Morgan County, GA Real Estate News

By Jeanne Dufort, Madison and Lake Oconee GA
(Coldwell Banker Lake Country)
Its FARMeander season in Madison and Morgan County, Georgia!Georgia’s Piedmont is fast becoming the hub of the local food movement.  Here in Madison and Morgan County in the heart of the Piedmont, the Madison-Morgan Conservancy is supporting commodity farming as well as the production of local and organic meats, eggs, vegetables, and associated farm products.  Check out the 2017 version of FARMeander (Georgia's first farm trail), and plan to explore area farms, markets, festivals, and inns that celebrate the agrarian heritage of Madison and Morgan County!One of the newest featured farm businesses is The Boy and The Dog Beef Company, specializing in pasture-raised all natural Wagyu beef. Zach and Ellie are young farmers I met last year when they purchased a 200+/- acre Morgan County catt...
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By Jeanne Dufort, Madison and Lake Oconee GA
(Coldwell Banker Lake Country)
Madison Georgia  has been called the #1 small town in America - with a postcard-like downtown, surrounded by bucolic countryside, and one of the largest protected Historic Districts in Georgia. Some of us were born here (along with generations of our family before) and some of us discovered Madison later in life - but we all agree that the quality of life here is something to be treasured. You would hardly imagine that a small rural Georgia town would have an international flair... Sure, I spent three decades travelling internationally for business - throughout Europe and Asia, especially India and China. But this week, I realized that my international connections are not done: Deal one: closing a land tract, with a seller in Bermuda and a buyer just getting home from a business trip to...
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By Jeanne Dufort, Madison and Lake Oconee GA
(Coldwell Banker Lake Country)
Madison, GAChristmas Tour of Homes December 2 and 3 Day Tour 10-4Candlelight Tour 5-9 Tour Headquarters is Heritage Hall, South Main Street, Madison One of the best ways to get in the holiday spirit is the annual Christmas Tour of Homes in historic Madison, Georgia, where you'll find the largest collection of 19th century architecture in the state. While you're in town, don't miss the distinctive shops and restaurants - Madison's vibrant downtown will take you back to a time when Main Streets all across America were the heart of community life. More than a dozen private homes will be on tour this year, all decked out in their holiday best. Homes on tour include: Bonar Hall, circa 1832. Constructed in the four over four Georgia style, the structure has 20x20ft main rooms with 13ft ceilin...
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By Tammy Lankford,, Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville
(Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668)
The "real" Buckhead.  It's nearly 30 years old, but you can't tell that at all.  The owner has recently replaced siding with concrete hardboard, replaced living space and bedroom floors with hardwood and the kitchen and bath with great ceramic tile in a stylish gray. Home features a porch and  a carport and attached storage room.  There is also a storage building on the nearly one acre lot.  You'll just love the neighbors across the street and the quiet area just 5 minutes from Lake Oconee. Has three bedrooms and one bath. Call for an Jennie for a showing appointment at 706-347-0212 
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By Jeanne Dufort, Madison and Lake Oconee GA
(Coldwell Banker Lake Country)
just received the following update from Chris McCauley, director of the Madison-Morgan Conservancy:Today is a GREAT DAY for Conservation!In a strong bipartisan action, the Senate voted 65-33 today to pass the bill that will make the tax incentive for conservation easement donations permanent. This follows yesterday’s 318-109 vote in the House. This legislation has been a priority for the Land Trust Alliance and the conservation community for a decade, and it represents a huge win for conservation, for landowners and for land trusts. Once signed into law, the incentive will be applied retroactively to start Jan. 1, 2015.Over 2,500 acres in Morgan County are permanently protected by voluntary, donated conservation easements.  Landowners who donate a conservation easement can claim a feder...
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By Jeanne Dufort, Madison and Lake Oconee GA
(Coldwell Banker Lake Country)
Today's home buyers are spending MORE time looking at properties online, and visiting FEWER homes before deciding which home to buy.How do you get on the SHORT LIST of must-see homes? Great photos can make the difference!Which of these kitchens speaks to you?OR         Which of these bathrooms makes you say "Its beautiful!"?OR         To hear more about the role great photography plays in todays market, follow the link:  If you'd like to hear more about how my services can give you a real edge in selling property in the Madison and Lake Oconee area - contact me today!  
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By Jeanne Dufort, Madison and Lake Oconee GA
(Coldwell Banker Lake Country)
Are you ready for rural life? HGTV recently debuted a new series called Farmhouse Life, and in the very first episode we watched a family exchange suburban Atlanta living for a bucolic farm in Madison Georgia – offering their daughters an opportunity to live with their horses.  I’ve been helping families choose farms in Madison Georgia and surrounding area for a decade now, and one thing I’ve learned is that families choosing rural life have one big decision to make: Is it better to Buy a farm or Build a farm? When you build a farm, you may start out with bare land, or with a home on some acreage but not much else. Building a farm begins with a lower initial purchase price, and then you add the improvements you want: home, outbuildings, fencing, perhaps a pool, raised beds, fruit or flo...
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By Jeanne Dufort, Madison and Lake Oconee GA
(Coldwell Banker Lake Country)
 Finding a bargain lakefront home on Georgia’s Lake Oconee is not easy. With the average sales price this year for a private lakefront home close to $625,000, and the average sales price of an undeveloped lakefront lot nearly $450,000 – what can you buy for under $350,000?  The first thing a Lake Oconee bargain hunter needs to think about is what matters most – the quality and location of the lot, or the quality and size of the home. You may be surprised, but for many lakefront properties, most of the value is in the lot!  Lot quality is hard to improve over time, and location does not change – homes can be remodeled and expanded. When you’re choosing a bargain lake house on Lake Oconee, you have to pick your compromises.  Some questions to ask yourself:  what kind of boating do you hav...
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By Jeanne Dufort, Madison and Lake Oconee GA
(Coldwell Banker Lake Country)
  Are you dreaming of living in the heart of Lake Oconee, with a budget under $150,000?    If your dream includes:   Privacy, with no restrictive covenants   Room to garden   Access to a lake with great fishing   And a well maintained home     All at a price that won’t break the budget – look no further       This updated ranch home sits on a private 2 acre lot in an established Lake Oconee community with boat ramp. The home lives large, with an open floor plan, formal living and dining rooms, and a split bedroom plan that offers you the privacy you are seeking.  The vaulted ceilings and custom windows add to the spacious feel.       Are you tired of looking at fixer-uppers in your price range?  This well-maintained home features a new roof, new well pump and bladder, and updated light ...
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By Jeanne Dufort, Madison and Lake Oconee GA
(Coldwell Banker Lake Country)
  You and your better half are looking for a new home, and it’s looking like an episode of House Hunters on HGTV.     One of you is focused on the house. It can’t be too old, and it must have updates like a jetted tub, and hard surface counters, and oiled bronze finishes.        Wood floors, except in the bedrooms.   And separate closets and vanities in the master – because one of you is less organized than the other.   One of you is focused on the land – the more the better. And private, with interesting trees, and room to walk the dog.        Your ideal property would have a workshop, or at least room to build one.   If there are covenants, they had better be simple. And under no circumstances do you want to belong to an HOA!   You do agree on some things, the location should be conve...
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By Jeanne Dufort, Madison and Lake Oconee GA
(Coldwell Banker Lake Country)
I have been using Madison Tire and Auto for many years now - its a low key place. No flashy web presence, not on the fashionable side of town. Just good service - they have put tires on many of my vehicles, and even a horse trailer or two. A few years ago, Scott joined the team. He brought with him a passion for keeping older import vehicles chugging along - important to me, because until then, there was no one in Madison equipped to diagnose and repair things on my older volvos. This week, Scott proved he's worth his weight in gold. On my way to my golf groups annual Christmas party, I heard a terrible grinding sound coming from beneath my car. It got worse, and in the interest of not making a bad situation worse, I headed back home immediately. Next morning, I cautiously headed into M...
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By Jeanne Dufort, Madison and Lake Oconee GA
(Coldwell Banker Lake Country)
What a deal!  Seller has just reduced Lots 8 and 9 in Waterstone Farms on Lake Oconee to an eye-popping $59,500.  These lots have 100ft of private shoreline on the quiet north shore of Lake Oconee, and meet the Georgia Power qualifications for a max dock. Water depth is good - more than 5ft - and the deeper channel is just off shore. The lots are fairly level, making them suitable for a ranch style home. Find our more about Waterstone Farms on Lake Oconee here:     There has been only one private lakefront lot sold in the past year on Lake Oconee below $60,000 - and that lot had very shallow water and severe dock limitations. The average price this year for a private lakefront lot on Lake Oconee is over $400,000. If you'd like to enjoy lakefront living on Lake Oconee without breaking th...
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By Jeanne Dufort, Madison and Lake Oconee GA
(Coldwell Banker Lake Country)
Are you thinking of relocating to Madison, Georgia? Looking for a ranch home that will make it easy to  age in place? Prefer a move-in ready home, less than 10 years old? There are some excellent choices right now, and your search will lead you to just 3 communities: Whispering Lakes - a greenspace community about 10 minutes east of downtown, and minutes from the Blue Springs Marina on Lake Oconee. Buckhead Manor - Madison's most popular subdivision just 5 minutes from downtown and close to the school campuses, aquatic center and library, and Heritage Park. Madison Lakes/Creekwood section - Madison's only gated community, about 10 minutes south of downtown and convenient to shopping and I-20. Whispering Lakes has the most to choose from currently, with 7 homes on that market ranging in ...
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By Jeanne Dufort, Madison and Lake Oconee GA
(Coldwell Banker Lake Country)
Another Madison Georgia farm for sale is now SOLD! Its one of my favorite kinds of days - Closing Day, when buyers and sellers meet at crossroads in both their lives. This Madison Georgia farm is really unique - completely renovated historic cottage on 15 acres set up for horses. The property includes nearly a dozen old pecan trees - and best of all the home site is just 3 miles from downtown Madison and tucked privately behind the CSX railroad line that runs right through our acclaimed historic district.   The buyers are a young local couple, the son and daughter in law of a friend, who operates a very successful farm-hospitality business. The sellers are repeat clients and friends - I sold them the farm originally and they renovated it for one of their children who later moved out of ...
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By Jeanne Dufort, Madison and Lake Oconee GA
(Coldwell Banker Lake Country)
The Madison and Morgan County Georgia market is influenced by a number of factors: The successful local charter school system makes it a top choice for families with school age children. The vibrant downtown in Historic Madison appeals to empty nesters looking to get away from the surbaban crowds, yet still be in reach of arts and culture (and a hot cappucino!) The comitment to sustainable agriculture appeals to ruralists. Its all within easy reach of the Atlanta international airport! Each of these factors means that prices for comparable homes are historically higher in Morgan County than in surrounding rural counties. Latest market statistics show that the market tips from a sellers market to a buyers market as prices go up:   Homes under $150,000 Available: 14 Sold last 6 months: 23...
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By Jeanne Dufort, Madison and Lake Oconee GA
(Coldwell Banker Lake Country)
Ever considered the benefits of becoming a landlord? I invested in rental properties beginning in my 20's - in fact, the first 3 properties I purchased had rental income - and that decision became the cornerstone of wealth creation for me. Your dream home may include a private backyard and beautiful curb appeal - nothing wrong with that.  But take a moment and try on a different dream - one where you have tenants to pay most of your mortage and property taxes, while you benefit from the tax advantages and appreciation like any other property owner. This duplex in Rutledge, Georgia has a pair of 1200sf+ units, each with 2 bedrooms and one full bath, eat-in kitchen, plus living room and den. With a shortage of affordable rental housing in desirable Morgan County, you can understand why th...
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By Jeanne Dufort, Madison and Lake Oconee GA
(Coldwell Banker Lake Country)
Quick market facts for the Third Quarter of 2014 - sales of single family homes in Madison and Morgan County Georgia market:   SOLD - 45 homes (compared to 42 in Q3 2013) MEDIAN SOLD PRICE - $231,500 (way up from $147,500 last year)   Highest sold price - $829,999 Lowest sold price - $20,000   Perhaps the most telling statistic of all - 92 homes were newly listed during Q3 2014 - 50 more than sold.  High inventory levels in many price points continue to create more of a buyer's market, especially for homes priced above $200,000.   If you'd like to know more about the real estate market in the Madison/Morgan County Georgia area, or in the rest of Georgia's Lake Country - let's talk.    
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By Jeanne Dufort, Madison and Lake Oconee GA
(Coldwell Banker Lake Country)
  Looking for the perfect farm can be frustrating.   You have a dream. You make a list, and then another list.   You have a budget.    On paper, you design the perfect farm. You might even send your list to a Realtor® or two. You spend hours scouring the internet for the farm of your dreams.   You drive around rural counties. Try the local restaurants. Hang out on the streets, trying to take the measure of the place.   Because your dream farm is likely in a place you know nothing about.   And then you start to visit actual farms that are on the market, and you make an important discovery. What’s on the market are other folk’s dream farms. Not yours.   Back to the drawing board. Should you build your own farm from scratch? Can you modify one of the farms you’ve seen? Should you modify th...
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By Jeanne Dufort, Madison and Lake Oconee GA
(Coldwell Banker Lake Country)
Just listed - classic ranch home on an oversized private lot in Buckhead Manor, Madison's most popular subdivision.           Entertaining will be a delight, with an open floor plan with separate living and dining rooms, large two level deck, and private backyard.                  The modern kitchen includes concrete counters with breakfast bar, subway tile backsplash, and a stainless steel farm sink.   The spacious master with trey ceiling overlooks the backyard, with an ensuite bath with glass and tile shower and jetted soaking tub.                 Two additional bedrooms share a full bath, and there’s a powder room for your guests, plus a bonus room upstairs.   The 1.35 acre lot has a level backyard partly open and partly wooded, adjoining 28 acres of wooded common space.       Buckh...
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By Jeanne Dufort, Madison and Lake Oconee GA
(Coldwell Banker Lake Country)
Congratulations - you've decided to buy a home in the Madison or Lake Oconee area. You've probably spent hours scouring properties online. You've researched neighborhoods, checked out county tax records, perhaps even made a call or two or three to listing agents.   Stop. Wait. Before you take the next step, consider what comes next.  The path from "thinking about" buying property to "choosing" a property to "negotiating a contract and buying" a home has a lot of moving parts - and smart buyers want a local market expert by their side as an exclusive buyer's agent to help them get the most of what matters to them in the process.   That's where I come in.  My value proposition is simple - I use my local market knowledge plus decades of experience negotiating deals all over the world to he...
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