"Perfect!! Absolutely the best buying experience I have ever had!"
- Scott Marvin

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1-877-SML-LOTS   (1-877-765-5687)

Musicians Wanted for SML Symphony & Chorus

September 12th, 2015 · Comment Now!



Smith Mountain Lake Symphony Orchestra and Chorus will resume rehearsals,
beginning after Labor Day. Both ensembles will operate this year in the
capacity as community ensembles; repertoire selection will be at a capability
level commensurate with a community ensemble – i.e. not nearly as difficult at
last year’s repertoire, yet still magnificent music. All choral music will be
in English (No German this time).

All musicians and singers are invited to
attend the first few rehearsals to try it out. If you plan on attending the
first rehearsal, please let me know, so I know what instrumentation to

Rehearsal Schedule:

Smith Mountain Lake Symphony
Monday, Sep 14, 7:00 – 9:00pm
Monday, Sep 21, 7:00 – 9:00pm
Sep 28, 7:00 – 9:00pm
Monday, Oct 05, 7:00 – 9:00pm
Monday, Oct 12, 7:00 -
Monday, Oct 19, 7:00 – 9:00pm
Monday, Oct 26, 7:00 – 9:00pm
Nov 02, 7:00 – 9:00pm
Monday, Nov 09, 7:00 – 9:00pm
Thursd, Nov 12, 5:00 -
9:00pm, Dress Rehearsal
Friday, Nov 13, 6:00 – 9:00pm, Final Dress
Saturday, Nov 14 Christmas Concert, 7:30pm

Items to bring:
- Your
- Pencil
- Chair
- Your Music Stand
- Music Stand Light

Mountain Lake Symphony Chorus
Tuesday, Sep 15, 7:00 – 9:00pm
Tuesday, Sep 22,
7:00 – 9:00pm
Tuesday, Sep 29, 7:00 – 9:00pm
Tuesday, Oct 06, 7:00 -
Tuesday, Oct 13, 7:00 – 9:00pm
Tuesday, Oct 20, 7:00 – 9:00pm
Oct 27, 7:00 – 9:00pm
Tuesday, Nov 03, 7:00 – 9:00pm
Tuesday, Nov 10, 7:00 -
Thursdy, Nov 12, 5:00 – 9:00pm, Dress Rehearsal
Friday, Nov 13, 6:00 -
9:00pm, Final Dress Rehearsal
Saturday, Nov 14 Christmas Concert,

Items to bring:
- Pencil
- Chair
- Music Stand, if you

Rehearsal Location (Orchestra & Chorus):
Bender Conservatory of
Lakewatch Plantation
58 First Watch Drive
Moneta, VA 24121
(located in
between Jonathan’s Restaurant and Mongolian City BBQ)

To view a clip from
last year’s exciting SML Symphony & Chorus concert, with approximately
four-hundred audience members in attendance, click here:

Here are clips of my previous

do me the favor of passing this message to your friends and neighbors by
forwarding through email or posting this link to your social media:
http://smlsymphony.com/musician_interest_form, to get the word out, so
interested instrumentalists and singers can know about it. See you

Warm regards,
Johnny Bender
Founder & Conductor
Smith Mountain Lake
Symphony Orchestra & Chorus
Moneta, VA 24121
ph: (540) 624-2983


→ Comment Now!Tags: News

Day Of Remembrance on Sept. 19th

September 10th, 2015 · 2 Comments


There will be a “Day of Remembrance” at Bridgewater Plaza on Saturday, September 19th to honor the lives of Alison Parker and Adam Ward and to encourage the continued healing of Vicki Gardner. Shuttles from Lakewatch Plantation to Bridgewater Plaza will begin at 9am. The event will be from Noon until 10pm.

The day will begin with a dedication of a permanent memorial. Following the dedication, everyone present will circle around the Plaza holding hands and boats will be lined up in the cove to embrace the Plaza. All participants are encouraged to purchase and wear an #SML Strong t-shirt. A helicopter will fly overhead with photographers to capture the aerial view of this special moment. Rose petals will be dropped from the helicopter as we remember Alison and Adam. The SML Chamber is selling the #SML Strong shirts.

Please stop by the Smith Mountain Lake Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center starting TODAY, Thursday, September 10th to purchase the shirt before the September 19th event.

After the dedication of the memorial and aerial photographs are completed, live entertainment will commence at Mango’s Bar & Grill. A host of bands will play for the remainder of the evening with silent auction updates announced during the breaks.

There will be no charge to attend the event – only donations. There will also be a silent auction throughout the day, and all donations/proceeds will be divided among the scholarship funds for Alison and Adam and the fund set up for “Vicki’s Vision” at Smith Mountain Lake.


→ 2 CommentsTags: News

PBS Film Premiere 50th Anniversary SML Red Carpet Event

July 31st, 2015 · Comment Now!


Whether you live, work or just simply “LOVE” Smith Mountain Lake, you will want to be part of the Blue Ridge PBS Film Premiere 50th Anniversary Red Carpet Event. This one hour documentary by award winning PBS will tell the story of Smith Mountain Lake’s evolution. General admission tickets for the film are $10 each. They go sale August 1, 2015 at the Visitor’s Center/SMLRCC.

A pre-party will be held October 24, 2015 from 3:00 – 4:00, immediately prior to the film’s screening. The pre-party is only available to SML 50th Anniversary Sponsors, Patron Sponsors and Individual Sponsors.

$75 – Individual Sponsor receives admission for one to the Red Carpet Pre-Party celebration featuring music by the SML Steel Drum/Parrot and Toucan Bands, one ticket to the film screening, champagne toasts, slice of the huge 50th Anniversary Cake.

$250 – Patron Sponsor receives admission for two to the Red Carpet Pre-Party celebration featuring music by the SML Steel Drum/Parrot and Toucan Bands, two tickets to the film screening, champagne toasts, slice of the huge 50th Anniversary Cake, a digital photo by JollyJen Photography, a special gift bag, special seating, and be recognized in the event program.

For more information please contact: Jackie Davis, Event Chair 4jackiemdavis@gmail.com or Barb Nocera, barb@visitsmithmountainlake.com



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Smith Mountain Lake Versus The Beach

June 5th, 2015 · Comment Now!


Lakefront living has many advantages over living near the ocean!

I will detail several of these advantages shortly, but let me start by giving you one simple reason. In general, oceanfront property became popular decades before lakefront, so the prices at the ocean skyrocketed to (often) many times that of lakefront homes. In the last decade, the popularity of lakefront property has exploded as well. But it is still not as fashionable as oceanfront…yet. As a result, the appreciation potential of a lakefront home is greater, in the opinion of many investors, than that near the beach.


One person who helped clarify this for me was the man I mentioned earlier, David Stevens, the former Senior Vice President of Freddie Mac, and one of the most astute individuals in the nation on real estate trends, especially as they affect the financial markets. For years David had been looking for a second home at the Outer Banks, and was very pleased with the value of similar homes here at Smith Mountain Lake. He said the home he purchased here would cost many times more on the water in the Outer Banks. After spending a number of vacations here, he also realized that there was actually more of what his family really wanted to do here!

One of the reasons he gave is the opportunity to have a powerboat, jet ski, canoe and sailboat just a few steps from his back door. Though this may be remotely possible in rare situations in an oceanfront setting, this is the norm for homeowners here at Smith Mountain Lake. My dock and boathouse area include a Hurricane deck boat, a Hobie Cat sailboat, my friend’s wakeboard boat, two Sea Doos and a canoe. My neighbor on one side has a paddle boat for more leisurely rides and the other neighbor has a fishing boat.

David said his family didn’t want to spend big money and time docking their crafts at a local marina, as he would at the ocean. This is a hidden cost that many don’t think about when making a comparison. The convenience of having these vessels right at hand has provided David – and countless others here – the joy of a true waterfront experience.

Another reason that many now prefer SML to the ocean is the absence of hurricanes here in Southwestern Virginia.

Since I wrote the first edition of this book, one of my readers wrote me an email on this topic. He said:

Another selling point of lake vs ocean. The salt water is much more harmful to the metals and finish on houses and water vehicles. I have to rinse my boats off after each use or pay a price in engine repairs and extra wax.
Patrick Stover
Annapolis, MD

I hadn’t thought of this one, and I guess it isn’t something one would think of unless they were living it. Thanks for the tip, Patrick!

I believe that Smith Mountain Lake holds many advantages over oceanfront living. I admit I am a little biased – but so are thousands of others from New England to California! One of my recent lot buyers has lived in seven or eight locations around the nation. He currently lives in a beautiful home near San Francisco. He was part of successful software company that went public and his wife is vice president of a national retail chain. He called me last summer and said that in all of his travels he’d never seen a place like Smith Mountain Lake, and though he could afford to live at the ocean or in the mountains, this is where he wanted his residential journey to end. His family had visited here only briefly while living in North Carolina years before, yet they decided that this is where they would one day build their retirement home.

He informed me that he was prepared to spend up to $1.5 million on a premier waterfront lot here with deep water, privacy, a direct view of the mountains, and a nearly flat building site. After going back and forth for months online and via phone, he traveled here for four days.

On day one, we took a boat tour of the lake. With map in hand, we surveyed the various features and home styles of the different sections of our “Jewel of the Blue Ridge.” We enjoyed a great view of many lots from the vantage point that only the water can give. On day two, we went by car and got a different view of the various waterfront lots that we had narrowed down in previous months. By sunset, we narrowed it down to the top four. On day three, we rented a private plane and flew over the lake, getting a breathtaking aerial perspective of the waterways, neighborhoods and lots we had been reviewing.

My new friend was more impressed with the lake than he had previously imagined, and was especially pleased that he was able to go home with a lot that exceeded his expectation at a little over half of what he anticipated from California. He has now told other Bay area residents of our beautiful secret and I am preparing to take his friends on a similar tour here soon.

David and my new West Coast friend are thrilled with their property purchases at Smith Mountain Lake. Are you ready to enjoy a similar experience? If you want to join people from all over the United States who now call this place home, please contact a local Smith Mountain Lake REALTOR® today.



→ Comment Now!Tags: Lake Living · Real Estate Value

VA Film “Wish You Well” Celebrates DVD Release with Special Screenings at Four Virginia Theaters

May 23rd, 2015 · Comment Now!


Lynchburg, Virginia (May 20, 2015) – In celebration of its DVD and VOD release, Wish You Well will be screened on Tuesday, June 2 at four theaters across Virginia: The Grandin Theatre (Roanoke), Westlake Cinema (Hardy), The Byrd Theatre (Richmond) and Alamo Drafthouse Cinema (Ashburn). All screenings will begin at 7:00 p.m.; doors will open at 6:00 p.m. A Q&A session with writer/producer David Baldacci and producer Sara Elizabeth Timmins will follow the Roanoke screening; a Q&A with actor JP Vanderloo will follow the Ashburn screening. Seating is limited; tickets can be purchased in advance at https://wishyouwell.ivolunteer.com/kickoff. The first 30 people to arrive at each theater will receive a free Wish You Well poster.

wish you well

Filmed entirely on location in Giles County, Va., Wish You Well was adapted from David Baldacci’s bestselling novel of the same title. After a family tragedy, a young girl moves from New York with her younger brother to live with their great grandmother on a Virginia farm and comes closer to understanding the land and roots that inspired her father’s writings while discovering herself, the love of family, and the power of truly believing.

The film stars Academy Award winner Ellen Burstyn (Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, Interstellar), Mackenzie Foy (The Twilight Saga, Interstellar), and Josh Lucas (Sweet Home Alabama). It was directed by Darnell Martin (Cadillac Records) and produced by Sara Elizabeth Timmins of Life Out Loud Films, David Baldacci, and Karen Spiegel of Copper Beech Productions.

Wish You Well will be released in the United States on DVD and VOD by Entertainment One Ltd. Mission Pictures will distribute the film internationally.
For more information about Wish You Well and future updates on where DVD’s can be purchased nationally, please like us on Facebook.


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Is Smith Mountain Lake A Profitable Place To Invest?

May 3rd, 2015 · Comment Now!


Lake Property

Real estate investment at Smith Mountain Lake is a profitable way of increasing personal wealth. You may think, as I once did, that buying a second home is too costly or frivolous, that it is a stretch to make it work within your investment and retirement plan. But there are many reasons that buying at Smith Mountain Lake may be the best investment you ever make. I have chosen to invest a significant portion of my portfolio at Smith Mountain Lake, and many others have done the same.

The retirement of the Baby Boom generation means that tens of millions of people are in the process of finalizing their plans to make their big move in the coming years. The majority of Americans live in the East and will likely remain in this part of the United States upon retirement. It is no secret that a significant proportion of these retirees are looking to live by the water or in the mountains. They want to slow down their pace, yet they still wish to enjoy the culture of nearby cities.

Smith Mountain Lake truly has all of this and much more. Every year we hear the same comments over and over. Recently, a couple from Pennsylvania who found Smith Mountain Lake on a map scheduled a two-day visit to check out the area. They had been looking all over the Northeastern seaboard for a place to spend their golden years. Their trip turned into six days. They bought a beautiful waterfront lot, and their home is underway. They said they never imagined it would be so beautiful here. It’s people like this that are causing SML to grow in popularity every year.

Did you ever consider why the retirement of Baby Boomer Generation is so significant to the value of resort properties like those offered here? Statistics say the Baby Boomers have the greatest wealth of any group in the history of the world. One reason for this is the significant income earned by these individuals in recent decades. Much of this has been plowed into retirement plans that will be available soon. Many people think that there is no better use for these funds than to purchase a place to enjoy and continue to see grow in value.

A second reason for this Baby Boomer wealth is the unprecedented growth in home equity during recent decades. I regularly interact with clients who bought a home for around $100,000 that is worth close to a million dollars now.

Another often overlooked factor is the release of massive funds through inheritance. Statistics say that $8 trillion (eight with 12 zeroes) is being inherited from the passing of the WW2 generation in one decade. Amazingly, these funds are being received by the same people with the incredible wealth in retirement plans and home equity! And these are the same people who often want to live near water and mountains, often in the Eastern US.

All marketers know that massive revenue will be generated wherever the baby boom population arrow is pointed. In the 50s, it was Gerber baby food. In the 70s, Levi Jeans. In the 90s it was mutual funds and VHS players. Now the arrow is pointed directly at retirement and expensive recreation. This is why Warren Buffett, who looks at 20 year trends when investing, recently bought one of the world’s largest RV manufacturers. And multi-billionaire real estate investor Sam Zell has reportedly purchased a number of high-end RV campground properties. Do you see how Smith Mountain Lake perfectly fits this bill?

David Stevens is the President of Mortgage Bankers Association, and former FHA Commissioner. David passed over waterfront properties all over the East Coast to purchase a vacation home here at SML. David said, “The Smith Mountain Lake area is a hidden gem for long-term investment value. The ability to buy waterfront property at affordable prices, on one of the most beautiful lakes in the nation, still exists at SML. With the aging population aiming towards retirement on or near waterfront in temperate climate areas, combined with the unique timing right now of almost record low interest rates and a wonderful inventory to choose from, buying a home at SML…may prove to be one of the wisest investment opportunities for real estate available in the mid-Atlantic or Southeastern US.”

The pieces of the puzzle fit together well. Does it make sense for you to contact us to discuss investing at Smith Mountain Lake? I hope you’ll call or email us today.


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Vacation at Smith Mountain Lake

March 8th, 2015 · Comment Now!


After a long, cold winter a little bit of sunshine starts us dreaming of summer vacations, outings on the lake and all sorts of warm weather fun. So go ahead and dream a little! Imagine a vista of sparkling blue waters against the back-drop of beautiful mountains……and you and your favorite people laughing, swimming and eating together on the deck of a half million dollar rental home!


Or perhaps your dream consists more of renting a gorgeous big boat and riding off into the sunset, fishing, swimming and camping on some beautiful little island. In fact you can just quit dreaming and start planning. Put in your time off request and make your reservations! Whatever your summer dream vacation looks like, Smith Mountain Lake has it all!


To find just the right place to stay, you can talk to Diana Salyer for marvelous rentals on the lake, from cottages to homes or condos. Or you can find a magical place online by cruising Vacation Rentals By Owners. There are many wonderful vacation spots at SML, including Smith Mountain Lake State Park.


Visit local Vineyards and breweries; play at some fantastic Golf Courses; Go fishing in one of Virginia’s most popular fishing destinations; Spend the day on the lake on the boat rental of your choice; Visit several of the marvelous restaurants SML has to offer; Enjoy Water Sports such as Wakeboarding, Water or Jet skiing, Stand Up Paddleboard, Kneeboarding, etc.; or you could even plan your trip around one of the dozens of fun and exciting events happening at the lake!


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The Magic of Snow

February 20th, 2015 · Comment Now!


It is not always easy to appreciate winter, when your electricity goes off, your water pipes freeze, or your nose and fingers go numb in the frigid temperatures. But even in the midst of cold weather hassles and challenges, it is difficult to dismiss the wonder of the falling snow.


In spite of all the extra trouble it makes for many of us, there is something a bit magical about the world when it grows misty with glittering frost and the soft crystal snowflakes fill the air. In tinkling silence the snowfall infuses whispers of goodness and hope into our noisy and stressful lives.

                                                                                                                              ~FASCINATING FACTS~
Aesthetics aside, snow truly is an amazing phenomena! While it is an explainable occurrence in scientific terms, it is also full of myriad fascinating aspects. For instance did you know that:

~ Snow is a mineral like diamonds or salt.

~ A snow crystal can be 50 times as wide as it is thick, so even though crystals can be grown in a lab as big as two inches across, they’re generally far thinner than a piece of paper.

snow crystals

~ At the center of almost every snow crystal is a tiny mote of dust, which can be anything from volcanic ash to a particle from outer space.

~ Thunder-snow (a blizzard with visible lightning) is rare. But some scientists believe that all lightning is born of snow that’s just out of sight: Ice crystals in clouds collide and generate electricity.

~ Don’t eat red snow, either: It is called ‘Watermelon Snow’ and is ruddy-tinted snowfall that smell like fresh watermelon. It gets its color from a species of pigmented algae that grows in ice. The snow tastes great, but eating it will give you the runs.
(Taken from http://discovermagazine.com/2008/jan/20-things-you-didnt-know-about-snow)

snow on river

Here are even more interesting Snow Facts……
Are you aware that there is actually a “National Snow and Ice Data Center” or NSIDC? And that there is more than one kind of snowflake? According to the NSIDC
Snow Crystals are categorized as one of 4 types:

Snowflakes are single ice crystals or clusters of ice crystals that fall from a cloud.

Hoarfrost is the deposition of ice crystals on a surface when the temperature of the surface is lower than the frost point of the surrounding air. In this process, moisture goes directly from vapor to solid, skipping the liquid phase. Hoar frost is usually composed of interlocking ice crystals, and tends to form on objects of small diameter that are freely exposed to air, such as wires, poles, tree branches, plant stems, and leaf edges.

Graupel consists of snowflakes that become rounded, opaque pellets ranging from 2 to 5 millimeters (0.1 to 0.2 inches) in diameter. They form as ice crystals fall through supercooled cloud droplets, which are below freezing but remain a liquid. The cloud droplets then freeze to the crystals, forming a lumpy mass. Graupel is sometimes mistaken for hail, but tends to have a texture that is softer and more crumbly. Graupel is sometimes also called snow pellets.

Polycrystals are snowflakes composed of many individual ice crystals.


There are hundreds more tidbits of information and amazing things to learn about the snow on the NSIDC and other websites. You might enjoy taking some time to read about more of them at https://nsidc.org/cryosphere/snow/resources.html. And the next time you see the snow falling softly, you will have a whole new appreciation for this marvel of creation!


→ Comment Now!Tags: General · Lake Living

Winter Fun At Smith Mountain Lake

January 19th, 2015 · Comment Now!


Smith Mountain Lake and surrounding area is most popular in the summertime for water sports, vacationing, fishing tournaments and so forth. But there are also many wonderful winter attractions and fun activities at the lake during winter months as well. Bundle up warm and come out to enjoy some of these fabulous cold weather events at the lake and it’s surrounding counties! Below are just a few you could choose from.

~ The Harvester Performance Center in Rocky Mount, Franklin County, VA. – This is a new and exciting live music performance center. Large enough for good size crowds of nearly 500 in the main room (plus a lower level); a 40 ft. stage with state of the art lighting/audio, etc. and offering performances in a variety of genres. In Jan. and Feb. 2015 you can enjoy great groups such as: The Embers, Marshall Crenshaw & The Bottle Rockets, The Wildfire Band and much more. See the complete Harvester Calendar here https://www.harvester-music.com/calendar.

~ Sontag Disc Golf Course will be hosting the The Brawl Disc Golf Tournament on Feb. 7th. What is Disc Golf you may wonder? Disc golf is a game somewhat similar to traditional golf. However, instead of a ball and clubs, a concave plastic disc is thrown into metal baskets situated on an outdoor course. The sport became popular in the 1970′s, and just like in regular golf, the object is to complete the course with the fewest throws. This tournament is part of a series that includes four division: Pro, Ladies, Amateur and Junior and does involve fees. Contact Jeff Peters at jpeters@uttermost.com for more details. (Picture Credit - ”Disc golfer and basket” by Steve Ganz – http://www.flickr.com/photos/steveganz/11559175/. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via )"Disc golfer and basket" by Steve Ganz - http://www.flickr.com/photos/steveganz/11559175/. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Disc_golfer_and_basket.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Disc_golfer_and_basket.jpg

~ SoVA (Southern Virginia Wine Trail) will be having it’s Winter Wine Fest on Feb. 21st in Danville, VA. Twelve Virginia farm wineries will offer tastings from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in a heated the indoor arena at Danville Community Market. Good food and live music from Firecracker Jam of Lynchburg. For Ticket Prices and other available information visit  http://www.sovawinetrail.com/.

~ Southwest VA Boat Show 2015 - The Southwest Virginia Boat Dealers Association has hosted the Annual SWVA Boat Show for over 30 yrs. This years Boat Show will be at the Roanoke Civic Center February 20th through February 22, 2015. The event has grown tremendously over the last couple of years and represents a unique opportunity to see every dealer and boat on Smith Mountain Lake. The event will have a Free Admission Friday….for more on other admission fees and info. go to  http://www.roanokeboatshow.com/. (Picture Credit - ”Sea Isle Marina Miami Florida left 20100213″ by Averette – Own work. Licensed under CC BY 3.0)640px-Sea_Isle_Marina_Miami_Florida_left_20100213

~ The Red Valley Community Center in Burnt Chimney, VA will feature a live Bluegrass Concert by Johnathan Dillon & Friends. The concert will take place on Jan. 31st from 6pm to 8:30mp. Refreshments will be available for purchase. Admission $10 at the door. For more info call 540-537-3415

Virginia Museum of Natural History in Martinsville, VA offers a chance to spend time with the Dinosaurs! On Saturday, January 24th, the museum’s Dino Day festival will feature exciting, NEW life-sized dinosaur skeleton casts! Marvel at real dinosaur fossils from the museum’s collections! Play dino-themed games and create dino-crafts! Witness special presentations by dinosaur experts! Did we mention animatronic dinosaurs?! Dino Day is sure to be a festival of Jurassic proportions! Visit www.vmnh.net to get more details and info. diplodocus-carnegii


→ Comment Now!Tags: Entertainment: Attractions · Entertainment: The Arts

Choosing a Buyer’s Agent At Smith Mountain Lake

December 19th, 2014 · Comment Now!


You will face some complex issues when purchasing waterfront property at Smith Mountain Lake. Unless you already live on the lake and are intimately familiar with all of these issues, it is crucial that you locate an agent who will work to find the best property for you and assure that you avoid the pitfalls enumerated here. How do you find an agent like this?

First of all, I believe it is important that you select a full-time agent — someone whose family is depending on this individual to earn the income needed to survive. Many agents are not full-time. I can tell you from experience as a full-time buyer’s agent that it is challenging to stay on top of all of the listings available out there. When you contact a buyer’s agent looking for a certain type of property, it is imperative that they have a working knowledge of the inside and the outside of a large variety of homes on the market. It is difficult for a part-timer to do this.

real estate agents

Second, you should attempt to work with a seasoned SML agent. The growing popularity of Smith Mountain Lake has drawn many new realty agents and investors, so it is important that you ask a prospective agent about their experience and credentials.Third, you should select an agent who is fully devoted to Smith Mountain Lake, not an agent who works in a nearby city and is only slightly familiar with the lake. There are fantastic agents in nearby areas, but they are often not aware of the variety and complexity of issues involved in the purchase of real estate here at Smith Mountain Lake.

Thanks to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) of the local Board of REALTORS®, any licensed realty agent can arrange a showing on any property on the market, regardless of who has it listed. Many clients often get a sneak peak at “pocket listings” that have not yet been formally listed.

SML buyer agents must be able to assist clients in knowing the waterfront situation at a variety of properties. With all of the online resources available to the public today, it is critical that agents be able to quickly comment on a variety of prospective listings that a client selects online. When a client calls and tells me he has found the perfect property online, I can virtually guarantee that it will not be the property he selects when he comes to town. It almost never fails. There are just too many factors that are hard to capture in a description, photo and virtual tour. This is partly what makes this such a unique and wonderful place. However, it also means that you need a devoted agent to help sort out these factors.

As an example, a client of a newer realty team member selected about 10 homes that interested him. One of our veteran team members, and one of the top buyer agents at Smith Mountain Lake, went down the list and was able to comment in detail on each of these homes. His analysis included a description of the lot, the view, the slope, the neighborhood, and in some cases the rental potential for the home. This is invaluable information that you would normally not receive from a part-time or inexperienced agent. Choose a devoted Smith Mountain Lake agent. Don’t be afraid to ask tough questions, and if you don’t get the answers you want, don’t fear politely excusing yourself from the relationship. There is too much at stake to leave it in the hands of a rookie.

One if by Land, Two if by Sea
Since you are likely coming to Smith Mountain Lake for the lake and the mountains, it probably makes sense to see properties both by car and by boat. Strangely enough, they are quite different and it is important to get both views, at least when you are in the process of narrowing down the field to the top candidates. I have seen a number of occasions where someone really liked a property when arriving through the front door, but was scared away when they got there via the dock, or vice-versa.

You may even want to see an aerial view of your top picks. I had a lot client who elected to see his top picks by boat and from the air in a private plane. This gave us a unique perspective and gave the buyer great confidence in purchasing his expensive dream property.

lake edit

Since many of the lake agents live at or near the water, there are many who routinely show property by boat. It is really worth the effort to do both.

Do a Trial Run
If you have interviewed a few buyer (or listing) agents and you think you’ve located the right one for you, give them a test before making a commitment. Ask them to investigate a number of issues for you with an agreed upon deadline. This could be as simple as pulling listings for a number of properties meeting certain criteria. Then privately hold them accountable to getting the information back to you in a timely and professional fashion. If they don’t perform as planned, it may be the signal for you to find another agent. If you are unsure after the first trial, give them a tougher one and see how it goes. I am sad to say that some realty agents do not always follow through on their commitments. You should not have to bear the consequences of their laziness in the process of acquiring or selling one of your largest assets.


→ Comment Now!Tags: Real Estate: Buying a Home