Thursday, June 8, 2017

What about the Green Boat?



I blogged last summer about the "Green Eyed Lady of Richland Chambers".  It's a 1978 model, lime green "The Deck Boat, Gatesville, Texas".   I acquired it very cheap and now I see for good reason.  But nothing ventured, nothing gained right?   So what about it?   Well as Paul Harvey used to say "and now, the Rest of the Story..."

Old boats are not always what they are cracked up to be.  But the coolness factor is very enticing.  I have great memories as a kid running around in these kind of things with my dad at the wheel.  He always had some old boat he was working on. We would launch on Lake Arlington, Ray Hubbard or Lake Dallas (now Lake Lewisville) and have fun.  Plus retro is in these days so what could be cooler than a vintage 70's model boat (one they don't make any more) running around on Richland Chambers?   Sounds great, right?  Yeah, well all true if the boat is worth the effort.  Most old boats are not worth a lot, of course there are exceptions, but if you want an old boat I bet I can find you one real cheap!



Saying all of that, the saga of the "Green Eyed Lady" has come to an ignominious, inglorious end.

When we first got it we cleaned it up and took it to TJ with Lakeside Boat Service. He checked it out and made sure she was somewhat lake worthy.  So one afternoon we put it in the water and ran around the cove a few times.  All was well and heading towards what seemed to be a fun project with a lot of coolness factor.  Feeling confident, Julie and I headed out one afternoon last fall.  We took off out of the cove and headed up the Chambers arm of Richland Chambers.  Julie was on a Seadoo with a tow rope just in case.  I got some interesting looks and comments from some friends on their docks along the way.  We made it up as far as the pump station and decided to head back.  After a few minutes all of a sudden she lost power.  I turned and looked back saw  smoke coming from the engine compartment.  Of course I shut her down.  I now know I had spun the connector between the engine and the outdrive.  Good thing we brought a tow rope!  We made it back to our dock, tied her up and the next day went to see TJ.

Being towed in 
back to the shop...














To shorten the story a bit, back to the shop, new engine connector some other things and early last March back in the water.  Our son Parker and I took off again.  Same thing, around the cove a few times and then headed out to the open water past the jetty.  We didn't get very far and I turned around to come back in.  Then the same thing happened, we spun the motor connector.  After a lot of paddling and somewhat favorable winds we made it to Northshore Marina and tied it up in a slip.

Towing her to the ramp
this turned out to be the final inspect
















The bottom line turned out to be the condition of the boat itself.  A lot of older fiberglass boats have a considerable amount of wood in them surrounded by fiberglass.  We knew there was some wood rot in the transom and now feared it was in really bad shape.  We could tell by the 'play' in the transom and the fact that the motor connector had failed twice.  When TJ opened it up the whole transom was basically nothing but mush.  He did some checking around about repairing it properly (so it and yours truly would not wind up at the bottom of Richland Chambers Lake!).  However, it turns out to repair the transom and surrounding hull properly was going to be very expensive.  All of a sudden the "Coolness Factor" diminished dramatically. Funny how it works that way sometimes.

So now I've gone through my grieving period and headed off to the next thing.  But I have to say we all found a little bit of joy in the whole idea and for me, the very short time I drove it around I did feel really cool!









Thursday, May 25, 2017

Lake Adventures on Richland Chambers

Osprey nest in Mattie Caston

On Mother's Day the weather was great and Julie and I found ourselves at home with little Mother's Day fanfare so it was time for a SeaDoo adventure.  So we loaded up and took off.  We decided to follow the shoreline from our dock heading northwest as far as we cared to go.  We explored every cove and creek we could find and took our time taking in the sights.  
First to Northshore Harbor, then around Moonlight Point to Collins Lane and White Rock.  We headed north under 287 bridge to Oak Cove Marina.  We came around to Paradise Bay and talked to some friends, Brent and Brenda and then on to Hidden Oaks.  Vista Ridge was next and then up the creek in Lakeview all the way to the 3140 bridge.  We came out of the creek, after slight technical difficulty, and headed into Mattie Caston. 
Mattie Caston Cove is kind of tough to navigate in a boat as there is a lot of timber in the water.  We took it easy and slow and made it all the way in.  We came across a huge Osprey Nest with a pair of Ospreys patrolling and defending the nest from overhead.  We saw a lot of homes and docks we have never seen from the water.

Here is our course:

Central Area of Richland Chambers Lake

Our former Bennington
We continued on north through Starcrest and then under the 2859 Bridge around to Hide Away Harbor.  Hideaway Harbor is named very well. This quiet neighborhood is tucked away just north of the bridge.  We came across our old boat tied up to TJ's dock, in good shape.
2859 Bridge, think the blue spot means anything?

Our adventure had started about 2:30 so by now we started thinking about heading back and actually had a couple of destinations in mind.  The first stop was to go find a big nest in the trees we knew about north of Hickey Island and check it out.  The lake was perfect, the wind was fairly calm and the sky was beautiful.  Our Seadoos were running great.  Julie's is a 2009 Seadoo Wake and mine is a 2010 Seadoo 215 Wake Pro.. We bought both of them new and they have been very good machines.

Osprey nest close to Hickey Island

Julie in action, just off of Hickey Island
Our next stop was Hickey Island.  We made our way in to the south side of the island, beached the Seadoos and had a picnic. The seadoos have plenty of room to carry drinks and snacks.   The Island is pretty large (maybe 300 acres?) and we found a pretty nice, small beach area.  Hickey Island is completely grown up and there is all kinds of wildlife running around on it.  We didn't venture too far from the shore, just enjoyed the view and took it all in.  Next we shoved off and headed south.

   
Picnic on the Island




















The last big adventure of the day was to visit the Oil Derrick south of the island off of Vista Ridge.   The rig doesn't appear to be functioning, but then again I'm no expert.  There was another big Osprey nest up in the rig and the pair were circling around while we were close.

Osprey nest on the Oil Rig
It was getting late in the day by now so we headed on back to The Shores and docked the Seadoos.  It was a great afternoon!





Monday, April 17, 2017

Gone Fishing...

The big fish broke the lure
Julie catching a double

It's Spring Time and the fishing is on at RC. Julie, our son Parker and I took off last Wednesday afternoon and went fishing.  We went out of Fisherman's Cove Lodge with Joe Moore about 2:00 that afternoon and had a blast.  Joe kept us on fish all day long.




Our catch for the day





We fished out on the main body of Richland Chambers in usually around 30 ft of water.  Joe was following the bottom structure of the lake and knew where the fish would be.  We took home 75 White Bass, 5 Hybrids and a 25 pound Yellow Cat.  It was a great afternoon.
25 lb Yellow Catfish
Julie's blister from reeling in fish
Joe kept us out for about 4 hours until we limited out on keeper White Bass, (25 each).  We probably caught twice as many fish as we kept, we threw back everything that was too small.  Joe used his Fish Finder/GPS  to keep us on top of the fish all afternoon. The catch of the day was the big Yellow Cat. This is some of the best catfish you will ever eat!









Any day fishing is a good day!





Fisherman's Cove Lodge is located off of State Highway 309 off of 287 on the north shore of the main body of the lake.  They offer guided fishing and hunting trips.  Check them out and even book online at www.Fishermanscovelodge.com
Check out Joe Moore at www.HookedupGuide Services.net.
All you have to do is just show up.  They provide everything for the trip and then clean and bag your fish for you when you're done.

Happy Fishing!



Cooler full of fish!









Joe Moore cleaning our catch
















Parker in Action

Joe with a Hybryd






video
Landing the big Yellow Cat

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Richland Chambers Lake Waterfront Homes, By the Numbers




   Julie and I have been focused on The Richland Chambers Lake area now for a little over 9 years. We bought the franchise and started building the office in 2008.  Since then we have endeavored to know as much about this area and the Richland Chambers Real Estate market as possible.  We've studied historical data, documented trends and lived the market daily since.  This market has grown significantly these last few years and there have been a lot of changes.               Here's a few snippets about our Lake market to share some insight. Looking at numbers a person must take into account that the Richland Chambers real estate market is relatively small and the number of houses around the lake has grown and grows every year. So while I've done my best to present accurate research, real estate markets are dynamic and some factors are difficult to measure.
Waterfront is a great example. Some homes are on canals or coves and some are on open water.  Open water homes typically sell for more per foot than an average canal home, however even this is not cut and dried.  A house on a canal could have absolutely great amenities and finish out which will bring a higher per square foot price than some open water homes. So, saying all that to say, the numbers are what they are and perhaps best used to understand the trends of the market.
   If you have lived on a Texas lake for any length of time you have experienced water fluctuations. Pretty much all Texas lakes are dependent on rainfall and conditions can vary over the years. There have been a lot of full years and some drought years.  Richland Chambers has fared pretty well in it's life.
315' is Pool Level
We are one of the youngest lakes in Texas.  RC officially impounded in July of 1987 and filled by May of 1989. Julie and I are from here and we have loved and enjoyed the lake since it filled.  Over the years we have compiled a lot of RC Lake data. Since January 1st of 1990 through March 31 of last year the average daily water level was 312.46' MSL. The full level of the lake is 315' MSL so that means approximately a  +/- 2.54 ft fluctuation over the life of the lake.  We have had some low water levels in the last few years, however in the life of the lake it has been within a 3 feet of full way more than it has been low.
Click here for my detailed Lake Level Chart.
'All Categories' includes RV properties

How does Water Fluctuation affect lake front home sales? The two charts help to spot a trend. While is is not statistically set in stone a brief comparison shows that the lake level does have an effect the number of waterfront homes sold in a given year.
What about waterfront home values during fluctuations?
  Again, with a small market sample such as RC Lake Market the statistics have to be interpreted in the light of all the 'unaccounted for' variables.  The chart below shows Richland Chambers Waterfront Home prices in dollars per sqft. for the last 12 years. Take into consideration that this includes all categories from cheap "fishing cabins" to  magnificent waterfront beauties.  Also in any given year it stands to reason that more less expensive homes may have sold or vice versa. This will also affect the average.   The average is a totally un-adjusted number.  Any home's value depends on it's individual location and amenities.  The point for sharing this next chart is  to demonstrate a trend. Through the overall market ups and downs and water level ups and downs our waterfront home values have remained relatively stable.  The top (white line) is the high $ per sqft sales, the blue line is the average $ per sqft sales and the orange (bottom) line is the low $per sqft sales.

Many homes will sell above the average $ per sqft and are well worth it. Others will sell for less based on their location and amenities plus one one other factor that is perhaps more important than all, the seller's motivation.  The seller's motivation drives the whole pricing process and can determine whether a house sells quickly or sits on the market a long time.
The best thing to do if you are thinking about selling is to contact a real estate professional in the area your house is located.  They most often have direct knowledge of the sold comparable properties around you and understand why a certain property sold  for it's price.  A good real estate agent can assist in getting you the most value for your home in a reasonable amount of time.   The same is true if you are looking to buy.  A good local real estate professional can keep you from the pitfalls of overpaying.  They have seen what has sold and understand why.





Saturday, March 11, 2017

Julie's Market Thoughts


video

Spring is in the air and with it, sales are ramping up at Richland Chambers Lake.  We're heading into the third year of a full Richland Chambers Lake and this market is finally catching up to other markets around the state. Inventories are down and prices are inching up for the lake area home market.
The lot market is changing as well. It has been a tough 6 to 7 years for the lake lot market challenged by previous droughts and the struggling real estate market in general prior to the drought years. Inventories for waterfront lots were as high as 330 lots in 2015, with only a few a month selling.
2016 brought us a reduction in inventories down to 270.  With a full lake, the market was churning double what it had done in the previous year.
With Spring of 2017 upon us, inventories are down further, with 238 currently for sale.  Some of the screaming deals churned out and sold in 2016, as a result, the lake lot market is destined to eventually make it's way back.
But the good news is, there are still some great waterfront lot deals to be found.  Call us for a complete list of fabulous lot opportunities and make your dreams of living on a lake a reality!
Come join us lake rats and have some fun!!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

The Shores on Richland Chambers Lake, what's going on in there?

New house on Deepwater Cove
The Shores on Richland Chambers Lake is the biggest subdivision on RC Lake. It is over 600 acres with about 620 lots.  The Shores was developed later in the life of Richland Chambers (from the best I can remember 2004-5 or so). The developer, Texas Land and Lakes, finished up and pulled out late in the spring of 2009.
The subdivision has maintained it's amenities, common areas, and roads very well and the place looks great to this day.  It is conveniently located right off of US 287 on the Corsicana side of the bridge and is gated 24 hours a day to provide security for residents and minimize drive through traffic.
So after 8 years of autonomy over 12 years or so of existence, 3 drought years and a housing market crash, how is the neighborhood doing?


New construction on Sailboat Drive
I had the pleasure a week or so ago of interviewing Gary Sharon who is a resident of The Shores and the head of the Architectural Control Committee (ACC).  Gary gave me the latest on The Shores and is a wealth of information about the growth of the community. The Shores currently has 83 completed homes with 8 currently under construction.  The pace has varied over the years, 9 were approved in 2014, 2 in 2015 and 2016 saw 13 sets of plans approved. This makes The Shores on pace to be at 100 homes before we know it, making it the largest community on Richland Chambers Lake with plenty of room to spare.


The function of the ACC is to ensure that all improvements in the neighborhood align with and meet the guidelines in the community's Deed Restrictions. The process is actually pretty simple.  When a lot owner wants to do an improvement on their property they must submit the plans to the ACC for approval. The ACC  tends to move quickly so you are not out a bunch of time waiting for an answer. Gary also said he "encourages anyone with questions or concerns to call and talk about it". This can save you time and money and keep you from paying an Architect to plan something that does not meet the Improvement Guidelines.  Not to mention paying the Architect to amend the plans after the fact.
Just completed on Clubhouse Drive
Under construction on Waters Edge
Just starting on Deepwater Cove
The ACC not only reviews plans for homes but also sidewalks, sheds, retaining walls, boathouses and really any improvements made above ground. Gary also wanted to point out that any improvements made below the 320' line must also be approved by Tarrant Regional Water District. This would include boathouses, retainer walls, sidewalks, etc.
The Shores property owners can check out more information and download forms from the community's website www.POAofTheShores.com.




Finishing touches going on at the end of Canal Street

Looking good on Hatteras Drive
Side by Side on The Shores Drive
Side by Side on The Shores Drive

So to answer the question, The Shores on Richland Chambers Lake is alive and well and growing!!
#richlandchambers #theshoresonrichlandchambers #richlandchamberslake



Thursday, February 16, 2017

The Power of a Local Agent




I usually write our blogs and I hope you've found them useful and somewhat entertaining. But this time Julie has something to say and has taken over the keyboard... enjoy! 

Market knowledge is very important when choosing an agent to represent you in a real estate transaction.  It is considerably more important in a resort market such as ours, Richland Chambers Lake, where there is so much data to be gathered before making a decision to purchase a waterfront property. When we opened our office on the Lake in 2008, we had no idea of how much information gathering that would be required to properly serve our clients.  We quickly realized this fact and began to drive all the neighborhoods, pull all the plats, copy all the restrictions for the more than 60 subdivisions and  began our schooling of all things Richland Chambers Lake! We worked tirelessly 7 days a week those first few years to inculcate ourselves to be equipped to serve and become the RC Lake experts!

Questions that often arise on a daily basis are those related to HOA's, building requirements, subdivision amenities, lake fluctuations, lake depths, marina locations, boathouse building information, and whether or not RV's or Vacation Rentals are allowed in each of the subdivisions. These answers vary depending on the subdivision on the lake.  There are no two that are the same.

With the booming of real estate markets in metropolitan areas around us and the lack of inventory in those markets, we are seeing more and more agents getting out of their comfort zones and attempting to represent their clients in markets not within their scope of expertise.
Part of a Realtor's fiduciary duties to their client's as lined out in the Texas Real Estate Commission's
Canon of Ethics is competency, to be knowledgeable and informed on market conditions that affect
real estate and exercise judgment and skill in performing these duties.

If you are considering a move to a lake area or resort market in the state of Texas, and feel loyalty to an agent where you currently live or in another market, and are unsure of the unknown, ask them to research agents and refer you to an expert agent in that market.  This enables your local agent to make some money while insuring that you are getting all the benefits of working with an agent that is equipped to handle your real estate investment and guide you through the lake buying process.

Real Estate is a part of your portfolio that requires extra special care and expertise. Like the rest of your investment portfolio, you must take extra care to avoid the pitfalls that could occur without a well equipped professional on your side.

Whether you are buying or selling, the local agent is always the best choice to protect your investment.  If you are selling a property, the benefits of hiring a local agent are numerous as well.
For example, market knowledge and pricing are key in getting your property sold.  Local area agents
in markets like ours, have been inside almost every home that has sold and everyone that is currently on the market for sale.  They can help you make specific comparisons to each of these competing properties that will help you to establish the best listing price that will achieve your goals of both time and money depending on your own motivations. They are also available to check on the property if you are an absentee seller.  They also have the benefits of knowing which marketing works and can implement the right tools.  But most importantly, and often overlooked, the agent you hire must be fully equipped with all the data and information needed to sell the lake area first.  Most lake area and resort buyers are shopping lakes and this is vitally important to the sell.  Out of town Agents are not equipped to sell in markets they do not know.

To sum it up, real estate is one of the most valuable and important investments you will make in your lifetime.  Protect that investment by careful selection of a real estate professional that is an expert in that market.