I heard on the news yesterday that the United States has now reached the 1 million mark in foreclosures. Nevada, California, Arizona, and Florida are leading the nation in foreclosures but Georgia is not far behind. Where this is grim news for most, it is a big opportunity for others. This breaks us up into 3 camps; Those that are in foreclosure, those that are trying to stay out of foreclosure by either selling their homes or buckling down on their spending, and finally those with buying power who are looking to get a great deal on a house. Ahead we’ll look at all three camps to see where the opportunity lies in the Big Canoe real estate category.

First Camp-Big Canoe Foreclosures

Nobody likes to see a foreclosure in their neighborhood because first of all these homes were once filled with neighbors that have fallen on hard times, and secondly the home values drop slightly from a comparable point of view. Usually the homes that are in foreclosure are homes that have already been on the market and didn’t sell in time. Sadly, this is becoming more and more common throughout the US. If you have foreclosed you still need a place to live you may consider leasing a home. You can probably get a home similar in size to what you had for less monthly output. Big Canoe has long term leases that run about 850 per month to $2,500. Feel free to ask me about it.

Many of you have shown express interest in purchasing foreclosures and I have had my eyes wide open. Because of high demand, they sell very quickly, as-is, with no disclosures. The electricity us usually turned off so even the buyer can not check the HVAC, appliances, and fixtures. Most of the time it isn’t a problem because the house sells low enough to cover most of the repairs. Currently Big Canoe (according to FMLS) has one foreclosure listed. It is a 3 bedroom 3 bath weekender listed at $233,777 but it has been up for a few weeks already.

Second Camp-Holding tight through this Market

The Sellers that are making their mortgage payments have no intention of putting their homes up on the market right now because they know the market is so recessed that they will be lucky if they get what they paid for it. The Buyers are also being cautious and waiting for the perfect scenario of low rates and dynamite prices. Both Buyers and Sellers are battening down the hatches and riding out the storm.  I feel certain the prices will go up and that some stability will arise after the election.

However if you are teetering on the verge of foreclosure, then DO list your home as low as you can list it. A low offer before foreclosure is a lot better than an a low offer after foreclosure. A Seller bringing cash to the table is not exactly ideal but think of it as, buying your way out of a much higher debt.

Third Camp- You have Buying Power Regardless of the Market!

The whole country is jealous of you but they all want you to buy their homes! If you are willing to buy now and hold on to the property for a few years I think you’ll be in very good financial shape. Even better news is that the homes that you are buying can be long term leased to the 1 Million former owners of the foreclosed homes. Most of them were used to a certain standard of living and though they can not purchase a Big Canoe home due to their credit, they can lease a home in the Big Canoe community with much less financial stress. Home prices are low and most of the time all offers are considered.


After reading this you have probably placed yourselves in one of these categories. The Big Canoe real estate options are open regardless of your situation. Please give me a call and I’ll be happy to talk with you.



October 24th, 2008

Posted In: Big Canoe Real Estate

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The Market dropped more than my weight yesterday! Everyone seems to be questioning when it is going to hit the bottom.  I started to delve into all this to see what wasn’t losing money. Something astounded me and then it all made sense! According to Foxnews.com on Tuesday the following is stated to be true:

The Nasdaq Composite managed more modest losses than the broader market, with BlackBerry maker Research in Motion(RIMM) and eBay (EBAY) rebounding solidly. 

Hmmm????? Please read no further until you agree that I am NOT a Stock Market GURU. This is how I understand it: Everyone is tight on money so they have to sell all the things they have and don’t really need.  They get on EBay and research the products, prices, and surplus. They pop it up on E-Bay NOT worrying about the commission they have to pay, just happy that they have an audience. They set their reserve (blind to bidders), wait a few days and all of a sudden they have a bidder! Perhaps the reserve wasn’t met but they still have a potential buyer! They agree that something is better than nothing! And they Sell!

So, where does RIMM (Blackberry) fit in? This is what I know. As a “discount” broker I would buy a Blackberry over an I-phone because it is a mid range phone and I am able to do ALL my business from it. Sadly I am on a Razor right now and waiting patiently for my 12 months to run through so I can get a Blackberry or whatever else they have on sale. Luckily I work from home and my husband, Dan will call me as soon as an important email comes in to give me the scoop. EBAY users need instant email and Internet access, hence the Blackberry. Its a Match made in Heaven!

Sellers; I advise you to please set your “reserves” but don’t walk away from any offers. They may be insultingly low but it is an opportunity. Remember that many E-Bay bids start out at a penny. The excitement about bidding is not knowing the reserve. In real estate some Buyers come in with a one time offer but the majority of Buyers are ready to negotiate.

Buyers; I’d love to tell you that you can get a Big Canoe home for 50% off but your chances are pretty slim. These are few and far between. Trust me I LOOK every day for amazing foreclosures in Big Canoe. They pop up every once in a while and when they do, I write about them and usually advise you to make haste.  Sure, you may be able to find one or two on your own but unless you really know the area well it’s best to have an agent that knows the nitty gritty. It doesn’t have to be a foreclosure to be a bargain. Many new and resale homes are aching for offers. If you see a home you like, give it a shot, expect a counter, and prepare to get a great deal in the end.

From EBay I have learned to:

1. Research the products. Not all homes are alike. Big Canoe is a unique community. Don’t buy the first home you see! Learn the neighborhoods and apply one to your lifestyle.

2. Stay alert and in touch. Get a smart phone and call your agent regularly, check your favorite sites too, and watch the neighborhood stats! (They will go up tomorrow! I promise!) 

3. Whether you are buying or selling, be patient, realistic, and level headed. A great house may NOT be there tomorrow but if you know your market you’ll be one step ahead of the next guy. If you have a home that isn’t showing, find out why? Most of the time it’s priced too high, or has a drawback that you may already be aware of. Fix it if you can, or price it to sell.


With a grain of salt….I am patiently waiting for Oktoberfest!!


October 10th, 2008

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July has brought about a new burst of enthusiasm from buyers looking for real estate in Big Canoe.  The responses to our last blog about the Big Canoe foreclosure on the creek kept me busier than a squirrel collecting nuts in Fall!  I was also delighted to see that I have officially contradicted myself in the prior blog about fixer-uppers in North Georgia as there are still some folks out there that are ready to dust off the old tool box and make an “ok” house better! Other agents I have been talking to have agreed that they have been busier than usual.  So, what has caused this apparent increase in activity?

Here’s what I think – First of all there has been a slight but steady increase in rates (6.25% in January to just under 7% in July), and some are starting to worry that they may miss the low rates boat. Secondly, home prices have dropped (including new construction) to the point where sellers are willing to either lease the home or simply take it off the market until things improve. In theory, if this happens then the surplus will go down and the prices will go back up.  Third, Americans by nature can not resist a bargain. Low home prices plus low rate mortgages equals a good deal!

In a final note I say let this “strong breeze” be good sign to a turning market.

July 3rd, 2008

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We had quite a few calls on the Big Canoe foreclosure I last wrote about, so I decided to add more pictures of the house itself. They may not make it on the cover of Architectural Digest, but Frank Loyd Wright certainly would have considered a lot like this! As I mentioned the house needs work including a roof, decks, carpet, kitchen, master bath, paint, and a whole lot of cleaning.   Again, what really ‘wowed’ us about this foreclosure was the large lot with the creek and small waterfalls behind the house.  I’ve never seen another creek lot like this in Big Canoe.  Enjoy the pics, and if you want to see our Big Canoe real estate listings, stop by our main site!


Exterior of Home


Fireplace on Main Level

Wide Plank Hardwood Floors

Main Level and Kitchen

Finished Bonus Room in Upper Level of Home

July 3rd, 2008

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Small Waterfall in Blackwell Creek

I have a great home! It’s pretty big, 3 bedrooms on the main with level entry and even a big laundry room! My kitchen may not be gourmet, but it sure has fit the bill for some big parties. I have heard that my terrace level is a “man-pit”, with a big bar, pool table, home theater, and luxurious guest quarters.  Sometimes I feel like the luckiest person in Big Canoe to be blessed with such a comfortable home!

BUT (and you knew there was going to be one), yesterday we looked over a Big Canoe foreclosure that made us really think about selling our current home and making an offer on the foreclosure!  A call from another Big Canoe resident curious about the home prompted us to take a look, and my first thought was the old saying, “Location, location, location!”

Among the old hemlocks and giant white pines in the Equestrian area there are nearly 3 heavenly acres with Blackwell Creek running along the boundary of the property.  I didn’t know that Blackwell Creek has small waterfalls, but it does! Someone thought enough about this magnificent lot to provide observation decks and secret paths to provide access to the abundant natural beauty. Hand laid stone paths lead you through this truly usable and magnificent piece of property.  Someone also built an awesome outdoor fire pit on one of the observation decks overlooking the creek.

Unique Firepit on Another Observation Deck Overlooking Blackwell Creek

Stone Path Leads to Observation Deck Overlooking Blackwell Creek

But wait, there’s more! Aside from the lot, there is also a home that is nestled  perfectly in the hemlocks. It is a modest home in comparison to the lot.  4 bedrooms, 3 full baths, a living room, bonus room,big kitchen, pantry, family room, screened porch, and garage. Any family would be proud to live there if the home had the face lift that it so desperately needs.

The bad and the ugly is that the home appears to be in need of a new roof, new decks, carpet, paint, new master bath, kitchen, and plenty of landscape clean-up. Most of the floors are wide plank pine and they simply need some refinishing. There are a few other cosmetic endeavors that I’ll mention, but cosmetically, the main thing that the house needs is to be aired out and cleaned.

This is a foreclosure – it needs someone with vision to give it the strength to make it shine. In its hey day this may well have been the best home and lot in Big Canoe. It is worthy of wedding ceremonies, and peaceful retreats. The best part about it is that it is only $171K, and the lot is unique.  I’ve never seen one quite like it in Big Canoe.  If you’re into creek lots with small waterfalls, huge white pines and hemlocks, this is your lot.  The worst part is that there is no disclosure, and that you will need to rely heavily on your inspector’s opinion.

In Big Canoe you either have the perfect home or the perfect lot; rarely both. The important thing to remember is that you can change a house but you can’t change the lot. Natural waterfalls rarely have makeovers!! Homes do, and most of the time a nice home on a fabulous lot reflects a lot better than a fabulous home on a nice lot.

Sadly my couch has not provided me with the funds I need to pursue this dreamy property, but I did find my missing lipstick!!! Please feel free to call me for more info on this deal of a lifetime.


June 28th, 2008

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