6/11/14 8:55 am Updated 12:30pm
Lake Whitney, Texas-The story made national news this morning as a White Bluff home continues to hang in pieces from the edge of a 70-foot cliff. Authorities from the Corps of Engineers are onsite in the water keeping boaters away from the area beneath the house. The house is inside a gated community, where security is keeping out both gawkers and reporters.
Here is what it means to you:
- Vacationing at Lake Whitney this summer is safe. None of the small “Mom & Pop” resorts or parks are close to White Bluff.
- Only one cliff on the northern portion of the lake is affected. This is an isolated incident. Cliffs along the rest of the lake and the Brazos River are safe.
- This was not a sudden incident without warning. The owners have known about a large crack through the property for more than a year. The power was already cut off and the house was vacant.
- And NO you cannot rent our boats to go see the house.
This is a before photo, taken two years ago.
Whether buying or selling, most people don’t have a plan for hiring a real estate agent. They usually just end up with someone recommended by a friend or neighbor, or with whoever’s name is on the sign in front of the first property that catches their fancy. But there is a better way.
Celebrities have advance meetings with agents vying for their business.
It’s not too much to ask for a meeting with an agent before you commit to list or look at properties. Make a list of potential agents, then call and ask for a brief meeting, preferably at a neutral location, like a coffee house maybe?
Celebrities take along their “people” for the meeting.
So take yours along too. A friend who has recently been through a real estate transaction can be invaluable. They may think of things to ask that you might not.
Celebrities ask for a plan.
If you’re listing your property you need to know exactly how the agent will market it. Ask for details beyond the standard sign in the yard, local classifieds, and “on our website.” If your property is noteworthy, then speak up and ask for things like press releases, featured listing status, and larger signage.
If you’re shopping for property, you need to know that the agent understands the specifics of what you are looking for. Ask for a follow-up to your meeting in writing so that you know they paid attention.
Celebrities meet with more than one agent before they commit.
You need to know that the agent you choose to work with values you, not just the commission they stand to make. You need to feel comfortable with the agent, confident in their ability to negotiate the twists and turns of a real estate transaction. And yet you need to feel in control of the relationship. No matter what your real estate experience level, the agent should make you feel like you are in charge, not just being drug along for the ride. The agent is your advocate, but you must ultimately make the important decisions.
Celebrities Use Local Companies
Even if they know big shot real estate people in Hollywood, celebrities understand the need for local advice and experience when they are involved in transactions beyond Hollywood’s boundaries.
If you’re shopping for property in the Lake Whitney area you shouldn’t rely entirely on an agent from outside the area. Lake Whitney real estate has some crucial factors to consider like Corps of Engineers boundaries and restrictions. The advice you get from a local agent is invaluable.
Here are two Lake Whitney real estate offices that know the ins and outs of area properties and who will treat you like a celebrity:
Sauer & Associates
Bosque Real Estate
If you spend very much time searching for accommodations on Lake Whitney you are likely to find a variety of descriptive terms used to describe cabins and their relationship to the lake. Lake Whitney is a flood control lake with a 40 foot flood pool above the official “normal” level. That means that nothing but campsites situated on Corps of Engineers property can be located in the flood zone. That also means no cabins or houses sit right next to the water on Lake Whitney.
Almost all properties on the lake adjoin land owned by the Corps of Engineers. These properties are considered “lakefront,” but since in almost all cases there is public land between the private property line and the water’s edge, there are very few “waterfront” properties on the lake. In fact I only know of one area that can claim to be “waterfront” and that only happens when the lake is at or above the normal level of 533′ (which is rare) because they are located far up into tiny fingers beyond the normal Corps of Engineers boundaries that surround the lake.
Those properties have no lake access at all when the water level is below normal. Lake Whitney is a deep lake (108′ in the center) but it stays below the designated normal by 8-10 feet most of the time.
With that in mind, the only two “lakefront” or “lakeside” accommodation choices are:
- Perched atop limestone cliffs out of the flood area, but directly above the water.
- On sloping hillsides back away from the water’s edge.
The questions you should ask when determining which accommodations work best for you are:
- Exactly how do you access the water from the the cabin?
- How far is it to the water?
- What is the shoreline like at their location? Smooth? Rocky?
- Is it possible to swim?
- Is it possible to tie up my boat?
- Is there a public area with a view of the lake?Is there a view of the water from the cabin I have in mind?
Here at Arrowhead we are on a sloping hillside, not a cliff. That means we have easy access to a smooth shoreline. We have a trail that is about 150 yards down the hill to the water. Once at the shore, you have full access to several miles of non-rocky shoreline at your disposal. Because we are not in a cove, we have a wide view of open water from most of the property. Some cabins have better views than others, but there is lots of public space from which to enjoy the view.