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Old 08-27-2011, 06:36 AM
 
Location: Simi Valley, Ca.
2 posts, read 4,274 times
Reputation: 10

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My wife and I want to retire on a lake and we think that one of the B'ham area lakes look pretty nice. We're thinking that Lake Lay may be the one and we're coming to look at homes next week. Would Lake Lay be a good choice ? Is it hard to get used to humidity, heat and bugs ? We don't have to deal with these things in So Cal.
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Old 08-27-2011, 08:51 AM
 
Location: Foley, AL
179 posts, read 406,209 times
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There are many good lake locations in the state, as well as the coastal area. Lakes Wheeler, Guntersville, Lay, Martin, and so on. You should contact a realtor that specializes in lakefront properties. The only person I know that lived on one of the lakes did live on Lay Lake, and was big in the bass tournament scene there. Then I introduced him to golf, and within two years he couldn't wait to move away from the lake and closer to the city courses...but his work was all in and around Birmingham, and he began to hate the drive. If you can, talk to those that live there now and find out the ups/downs and all that. The lakes created by Alabama Power do have a lot of change in depth seasonally. And it definitely will be hot, humid, and buggy (skeeters, gnats, wasps, etc.). I've live in it all my life, so it's no big deal. Maybe visit in August one year to see if you can handle it.


Ron
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Old 08-27-2011, 12:56 PM
 
28,895 posts, read 54,165,927 times
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I think a good plan would be to take a week's vacation and tour around to the various lakes. After all, there are any number of factors that might factor into your decisions, whether it's proximity to really good healthcare (Logan Martin is 30 minutes from Birmingham), good shopping and cultural amenities (Logan Martin and Guntersville), etc. etc. Plus no matter how much research you do, you have to live where it just feels right to you. Contact a realtor in each of those areas, give them a list of your priorities and see what they come up with. Also, I'd tour some of these towns, chiefly because they will be ones that are the biggest ones on whatever lake you choose:

Logan Martin -- Pell City
Guntersville -- Guntersville
Martin -- Alexander City
Weiss -- Gadsden

Hope that helps!
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Old 08-27-2011, 03:56 PM
 
Location: Pelham
43 posts, read 108,006 times
Reputation: 23
I'd have to give my vote to Lake Martin 1st and Smith Lake would be 2nd on my list. Like the poster above suggests, definitely come down and check out your top choices.
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Old 08-28-2011, 07:37 AM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
1,654 posts, read 7,348,405 times
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Definitely Lake Martin.
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Old 08-28-2011, 08:51 AM
 
Location: West Coast of Europe
25,947 posts, read 24,749,338 times
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Just saw this thread on the overview page, I don't have any interest in Alabama. Still, I was wondering if a Californian could be happy in Alabama. Isn't it culturally a pretty different world? Much more conservative...
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Old 08-28-2011, 09:32 AM
 
Location: Here and There
2,538 posts, read 3,877,337 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neuling View Post
Just saw this thread on the overview page, I don't have any interest in Alabama. Still, I was wondering if a Californian could be happy in Alabama. Isn't it culturally a pretty different world? Much more conservative...
It may be more conservative, but maybe the OP is conservative by nature, and California is too liberal. I do know that Alabama is much more affordable, especially for retirees. I think a person can be happy wherever they live, if they are happy with themselves. Geography does not define happiness.
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Old 08-28-2011, 04:35 PM
 
28,895 posts, read 54,165,927 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neuling View Post
Just saw this thread on the overview page, I don't have any interest in Alabama. Still, I was wondering if a Californian could be happy in Alabama. Isn't it culturally a pretty different world? Much more conservative...
Actually there are three California families on my street. None have the slightest intention of moving back.
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Old 08-28-2011, 06:48 PM
 
Location: Tuscaloosa,AL
138 posts, read 254,539 times
Reputation: 154
Check out Smith Lake, it can be a little bit crowded in some places though.
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Old 08-29-2011, 04:39 PM
 
213 posts, read 404,168 times
Reputation: 482
Living in a heavily wooded neighborhood on the side of Red Mountain (within the city limits of Birmingham), I can't directly comment on lake living.

However, several of our neighbors purchased lake houses to use as second/weekend homes, and they all chose Smith Lake in Cullman County. They seem to like it a lot (in fact one liked it so much he sold his home here and moved to the lake permanently).

Also, we have friends who own a luxury home on a private lake (Deerwood Lake) near Harpersville. It's in a beautiful gated community. If you have the means and the taste for this kind of living, you might ask the realtors about such developments.

Don't quite understand what the big deal is about bugs in Alabama. After living here five years, we've had no problem at all with such things. In fact I've never once been bitten by a mosquito or gnat, even though I take my dog on nightly walks and often sit out on our back deck (and I don't use things like insect repellant).

There don't seem to be many flies, wasps, hornets, etc. in our neighborhood. And we seldom see insects in the house. Every three months we have the outside periphery of the foundation treated by a pest control service and that seems to do the trick. Of course, in this climate yearly termite inspections and regular treatments are mandatory.

As for heat and humidity, we retired here from the Washington, D.C. area, so are used to it. In spite of all the griping about it, folks seem to adjust to it and don't let it interfere too much with their daily lives. But you need to check it out for yourself to see if you can live with it.

We are enjoying retirement in Alabama. We find the quality of health care in Birmingham better than we experienced in the D.C. area, and my 403b retirement income is exempt from state income tax. Also, by standards of places like California, housing is a freaking bargain.

As people recommended, do your own investigations. Best of luck with whatever you decide.
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