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I'm bored

by Ginger Hubbard

I’m bored...Undecided

“I’m bored”…we’ve all heard this at one time or another, heck, we’ve all SAID it at one time or another.  We live in Western North Carolina, the mecca of outdoor activities so we should never be bored.  We have three lakes in our area, Fontana, Hiwassee, and Chatuge in which we can swim, ski, fish, or canoe.  We have numerous creeks such as Fires Creek, Snowbird Creek, Davis Creek, etc.; which are relaxing to the soul and rewarding to the fisherman.  If bigger water is what you seek (and bigger thrills), then you can plan a rafting trip down the Nantahala River or the Ocoee River.

If water is not on the agenda, try one of the numerous walking trails we have here in Western North Carolina.  You can visit http://www.hikewnc.info/besthikes/ and look for hiking trails which are sorted by difficulty and feature.  This is a great website and will help you plan the perfect day out to accommodate your family. This site also provides tips on what to wear, take with you etc. for a safe and fun trip: http://www.hikewnc.info/areainfo/general

These activities are inexpensive, family friendly, and will be remembered years from now as one of your favorite family vacations where no one was bored.

Celebration with wine and friends

by Ginger Hubbard

Celebration with wine and friends :) 

One of my best friends recently turned 50 years old (shout out to Stacy Allore).  Her girlfriends wanted to do something really special for her, as she’s special to us.  So we rented a pink camouflage limousine from Valley River Winery (Murphy, NC) https://www.facebook.com/VRVWinery, participated in a wine tasting, which was AWESOME and got busy celebrating Stacy’s big five-OH in the back of the pink limo.  Our hashtag for the day was #stacys50inthepinklimo. We then traveled to Nottely Vineyards (www.nottelywine.com), located in Culberson, NC and enjoyed great wine and breathtaking views.  You can see three states from this winery and is so worth the trip.  We then loaded back into our pink camo limo and headed to Crane Creek Winery in Young Harris, (www.cranecreekvineyards.com).  They were having a festival so it was even better than we had planned.  Again, great wine, entertainment, and crafts.  By the time we were finished, there we were running behind and had to cancel the last two stops of our wine tour.  Our driver delivered us to Helen, GA where the rest of the party was meeting us to continue the fun festivities. 

So even though Murphy doesn’t have malls for shopping, theaters for plays, we do have wineries for tasting!  And wasn’t it Benjamin Franklin who said: “Wine is constant proof that God loves us and loves to see us happy.” 

So be happy and drink wine!  Happy Birthday Stacy…love you my friend.

Limogroup photo from wine tour

Tennessee Valley Authority

by Dex Hubbard

The time:1920

The place: Hazel Creek

An area filled with mountain Appalachian communities. People who worked together to build the local school houses. Bare feet that walked forest trails home or to the favorite fishing spot. Fresh dirt breaking underneath the hoe, the earth waiting to embrace the life giving seed.

Life wasn’t easy, but it was home.

You would have no idea that one day the roads you walked, the churches you attended, the land you plowed, and the home you built would be below water, a tribute for FDR’s creation of the TVA.

On May 18, 1993 President Franklin Roosevelt signed the TVA Act. The TVA’s purpose was to help control floods, produce electricity, and improve the quality of life for those who lived in the Tennessee Valley.

Indeed, many of the goals of the TVA were met. Electricity became more widely available, especially to those who did not live near cities. The TVA gave funds to hire people to work with farmers, and to introduce new farming practices. Flooding was reduced drastically. My grandmother will still talk about the flash floods that use to sweep over the land, how half of the old home was swept away by one such flood. You can go visit the cabin today, and gaze at wonderment at how far and fast and violent the river would have to be to reach the old homestead.

One goal of the TVA was to “modernize” the Valley. Malaria affected thirty percent of the population and the average income was 630.00 per year, although some families survived on as little 100.00. Erosion, and poor farming practices had depleted the soil and caused crop yields to fall. The TVA created new fertilizers, taught farmers better farming practices, replanted forests that had been lost to lumber and burning, and improved the fish and wildlife habitat. However, the change that most impacted the residents in the Tennessee River Valley was the availability of electricity.  

Though there were a lot of great things to come with the formation of the TVA, getting changes to be successfully received by the locals was difficult. Over 15,000 people were displaced with the creation of the dams. And in many of the areas, remote geographically and vastly different in way of life, government agencies were suspect. So the TVA found leaders in the community and convinced them of the benefits of the new farming practices.

If you don’t live near a TVA regulated dam, your knowledge or care about them may be superficial. For that matter, most of us who live near them don’t give them a second thought.  But they impact our lives every day.

The TVA ranks as the largest public power company, and has a generating capacity of 31,658 megawatts and delivers power to 8.5 million Tennessee valley residents. The TVA also manages four major reservoirs in North Carolina. The outdoor recreation created by the TVA is phenomenal; Fishing, boating, kayaking, and canoeing are incredible on the lakes and the rivers. Rafting is a huge sport, with some TVA controlled rivers being sites of Olympic events.

The TVA is both historic and pivotal in the commercial driven economy of Western North Carolina, East Tennessee, and Northwest Georgia.  Everywhere you look you see something that is an offshoot of the TVA and its original purpose. So come to the mountains and enjoy history, conservation, and beauty all rolled into one beautiful place.

Extreme Weather Energy Saving: Summer Heat

by Dex Hubbard

While we are blessed to live in the mountains, and face temperate weather most of the time, the summer heat is coming. I love the power bill that comes in April & May,
but the higher July & August are on the way! To stay cool and save money, it’s time to do an energy check on your house.

 

  1. Install a Programmable Thermostat
    these things are amazing! And you can save 3-5% on a/c costs for each degree you raise the thermostat. 

  2. Close the Door! (& the Vents)
    If there is a room you’re not using, shut the door. Also, shut the vents to that room. And make sure to keep your filters clean. Our heating/air guy recommended that we change the filter every month; so when we pay the power bill; we change the filter. Not only is it more energy efficient but it also keeps your HVAC system healthy!

  3. Seal the Holes!
    If you’ve got a window unit, use weather stripping or foam insulation around it to seal the spaces. Check your doors and windows for gaps.

  4. Buy Power Strips
    Phone chargers, TV’s, VCR’s, tablets, toasters, microwave, and lamps use electricity even when they are off. Use power strips instead, and turn off the power strip when you leave the house.

  5. Timers & Motion Detectors.
    We get it, your outdoor lighting is on point. A neighbor walking down the street might think your yard is a magical fairy forest because of the bulbs carefully strung across
    the portico or be envious of your lighted walk way. But leaving it on all night is costing you money. Try timers or motion detectors instead, so you can use your lighting to wow (and to see) without losing all that money.

  6. Curtains
    Getting thick or energy efficient curtains is a manageable expense that makes a huge difference in the summer. Before you leave the house in the morning, draw the curtains and let them deflect the sun’s
    rays. Keeping the house cool naturally means less work for your HVAC unit.

  7.  Clothes Lines
    One of my favorite ideas for saving energy is using the clothes line instead of the dryer! While that may be because of my        fond childhood memories running in-between billowing sheets, I also love how
     the clothes smell coming off the line. 

Murphy River Walk

by Dex Hubbard

Meandering throughout the heart of Murphy North Carolina, the River Walk is a fantastic place to spend your time. Following the Valley River, you’ll meet the Hiwassee River. Approximately 3 miles from one end to the other, the focus remains on the river, but you pass additional beautiful landmarks along the path. Starting at Konehete Park, follow the trail across the bridge, and stately trees to the fabled home of the Great Leach, legend of the Cherokee Indians. Continue past the old train bridge, over the boardwalk, and all the way to the L&N Depot. In the summer, Lake Hiwassee is full, and the water backs up into the lowlands and creates the kayak and canoe trails. The boardwalk is surrounded by water in the summer, and strolling on the river, surrounded by the river, is a unique experience that is hard to describe or duplicate.

You’ll see all types of people enjoying the River walk. For exercise, jogging and running along it is a popular use. You’ll also spot the nature seekers, sedately wandering, gazing at the natural beauty and maybe capturing a moment with their camera. Fisherman (and woman) love to sit on the banks and cast a line in the warm afternoons.

The River Walk is a community project, and the communities love for it is evidenced everywhere you look.  Volunteers help with upkeep certainly, as well as paying for gravel and other materials out of their own pocket. The hand crafted signs marking the paths are reclaimed cedar wood, from Doyle’s Cedar Hill restaurant brush with the tornado. An outdoor Performance Pavilion was constructed together with the Cherokee County Arts Council.  The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) constructed the new covered bridge, with the River Walk assuming responsibility for the upkeep. David & Debra, of the Celebrate Life Gallery, in conjunction with local business Digital Creations USA, created the beautiful 2016 Calendar featuring the River Walk, of which all of the proceeds go directly to support the River Walk & Canoe trails.  Linda, a face as familiar as her bookstore, The Curiosity Shop, carries the calendars for sale in Downtown Murphy.

The best thing about Murphy North Carolina, is not the natural beauty of the mountains, it’s the people. And no better proof of that exists then looking at something the people love, like The River Walk.
Murphy and the area surrounding it is a true community. A community that comes together for beautiful projects, and for its neighbors when they need help. The southern hospitality is evident walking down the sidewalks, driving down the roads, and interacting with the people.

This is life at its’ best.
Care to join us?

Why Murphy?

by Dex Hubbard

Visitors who come into our office to look at homes often ask, Why Murphy? What is it like here? What makes Murphy the best place to live?

 

For me, it begins with the mountains. 

                                                    

 

Surrounded by such overwhelming nature can take your breath away. It’s easy to take for granted, day in and day out, but sometimes the sunlight will catch the crest of the mountains just perfectly to illuminate the shadows and once again you’re reminded of how blessed you are to be here.

 

                                                     

Another reason I love it here is because there is never time to be bored.  If there isn’t a concert at the renowned John C. Campbell Folk school, head down the street to Clay’s Corner (Famous for their New Year’s Possum Drop). Or just wander downtown for good old fashioned retail therapy. If nothing in Murphy is catching your eye at the moment, it’s guaranteed that there is something in Blairsville, Blue Ridge, Hayesville, or Hiawassee that will satisfy. If getting away from it all is the goal, being surrounded by trails, rivers, lakes, creeks, mountains, and national forest service land is ideal.

 

 

 

The best thing about Murphy though, is the people.

 

 

Whether you’re walking into the Curiosity Shop and being greeted by Linda or going to The Daily Grind and being treated like family by the locals who hang out there. Wandering down the street into Blue Ridge Olive Oil Company and having a member of the enthusiastic staff mix you their favorite vinaigrette combo over ice cream, just because it tastes so good. It’s seeing people that you know at Doyle’s’, raising a glass and sending over a round. Or your boss’s wife taking you to the Sweet Tooth (just because).

 

Just some of the many reasons I’m happy to call Murphy home.

 

 

Are you ready to answer that call?

 

When Things Go Wrong

by Dex Hubbard

“The major difference between a thing that might go wrong and a thing that cannot possibly go wrong is that when a thing that cannot possibly go wrong goes wrong, it usually turns out to be impossible to get at or repair.”

Douglas Adams

Anyone involved in Real Estate knows when that moment occurs. It might be the phone call from the attorney’s office, or the email from the lender, the frantic seller who has already scheduled the moving truck or the buyer who is in love and can’t stand the thought of losing the house. A dream closing is smooth with no hiccups, but that rarely happens. Sometimes it is completely unpreventable, but often times sorting any potential problems on the front side can avoid the mad dash towards closing. 

How do you start the process of buying or selling home and make sure the process is smooth and timely?

Grade A Professionals

There is lots of talk/advertising about who is going to do the best job for you. The first step for you is to find a great real estate professional to help guide you. You need to find a real estate Veteran, someone who has helped many people find a satisfactory end to their transaction. No one is psychic in Real Estate (at least I’m not), but finding someone who can foresee possible problems and address them before they become real issues is a must. It’s not uncommon for ROW or easements, home owner association issues, or the number of people on a well to cause a problem at the end of a transaction. You need someone who can address these issues before closing day.

Fantastic Lenders


If you’re dealing with cash and foregoing banks, then you won’t have to worry about the new federal TRID guidelines. But if you aren’t paying in cash, then you need a proficient lender to help guide you through the process. You need someone who communicates with you and knows how to work within the guidelines to get you closed on time. The new TRID Guidelines were put in place to protect the consumer, but adjusting to them has put many lenders on an uneven footing learning how to work within them. If you’re dealing with a proficient lender, they are going to get you closed on time and foresee issues that may cause a delay.

Closing Attorney or Title Company

In North Carolina, real estate transactions are generally closed by Real Estate Attorneys.  I’ve worked with the best and worked with the worst and the difference is staggering. A great attorney knows what to look for and how to deal with red flags before they hold up closing. They keep the deal progressing and make sure that you get closed on time. They also keep you updated as to how much money you need to bring to the table and what you have to have ready before closing day.

 

Buying a home is one of the biggest purchases you will make in your life. You deserve the best people on your team. Make sure you surround yourself with professionals to help you on your home ownership dream.

As always, if you have any questions or need a recommendation, give me a call at 828-361-4710 or email me at dex@dexhubbard.com.

 

Empty Bowl... Full Heart

by Ginger Hubbard

Empty Bowl…full heart

 

There’s a LOT of reasons to love Murphy and thus, the surrounding areas of this wonderful mountain town.  I experienced one of those many reasons this past Saturday night at the Empty Bowl event at John C Campbell Folk School.  This event raises funds for the Cherokee and Clay County food banks.  So five of my best girlfriends purchased the $30 tickets and set off on a girl’s night out.  This is also an event for the guys, the honeymooners, date night, etc.  We got there about 4:30 and the doors opened at 5 PM.  After tickets were presented we made our way through and picked out a pottery bowl that was made by one of the many talented potter’s associated with the Folk School.  You then proceed to the dining area where the meal is served family style.  We were served a big bowl of awesome soup, fresh salad and homemade dressings, fresh baked bread, and yummy homemade cookies. 

 

Later in the evening there as a drawing for some pottery items that were donated by local artisans.  You could purchase raffle tickets for $1 and then you placed your ticket in the bag beside the item you wanted.  Unfortunately, I did not win any of the pottery but we were all winners at this wonderful fundraiser for such a worthy charity.

So if you’re new to our area, planning on moving here, or have always been here but never attended the Empty Bowl fundraiser, put this on your bucket list!

Keep us with Dex Hubbard on facebook or check out his website to keep abreast of upcoming events and things to do in Murphy, NC.

Home Owners Association (HOA's)

by Dex Hubbard

When people hear the words “Home Owners Association” in my office, oftentimes a note of terror is introduced into the room. Many HOA’s are restrictive to the point (in my opinion) of ridiculousness. Some restrictions I’ve heard of are extreme, down to the type of plants allowed to be planted. Luckily, in my back yard, most of the HOA’s are more protective than restrictive. It’s common to see restrictions against junk cars, or junk appliance’s in the yard. Or to see a prohibition against dumping waste in your yard.


Still, there is the inevitable flinch when it’s mentioned, especially with the fees associated with the group.  And if you’re new to an HOA or had a bad experience with one, there are a few things that are need to know about our area of the mountains.

There are two types of HOA fees in our area. We do run into “subdivisions” that have voluntary road or water fees. As always, there are two edges to a sword. On one hand, you don’t have an obligatory fee that is paid every month (or annually). But that also means, that when the road needs repaired, a couple loads of gravel, or paved you might be paying the lions share just to get it done.

With your standard HOA, the fees are not voluntary. They are required to be paid to help with maintenance issues like roads and sometimes even water if you have a shared well or a community system. When buying a house with in a subdivision with an HOA, make sure to find out if the HOA is strong, and manages the money well.

*Hint: a good way to tell a well-managed HOA from a bad one is to drive through it. Too many pot holes could be a sign that there isn’t enough money in the account to repair the roads*

“Whoa Dex! You’re telling me I have to share a well with someone?”

A shared well is very common in our area. Up to 14 houses are allowed to be on a single well according to the state of NC (if the well can support that many houses). I’ve drilled 28 wells in my time developing property. I experienced the dream (80 gallons a minute) and the nightmare (1 pint a minute). A shared well does mean that someone else is using the same well, but it also means someone else is sharing in the expense of maintenance and repairs.

The same can be said of the road repairs & maintenance. Yes, someone else is using the road. But they are also paying to help with upkeep.

Taking care of your road can be expensive, especially if you are the only one doing so.


You may be perfectly fine with being responsible for everything yourself. Or you may be more interested in sharing the responsibility with neighbors.  Whichever way you choose, make sure you are well informed and know exactly what you’re taking on.

If you have any questions about HOA’s, or real estate, or about Murphy, NC and the surrounding areas, contact me and my team!

Day Trip Adventures Near Murphy NC

by Dex Hubbard

Day Trips

Sometimes the traveling bug collides with reality. Yes, a sudden trip the somewhere tropical sounds divine, but you and most of the rest of the world have to be back to work on Monday. Luckily, in our “backyard” there is always somewhere new to explore; places you might not have knew existed that are perfect to fulfill the need for adventure or new beauty. This is a series on great day trips for you and your family to explore

 

Helton Creek Falls

45 mins-1 hour from Murphy, NC

I describe this as a day trip because you won’t want to leave once you are there. The water is cold (especially in September when I went) but it’s perfect for a hot summer day. Bring a picnic lunch, libations, and a swim suit. Lounge on the warm rocks, dip into the refreshing water, and drift off to sleep while listening to the loud water fall.

I got here just fine in my little Honda civic, but others might prefer a truck or suv, as it can get a little bumpy. If you decide to circle around when you leave instead of turning around and driving back the way in, you will have to ford two creeks.

Directions: From Blairsville take US 129 South (11 miles). Past Vogel State Park. Turn left on first gravel road (there should be a small sign). The gravel road is 2.2 miles and there will be a pull off. There are two falls, upper and lower. The trail is only .3 miles so manageable for all ages.

 

Asheville, NC

1.5 Hour to 2 Hours from Murphy, NC

There is so much to do in Asheville it will require many day trips or a longer stay. If you’re looking for grand amazement and you are into historical homes, check out The Biltmore Estate (especially dazzling at Christmas). Or check out the North Carolina Arboretum, a 434 acre garden that boasts many attractions including one of the most renowned Bonsai Collections in the country. Downtown Asheville has become a meca for the unusual and classic historical. Asheville has adopted the “keep Asheville Weird” campaign and stays true to form. It’s a refreshing mix of young, old, historical and new. If you’re a beer or wine connoisseur, then Asheville is definitely the place to be. Or if you’re looking for relaxation, check out the Shoji Hot Tub retreat & spa, ten minutes from downtown Asheville.

 

Cades Cove

1.5 to 2 hours from Murphy, NC

Cades Cove is an adventure into the past. Full of wild life and history, Cades Cove Smokey Mountain National Park was formed in 1934. It’s been preserved to look much like it did in the 1800s. It’s become the largest open air museum in the entire Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It has some original pioneer homesteads, barns, and businesses. Take the 11 mile “loop” to see different landscapes and scenery. There is camping & hiking for those who want to get out of the car! Just another great part of the Great Smokey Mountains!

 

Bald River Falls, Tellico TN

1.5 to 2 Hours from Murphy, NC

The Bald River is a major tributary of the Tellico River that is in Tellico, TN. If waterfalls and natural beauty amaze you, then you must check it out. There are a couple ways to get there. The “normal” way (GPS) or take Murphy to Joe Brown to Hanging Dog to Davis Creek and into Tennessee (the fun way). It has a 5.6 mile trail (rated Moderate) and plenty of pull offs if you are not up to getting out of the car. The Tellico River is a great place for fishing & wild trout fishing, if you have the inclination. 

 

***Check back for more day trips ***

Displaying blog entries 11-20 of 26

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Photo of Dex Hubbard Real Estate
Dex Hubbard
RE/MAX Mountain Properties
1151 W US Hwy 64
Murphy NC 28906
828-837-3002
828-361-4710
Fax: 828-837-8372