Monday, September 3, 2012

A Rambling Birthday

I've had another lovely birthday.
This year Blowfish took me off to the mountains to explore the wonders of Lake Burton in the NE corner of Georgia. A special present was Mermaid joining us for lunch! She has a new position which requires her to travel the South. She was able to organize her schedule to come hug her Mama on the day. What joy!

We met up and had a great lunch at the Chophouse Grill at LaPrade's Marina. Since
grouper is my favorite fish I was thrilled to find it on the menu. It did not disappoint.

Neither did the environment. We lunched outdoors on  a lodge pole porch with a long view up the lake to the surrounding mountains. It is spectacularly beautiful.

 This lake was created in 1919  by building a dam and filling a valley  along a 10 mile stretch of the Tallulah River. The northern most lake in what is known as the Tallulah River Watershed. The initial reason for this was to produce hydroelectric power for the growing city of Atlanta. Just 54 years after Sherman came burning.

It is named for the town of Burton which now lies
beneath the lake. Others refer to this lake as the
"Adirondacks of the South". Mostly because the architectural styles of some of the waterfront estates are similar.  The prices are shocking. A two bedroom , one bath shack, in a ditch, between the road and the lake is a million bucks.
Actually $1.3m.  I get you are buying the location, not the structure but an almost impossible to build on strip of land? Seriously? I would be afraid on Friday nights the local teens would miss the curve and drive through my roof!

On the scenic front, the homes along the wateers edge evoke idyllic family  summers at the lake house.  Then too, just the design of boat houses seems to be a regional architectural specialty.  Some of these boathouses are so gorgeous I told Blowfish,  "who needs a house!"  Well, indoor plumbing in the Winter is a desirable thing but ...I have relatives in Florida who might give me a bed in the cold months, if I share with them in the Summers.

This property is on the market for $10.5 million. I have no need or desire for one of these fabulous estate homes for myself. For a client.....oh yes I would be happy.

This property, which may actually  come with that vintage woody ChrisCraft is a
bargain at just $8.5 million. I do love the way the shoreline has been left wooded and how the main house is nestled into it's environment. For me though, I could happily live in this oh so wonderful boathouse. Blowfish pointed out it would probably be beyond our budget to rent the boathouse. I laughed and told him I thought we probably could not afford to rent the mailbox!

Actually many of these lake places do not have mailboxes because they can only be accessed by water.  While we were lunching we observed families of duffle toting folks loading up the boat for the ride to the house.  Others come by private helicopter or sea plane. Good for them!

I love this place! Also on the market and can be titled to you and your loves for just $ 3 million.
This one to me is more architecturally a "lake house" vernacular. For me, this is a picture of life lived in real time. I can look at this picture and hear children laughing, smell the barbeque and feel the summer breeze. Plus there is  just something  extra wonderful about a location which is bathing suit hot during the day but requires snuggling to stay warm in the evenings.

Do I actually have to say out loud how hard I fell in love with this boathouse?  Okay, it does need a few flowers and  there is no place to park but I did not care. Of course it is a satellite to a monster house just across the street. Some of these properties are not lakefront  they are across the street from a narrow two lane country  mountain road. But they have  deeded access to the lake and so there is boathouse after boathouse along the shore. Sigh. Maybe if I win a lottery ....

I did pick up some real estate magazines while I was in the area. Take a look at this property listed for $789.000. It is a 2bed, 1 bath mess of a house. Someone will  buy it, tear it down and build something new on this site. This once loved yellow cottage at the lake will be gone, except in memories and old photographs of the families who once  gathered here.

                                                           Here is why

                             This is the boat dock for the yellow cottage  
                                     here is the house across the lake

                    Here is an even better view of the mountain at the end of the lake

One of the things which called to me about this lake is the  limited access and the intimacy.
Here in Pondtown our big water lake is ginormous. Almost a thousand miles of shoreline.
Lake Burton has 64 miles of shoreline. Because the valley was small,as valleys go, there are sections which are relatively narrow and areas  of quiet little coves. All of it is beautiful. I get not everyone wants to spend a birthday rambling around the countryside admiring what they can never have. In my case this was a present of a day because I love nature, architecture and glimpses of what I think of as true idyllic Americana. So for me it was a visual feast and a bit of a memory trip to the America of my youth. I loved the day in it's entirety. These days it can be a rare experience to live in  a Norman Rockwell painting for a day. For someone who raised a daughter to believe it is more important in life to spend your time and money on experiences rather than things.....this was a really good investment.

As we were leaving I did tell Blowfish if he wanted to surprise me, this would do nicely.

Blowfish heard me. 
He stopped to buy a lottery ticket on the drive home.  
We did not win but this will not keep us from dreaming.


Rebecca said...

so happy you had a great birthday here's to many more

Island Rider said...

Happy Birthday, a little late! I just finished reading When Crickets Cry by Charles Martin and it is set on Lake Burton. I enjoyed seeing real photos of the place that Martin describes in his novel. The book was good, a tad overwritten, but I enjoyed all the quotes from Shakespeare and other authors. Felt cheated by the ending though. I submitted a couple of haikus. Charles Martin would probably say the same about my work!

Aunty Belle said...

Happy Birthday Fishy!!

I hope ya' git yore lake house--good place fer a blog summit!!

grins said...

Happy birthday. Location is amazing. My Uncle got a deal up by Silver Plume a long time ago. The land is up on a mountain and has a pond. He is a contractor-shop teacher so he built it. It's a nice house, but nothing like the big ones posted here. He has it listed for two million plus.

moi said...

Happy Belated Birthday! Ah, a house on a lake. A long time dream of ours, but so, so difficult to do in the desert. I'm with you--I don't need or want anything fancy. But even unfancy on water these days is pricey.

Jenny said...

Happy belated Birthday! I'm happy to hear you were joined by Mermaid. Those pictures are amazing. I love the calmness that comes with lake water; so soothing. If it wasn't for all of the snakes/bugs/critters that also love lakes, I'd be a bigger fan. :-)

fishy said...

Hey Island Rider,
I am having trouble leaving comments on your site...the word verification program does not like me. Most bloggers I know will not leave comments on sites using this feature and often on those sites which require an e-mail address from visitors.

BTW so glad you decided to have a go at our Haiku Monday game ... what a great beginning to get a shout out from the judges your first game :-)

thank you for the wishes real and fantasy. I would love a mountain lake house but it's pretty far fetched. At least on Burton.

Thank you too!
I do think the first rule of real estate is location, location, location. This sure sounds like your Uncle chose his site wisely.

Thank you! I bet we could still get a deal on a Bayou stilt house!
Been a long time since I hug out with the Coonies but I could work on my survival skills and try!

Thank you! It is an amazing location...actually I think maybe only a couple of hours away from Easter's location. The great thing about cold mountain lakes is the snakes/bugs/critters don't much like the water temperature.
Sigh. The same cannot be said for being on the docks . Although, there were no buggy/critter issues at the restaurant.

Anonymous said...

Happy birthday Fishy, if a little late. Lovely area to spend it.

I just passed one myself - on a different lake. That really does look like the Adirondaks of the South, especially some of the small mountain lakes where the "Great Camps" still have toeholds. Looked so familiar to me from my childhood visits to such places, even the boat only access and the old CrisCraft!

Nice. Blowfish sounds so indulgent...


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