Smith Mountain Lake Real Estate – Debbie Shelton

Fun Day Trips from Smith Mountain Lake

While tearing yourself away from Smith Mountain Lake seems unimaginable, on occasion you and your family may want to explore the areas that surround SML. One of the draws of living at Smith Mountain Lake is its central location, making travel to and from the area a snap.

Smith Mountain Lake spans three counties: Franklin, Bedford, and Pittsylvania. Each of these counties offer a welcoming, small-town atmosphere with distinct local charm. Enjoy a relaxing drive through the countryside, or

The “Star City” of Roanoke is less than an hour from SML and offers a multitude of restaurants, shops, museums, and entertainment venues including the Berglund Center, Elmwood Park, and Dr. Pepper Park. All three venues host local, regional, and nationally touring acts.

If smaller music venues are more your speed, check out The Harvester Performance Center in Rocky Mount, which is around 30 minutes from Westlake. The Harvester is located in Downtown Rocky Mount and is within walking distance to local restaurants and farmer’s markets.

Other popular destinations for day trips from Smith Mountain Lake include Lynchburg, Blacksburg, and the Greensboro/Triad area in North Carolina.

The Best Places to Visit at Smith Mountain Lake

Memorial Day is the official kickoff of the Smith Mountain Lake summer vacation season, and the area is prepping for warmer weather, barbecues, and long, lazy afternoons on the water. If you’re a longtime SML enthusiast, you probably have a list of must-see SML hot spots that you’re anxious to explore. And if this is your first time visiting the lake, you’ve probably spent some time researching all of the fun activities the area has to offer.

Regardless of how familiar you are with SML, take a moment to read through my list of Best Places to Visit at Smith Mountain Lake. You might just find a new favorite to add to your list.

Westlake Towne Center: If you need to stock up on supplies for your visit, make Westlake Towne Center your first stop. Here you’ll find plenty of options for groceries, eateries, shops, and entertainment. It’s centrally-located off of route 122, making it an easy stop on your way to the lake.

Bridgewater Plaza: No trip to the lake would be complete without hitting up Bridgewater Plaza. Home to mini-golf, an arcade, and plenty of gift shops, Bridgewater Plaza is easily accessible by car or boat. One of the most popular activities is feeding the carp down by the boardwalk, so make sure to add this SML rite of passage to your list.

Smith Mountain Lake State Park: A public beach, fishing piers, and miles of biking/hiking trails make this beautiful park a favorite for residents and guests alike. There are plenty of picnic areas and a playground for the kids.

Of course, the area’s main attraction is the lake itself, so head out on the water and soak up all of that Smith Mountain Lake sun and fun. Just make sure to sprinkle in a few area attractions so that you can enjoy all that SML has to offer.

Tips for First-Time Homebuyers

Your upstairs neighbor seems to walk in iron shoes. The couple next door loves to argue at 2am.  And your landlord refuses to fix your thermostat, keeping your apartment at 60 degrees all winter long. Just as you’re signing your check for next month’s rent, you start asking yourself if you can handle one more month of your neighbor’s toddler screaming her ABCs.

Before you jump the gun and turn in your notice, read through this list of tips for first-time home buyers and see if you’re prepared to take the first step into home ownership:

  1. How is your credit?  Your credit score is important because it tells financial institutions what kind of borrower you will be. A high credit score is a sign of financial responsibility and allows you to get the best possible rate for your home loan. Take the time to look at your credit score and rectify any errors that you see. And if your credit is on the low side, start taking the steps to repair it.
  2. How much home can you afford? We all tend to dream big rather than realistically, so taking the time to see how much home you can actually afford could be a major eye-opener. If you’re living paycheck-to-paycheck, you might have a hard time coming up with funds for home maintenance and repair, especially in the case of an emergency. Take a look at your incoming and outgoing expenses and track your monthly spending to ensure that you don’t get in over your head.
  3. Do you have proof of income? Lenders need to see how much money you earn, so make sure you have proof of income, such as recent pay stubs, W-2s, and tax returns. If you are self-employed, you may have a harder time securing a loan, so make sure you have access to two years’ worth of earning history to present to your mortgage lender.
  4. Start interviewing realtors. Partnering with an experienced real estate agent will ease the process of first-time home buying. Not only will you have an expert on your side to help walk you through the process, but your realtor will always look out for your best interest. Choose a realtor with experience in the type of home you are interested in purchasing, and always ask for references.

Thinking about purchasing a home in the Smith Mountain Lake or Roanoke area? Contact me today and let’s get started.

 -Source: 5 Essential Money Moves for First-Time Homebuyers, Bankrate.com.