Nature Watch and Some Great Listings

After two weeks of pretty dreary weather, we’re seeing some beautiful days, and temperatures are warming up nicely. Yesterday was in the 50s, and the 60s are predicted for today. The little snowfall we had on the 18th was nicely seasonal, and it gave people a chance to get some winter photographs. It wasn’t much of a traffic problem, except on some of the ridge tops. It was pretty much business as usual on the major roads.

The deer still seem to be in the rut. The other day, I saw a very nice 8 point buck pursuing a doe in broad daylight just off the road at the base of Piney Mountain. He looked a little distracted, to say the least. I’ve also seen the mergansers that I occasionally see on Hemptown Creek several times. We’re about to enter the breeding period for great horned owls, but they have seemed a little rarer than usual around our place this year.

We had a very good year in the office in 2003, with our overall sales up over 40%. It’s been a little slow for the past couple of weeks, which I attribute more to the weather than the time of year, because the days leading up to the holidays were mostly cloudy and cold, not really suitable for showing view property.

At this point, I don’t have a firm prediction for the first quarter of the new year. Last year, we had the best first quarter ever, primarily because people were disgusted with the stock market. Whether that will play quite the same way this year remains to be seen, because there has been some very positive movement in the market lately. My best guess is that we will have more of a normal first quarter this year, which means that it should be a good time for bargain hunters and people who are looking for acreage. The past year was not particularly kind to people who wanted to sell acreage priced over $100,000, and it’s quite possible that there are some bargains to be had on acreage. In terms of cabins, as I’ve often said before, cabin owners in resort markets are rarely highly motivated, but if they are, the winter months are the time.

I still have one of the best view cabins in the county listed, MLS 92210. It’s listed at $239,900 and I can honestly say that I think it has to best view I’ve ever seen in the county, from the beginnings of the Nantahalas in North Carolina to almost the entire Cohutta Range in Tennessee and Georgia. It’s a chalet style, very open to the sun, and it has good privacy.

Local developer Tom Carroll has announced plans to build a 350 acre golf course development on the Toccoa River, just upstream from Curtis Switch. The development is sited on one mile of river frontage, and will be the first of its kind in Fannin County. If it’s done well, it will bring something to Fannin County that we haven’t been able to offer people to date. With this announcement, I expect the value of other large blocks of land in Fannin County that might host this type of development to increase in value. Speaking of land with development potential, I currently have 39 acres listed that adjoin My Mountain, one of our most prestigious developments. At $7900 an acre, it’s well priced (MLS 92705). I also have about 85 acres off Salem Road, with Hot House Creek frontage, at $8990 per acre (MLS 88003).

Don’t forget to check the calendar listings for a couple of options for New Year’s Eve, and we wish everyone a happy, safe, and prosperous New Year!

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