yesterday because her eye was in rough shape. I went to Wayside Animal Hospital in Jasper, and they worked us in with a smile.  It was my first time going to Wayside and they stayed open late for us. I told them my budget and they stuck to it, eliminating a very expensive test. Luckily her eye turned out to be OK. However, I saw a lot of emergency animal patients heading in and out, including a cat fight victim, a cat with cancer, dog with diabetes, and a few others.  The staff was very friendly and it was a short trip down Cove Road.

For most of us, pets are family! We try to do the best we can with our ARK. In conclusion my additional advice on vets would be to shop around and do some online research. We found that word of mouth is pretty good up here too.  It might not be a bad idea to keep basic vet meds and/or a pet emergency kit  on hand, and remember that the temperatures can drop pretty quickly at night so be sure you keep them warm and safe.

Last, just to tie this into real estate, here are a couple of  listings available in Big Canoe that are both close to the dog park as well as the Wildcat area.

 Local Vet Info for Big Canoe

  • Dr. Crowe – Marble Hills Veterinary Clinic – (770) 893-4865
  • Dr. Haberman – Foothills Veterinary Clinic – (706) 216-1356
  • Dr Lewis – Wayside Animal Hospital – (706) 692-2210
  • Paws on Main After Hours Vet Care – (706) 253-2266
  • North Georgia Animal Emergency – (706) 632-7879

October 23rd, 2014

Posted In: Big Canoe Real Estate

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If you are heading up to visit Big Canoe for the first time then you need to make sure you write down the directions the old fashioned way. This is because Big Canoe doesn’t always play well with GPS. The drive is pretty even if you get lost. Once you arrive at Big Canoe, you will need to FIND your destination.  Navigating through the 80 plus miles of paved road in Big Canoe can be tricky if you don’t know where you are going.  Sit tight and follow these simple and hopefully helpful notes about driving in Big Canoe.

  1.  YOU MUST HAVE A GUEST PASS OR A REAL ESTATE AGENT TO GET INTO BIG CANOE. Big Canoe  has 2 entry gates. Both gates are located on Steve Tate Rd in Marble Hill, Georgia.   Most visitors come through the Main Gate, but the North Gate is important too because it is where you will need to throw out your trash. Whoever you are coming to see will tell you which gate to take.
  2. Talk to  the security personnel!  They will be happy to provide you with  a handy map of the community. Maps can also be found on the POA website at:
  3. The main road, Wilderness Parkway is a horseshoe through Big Canoe and it connects North and Main Gate.  Repeat it as your mantra on your first trip, Wilderness Parkway, Wilderness Parkway.
  4. In the center of Big Canoe you will find the center of the Big Canoe Community. There is a post office, fitness center, swim and beach club, tennis courts, and even a chapel. This is important to know because if you do become lost, THE WHITE ARROWS ON THE STREET SIGNS WILL LEAD YOU TO THE VILLAGE! Hooray, so now you are on the horseshoe and can hook right into Wilderness Parkway.
  5. If you are like me on my first visit, you will be driving for 30 minutes and wonder if you are still in Big Canoe. Guess what, yes you are still inside Big Canoe. The only way out aside from emergency exits are to go through North or South Gate.

So now you have earned your navigation badge for driving in Big Canoe, Congratulations!

Also, remember that you may contact me anytime at (770) 655-4303 to schedule a tour of the Big Canoe Community and look at the latest Big Canoe homes for sale!

~Karin Elliott

*Quick footnote regarding cell service. ATT and Verizon work best. All the other companies have sketchy reception at best.

October 20th, 2014

Posted In: Big Canoe Real Estate

Living in the Big Canoe Community is serene, but where do we go when we need to shop for groceries and go out to eat? Most of the time we just head over to Jasper. Located at the base of Appalachian  Mountain foothills Jasper, Georgia is known as the First Mountain City.  Jasper, the county seat of Pickens county has a real official Main Street complete with charming brick buildings, hand painted Coca-Cola muriels and a plethora of  locally run businesses and restaurants. Conveniently located just off 515 you can dart up to Jasper from Atlanta with only a few turns.

There is a lot of history and tradition in Jasper. Many of the street names are familiar here as a lot of the families are original and still currently residing many generations later here in Jasper and Pickens County. Jasper has it’s own jail house located in the center of town only steps away from the courthouse. Though it’s just a museum now it was active until about 1982. Have no fear, you won’t get thrown in the  Pokey for jaywalking the streets of Jasper, because there are plenty of crosswalks. However, you may get in trouble if you don’t pull over during a funeral procession; an old traditional courtesy that has been lost in larger cities. Plan to spend some time while in town because you are bound to run into friends. Did I mention that Jasper now has a Walmart?

Homes in Jasper range from farms to townhomes but the average Jasper home has a big lot, some shade trees, about 3 to 4 bedrooms and a lot of them even have pastoral views. The oldest Jasper home I found in for sale ws built in 1930, but the majority of the homes for sale are not more than 20 years old. Jasper home prices are from $40K up to over $1M with the average home falling in the mid $200K range. Some of the popular subdivisions are Big Canoe, Bent Tree, Jordan’s Crossing, Arbor Hills, and Hunters Ridge.

If you wish to do a search for homes in Jasper, go to my site and select Jasper for the city search. If you would like to see certain subdivisions, select search and then on the next page you can narrow your search to the subdivision of your choice.

Have Fun!
Karin Elliott-IBA Mountain Homes

September 21st, 2010

Posted In: Big Canoe Real Estate

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 Big Canoe Foreclosure

I just learned some fantastic news about Fannie May! Apparently even the foreclosure market has been slowing down, leaving  Fannie Mae with a huge inventory of homes. This is a big advantage for those buyers who are looking for a great deal. New loans are being offered as low as 10% down, no PMI, and lower credit scores are qualifying all the way down to the 600’s! If  you are looking for a North Georgia or Big Canoe foreclosure, now is the time to get serious.

This is simple 2 step process:

1.Pre Qualify with Fannie Mae before you start looking. Email of call me for more details.

2. Most of my readers are either in Atlanta or out of state so it is very important to secure a local agent (hopefully me) that can save you hours of driving around and getting lost. Having an agent that knows the territory can ensure that you won’t be purchasing a home near the future site of a landfill. There is a misconception that you will save money if you purchase a home without an agent. However the truth is that there is a commission already built in that will go to an agent who represents the bank, not you. So, why not go for the guidance and representation of a local agent?

These homes are promised to be in move in condition, but please take this with the understanding that not everyone lives the way you do, so plan to do a lot of work. Also, please note that not all foreclosures are Fannie Mae. You can only get the loans if you purchase a Fannie Mae foreclosure.

So let’s roll up our sleeves and find a foreclosure!!
Karin Elliott-IBA Mountain Homes

September 8th, 2010

Posted In: Big Canoe Real Estate

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I just got back from a  family reunion in my home town of Park Ridge, New Jersey. Getting my children reaquainted with all their long lost cousins was a blast, albeit a bit overwhelming at times. We could tell that my mom was reaching critical mass and needed a few moments to herself before the 30 some odd family members arrived. My brother suggested that we all hike down to Bear Brook; our childhood hideaway. Not quite prepared in the jeweled sandals I was wearing, I had a memory flash of the time I went down there on Roller Skates and was no worse the wear.

Our journey was full of stories for the four cousins (ages 3-8), stories about our daredevil antics, wildlife encounters, and especially about our most prized treasures found in the brook; fossils, rocks, and crayfish. The kids were interested, but when we mentioned Dead Man’s Cave their eyes got big and they were hooked. Dead Man’s Cave was the local urban myth about a small cave in Bear Brook where a man was frozen to death one winter. The rumor was that if you looked hard enough into the cave you could see his skeleton. When we finally got to the cave and although there weren’t any skeletons, we found a chair that had fallen into the water. The children decided that the man died because he fell off his chair and into the water. Hence, the next generation has been inspired.

There is just something about going to a brook, creek, river, or lake that starts when you are a child and follows you the rest of your life. I’m writing this now with a sore back because I spent most of my visit to Bear Brook hunkered over looking for fossils, rocks, and of course, crayfish. This must be why I ended up in the North Georgia Mountains.  This whole area including Big Canoe is chock full of crystal clear creeks rushing down sheets of bedrock and splashing into pools under a canopy of everchanging hardwoods. Visitors that flock to this area and are often found in our creeks with their cuffs rolled up and shoes tied over their shoulders smiling, splashing, and searching for whatever it is they feel they might find.

Some believe life comes from water. I don’t know if it is true or not but given a choice I will always live near water.

Karin Elliott, IBA Mountain Homes

August 26th, 2010

Posted In: Big Canoe Real Estate

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This home must sell this weekend. Price has been dropped significantly and sold As-Is

If you are thinking about moving to the Big Canoe Community or looking for an investment home, 2307 Yanoo Trace has a lot to offer. Located only one mile from the North Gate and the Wildcat amenities this 4 bedroom, 3 bath home is perfect for families with young children. The quiet cul-de-sac leads to walking trails where you can enjoy all four seasons ensconced in the beauty of this 8,000 acre wooded community with clear rushing streams, wildlife, and state of the art amenities.

The owners of this home have done a complete renovation including wood floors throughout main level. The original kitchen was relocated from a closed in room to the great-roomwhere guests and hosts can mix and mingle from the large screen porch to the warm stone fireplace on the opposite side of the great room. The custom cabinets are striking and make quite an impression when entering the home. The original kitchen was opened up and converted to a dining room making the front entrance much more elegant.  A master and two guest bedrooms, one full bath, and a large laundry room complete the main level. On the terrace level the owners have added a media room. In addition the terrace level has a guest suite and family room.

The main level master has a double tray ceiling and a private sun-room/office overlooking the very private lot, dogwoods, and wildlife. The master bath has new travertine tile and plenty of space. Separate commode room, jetted tub, large shower, and double vanities are rare in this price range. The custom closet is a very efficient use of space.

Other mentionable notes are that the home is hardwired for a generator, and it there is new paint throughout. Compare this home to others at this price ($299,999) to appreciate the value. Please see below for slideshow and contact me for a showing via email or phone 770.655.4303

Karin Elliott-IBA Mountain Homes

August 25th, 2010

Posted In: Big Canoe Real Estate


Congratulations! you found the home you want and you’re ready to make an offer. You have secured your loan, picked out furniture, planned the guest list for Thanksgiving Dinner, and you finally are ready to roll out an offer, but then come the cold feet. Why? You’re not sure what to offer.

One of the toughest parts of purchasing a home is choosing the right initial offer. Thoughts swing back and forth from “I don’t want to insult the buyers” to ” If I go in at my highest price I won’t have room to negotiate”. Then there are the buyers who try to psyche out the sellers by coming out with a crazy number like $342,678, hoping the Sellers will think it is based on either a percentage, or Lotto numbers. There are so many techniques/idiosyncrasies to coming up with an initial offer that I sometimes get confused between real estate and Major League baseball.

Whether listing or buying there is one sure-fire way to make an offer and take away the jitters at the same time. Ask your agent for some comparable sales, aka comps in the neighborhood over the last 6 months. This can give a general idea of what Sellers are taking and it can give you an edge when negotiating. Because all the homes are so different, comps are not always that easy to find in a neighborhood like Big Canoe where the prices can range from 100K to nearly 3M. However, if you have an agent that knows the neighborhood and sales statistics by heart then you will have a big advantage. For example take the Laurel Ridge Section of Big Canoe. Last week one of my 5BR 3.5 BA listings closed at a selling price of 369K. I also have 362 Laurel Ridge listed (also 5BR 3.5BA) for 369K. It’s a realistic price and should sell very close to 369K because the homes in Laurel Ridge are very similar in style and view.

A good comp will have similar lots, bedrooms/bathrooms, age, and style. When buying a non-foreclosure home, foreclosures as comps are not always adequate because they are sold as-is with no disclosures. BUT if you add one foreclosure comp to every 5 non-foreclosure comps it should balance out to suit the current market competition. In conclusion be sure to know your neighborhood and how it is selling so you can get a bargain to brag about!

Happy House Hunting! (See 362 Laural Ridge below)
Karin Elliott-IBA Mountain Homes

362 Laurel Ridge, Big Canoe

362 Laurel Ridge, Big Canoe

August 4th, 2010

Posted In: Big Canoe Real Estate

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It’s been some time since I have posted but I couldn’t resist writing about this house! So many buyers are looking for the perfect second home that they can dart off to on the weekends. I have been waiting for this foreclosure to surface on the market and all of a sudden it popped up this morning hotter than toast! The best part about this darling chalet is that it would make a GREAT rental property too! Why not supplement with some rentals and use that extra income to pay the utilities and POA dues for the year? A 2 bedroom, 2 bath house like this could rent for about $130 per night or $700/week.

Yes, you will need to put some work into it but this home is NOT a trainwreck in any way shape or form. The floors will need refinishing. The kitchen could use some love, including appliances and a facelift. Please note that I am not an inspector but you are allowed to have an inspection period while buying a foreclosure. An inspector will be able to tell you more about the house including info about the HVAC, electrical, plumbing, roof, and potential structural issues.

Why did I choose this house to blog about? I have been selling and renting here for years and know Big Canoe like the back of my hand. This home wears all four seasons well and has all the charm that a second home buyer/renter is looking for in a weekend retreat. The location is far enough away from the village to provide plenty of privacy, peace, and quiet. BUT the trip out the house from the village is not a treacherous one. The winding roads gently rock you into a the feeling that you are a million miles away. Sit out on the front deck at night and wish on the shooting stars. OR watch the snow fall in winter through the alpine style windows while sitting beside the fireplace.  If you are willing to do a little work, you won’t regret snapping this home up for 145K. Enjoy the slide-show!

Feel free to call or email me with any questions.

Karin Elliott, IBA Mountain Homes
Selling the Big Canoe Community and the North Georgia Mountains.

August 2nd, 2010

Posted In: Big Canoe Real Estate


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