Denny and Chris Shoemaker wanted to invest in a vacation property. They also wanted a second home their two children -- Andrew, who lives in Augusta with wife Lauren, and Katie, who lives in Washington with husband Justin -- could visit.
“My dad always had a dream of having a place where my brother and I and our families could get together and we could keep long term,” said Denny, a retired manager of business development for Marathon Oil Corp. who now is executive director for commercial development for TransMontaign. After both his parents died, he decided to invest in fulfilling his father’s dream.
They talked about the short sale requiring renovations they purchased in Greensboro’s Harbor Club:
Why Lake Oconee: They spent about two years exploring the mountains, lakes and beaches. Lake Oconee won because of its location between Atlanta and Augusta, plus their daughter preferred the lake over the beach. They chose Harbor Club because of its community setting near shops, restaurants and a grocery store. Another key was the community’s debt-free situation.
Their home: A five-bedroom, three-and-a-half bath lakefront home on about an acre, with a flat yard and beautiful view. “So many of the houses had beautiful water views that were on steep lots,” Chris said. The home was built in 1991, a departure for the couple, who were used to buying new homes. They decided on an older home because of the lot. It was a short sale, so the appliances, cabinets, light fixtures and other items were missing. There also were water leaks, which meant a new roof was needed. The couple began interviewing builders and decided on Daniel Brock with dlb2. They moved a wall between the kitchen and great room to open up the home to the lake views through the curved windows.
How far from home: About two hours from Marietta.
How often they’re there: At least two weekends a month.
What they do when they’re there: Golf, play tennis and fish. They are considering buying jet skis for when the kids visit. “They all came down for Labor Day. We hope to make it an annual tradition,” Chris said.
Tips for renovating a second home: Set a clear path for communication with the builder. “We never felt out of the loop. He kept us informed of any problems, anything that came up that was unexpected. We had the final decision on any changes,” Chris said. Their builder provided weekly updates with pictures via e-mail and called at least once a week.
What to consider when purchasing a vacation home short sale: Know before the negotiations begin how much you will need to spend on repairs. “When we made the offer, we had already priced out what the cost would be,” Chris said.
What they love about it: “It’s really a place for all of our family, all of our family’s friends,” Denny said.
At a glance
Denny and Chris Shoemaker’s home in Harbor Club has about 5,000 square feet of livable space. They purchased it in July.
Harbor Club, a golf and country club community, sits on more than 1,000 acres along 9 miles of Lake Oconee. The 19,000-acre lake, owned and operated by Georgia Power, has 374 miles of shoreline. The community, founded in 1989, has 750 property owners, with a little more than 400 homes built. About 200 lots are remaining in company inventory, and Harbor Club is offering owner financing on 25 lots (ranging from $49,000 for an interior wooded lot to $380,000 for a full lake lot). Homes range from the $180,000s for Charleston-style row homes to more than $1.6 million for a lakefront home.
About 80 percent of the residents are full-time, and the median age is 58. Amenities include an 18-hole golf course, 15,000-square-foot clubhouse, swim and tennis center, croquet courts, playground and a polo field that the community has used for concerts.
Take I-20 east toward Augusta to Exit 130 (Ga. 44/Eatonton Road). Turn right onto Ga. 44/Lake Oconee Parkway and travel about 4.3 miles. Turn left onto Club Drive. Travel about a half mile to Harbor Club.
Georgia’s Lake Country
Georgia Power-Lake Oconee
Re/Max Lake Oconee
$1.65 million: 1721 Lighthouse Circle, Greensboro 30642. A five-bedroom, seven-and-a half-bath home built in 2004 with a gas Thermador stove, double ovens, Sub-Zero refrigerator, saltwater pool and hot tub.
$538,000: 1132 Harbor Ridge Drive, Greensboro 30642. A three-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bath home with a finished basement, built in 2005 on the golf course.
$535,000: 1081 Oak Valley Drive, Greensboro 30642. A five-bedroom, four-and-a-half-bath home built in 2009, with a golf course view and a three-car garage.
$940,000: 1360 Winged Foot Drive, Greensboro, 30642. A five-bedroom, three-and-a-half bath lakefront home built in 1997, with built-ins, new carpet and hardwood floors.
Community information provided by Ann Foster with Re/Max Lake Oconee and compiled by Delaney Young.
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