OK, it’s nearly midnight and I seemed to escape April Fools Day unscathed. No buckets of water on my head or elaborate pranks involving my car floating on a pontoon boat in the center of Lake Petit. I still have about 40 minutes left in the day but everyone knows that 10 is midnight in Big Canoe. For a foolish day I did get a lot accomplished including listing a fabulous Big Canoe lake house on Lake Petit where I can watch my car float by next April Fools Day on a primo point lot. It is all too new for pictures right now but I plan to promote is in the next few days, so stay tuned.

I’ve also taken a bit of a detour this past week working with a client heading to Atlanta. Sometimes a change of scenery helps you appreciate what you have even more. It was a blast zipping around Lenox and Phipps, and having a million fabulous restaurants to choose from. I was so overwhelmed with so much culture and the fast paced urban shuffle that I actually dreamed of living down there for a few minutes. This made me think of the good old days when I could skulk around NYC and the world was my oyster. However things snapped back to reality like a shot of espresso as I sat in traffic with some impatient person pontificating about my driving in no uncertain sign language. I only hope to see them meandering through Big Canoe one day and deciphering that fine tri-line between Mountain Mint, Valley View and Columbine Drive. I will gladly point them on to Deer Run Ridge and snicker as they drive away. Ah sweet Revenge!

We always seem to want the opposite of what we have. The city slickers love coming up to Big Canoe because of its peaceful demeanor, waterfall laden trails, and quiet stary nights. I love the city for it’s fast paced climate, great food, and culture. But when push comes to shove as it can often be the case in a crowded city, I head for the hills! City Mouse vs. Country Mouse, I think I’ll stick with the country mouse and leave the April Fools back on the highways. Just like the North Georgia Mountains, Atlanta will always be there and I am happy to visit any time as long as I know there’s a screened porch waiting for me when I come back home to Big Canoe. I think this is why so many people from Atlanta choose to own second homes up here in Big Canoe. They have a guaranteed escape in a spa-like setting. What could be wrong with that?

Hope you all had a great April Fools Day too!

~Karin

April 2nd, 2009

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Green Living in Big Canoe

Green Living in Big Canoe

 

The country’s economic state is in the red, which leaves me feeling blueHowever Big Canoe’s “Go Green” attitude truly tickles me pink! Read on to see why this gated mountain resort community is environmentally pro-active.

Here are 10 thumbs up to why Big Canoe  is head and shoulders above other gated resort communities:

  • Big Canoe’s mainstream  recycling program has been a great success, AND as a result of the bulk trash reduction our trash pick-up costs are on course to save us $80K this year!
  • More and more Earthcraft Homes are popping up throughout the community! Heavier insulation, environmentally friendly building materials, and water conserving bathroom fixtures  are just some examples of why these homes are state of the art.
  • Big Canoe’s water comes from our own Lake Petit. Even though the lake is rarely low, we observe conservation during the dry months.
  • Trees Please – Strict building codes are in favor of keeping our trees on the lots. View lots are vista pruned rather than clear-cut. Even dead fallen trees have a use to the woodland critters and birds.
  • Our homes are  are beautiful because they blend into the environment. Shades of brown and grey homes and yards that are natural with native plants are easy on the eye.
  • Fire warning signs and a simple “lights On” driving rule are pro active to keep residents alert to climate conditions.
  • Under  ground propane tanks are not only more attractive, but also much safer and less likely to be struck by lightening.
  • Our marina only allows electric motor boats, or man powered boats.
  • Annual deer management helps to keep our deer population healthy and disease free. Many deer populations are overgrown in other communities leaving the deer vulnerable to disease and starvation.
  • Residents take part in regular clean up days to keep Big Canoe trash free.

If you feel green with envy about how small of a carbon footprint Big Canoe has, then you may want to come up and see it for yourself.  There are some great deals on homes for sale in Big Canoe, and nothing feels better than having more green in your pocket!

Sincerely,

Karin-The Green Eyed Agent!

March 1st, 2009

Posted In: Big Canoe Real Estate

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(You can also select to view this in high res from YouTube)

Today I think it barely rose above freezing. It was a rare Saturday where I had no customers so I scooped up my family, including Dan and took them for a brief hike to the Falls to see if there were any interesting ice formations. I’m a North Jersey Girl and don’t mind the cold one bit so it’s in my blood to run to the creeks when things get icy for great pictures. I was loaded up with the camera and Dan has the new digital camcorder. We had the kids with us and let the good times roll on our journey through the Big Canoe Jeep Trail.

Along the way the kids giggled, ran, and threatened to jump in the water. The Falls, both Upper and Lower were running faster and harder than I have seen in years. I feel so truly fortunate to practically call this place my back yard. Though we have been given permission by all our neighbors to access the Jeep Trail and walk literally steps to the falls, we choose to drive to the top of Mountain Mint and park and walk Down hill to the striking falls and prepare to walk uphill in return.

Dan broke in the camera with a mesmerizing and brief video of the Lower Falls. This is something I wish to put on a repeat loop and listen to as I drift of to sleep. The lucky owners of the home on the end of Bluebell Drive are able to do this by opening the windows every night!

Big Canoe is such a unique community! My final words on this short blog is that you can find a community any where in the US with great amenities, but can you find a community with even better amenities and this much natural beauty? Big Canoe homes are world class and even more attractive is this established gated resort community in the foothills of the North Georgia Mountains.

Attached is a link to my “back yard” AKA the Jeep Trail which meanders through several waterfalls and babbling creeks.

Enjoy!

~Karin Elliott

January 18th, 2009

Posted In: Big Canoe Neighborhoods, Big Canoe Real Estate

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My Rescue Dogs

My Rescue Dogs

Hi Everyone,

One of my favorite Big Canoe families, the Brownings who have been doing volunteer work since they arrived in Big Canoe has just made me aware of some news about Big Canoe Animal Rescue. Big Canoe Animal Shelter can win $10,000 in the  “America’s Favorite Animal Shelter: A New Year of Hope for Animals” contest at Care2.com, if they get enough votes at the website at the link below. I received the link from the Brownings, and they would love to get enough support to win that contest for BCAR!

Many of you remember my posts about Freddy, who was a puppy I found wandering the streets on a freezing cod day. BCAR  was right there to help me foster Freddy until he was adopted. They immediatly dewormed him and helped me get his vet appointment set up, all with no charge to me. They even gave him a leash, collar and BCAR tag in case he ran off again. Freddy stayed with us for about a month and learned to socialize with my 3 dogs and my 2 kids. He was right at home but we knew his stay would only be temporary. Freddy had a lot of applications for adoptions but BCAR is very selective. Like adopting a child, they do home visits and interview the families to ensure the best environment for these dogs. After all most of these dogs started life off rough and deserve the best of the best.  Freddy is now in his Forever Home thanks to Big Canoe Animal Rescue, and all their wonderful volunteers.

Please sign up and cast your vote for Big Canoe. It only takes a minute and the dogs sure could use the help. Many come to the shelter injured and require surgeries before they are able to go up for adoption. I appreciate all your help and so do the pups!

Here is the website, it only takes 2 minutes:
http://www.care2.com/animalsheltercontest/76007/?refer=22732.04.1231979803.9305

Thank You!
Karin

January 15th, 2009

Posted In: Big Canoe Real Estate

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At Home in the Fall

At Home in the Fall

Not far from Big Canoe is another gated resort community called Bent Tree. It is located in Jasper, Georgia fairly close to town and is very similar to Big Canoe in many ways. With amenities like Golf, Tennis, Swimming, Lakes and Stables, Bent Tree has a lot of aesthetic and intriguing qualities.  It was developed in the 1970’s as a 3,500 acre mountain community with elevations up to 3,200 feet and currently consists of approximately 950 homes. According to FMLS there are 68 homes for sale ranging from the high 600’s to high 100’s.

One of my latest comments on a blog about Jasper, Ga foreclosures was a request about how they wished Bent Tree had a blog like this. The good news is that Bent Tree does indeed have a great blog. My husband Dan is a web developer and makes sites, IDX real estate inegration, sets up blogs, and hosts various businesses. One of his customers is Don Martin, a Realtor who specializes in Bent Tree Real Estate and homes for sale.  Don has a great blog that helps to describe what life is like in Bent Tree. Stop by and say hi to Don.  I’m sure he’d be glad to answer questions regarding home sales and real estate in Bent Tree.

December 6th, 2008

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New Soft Place to Sleep!

New Soft Place to Sleep!

You all know I have a huge weakness when it comes to wayward critters. This is a true story about how Big Canoe Animal Rescue helped me to bring a pup off the street through fostering and preparing him for his Forever Family.
I had just finished dropping my children off at school and minding my own business listening to Kirk Mellish on AM 750 telling me it was going to get very cold and we may have some flurries in the North Georgia Mountains and grinning ear to ear. Since I was in no hurry I decided to take the scenic route back into the Big Canoe Community and meandered into the Main Gate, waved to Irene and pulled into Blackwell Creek to check out some houses for a customer. Sadly I never made it to any of the houses because stumbled across a very pathetic lost puppy that practically ran in front of my car. So I stopped and got out to make sure he was OK and to bring him back to his home. He was shivering with no collar,  and covered with fleas. But he looked at me with those “take me home” eyes and ran to me. Of course I scooped him up and plopped him down in the car and then thought to myself, “Now what?”.

Since he was alone, not too roughed up from outdoor living, I figured he must have been dumped by someone either on Cove Road, or Steve Tate. With 3 of my own “wayward” dogs at home the “No-Vacancy” sign was shining brightly at the House of Elliott and even the cutest of pups would have limited time! So, I “phoned a friend” who told me to call Joyce at Big Canoe Animal Rescue (BCAR).

Joyce was worn out after a very successful BCAR Adoption weekend but happily met me in her driveway. She met the pup and melted almost as quickly as I did but couldn’t take him and the shelter was full but I buckled and chose to foster him. She followed me to BCAR and dosed him with some Front-Line and de-wormed him. That was the easy part. The hard part was convincing my husband that I wasn’t insane.

It was not easy but like me, Dan  saw some potential in the pup. Maybe it was his white socks on all 4 legs or his black button nose, but he didn’t put up an argument. My kid loved him and my daughter quickly named him Freddy. BCAR set up and paid for Freddy’s check-up appointment with their vet,

Freddy's 1st Day

Freddy's 1st Day

Dr. Haberman who was wonderful and worth the trip to Dawsonville. Freddy came through in flying colors and I thought he would be adopted on the spot from one of the girls in the office. No such luck but he was quite the popular pup.

Freddy did get to go to the Pet Smart for Adoption Day the following Saturday and was the most popular pup there. He has 2 applications and even a back-up! BCAR is very selective about their adoptions. One must first fill out an application then have a home visit and a background check. Currently they are following up on Freddy’s potential parents and with all good hopes he will have found a perfect “Forever Family”. Proof that a rescue pup is just as good as gold!

Freddy is still living with us until everything is finalized and we will miss him very much. Even our dogs Pepper, Dom, and Pokey enjoy playing with him. Hopefully we will have more news to post this Wednesday! In the mean time enjoy some pictures of Freddy!

This is the Life!

This is the Life!

For more information on Freddy or any other BCAR adoption dogs call Carol Monroe at 706-268-3772
~Karin

November 3rd, 2008

Posted In: Amenities and Activities, Big Canoe Real Estate

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The Band Was as Good as the Beer!

The Band Was as Good as the Beer!

This weekend was so much fun that it took me until Wednesday to write about it! Truth be known that it was a whole lot of fun but I had to spend Monday and Tuesday catching up to reality. On Friday my very favorite Big Canoe house hunters came up to look around for their Big Canoe Dream Home and though we were not able to collect for a good old fashioned get together, we did manage to bump into each other at Octoberfest before meeting again on Sunday to see what’s “on the block”. You all know I’ve been waiting for Oktoberfest pretty much since LAST Oktoberfest but saldy, poor old Dan was down and out with a stomach issue and he voted thumbs down to Beer and Sausages! I know he’s not happy if he’s not eating sausages and drinking beer! I love him but, I couldn’t help myself so I scooped up the kids and sauntered over there to check out the scene. Oktoberfest, here we come!

The End of Oktoberfest from the Dam

The End of Oktoberfest from the Dam

I saw a lot of cars parked precariously and the many pink tickets on windshields so I decided to hunt for a legal parking spot. Low and behold NOBODY was parked at the Big Canoe Utilities lot right next to the dam. So, as a concerned Big Canoe resident not wanting to get a ticket I called my faithful source at the main gate, David to ask if I’d be hauled off to the Pokey of I parked there. Once I got the thumbs up from David I thought I was in Hog Heaven. I knew it was a narrow walk to the play field but I kept the kids close to me and out of danger. Cars were pretty kind but the pricker-bushes were NOT. Both of my kids were attacked by a big old Brier bush! I thought to myself, “There has to be an easier way”… and then I heard some voices. Looking though the woods I saw a happy family frolicking though the woods, briar-free and with no danger of being plowed down by the shuttle bus! It was a BRAND NEW TRAIL that led from the field to Petit Crest. So, I took a mental note to FIND that trail on the way back and dragged my scratched up children to the buzzing hive that was Octoberfest. Whew!!

Once we got there and plucked all the prickers out it was a feast for all senses! Andrea, my favorite sitter in Big Canoe scooped up Maddie and brought her to the “girls” for a face-painting marathon so I could get EJ (daddy’s boy) a big old sausage. The smell of sausages filled the air as the Oom-Pah band played happily. I saw many, many friends, and tasted all the Warsteiner and pretzels I desired. The weather felt surreal (or maybe it was just the Warsteiner), as autumn weather often does and the only thing missing was Dan (play violin music now). Each booth was unique with all sorts of arts and crafts from log furniture to Big Canoe Animal Rescue. I happily ran into Valerieanne and Darren (my fav’ clients), who had invited some friends up for Oktoberfest and sat with them for a bit under the big, shady tent.  From there we traveled to the booths but I spent most of my time at the BCAR booth where I met up with my canine Soul Mate, Fuego whom I helped to save. Sadly I have a “No Vacancy” sign in my house but she would make the best pet ever!

Please Adopt Me!

Please Adopt Me!

All in all it was a great crowd. I took a picture from the dam around 3:30 right before it ended so it wasn’t quite as busy as it was when I was there but it was truly a perfect prelude to fall! If it weren’t for the upcoming Trunk Or Treat I’d be sad. So if you can’t find me for the next few weeks I’ll be painting leaves all over Big Canoe!!!

Yours Truly,

Karin

October 15th, 2008

Posted In: Amenities and Activities, Big Canoe Real Estate

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Beginning of the Parade

Beginning of the Parade

There’s just nothing more “Apple Pie American” than a good old fashioned small town parade and festival! Jasper, Georgia proudly hosted the Georgia Marble Festival this weekend and despite the gas and the economy there was a tremendous turnout! For the first time in 3 years I was able to attend and chose the parade as the main venue for my blog.

Soldiers

Soldiers

Plenty of familiar faces lined up on both sides of Main Street happily waiting to wave to their friends and family members in the parade. Many Big Canoers gathered in front of the Carriage House corner including some brand new residents of the Big Canoe community! We had a perfect view of the parade, floats, and motorcycles. Candy fell like rain and the kids filled up their bags happily.

Wake Up!!

Wake Up!!

Some of the parade highlights were the Yaarab Temple Shriners with all their crazy cars, along with the Pickens High School band, Santa, and the Motorcycles!

Remember It's the MARBLE Festival!

Remember It's the MARBLE Festival!

Everyone loves a tuba!

Everyone loves a tuba!

 

Here comes the Band!

Here comes the Band!

Enjoy these pictures and hope to see you there again next year!

October 5th, 2008

Posted In: Amenities and Activities, Big Canoe Real Estate

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I love to blog, but I also love to read other people’s blogs. One blog that I recently read written by a fellow agent made me nod my head and think that I’m not alone in a pool full of sharks. There are some pretty decent fish swimming around in this Big Canoe  pond too! This agent wrote his blog about how he lost a deal last week because he told the honest truth when his customer asked him about his personal opinion on a house. He told the customer that it would take at least 5 years for him to recover his money and he was stretching himself financially out of his comfort zone.  The customer agreed and didn’t buy the house.  He told the truth and didn’t take advantage of his customer. For that I raise my glass and say “Here’s to you!”. I also know in my heart that when the time is right, the customer will go right back to that agent because he is trustworthy.

The point of this article is not to say that I am the only agent in the world that will do a good job because there are plenty of great agents out there. It’s about working with an agent that you are comfortable with even if they tell you something you don’t necessarily want to hear.  The hardest lesson I learned in real estate was dealing with my father’s estate and the “less than honest” agent he had hired before he died. My calls were not returned, she was condescending when we spoke, and my questions were so vaguely answered that I felt even more confused when I got off the phone. Perhaps I can’t blame her for everything. I was unfamiliar with the New York real estate laws, plus I was dealing with settling my father’s estate from 900 miles away all while I was 8 months pregnant! I probably needed an agent that was more willing to walk me through the process. She just wanted to get the sale made without any questions. That’s fine for a seasoned seller. However, it made me want to become an agent just to prove that the job could be done correctly and with integrity.

In 3 years I have had a lot of sales, but like my agent friend, I have lost a few deals along the way too. I am happy for the sales I have made but still happy for the sales that I have not made yet. I do not consider these customers lost for life. Most of them just needed to press pause for a little while. For example I put a deal through this week with some customers I have been working with for almost a year. They have made several trips to Big Canoe and we spent a good amount of time together researching the Big Canoe Community. This week they made and offer and have gone under contract with a lovely home that fits both their family and their budget! I look forward to my new neighbors and hope to see more familiar faces returning to Big Canoe soon!

Once in a while the right house hits you immediately, but most of the time it takes some due diligence. The good news is that Big Canoe homes are only a 1 dimensional part of the big picture which is the Big Canoe Community. I know it takes some time so please know that I will be here when you are ready.

Sincerely,

Karin

October 2nd, 2008

Posted In: Big Canoe Real Estate

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We Need a Bigger Boat

We Need a Bigger Boat

Please excuse me tonight, I’m all verklempt because a wonderful Big Canoe neighbor “Pam” has kindly shared her Big Canoe Trunk or Treat 2007 pictures with me and was happy to let me share them with you. Do you now see how this community pulls together in times of need? My whole house has been torn apart looking for the disc with all the Halloween in Big Canoe pics and from the storage room of my basement I heard the sound of a new email. Perhaps it was Diving Intervention! Low and behold there they were, clean, focused daytime shots of Big Canoe’s premier Halloween event! There were no Trail Of Terror shots but we’ll leave that up to your imagination. Too spooky for pictures! Prepare for chainsaws! I’m pushing for scary clowns

Pam, this blog is dedicated to you! Thanks a Million! Now you are truly famous! Please email this to your friends and relatives! We love Comments!

Sincerely,

Karin

Monster Mash

Monster Mash

More Happy Halloween Times

More Happy Halloween Times

Pups Welcome

Pups Welcome

September 25th, 2008

Posted In: Amenities and Activities

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