Living at the Lake is not all about fishing and golfing. Through the years the area has developed some small, but charming venues for the arts. Eatonton, Greensboro, and Madison have all transformed historic school buildings to house performance centers. My husband grew up in Eatonton, and remembers sitting in the elementary school auditorium as a child. Saturday night we will be sitting in that same auditorium to hear a performance from the classic Lettermen! Of course the building is now known as The Plaza Arts Center. It is the scene of locally produced plays, regional performances of the arts, and even concerts, with space for dancing, in the front yard each summer! We are looking forward to reliving our younger days as we reminisce to the sounds of “The Way You Look Tonight”, “Theme from a Summer Place”, and “Shangri-La”. The trio has been making its romantic close harmony love ballads for over 50 years, under the leadership of founder Tony Butala. Call and see if any tickets are left! Plaza Arts
The Lake Oconee area has ample representation of some of America’s talented authors. Although author Joel Chandler Harris wrote his beloved Uncle Remus stories in Atlanta, his early life was spent near Eatonton at the Turnwold Plantation where he got the inspiration for the tales. The statue above is still in downtown Eatonton, as is the Uncle Remus Museum. Turnwold Plantation is visible on Old Phoenix Road.
Author Alice Walker also was born in Eatonton. She later became famous as the prize-winning writer of the novel The Color Purple. Her childhood home is no longer standing, but the family church is under renovation, and one can see it on the Alice Walker Driving Tour. Find details for viewing the roots of these famous authors here.
We are in a unique position to “choose our neighbor” ! We have listed the house next door to us in Harbor Club, a gated community in the Lake Oconee area. We love living in the Harbor Ridge neighborhood, it is convenient to the clubhouse, pool, and tennis courts. Golf members are allowed to own personal golf carts, so it is easy to get in a few holes at the end of the day. “The Ridge” has friendly residents, and the Harbor Club Security patrols regularly. This lovely traditional cottage backs up to a pond, so it is very private. It is move-in ready, appliances are included with the sale. The price is reduced to sell at $395,000. And did I say the next door couple is fun to be with? For more information use this link
Sellers, do you know that sometimes a prospective buyer will not get out of the car to view a home if it doesn’t look inviting from the outside? Preparing your house to sell includes making a good first impression with the front appearance. Go out your front door and take a critical look at your house. Does it look well-kept, inviting? Does the front door need a new coat of paint? Some other low cost projects that can improve the appearance of your house include:
* power wash the porch and walkway
* put new mulch in the beds
* store away all children’s toys and lawn equipment
* trim shrubs and/or tree limbs that hide the house
* plant some colorful flowers in beds or pots
* repair or replace a shabby mailbox or shutters
One thing I always present to our new sellers is a new doormat.
Home staging starts at the curb.
People who choose to celebrate The Running of the Kentucky Derby in the Lake Oconee area usually do so at one of the many private parties held in homes. Bets are made, hats are worn by the ladies, and of course appropriate food and drink is served. One yearly party we attend is hosted by a couple who are Louisville natives, and who have celebrated the Derby with a party every year for the past 40 years. They serve the real Mint Juleps in silver cups, made the traditional way. Last year the Harbor Club Ladies League had a luncheon Derby celebration at one of the lakeside homes in this community. Being in on the planning, I set out to create a Mint Julep that was a little more ladylike, and didn’t feature bourbon. I was inspired by cocktails I had sampled in Charleston that featured sweet tea flavored vodka. Everyone loved the Harbor Club Mint Julep, so I am sharing the recipe on this page.
Harbor Club Mint Julep
2 oz sweet tea vodka
2 oz lemonade
½ oz simple syrup
½ oz of peppermint schnapps
Serve over crushed ice, garnished with sprig of mint
To stage, or not to stage? Everywhere you look on television there are programs about “staging” homes in preparation to sell them. The purpose of home staging is to alter the home’s appearance to make it appeal to a wider range of potential buyers. The mantra of staging is “clean, de-clutter, and de-personalize”. Early in my real estate career, I became certified as a home stager by attending six days of instruction, which included hands on staging in a “volunteer” home whose owner was preparing the home for sale. For the past 4 years I have practiced my staging skills, mostly on our own listings. The top photos are some before and after pictures of my very first staging experience. I have also taught and developed a continuing education class about home staging for REALTORS. Advice and information about staging will appear frequently in this blog. Staging is not only helpful in selling a house, it is a helpful practice to adopt for one’s daily life.
Yesterday on the golf course I heard a constant whirring sound and knew; the cicadas are here! In the south, adult cicadas of this particular genus emerge from underground to mate. They have been living as larvae under the ground, eating roots, for 13 years waiting for this moment. Only the males emit this constant sound which can be heard for long distances during this time of the year. Cicadas are arboreal (live in trees), and empty exoskeletons are sometimes found on tree trunks. Cicadas can damage plant life, and may have been the cause for historical “locust” assaults on crops. This is just one of the local bits of info that make living at Oconee unique!