Luxury Lake Oconee Real Estate Group is pleased to announce the addition of Chad Balicki to their team as a licensed Realtor. Chad Balicki has been a Licensed Real Estate Salesperson in Georgia for over 15 years. While being regularly involved in multiple real estate transactions, Chad’s primary career has been in project management and residential/commercial construction.

As a native Georgian and Lake Country enthusiast, Chad attended Georgia College and State University and completed his education at Clayton State University earning a degree in Business and Marketing. Chad and his family reside in the city of Madison. Chad, his wife, Mary, and their three daughters enjoy the numerous advantages of small town living and reap the benefits of exceptional community, philanthropic opportunities, and southern hospitality.

The Balicki family is grateful to be a part of the fellowship at Madison First United Methodist Church where Chad devotes his spare time as a drummer for the Contemporary Worship Service each Sunday morning. Chad and Mary are dedicated supporters of their local YoungLife chapter and members of the Parent Committee for YoungLife. Their eldest daughter is beginning her college career as an honor student at the University of Georgia, while her two sisters attend Morgan County Charter Schools.

“We are excited to have Chad on our team. He is a knowledgeable real estate professional with extensive history in the Lake Country area. Chad will be a great addition as we continue our commitment to provide luxury service to our clients,” said Ted Baker, Managing Broker.

“With experience in managing complex and critical projects, I fully understand the stress and the excitement that buying or selling a home can bring. I am committed to providing clients with exceptional service and delivering superior results,” said Chad.

Luxury Lake Oconee is a full service real estate group of professional, knowledgeable and experienced REALTORS® committed to helping clients navigate any size transaction in residential and commercial real estate. The firm consistently seeks to raise the bar in customer satisfaction. The brokerage has received numerous awards including “Experts in Vacation and Second Homes” by The Atlantan, “Leading Luxury Real Estate Professional,” by Modern Luxury and was recently awarded affiliation with The Leading Real Estate Companies of the World and Luxury Portfolio International. For more information, contact Ted Baker, Managing Broker, at (706) 340-5554.

 

Luxury Lake Oconee Real Estate Group is pleased to announce the addition of Kerry Minster to their team as Executive Assistant to Riezl Baker.

Kerry has lived in the Lake Oconee area since 2007. A native of Tallahassee, Minster attended both the University of Georgia and Florida State University graduating from FSU’s College of Communication with a degree in Sports Information and Marketing. Kerry began her career in the golf business with the Jack Nicklaus-owned tournament management company, Executive Sports, and then as a Media Relations Coordinator for the LPGA Tour working both domestic and international tournaments. Kerry joined the Reynolds Lake Oconee marketing team in 2008 and transitioned to the newly formed public charter school, Lake Oconee Academy (LOA), as its Communications Coordinator in 2010.

Kerry has enjoyed raising two wonderful children, Daryn (19) and Gavin (17), at Lake Oconee in a close-knit and friendly community. “My son Gavin was three years old when we moved here,” said Kerry. “After a week or so, he turned to me and asked, ‘Are we on vacation?’ That really sums up what it is like to live here!”

“Riezl and I have known Kerry for 14 years. Working with her on various charitable projects, we have always admired Kerry’s tremendous work ethic, and we are overjoyed to have her on our team,” said Ted Baker, Managing Broker. “Kerry is the perfect fit for our growing business. She is an experienced and knowledgeable professional with excellent marketing and interpersonal skills which are both essential to providing luxury service in our ever changing industry,” said Riezl Baker.

“Ted and Riezl are dedicated to our community and have participated in many facets of our area’s growth. I have had the pleasure of getting to know many wonderful members of this community through the years, and I am looking forward to continuing to build those relationships at Luxury Lake Oconee Real Estate,” Kerry stated. “I truly appreciate people’s enthusiasm for our community – whether they are discovering Lake Oconee as a lake retreat or making Lake Oconee their full time home.”

Luxury Lake Oconee is a full service real estate group of professional, knowledgeable and experienced REALTORS® committed to helping clients navigate any size transaction in residential and commercial real estate. The firm consistently seeks to raise the bar in customer satisfaction. The brokerage has received numerous awards including “Experts in Vacation and Second Homes” by The Atlantan, “Leading Luxury Real Estate Professional,” by Modern Luxury and was recently awarded affiliation with The Leading Real Estate Companies of the World and Luxury Portfolio International. For more information, contact Ted Baker, Managing Broker, at (706) 340-5554.

Written by Riezl Baker

 

The pandemic has made “staycation” increasingly popular. Families are investing more to create an enjoyable outdoor living space and personal resort in their backyards. Pools and hot tubs have taken center stage and companies are scrambling to meet the wave of demand. When I started in the real estate business 20 years ago, buyers were reluctant to purchase homes with pools as they were considered maintenance nightmares. Today, pools continue to move from the wish list to the “must have” list. Pool contracts are booked out to late 2021 and even early into 2022. There is no doubt that it is one of the biggest trend in real estate these days.

 

The Era of “Spools” – small swimming pools are taking the world by storm especially for smaller backyards. As long as you have some yard space, there is a good chance you can install a “spool” and they now come in a variety of designs. They can also be cost efficient and easier to maintain.

 

Saltwater is In– another pool trend I’ve seen is the use of saltwater systems. Saltwater pools have been around for a while but are now more popular than ever. There is something different about swimming in a saltwater pool -it is gentler on your body than traditional chlorine pools and cost less to maintain.

 

 

Luxury Features– pool ledges, tanning ledges play into the resort theme creating the staycation features in your backyard. Adding the “fire and water” element has also become popular. And what better way to relax than to have a built-in bar to enjoy drinks with your family and friends.

 

 

Let There Be Light…and Colors!- advanced pool lighting option is another trend I’ve seen giving you the ability to change the colors of the pool anytime and allowing you to enjoy it at night. With the LED lighting, you can see better at night and set the mood in your backyard.

Luxury Lake Oconee Real Estate is pleased to announce the addition of Ben Northrop to their team as a licensed Realtor. Prior to moving to Lake Oconee, Ben spent many years representing clients in luxury real estate in Palm Beach, Florida.

Originally from San Francisco, Ben lived in Manhattan for 25 years, and travelled to the Far East while working as an executive in the fashion industry. He moved to Florida and worked on the development of a major regional restaurant group, and was involved in the sale of the company. Ben spent over eight years helping real estate clients in the Palm Beach area. “I spent over 40 years of my career making a distinctive difference by consistently delivering a high level of service,” stated Ben.

Ben fell in love with Lake Oconee when he and wife, Beth, visited in early 2019, and moved to the area full time last year. An avid golfer and fisherman, Ben enjoys the lake and the variety of first class golf and amenities that the community offers. He starts his day with an early morning swim at the Lake Club.

Ben and Beth are active members of Christ Our King and Savior Catholic Church. Beth recently retired after a long and successful career specializing in interior design. Ben believes in giving back and a staple of his community work includes serving as the Board Chairman of Alliance for Kids, a nonprofit organization designed to provide innovative programs and resources to enhance healthcare specialist services for hospitalized children and their families.

“We are excited to have Ben on our team. He is an experienced real estate professional and will be a great addition as we continue our commitment to provide luxury service to our clients,” said Ted Baker, Managing Broker.

Ben and Beth have three children, two in Florida and one in California, two grandchildren (4 and 6), and a White German Shepherd fur baby.

Luxury Lake Oconee is a full service real estate group of professional, knowledgeable and experienced realtors committed to helping clients navigate any size transaction in residential and commercial real estate. The firm consistently seeks to raise the bar in customer satisfaction. Luxury Lake Oconee was launched by Ted and Riezl Baker in January 2020 and had an impressive year closing over $80 million in sales. The brokerage has received numerous awards including “Experts in Vacation and Second Homes” by The Atlantan, “Leading Luxury Real Estate Professional,” by Modern Luxury and was recently awarded affiliation with The Leading Real Estate Companies of the World and Luxury Portfolio International. For more information, contact Ted Baker at (706) 340-5554.

 

A Special Article written by Riezl Baker

As a Foundation Board Member of St. Mary’s Good Samaritan Hospital, I was recently asked why we continue to raise funds for the facility. My answer was that continuous fundraising is essential to ensure that we have the best facilities available and keep up with medical advances and latest technology that can help save and change lives.  Fundraising helps ensure that our hospital can deliver the sophisticated, high quality care you need right here, close to home, today and for years to come.

The pandemic certainly magnified the critical role of Good Samaritan Hospital in protecting the health and safety of our community. We often associate hospitals with illness, but the impact of having a good hospital facility goes beyond the walls of its building. It extends beyond patient care. It is also a critical component to the economic viability of our area.

As a local resident for 24 years, I have witnessed this wonderful community evolve. I was here many years ago when they announced the conceptualization of the Ritz-Carlton hotel. People raised their eyebrows and almost unanimously responded with “What? A Ritz in middle Georgia?” But the hotel’s opening signaled the beginning of a new transformation. People came from all over the world and discovered this beautiful gem of a place, with unparalleled natural beauty and a plethora of amenities.

The opening of St. Mary’s Good Samaritan Hospital in 2013 transformed healthcare in our community and contributed to the growth of the local economy. It has created new jobs, enhanced our quality of life and made this area more attractive to families. Many of our physicians see the tremendous value of the hospital to their practice as they can now perform not only ancillary tests but surgeries locally. A strong local hospital like Good Samaritan is vital to a community’s economic well-being and our area is positioned very well with its presence.

The Expanding Technology, Elevating Care $3 million Capital Campaign is raising funds for the state-of-the-art technology with the new 640 CT scanner, faster than the hospital’s current model. This will enable our healthcare providers to detect and diagnose heart conditions in a non-invasive manner as well as more efficient identification and treatment of stroke victims. The campaign will also allow for increased availability of MRI services.

Louie Seabolt, Foundation Board and Campaign Chair and his committees have worked hard to successfully raise funds in the midst of a pandemic and get us closer to our goal. This speaks volumes of Louie and the leaders who stepped up to undertake this, as well as the generous people of our community who are passionate about safeguarding the quality of healthcare where we live. We are so close to our goal and with your support, we can complete this capital campaign.

Many of us give back to our community through the philanthropic channels we are passionate about.

I hope that you will consider supporting this initiative and campaign that will help elevate the care provided at Good Samaritan Hospital. It is an important cornerstone of our area and beyond treating illness and saving lives, it serves as an economic engine in our community.

For more information or to make a donation to the “Expanding Technology, Elevating Care Capital Campaign,”  please contact Louie at (706) 347-1942 or Riezl at (706) 347-2625.

 

Luxury Lake Oconee Real Estate was recently awarded affiliate status in Leading Real Estate Companies of the World and its luxury marketing division, Luxury Portfolio International. “All selected companies are vetted, not just for performance, but a continued commitment to quality customer experience,” said Ted Baker, Managing Broker/Founding Principal.

Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® (LeadingRE) is a global real estate community comprised of 550 real estate companies awarded membership based on rigorous standards for service and performance. With 4,600 offices and 135,000 sales associates in 70 countries, these firms represent 1.1 million global transactions annually.

 

This distinction ensures that Luxury Lake Oconee Real Estate clients are working with exceptional local professionals who also deliver connections to buyers and quality real estate companies across the country and around the world. The company also benefits from LeadingRE’s industry-leading national and international referral network, professional marketing resources and more.

 

Luxury Lake Oconee Real Estate also earned membership in Luxury Portfolio International® (LPI), an exclusive group of LeadingRE firms that hold significant luxury market share and demonstrate a commitment to the high-end. LPI attracts a global audience of visitors from over 200 countries/territories every month and markets approximately 50,000 luxury homes annually.

 

Based in the United States, LPI is backed by the experience of the most well respected and renowned experts in luxury real estate in markets worldwide. This group collectively has wide spans of experience in the high-end luxury real estate market.

 

Ted Baker notes that selection as a member of LeadingRE and LPI represents another step in the firm’s growth and its strength in the market.

 

“Luxury Lake Oconee is thrilled about joining LeadingRE and LPI. Being a member of this prestigious organization gives us national and global exposure as a top local agency and will contribute to the company’s success in the coming years,” said Baker.

 

“We are delighted to have Luxury Lake Oconee as part of our distinguished network of premier brokerages. The company has an impeccable reputation in Lake Oconee and Georgia, and we are committed to helping the firm achieve even greater success,” said Paul Boomsma, President and CEO of LeadingRE.

 

Luxury Lake Oconee Real Estate is a full service real estate group of experienced, knowledgeable, local Realtors committed to helping clients navigate any size transaction in residential and commercial real estate. With years of combined experience in Lake Oconee real estate, a strong network in the community and an extensive marketing plan, the firm consistently seeks to raise the bar in customer satisfaction. Luxury Lake Oconee was launched in January 2020 by Ted and Riezl Baker and had a very impressive first year with over 100 sold and closed transactions- a remarkable accomplishment for a small group of three active licensed agents and two staff members. The group continues the momentum this year and has closed over 45 transactions amounting to over $50 million from January- May.

 

Luxury Lake Oconee Real Estate Group announces that Jennifer Vaughan was recently honored by the Lake Country Board of Realtors with 2020 Rookie of the Year Award. Vaughan got her real estate license in May 2020 and finished the year with over $10 million in sales volume. “Real estate is a demanding profession requiring long hours of hard work. Jennifer is tenacious and has steel determination to get things done,” said Riezl Baker, Founding Principal of the brokerage, who introduced Vaughan during the recently held realtor board awards banquet.

 

Born in Michigan, Jennifer graduated from the University of Michigan in 1999 and lived in several cities in the Metro Detroit area and Naperville, Illinois before moving to Lake Oconee full time in 2010, where she and her husband Larry are raising their three young boys who all attend Lake Oconee Academy. Prior to real estate, she had a successful sales career in the information technology industry as an Account Executive with software companies Novell, Motorola and Symbol Technologies.  “I understand the needs of my clients because I have personally been on both sides of the real estate spectrum. I love Lake Oconee and I enjoy introducing the lake lifestyle to my clients and friends,” stated Jennifer.

 

“Jennifer is a true professional and I enjoyed working with her on finding our lake home. She went above and beyond for any details that needed to be addressed before closing. Her customer service is at the highest level,” said Jared Krumper, who worked with Jennifer last year.

 

Luxury Lake Oconee Real Estate is a full service brokerage with a mission to provide maximum value and client satisfaction through knowledgeable, local Realtors delivering the highest level of professional service to customers engaged in real estate transactions at Lake Oconee.

For more information, contact Ted Baker, Managing Broker (706) 340-5554.

Greensboro, Ga – Luxury Lake Oconee Real Estate Group is proud to announce that it has been named the Official Title Sponsor of the Georgia PGA Senior Division for 2021. The tour started on January 25 and 26 at Kinderlou Forest Golf Club in Valdosta, Georgia with an all-time high 107 players from all parts of the state. Tournaments will take place throughout the year and will end at Luxury Lake Oconee’s home turf- Greensboro, Georgia.

The Georgia PGA is one of the 41 Sections of the PGA of America. Its membership includes over 890 PGA professionals working at over 260 golf courses, clubs, and ranges throughout the state. Additionally, more than 35 Georgia PGA members compete on one of the PGA Tours. In keeping with the fundamental objectives laid down by its founders, one of the Georgia PGA’s primary goals is promoting the game of golf through clinics, junior and minority golf programs, consumer programs, and print, radio and television media.

The 2021 Georgia PGA Senior Division will host 12 tournaments throughout the state this year. The most recent tournament took place on February 15 and 16 at Doublegate Country Club in Albany, Georgia with an impressive 93 players. Other courses the tournament will visit in 2021 include Sanctuary Golf Club in Waverly, Georgia, Willow Lake in Metter, Georgia, Chapel Hills in Douglasville, Georgia, Newnan Country Club in Newnan, Georgia, and Reynolds Lake Oconee in Greensboro, Georgia.

Glenn Herrel, Head Professional (left) and Michael Berning, President of Georgia Senior PGA (right) at the Georgia Senior PGA Tournament last week at Doublegate Country Club.

“Golf is an important part of the community here at Lake Oconee and we are honored to partner and put our name alongside the Georgia PGA Senior Division to help support a great year of golf in Georgia,” says Ted Baker, Managing Broker and Principal of Luxury Lake Oconee.

Luxury Lake Oconee is a full-service real estate group of experienced, knowledgeable, local Realtors committed to helping clients navigate any size transaction in residential and commercial real estate. With years of combined experience in Lake Oconee real estate, a strong network in the community and an extensive marketing plan, the firm consistently seeks to raise the bar in customer satisfaction. Luxury Lake Oconee was launched in January 2020 and had a very impressive first year despite the pandemic with over 100 sold and closed transactions. For more information, please contact Ted Baker at (706) 453-9243 or visit luxurylakeoconee.com.

Written by Lindsey Moore

Ted and Riezl Baker were recently honored as “Experts in Second Homes and Vacation Properties” and “Most Philanthropic Agents” during an event held at the Atlanta Decorative Arts Center (ADAC) hosted by Bentley, Interiors Atlanta Magazine and Modern Luxury Group. There were over 300 realtors nominated in different categories and winners were selected by an internal board and committee based on their qualifications.

The couple moved to Lake Oconee in 1997 and have been a part of the many positive changes in the area. “Our family is fortunate to serve alongside great leaders of our community and we are grateful for the chance to give back when called upon,” commented Ted, Managing Broker.  The Bakers founded the Lake Oconee Food and Wine Festival in 2010 to benefit education. What started out as a small event held at a garden center has become a highly anticipated yearly event held at the Ritz-Carlton that is now enjoyed by hundreds of visitors and community members.

Riezl was part of the first foundation board that helped raise money to open the St. Mary’s Good Samaritan Hospital in 2013. She served as Chair of the Foundation Board in 2018 and 2019. She also chaired the Heart and Soul Gala for three years at the Ritz-Carlton, one of the lake’s biggest fundraising event. Riezl believes in giving back to the industry she loves and served as President of the Lake Country Board of Realtors in 2016. Currently, she is a Board Director for the Oconee Performing Arts Society (OPAS).

Ted co-chaired the successful Lake Oconee Academy’s Capital Campaign that raised money for the new high school building. He currently serves as Chairman of the Greene County Voters and Registration Board. He is currently the President-Elect for the Lake Country Board of Realtors. He furthers his community work by volunteering to help in the youth program at Christ Our King and Savior Catholic Church.

For over 20 years, Ted and Riezl have built a strong reputation and a record of success in Lake Oconee real estate. The couple formed their brokerage, Luxury Lake Oconee this past January and continue to gain an upward momentum that they attribute to a strong marketing plan with a target of reaching a broader base of customers. They also give credit to their efficient and driven team. “We all bring our A-game every single day,” stated Riezl. “We put our clients’ interests first and believe that our job goes beyond identifying or selling a house. We also solve problems along the way and strive for successful transactions and great experience for everyone involved,” Riezl added.

“We are humbled to be recognized alongside some of the best Realtors in Atlanta,” stated Ted. Luxury Lake Oconee Real Estate is a full-service brokerage dedicated to providing professional service to customers engaged in residential and commercial real estate. For more information, visit www.luxurylakeoconee.com.

 

 

Luxury Lake Oconee Real Estate continues its upward trajectory with no signs of stopping. When Ted and Riezl Baker launched their brokerage in January of this year, no one could have known how the pandemic would change the world. The couple was determined to push through unprecedented times by creating a strategy to stay engaged with their customers while casting a wide net to market their properties. Today, they are seeing the results of their efforts with over $36 million in sold and pending properties for the first half of the year.

“The pandemic fueled a migration into our community,” said Ted Baker, Managing Broker and President-Elect for the local board of realtors. “Our team was determined to succeed by finding ways to provide superb service to our customers even during the most challenging times,” he added.

Susan Mason, one of the group’s clients can attest to this quality of service. “From the moment we engaged with the team, we received, among other things, knowledgeable, professional, and timely service. I cannot recall one occasion when we reached out for anything; the team proactively engaged with us to ensure all of our questions were answered. This not only happened pre-sale, it happened post sale,” she shared.

Ted also attributes the company’s positive momentum to a strong marketing plan, and an efficient team. He credits Riezl for innovative marketing with a target of reaching a broader base of customers, “Riezl is one of the most driven and creative people I know,” remarked Ted.
Mark Gibson, whose house sold in the midst of the pandemic after being on the market with another brokerage for over a year, was ecstatic that Luxury Lake Oconee sold it after three weeks. “The team puts you in the passenger seat as they drive the process, they have the map and know the way to get it done! Each member of the team is hyper focused on ensuring the process is seamless to busy professional lives and schedules. The marketing and communication plan is stellar and solid, results driven. I have bought and sold real estate over two dozen times in my military career and Luxury Lake Oconee team is second to none,” said Mark.

Luxury Lake Oconee Real Estate Group believes that technology and marketing play a pivotal role in today’s real estate environment. “As the market, technology and the needs of our clients change, it is imperative that we evolve to serve the change,” stated Ted. “But nothing can replace dedicated, personal and professional service that we provide to our clients,” he added.

Luxury Lake Oconee Real Estate prides itself for going above and beyond when they list properties, and that includes actively reaching buyers through their many platforms. “We serve our listings. We are usually present at showing appointments to help sell the property. We don’t just leave a lockbox at the front door and track access through our phones,” stated Riezl.

The migration to our community will continue and so will the demand for knowledgeable, local realtors. Luxury Lake Oconee Real Estate Group offers over 40 years of combined real estate experience and a thorough knowledge of the inventory to assist buyers and sellers with their real estate needs.