EXterior of Quail Cove

Exterior of Quail Cove

This past Tuesday was a quick caravan but a great one nonetheless. I saw some fabulous homes at very reasonable and realistic prices. My listing on 1220 Quail Cove in Big Canoe was very popular and had a whole lot of nice remarks on the comment sheets. It’s the kind of home that can transition from weekender to full timer and it could also be a hot rental.

Not far from the North Gate, a serpentine drive leads up to a welcoming rocking chair front porch and a 2 car detached garage. Upon entering this home your eyes are immediately fixed on the natural light coming from the wall of windows in the great room. The kitchen is truly the heart of the house with a captains view of the great room, sun room and deck. Featuring granite counter tops, stainless steel appliances and a breakfast bar, this kitchen has it all, and it’s not shy on cabinet space either.

Kichen Area

Kitchen Area

Entertaining in this home is a pleasure with 4 bedrooms separated onto 3 levels. The upper level has 2 big bedrooms and one bath along with a striking overlook of the great room and the mountain view. The master bedroom is on the main level with wood floors and private deck access. The master math is private and features double vanities and a whirlpool tub. Entering the lower level you will find one more bedroom with a full bath and very large closet. The main level has an open floor plan with an easy traffic flow in the living space. An impressive stone fireplace is the focal point of the great room and features high end gas logs with a remote control. The main level sun room is perfect for reading the paper, watching a movie or catching up with a friend. The lower level  rec room is a nice retreat to play a game, sit by the second gas log fireplace, or watch a movie.

Mountain View

Mountain View

Over sized double decks add even more outdoor living space. Grill out on the upper deck  or add a hot tub for the lower deck and watch the stress melt away. This Big Canoe home comes fully furnished with everything. Bring only your imagination, and let these peaceful mountains take care of the rest. Modestly priced at 399K, this home passed the Big Canoe caravan price test in flying colors.

May 31st, 2009

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Big Canoe Caravan

Big Canoe Caravan

From Left to Right:  Chip Perry, Tana Brewster, Karin Elliott, Chris Fries, Dave Burlingame, Shelby Collins, Doug Hosmer, Kay Born, Tom Beechler, Kelly Beechler, Carolyn Littel, Lou Ellen Dean, Linda Travis, Jack Camprini, Rosemarie Heindel, Margo Vallone, Peter Vallone, John Rasmussen, Nicki Milligan, Mike Yelle, Pat Thuman, Charlie Ragonesi, Linda Carrig, Bert Sellars

I am proud to say that I am part of the Big Canoe Caravan with a regular weekly crowd of around 20 plus agents. Every other Tuesday agents from the local area real estate companies meet to view the newly listed Big Canoe homes for sale. Nine participating companies take turns organizing and planning the routes for the Big Canoe homes (average number of around 8 homes) that we see during each caravan. The purpose of the caravan is not only to view the new listings but to give honest feedback regarding price and appearance.  We all try to squeeze into as few cars as possible to eliminate a traffic jam and we head over the mountains and valleys of our gated green paradise. Since all the homes here are so unique it is always exciting to see the latest and greatest homes on the Big Canoe block. From cozy weekend cabins to fabulous full time estates, the agents have an ever changing biweekly sample for all their customers. It is not uncommon for agents to walk out of a home and start dialing the phones if they find the perfect fit for a customer. The last home on caravan often has a lunch where we get to sit back and catch up with each other in a peaceful mountain setting.

Working as an agent in a community like Big Canoe is unique in many ways. In keeping with the serene environment that makes the Big Canoe Community as wonderful as it is, real estate signs are not permitted in yards or windows. This poses a challenge to many outside agents who are not familiar with the roads and numbering system here in Big Canoe. Trust me, I speak from experience! Working with the agents up here is a pleasure because we all depend on ourselves and each other to sell these homes. We all share a spirit of competition which I like to call competitive cooperation. Don’t hesitate to ask the following questions:

  • Do they live in the community or visit often?
  • Have they sold many homes in Big Canoe?
  • Are they affiliated with the Big Canoe Caravan?
  • Do they have a lot of listings in the Big Canoe Community?

Whether you are looking for your Big Canoe dream home or ready to list your current Big Canoe home, it is so important to work with an agent that knows the territory and works well with the surrounding companies. You will know you have the right agent if he or she is comfortable answering these questions. Chances are they will know the Big Canoe home inventory and will help you find the perfect home in half the time of an agent who is unfamiliar with this neighborhood.

Happy House Hunting!

Karin Elliott
IBA Mountain Homes

May 17th, 2009

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Wolfscratch Wilderness

Wolfscratch Wilderness

Spring has sprung up here in the Big Canoe Community  and it looks like it’s going to be a fruitful year with all the rain filling the lakes and feeding the trees. Spring cleaning isn’t really up my alley but I always seem to take on some sort of side project this time of year to keep my brain moving. After living here for nearly 5 years I thought it was about time to dig a little deeper into the history of this area. Nearly every home in Big Canoe has a copy of Wolfscratch Wilderness: A Backward Walk in Time in an Old North Georgia Settlement written by Charlene Terrell, but with the business and the children my non-picture book reading time is limited to about 15 minutes per day. Last week I took the kids to the Pickens County Library and decided to check out a copy to learn a little more about the area and the families that live here before Big Canoe was even a little canoe!

After flipping through and getting my feet wet in this 667 page recollection I was pleased to see that there were several pictures. Many pictures were of local familiar places. My children wanted to look through it too and saw many places that they recognized. So now, my personal reading choice has taken on a whole new persona and I was happy to have an audience, even if they sometimes fall asleep when I read to them. At this point I’m chapter hopping and nowhere near through with it, but the history is pretty fascinating. There are notes on the mysterious stone cairns that you can find throughout the area and even view some in the Indian Rocks Park located in the Big Canoe Community. This leads into the History of the Creek and Cherokee Tribes, early settlement, and family histories including the Tates, Disharoons, McElroys, Pettits, Blackwells, and Sanderlins to name a few. All the above mentioned families have a name connection to today’s Big Canoe.

Marble was a key factor in settlement and industrial development development in this area. From the Trail of Tears to Great Depression, the stories in this book recall the driving out of the Cherokee Nation, the rise and fall of wealth, and the family struggles and triumphs throughout these times.  For now this book pauses (I won’t say ends) at the early development of Big Canoe approximately 29 years ago. For someday Big Canoe will also be a prominant part of history in these enchanted foothills. The next edition of Wolfscratch is waiting to be written! So if you stop by a local library or bookshop, pick yourself up a copy and you too may learn a little something about the rich history of this enchanting section of the North Georgia Mountains.

To all my local readers: I’d love to hear any feedback you have on this book. Please feel free to comment!

~Karin Elliott, IBA Mountain Homes

April 25th, 2009

Posted In: Big Canoe Real Estate

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Ring, Ring..’Hello, I’m looking for a Cute Big Canoe cabin for the weekends and saw a few on your website. Can we come up to take a look at them?”

This is very similar to the first calls I get from customers looking for Big Canoe homes. It often starts with the weekender. My customers are very Internet savvy and usually have a list ready before we even get in the car to look. The homes in Big Canoe range from 150K all the way to the 2 millions, but a nice weekend home in Big Canoe can easily be found under $300K. This is when we start to run into a grey area in our definition of weekender vs full timer.

The best way to start to explain Big Canoe is grasping the concept of 8,000 acres filled with homes, waterfalls, lakes, amenities, and trails. In other words, Big Canoe isn’t just a clever name. We have many different neighborhoods here that range from 25 minutes to the gate to a quick 2 minute drive. When I meet my house hunters I make sure they have a map of  Big Canoe and before we ever look at a house I try to take them on a village and amenity tour and show them some views. I answer all the questions I can regarding amenity prices, grocery stores, community events, and Big Canoe in general. After that we revisit the list that they sent and take a tour of their chosen homes. Lots of oohhs and Ahhsare heard while driving to our destinations. I’m tickled because I can almost predict the point (usually after the 3rd house) when they start asking me questions about what it is like living full time in Big Canoe. The weekender home is now a potential full time home. That’s when I bring out the full time home list I secretly prepared just in case.  But the big question is “Can I move to Big Canoe and continue to work in Atlanta?”. In other words “Can I have a Full-Time Weekender?”. (I love a good oxymoron!)

Commuting to the greater Atlanta area is not as tough as it sounds. A good portion of the drive is on low volume country roads where you can sip a cup of coffee and listen to the news. Atlanta is going to have traffic whether or not you move to Big Canoe. An extra 20 minutes really won’t make a difference when you live full time where most people only get to vacation. With the downsizing trend in effect the new Full-Timer is taking on a different persona with a much better price. Many people are willing to trade house size for house quality, efficiency, and quality of life. Smaller homes take less time to clean and that time saved can be spent lounging on a screened porch watching the clouds drift over the mountains. All of the lots here are naturally landscaped so moving to Big Canoe eliminates the need for lawn maintenance leaving your weekends wide open. (Do I hear cheers out there?) 

Whether you want to upsize or downsize, the Big Canoe Community has a neighborhood for you. Several professionals live here and commute to Atlanta because they simply enjoy the down time that takes place once they pull through the gates and drive through an emerald forest of hemlocks. Can you live full time in Big Canoe and still work in Atlanta? Yes, you can!

~Karin

Upper Falls in Big Canoe

Upper Falls in Big Canoe

April 16th, 2009

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Amazing Great Room

Amazing Great Room

 

Announcing a $149,000 price drop on 9071 Yearling Lane. The bank has agreed to sell this unique home for $550,000.  This short sale features many upgrades that set it apart from other Big Canoe homes for sale. Read on for my top 10 reasons to buy this house:

  • 10 rooms plus storage
  • 9 doors leading to covered porches
  • 8 foot ceilings plus cathedral.
  • 7 fireplaces
  • 6 and 1/2 bathrooms
  • 5 private bedrooms each with a private full bath
  • 4 reinforced walls in safe room
  • 3 bedrooms on the main level
  • 2 full kitchens, 2 large decks, 2 car detached garage
  • 1 of a kind Big Canoe home

This home has water heaters on either side to keep the hot water flowing quickly. The lower level has a parking pad with handicapped access. Five of the 7  fireplaces are ventless and the remaining 2 are masonry wood burning. The over-sized kitchen has abundant storage and a butcher-block island. Even renting out this home as a family reunion retreat or wedding party house would be ideal as it is perfect for entertaining tons of people.

Please call me for a showing and details!

~Karin Elliott

March 15th, 2009

Posted In: Big Canoe Short Sales

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5216 Columbine Drive

5216 Columbine Drive

Many of my clients know there are some fantastic Big Canoe homes for sale, but what everyone always asks is “Are there any great deals in Big Canoe right now?”  I have an answer to that question.   My listing on 5216 Columbine  (see pictures on link) has just been approved for a short sale.   This is so new that the price hasn’t even been determined yet. It may not get to me until the end of the week, but I have the green light to submit offers. The word has gotten out and there are some interested parties, but no offers as of yet. I know the ball-park range but since I have nothing in writing I can only say “hot” or “cold.”   If you are not familiar with the term Short Sale I’m writing down the Cliff’s Notes version and you can feel free to call me with any questions.

Short Sale Basics:

The term “short sale” means that the bank who holds the loan on the property is willing to take a reasonable loss rather than getting the home back via foreclosure.  Reminiscent of the Soup Nazi from Seinfeld, this process is VERY rewarding if you follow the simple but strict rules. However not following the procedure to the T can get you sent to the end of the line and “No Home For You, Next!”

  • Buyers need to be pre-approved by a lender and must submit a pre-approval letter from the bank.
  • Once the price is set on the short sale there is very little wiggle room. 
  • Once the offer is submitted it goes to underwriting where it waits for approval. This takes about 45 days. You will then get either a “yes or no” answer.
  • If the answer is close to what the bank will take there will be a counter. Once approved the Buyer has up to 30 days to close or they can close immediately.
  • Offers need to be “as-is” no contingencies.

Many of you want to secure a loan at a decent rate. Good rates have time limits so it’s wise to wait about 30 days into the “waiting period” to apply for your loan. Until we have a confirmed price I will be happy to discuss some basic figures and help you prepare an offer that has a fighting chance. Currently the home is at the old listing price of 449K Just ignore that price and call me.  I’ll be ready when you are!

-Karin

March 4th, 2009

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Last week I rolled back prices on two wonderful Big Canoe homes.  As much as I hate to see these homes lowered to such rock bottom prices, I feel that the right price means everything in this market.  Buyer activity has shot up tremendously in the last few weeks. My phone has been ringing and I can hear my Supra key beeping frequently with showings.  A few more homes went under contract this month and others are still being negotiated. This encouraging news is invigorating to me because I think I can see “the bottom”. Though it may not be a great time to make frivolous purchases such as high end cars or furnishings, it is a great time buy a house! Cars, furniture, appliances, and vacations do NOT appreciate in value.  Homes purchased at recessed prices are far more likely to go up in value. Purchasing a home now means you have an investment that you can live with, no pun intended! 

 

9131 Shetland Trace

9131 Shetland Trace

The first reduction is 9131 Shetland Trace from $549,000 to $525,000. This home has 4 bedrooms on the main level a master wing and finished bonus room. The terrace level is partially finished but could easily accommodate 2 or 3 additional bedrooms and plenty of room left for recreation, storage, and a reinforced safe room. There is a fenced in back yard for children, a garden, or pets. The Equestrian Section of  the Big Canoe Community is a perfect place to walk the roads or the trails.

9071 Yearling in Big Canoe

9071 Yearling in Big Canoe

The next reduction is 9071 Yearling Lane, reduced from $699,000 to $550,000. Dropping  149K off the asking price means the Buyers are READY to sell! This home has 7 fire places, 6.5 baths, 5 bedrooms, 4 thick walls of solid log and additional insulation, 3 bedrooms on the main level, 2 full kitchens and 1 reinforced locking safe room. There are 2 propane tanks, a hardwired generator, and a level lower entrance that could accomodate a wheelchair. The picture does not do this house justice. The interior is truly remarkable!

Call me for an appointment and I’ll be happy to show it to you in person!

Karin Elliott-IBA Mountain Homes-770-655-4303

February 23rd, 2009

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Mountain Treasures

Mountain Treasures

A few days ago I had to make a run up to Ellijay for a quick meeting. My daughter was home from school with a cold so I just bundled her up and took her with me, figuring the ride would be a nice change of scenery for her and we listened to Christmas carols along the way. The meeting was even speedier than I thought so I did a silent cheer knowing that I had extra time on my hands and didn’t need to rush back, IBA Mountain Homes is wherever I have cell reception. On our way back I took 52 and passed all the apple farms.  However there was a store that I have been aching to visit ever since I moved here but never had the chance. I conveniently refer to these trips as “homework” since my clients usually ask me about local shopping other than the malls.

Sherryl Adams, Owner of Mountain Treasures

Sherryl Adams, Owner of Mountain Treasures

The store is called Mountain Treasures owned by Benny and Sherryl Adams, who have just recently taken over the store in August, so please don’t confuse them with the furniture consignment store that used to be there. I knew the moment we walked up the steps onto the huge covered front porch that I was going to love it! Entering the front door brings immediate feelings of “coming home” with the whole store set up in a very relaxed room settings ripe for conversation. Inside this store there is the most beautiful fireplace I have ever seen. Sherryl was putting the final touches on the mantle when I met her. Sugared pine rope with cones and fruit just made my eyes wide with ideas for my own home. She proudly gave me a tour of the store and told me about some local artists that she uses. Then I explored for a while on my own for a bit. I am a sucker for Mexican style glass and found some BEAUTIFUL amber colored wine goblets that I adopted. You can see them in the table setting picture. Yummy!

Have a seat!

Have a seat!

One of the most unique items that I found were hand woven alpaca rugs that were so soft, you could sleep on them (almost). The wool is local and the rugs are naturally stain resistant. They are heirloom rugs and should last over a lifetime. Most were under $600 and would fit any decor from cabins to castles. I personally put one on my wish list!

Hand Made Local Alpaca Rug

Hand Made Local Alpaca Rug

Please stop by and visit Benny and Sherryl on your next trip to Ellijay or if you just need to “take a breather” this holiday and escape to do something fun that is nearby. See address below:

Mountain Treasures
5711 Highway 52E
Ellijay, GA 30536
706.635.5592
(No website yet but they are working on it)

For My Big Canoe friends that may not know the shortcut, take a left out of the gates on Steve Tate and take it all the way to the end. CROSS the street and continue on Faucetts Road. It turns to a gravel road but no worries you will be fine. Take that to the end and you are on 52! So EZ! Make a left and head toward Ellijay.

December 21st, 2008

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Daily Exploration is good for the heart and soul

Daily Exploration is good for the heart and soul

“Whose woods these are, I think I know…”

Robert Frost

When I ventured out this morning to walk the dogs I was greeted by a damp misty morning. The pups were frisky and pounced in the leaves but there was something even more invigorating in the air. It was only 7AM but somewhere in the valley someone had a fire burning. The smoke from the fire was inviting but the smell of bacon sealed the deal! (You all know how much I love bacon) My quiet little street is filling up with families and visitors looking forward to Christmas. If I were wearing something other than my fuzzy polka-dotted PJ’s I would have explored the street further to see the latest neighbor arrivals. 

Trout Lily Trail is not your average street. I live deep in the Disharoon Valley in Big Canoe and most of the time we have the street to ourselves. Most of my neighbors just refer to me as The Waver since I’m always outside with the kids, dogs, or just sitting on the front porch by myself writing. Living in the thick of it , invokes a total sense of decompression. All inhibitions are left at the gates and though there is plenty of work to be done inside the house it can all wait until the dogs are walked and I have had my serenity therapy!

I can’t help but to smile walking the pups at night also because all the mountain cottages are lit up and you can faintly hear happy visitors laughing out on their porches. The evenings are even more interesting than the days for the pups. If the moon isn’t out it is pitch dark where you can not even see your hand in front of your face. But when the moon is full you can play baseball in the streets (Though I do reccomend playing it with a square ball so you don’t have to keep chasing it down the hill!) On a cloud free evening, moon or no moon, you can see every star in the sky.  Sometimes they get all worked up over a crunch they heard in the woods. Most of the time it’s a possum or a deer, but they like to think it is some great beast that they need to protect me from.

When considering Big Canoe homes for sale, keep in mind that you are moving here for a reason. Most of you tell me that you want elbow room, a view, and to feel like you’re a million miles away. After 4 years of living here I can just about guarantee you’ll find it here.  It’s just a matter of choosing the right house to hang the dog leashes!

Happy dog walking!

~Karin

December 16th, 2008

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My Mom and Kids

My Mom and Kids

As an agent I get a lot of curious people who peruse Big Canoe homes for sale on either my site or on others. They are intrigued by the wide variety of homes from little log cabins to state of the art contemporaries. As I drive them through Big Canoe on the Introduction Tour they always ask me, “Who lives in Big Canoe?”, and to that I have no simple answer. I have lived here for 3 years and every day I meet someone new. I can not name them all but the following paragraphs are a sampler of what Big Canoe has to offer. It is an explanation of how we really don’t fit into a classification such as retirement community, vacation resort, weekend retreat, or subdivision. In a way Big Canoe is as unique as its name.

To start this off right I felt that I had to write about the residents of Big Canoe. Like a true city, Big Canoe has a wide selection of ages from 1 to probably 99 years of age. There are children of all ages, and many generations co-habitate very peacefully up here. It is not uncommon for a couple to move up here and within a few years either their children or their parents also move to Big Canoe as either weekenders or part timers. The home prices range from 200K up to 2M, which is more “inclusive” than “exclusive”. Occupations range from pilots, entrepreneurs, attorneys, surgeons, executives, carpenters, chefs, educators, a few celebrities, and many, many real estate agents (unlike me, most of the agents are retired and simply “dapple” in the art of real estate) If we were allowed to have signs in our yards there would be an even split between Democrats and Republicans and a wide river of “others” in between.

The one Big Canoe resident that struck me as the most interesting was Ms. Elly Baker. She was a poineer for Big Canoe who moved here from Buckhead after buying a lot here on May Apple for the very atractive price of $11.00 back in 1976! Of all places, I met Ms. Baker the week I moved in to Big Canoe at a local hair salon. I wondered if I had made the right decision to move here because it was my first week and I was a little overwhelmed. Ms. Baker talked to me as comfortably as she would talk to a close relative. She was welcoming and I could sense that she was happy in her stomping grounds. She kept my attention the whole time telling me how she started the Smoke Signals (Our local paper) as a flyer for the then 60 residents of Big Canoe! She wasn’t happy to see it now with all the advertising (including, but not limited to my own ad) and that they replaced her hand drawn logo. I don’t really blame her as that would tick me off too! Ms. Baker was recently featured in the Somke Signals because she has moved out west. There was an impressive list of her accomplishments and I feel honored to have met her in such a relaxed conversational environment as a hair salon. In fact, I felt inspired and hope in some way that I can make even half the mark that she has made in this little community. She will be missed tremendously.

Where do you see yourself as a Big Canoe resident? We have room for everyone! The only requirement is that you must be a free-thinker with a notion not to take life too seriously. Grumpy people need not apply, unless Big Canoe has been prescribed to you for therapy!

Hope to see you soon!

~Karin

September 18th, 2008

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