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This brand new construction with saltwater infinity pool sits on a point with breathtaking views up the channel.

Featured Article

Living On Smith Lake Time

Hot summers and mild winters (mostly!), along with plenty of rain to keep water levels high, make the South an ideal region for enjoying lake life. Only 145 miles from Franklin sits Alabama’s Lewis Smith Lake, commonly called “Smith Lake,” rated the second-cleanest lake in the country besides Lake Tahoe. Smith Lake is fed by small rivers that run through rural areas. It reaches a depth of 300 feet and most channels are 100 feet deep, making the lake cleaner and cooler. 

Melinda Edwards, a realtor with Lake Homes Realty, grew up on a 100-acre lakeside farm and has lived there all her life. “My granddaddy was a farmer and although land was hard to afford for him, he bought land prior to the lake being formed, and with the creation of the lake, he provided a wonderful place for generations to enjoy.” 

Melinda wants others to experience the Smith Lake she feels blessed to have. “There’s nothing like seeing the lake from my bed first thing in the morning and watching nature from my deck as I sip a cup of coffee. 
It’s hard to explain how nice it is until you get here,” she continues. 

The lake comprises 22,000 acres with over 500 miles of shoreline. “There’s so much to do year-round. In the summer we have boating, jet skis, kayaking, all the water sports, fishing tournaments for large-mouth
bass, crappie – over 70 species of fish!” 

Winter is perfect for hiking and viewing wildlife – migrating pelicans and ducks, blue herons, protected turtles. “After a day in the sun it’s fun to sit by the fire for weenie roasts and s’mores,” Melinda says.
About half of Lake Homes Realty clients come from Franklin, and buyers from other states are also snapping up properties.

Franklin residents Mindy & Chris Morrison recently purchased a lake cabin for their family. “We love the cliffs, clean water and friendly people. It truly feels like a community,” Mindy says. 

“We have many interesting newcomers arriving in the area,” says Melinda. Some are buying ‘legacy homes’ to pass down to children. The better lots start at $100,000 and homes currently go up to $4.5 million. Lake Homes Realty, under team leader Justin Dyar – aka “Mr. Smith Lake” – produced over $300 million in sales in 2022.

“Some buyers are joining with another family to purchase properties.That’s a way to afford a second home and split the costs,” says Melinda.

One advantage to owning a lake house instead of a beach house is the savings on insurance. “We don’t have hurricanes and floods, as long as you’re not in a flood zone,” she says, “and I believe once you spend time here, it becomes part of your soul.”

Are you thinking of buying a second home? Melinda offers the following ideas to consider:

+ Will you be renting out the home? “The rental market around Smith Lake has really taken off,” says Melinda. “Be sure and choose a neighborhood that allows rentals, including through VRBO and
Airbnb. Rental income can help cover your mortgage!”

+ If your second home is more than a summer place, choose one with year-round water access. Reservoir lakes like Smith Lake have lower pools in the wintertime, with water levels managed by Alabama Power.

+ Hire a property manager to look after your home when you’re not there. “Smith Lake has several concierge service companies that will check on your house and your dock and manage maintenance needs
for their clients,” says Melinda.

+ Work with a local realtor who understands the region’s water access and levels, knows where the flood zones are located, understands dock permitting and access, and who can recommend the best
maintenance teams to help with your plumbing, HVAC and other home care needs.

  • Melinda Edwards (right) and her daughter Brooke Edwards are third- and fourth-generation Smith Lake residents.
  • This brand new construction with saltwater infinity pool sits on a point with breathtaking views up the channel.
  • The 8,000 sq. ft. stunner has 7 bedrooms and 7.5 baths, garage space for 5 cars, state-of-the-art security system, a bunk room, and custom finishes throughout.
  • Built in 2022, the 5-bed 4-bath home is in the exclusive Bear Pen community, one of the most desirable sections on the entire lake! $1,650,000
  • This stunning craftsman home comes with a double-slip boathouse floating on year-round water.