Thomas Jefferson, the 3rd President of the United States, had one of his two homes near Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia. While his home in Monticello was perhaps better known, Poplar Forest was his home away from home, and one of his favorite places to go to relax and escape the stress of politics. Jefferson had Poplar Forest designed and built after his presidency as a private retreat and one of his most valued possessions. It is a most interesting home for several reasons, one of which is that it is octagonal or 8 sided, very architecturally unique and ahead of it’s time.
President Jefferson, one of our founding fathers, was born in 1743 and at the age of 33 drafted the Declaration of Independence. He also wrote the bill which established our religious freedom, enacted in 1786. And in 1807, Jefferson signed into law a bill that stopped the importing of slaves into the United States. At the Poplar Forest you will also learn many other fascinating details about Thomas Jefferson and his life and family.
As the weather begins to warm, maybe you would enjoy a drive out to see Thomas Jefferson’s restored Poplar Forest Home. It is located on 50 beautiful acres (a remnant of the original 4,000) on Rt. 661 off Rt. 460 in Bedford County. It is open from March 15th through December 15th each year. You can call 434-525-1806 for more information, or visit http://www.poplarforest.org/.
Tags: Entertainment: Attractions
Can a piece of land be deemed more desirable because of water quality? The answer is definitely yes. Excellent water quality is one reason people are flocking to Smith Mountain Lake. The vast majority of spots on more than 500 miles of shoreline have crystal clear water year-round.
Several studies that have been done indicated that the water clarity of a lake was a significant factor in how property was priced. Prices were higher on lake real estate with higher water clarity. According to the statistics, waterfront property buyers will pay more for lots or homes on lakes with better water quality.
Unfortunately, as in any fresh body of water, a few places at SML have less than perfect water quality in certain seasons of the year. These are typically right at the mouth of a few small stream inlets in the back of certain coves. This poses a potential problem for buyers visiting the lake during the 90% of days during which the water in front of these homes is clear. [Read more →]
Tags: Lake Living
The Virginia General Assembly took a major step forward on Transportation funding this year by passing a historic package that will generate $880 million a year to address Virginia’s critical transportation infrastructure needs. The plan will also ensure that we have a transportation system that serves our mobility needs and fosters economic growth and development.
The transportation plan passed includes:
- Gas tax. Replaces the 17.5 cents per gallon gas tax with a 3.5% wholesale tax paid by distributors and a 6% wholesale tax on diesel.
- Sales tax. Increases the statewide sales tax on most items from 5% to 5.3%.
- New car purchases. Raises the sales tax on motor vehicles from 3% to 4.3% and raises the minimum titling fee to $75.
- Alternate-fuel vehicles. Creates an annual fee of $100 on alternative-fuel vehicles.
- General fund. Increases the amount of general fund money dedicated to fund transportation from 0.5% to 0.675% of the sales tax.
- Internet Purchases. Uses a substantial portion of future sales tax proceeds generated from internet purchases (if Congress passes the Marketplace Equity Act) for transportation. If the Act fails to pass, an additional 1.6% tax will be applied to the wholesale gas tax.
- Regional Funding. Creates a regional funding mechanism for Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads to fund transportation projects in those respective areas.
“This plan reflects a great deal of compromise between Democrats and Republicans in both the House and Senate,” said Barry DuVal, President and CEO of the VA Chamber. “Although the plan does not contain one hundred percent of what either side hoped for, the compromise will greatly benefit the Commonwealth as a whole. I applaud members of the General Assembly for their willingness to advance this issue of importance to Virginia’s business community.”
Tags: Local News
According to Citizenlink, Focus on the Family President Jim Daly said husband-and-wife team Mark Burnette and Roma Downey (Touched By An Angel), have a fervent desire to tell people about Jesus. Burnett and Downey are executive producers of the “The Bible” miniseries, which will premier Sunday March 3rd on HISTORY (History Channel). The episodes will bring to life the stories of the Bible from Genesis through Revelation. The series will show each of 5 Sundays (beginning the 3rd) for two hours before it concludes on March 31, Easter.
Jim Daly served as one of the show’s script consultants. He said the series may “serve as a spark to rekindle or kindle” the faith of viewers who may have strayed from Scripture. “(That) should be a great source of excitement for all of us.”
Mark and Roma agree. “It will encourage audiences around the world to open or reopen their Bibles to understand and enjoy these stories,” the couple wrote in an article, “Why Public Schools Should Teach the Bible,” published Friday in The Wall Street Journal.”
To read the rest of the interview click HERE.
Every year things change in government and as a result also in tax laws and regulations. Sometimes it is hard to keep up with all the information necessary to do your taxes each year. Granted some of us take our taxes to the professionals but many individuals and families still do their own. And some of our readers are no doubt accountants, etc. who help other folks do their taxes. Anyone who has a need to keep up with the changing tax laws will appreciate this link to the IRS tax updates as well as the Upcoming Free Tax Seminar for Small Businesses at Smith Mountain Lake.
Bring your questions to the 2013 Small Business Tax Tips Seminar, and join a lively discussion with Erich Faber, Owner of Faber CPA Firm, LLC, This seminar will be held on Thursday, March 7th from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm at Westlake Library. Erich will bring you up to date on recent tax changes, as well as cautionary tips, that will benefit your business. There are many new regulations that either are now or soon will effect small business people. Register for this free seminar now.
Don’t be intimidated by changes in regulations and tax laws, just join us and learn what is new!
Tags: Lake Living
Calling all boating enthusiasts for the Annual Southwestern Va. Boat Show! This event is a popular one for Smith Mountain Lake residents and folks from all over the East Coast. Having grown in size over the past few years to almost double what it once was, the show boasts a huge selection of the newest boats of every make and model as well as a variety of water related equipment and services.
The 2013 Boat Show will be held at the spacious Roanoke Civic Center on Friday, February 22nd through Sunday the 24th. Admission is FREE on Friday and the rest of the weekend is $7.50 and children under 12 free if accompanied by an adult. The schedule is Friday 1-7pm. Saturday 10am-7pm and Sunday 10am-5pm.
If you love boating, this event is a must. You will not only enjoy the converging of thousands of folks who are similarly minded, as well as knowledgeable dealers from all around and special deals on many featured products.
For more info. you can visit the Roanoke Boat Show website or contact Donna Cassaday at 540-230-1756.
Tags: Entertainment: Attractions · Lake Living
February 14th, 2013 · 1 Comment
Have you ever wanted to go out on Smith Mountain Lake for the day, but didn’t have your own boat? Or didn’t feel sure enough of your boating skills to rent one. Perhaps you are house hunting and would like to see lake front properties from the water. The Smith Mountain Lake Water Taxi may be your answer. Just imagine all the possible uses for a Water Taxi. Special anniversaries, tours, birthday parties, fun activity for summer guests or sunset cruises on the water……endless possibilities!
Wherever you may need to go by water, USCG Master Captain Brian Stinnette, who is fully licensed and insured, will make sure that your trip will be one to remember. Brian Stinnette has 25 years of boating experience in addition to holding U.S. Coast Guard Merchant Mariner credentials. His 20-foot hurricane deck boat holds up to 6 passengers at a time, and he offers pick-up anywhere along SML’s shore line. The service will be available by reservation only, from April through the end of November.
Smith Mountain Lake Water Taxi operates from Crystal Shores Marina and it is their goal to provide affordable rates uniquely tailored to your needs. You can call Captain Brian at 434-546-6104 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for rates and availability.
Tags: Entertainment: Attractions · Lake Living
Gorgeous home and property with stunning water views now for sale on Smith Mountain Lake! This beautiful home on .69 acres, is located at 36 Overlook Rd. in Hardy, Va. and has it all! Besides the huge open water views, it also has a deep water dock and a new hot tub on the covered patio.
The house itself has a charming open floor-plan; Pergo floors in the great room with a cathedral ceiling; a kitchen with granite counter-tops; sun room & large master bedroom…. all of which are overlooking beautiful Smith Mountain Lake! More wonderful features include a beautiful stone patio, a detached 2-car garage, 2 fireplaces, in-law quarters and much more. This is just an amazing piece of real estate for the price of $549,900.
If you are interested in learning more you can visit Smith Mountain Homes.com. You can also email us at Paul.Moore@SmithMountainHomes.com or call 1-877-765-4663.
Tags: Real Estate: New Listings
If you have ever thought it looked fun to surf the waves, but just a little out of your league, then WindSurfing may be just the thing for you. And even better still, you don’t have to plan for a vacation or travel hours to get to the beach to enjoy this kind of surfing, you can do it right here at Smith Mountain Lake!
Many beginners are up and sailing upon the completion of their first lesson, so this is not rocket science. You begin with the basics, familiarizing yourself with the equipment, how and where to stand, how to raise and operate the sail. A good sense of balance is one of the main things required, but you don’t have to be especially athletic or have any sailing experience. While there are lots of things to learn, it is a sport that almost anyone can participate in!
You can buy the whole set up for Windsurfing new for $1000 to $3000, but most seasoned experts recommend that you don’t invest that kind of money till you have tried it for a while. Like many things, it is not for everyone and it could take a few lessons and outings to be sure if the investment is worth it for you.
If you are interested in possibly joining a group of wannabe windsurfers at Smith Mountain Lake this summer, you can email email@example.com.
Cathy Hurst, commodore of the VISA Yacht Club, hopes to host demo/training sessions this spring and summer. Readers can get on a contact list by calling 540-989-0279 or visiting visayc.org.
Tags: Lake Living · Sports:Other
Moving and changing homes is a stressful time for most of us no matter if it’s across country or simply to the other side of town. Therefore, it is very important to find ways to turn what has been described as an awful experience by many, into an easy, and even pleasant, transition.
There are two types of problems commonly faced when changing homes. The first one is of course the financial one. You have to find and buy the new house and deal with everything the transaction entails: negotiations, paperwork, escrow deposits, mortgage applications, etc.
Then, of course, there is the emotional side of the move, which often produces the greatest stress. You may be leaving behind a familiar place, your friends, or a place you’ve called home for a long time. No matter how adventurous you are, this can be challenging and the new environment you’re moving into will present at least a few unavoidable surprises.
One of the most certain ways to avoid much of this stress is to find a truly good real estate agent to help you; one who will walk through the process with you step by step offering knowledge and helpful solutions. The Smith Mountain Homes Team of realty agents typically assists our clients in every aspect of a move. We would be honored if you would let us assist you.
Please call or email us and we’ll discuss the process of moving in or out of your Smith Mountain Lake home in detail. 1-877-SML-HOME (1-877-765-4663)
Tags: Real Estate: Buying a Home