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Choosing a Smith Mountain Lake Realtor

You’ve visited the Smith Mountain Lake area enough to know that you’re absolutely in love with the location. You’re thinking that now is the time to invest in that vacation home that you’ve always dreamed of. You begin your search of Smith Mountain Lake realtors, but quickly become overwhelmed at all of the options. How do you make a decision when you’re not even sure where to begin?

Purchasing a home is perhaps the largest investment that you will make in your life. Partnering with the right person to help you make the best decisions is almost as important as the property itself. Inexperienced realtors may not be able to answer all of your questions, which may keep you from finding that ideal property.

Here are some points to consider when choosing a realtor:

1. Experience: It goes without saying, but a realtor who has been successful for a number of years is doing something right. When vetting out potential candidates, ask how long he or she has been a realtor in the Smith Mountain Lake area.
2. Recommendations: Do you have a friend or family member who recently purchased a Smith Mountain Lake home? If so, ask them who they used and if they would recommend their services. Also, visit the Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce and ask for advice on which realtor might be the best fit for your needs.
3. Communication: When you’re meeting with potential realtors to find the one that’s best for you, ask them how they will be communicating with you, particularly if you are house-hunting from afar. A seasoned real estate agent will accommodate your schedule and your preferred method of communication, whether it’s phone, text or email.
4. Areas of Expertise: Ask your realtor what types of homes and geographical areas they specialize in. For example, if you’re searching for lakefront property, lake access, or golf communities, then you’ll want to make sure that your preferred agent has experience in representing these areas.
Also, be upfront with your realtor so that he or she knows your preferences before you begin the home search process. If you’d like to have access to specific amenities, such as private dock, clubhouse or tennis, then your realtor will be able to narrow down your search.

With over 20 years of industry experience, Karlen Tinti is a proven leader in the Smith Mountain Lake real estate market. Representing both buyers and sellers, Karlen has helped clients from all over the country find their dream home. Specializing in lakefront and lake access properties, town homes, condos, golf communities and more, Karlen’s experience makes her an ideal choice for customers who value expertise, confidence and a strong knowledge of the Smith Mountain Lake area.

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Speak Smith Mountain Like A Local

You’ve decided to move to Smith Mountain Lake. You’re giddy at the prospect of seemingly endless summers, sunbathing on your lakefront patio, and exploring 500 miles of shoreline at a moment’s notice. Your dream of living a vacation lifestyle has finally come to fruition. Now it’s time to figure out where you’re going to set your anchor.

Even though Smith Mountain Lake is a close-knit community, it still encompasses a rather large area. For example, did you know that SML touches three different counties: Franklin, Bedford and Pittsylvania? Each of these areas have their own unique personality and it’s important for you to get to know them as you’re starting your home search.

As an experienced resident REALTOR®, I have an extensive amount of knowledge on each and every neighborhood, development and community within the Smith Mountain Lake area. And while this list doesn’t encompass every single one of them, it does help explain each locality in more detail.


If you’ve vacationed at Smith Mountain Lake, then chances are you know this area very well. Westlake is considered one of the more developed areas of Smith Mountain Lake. Located in Franklin County, addresses include Hardy, Wirtz, Burnt Chimney, Scruggs and the western side of Moneta. (Note: it’s pronounced “moe-knee-tah,” not “moe-net-ah.”)

Westlake is also home to many commercial business developments. Here you’ll find Westlake Towne Center, which houses grocery stores, gift shops, cinemas, pharmacies and restaurants. Sunken City Brewery is also located across the street from Westlake Towne Center, which is a great place to socialize during the summer months.

Medical facilities are also prevalent at Westlake. VelocityCare by Carilion is the perfect solution for “urgencies that aren’t emergencies.” A number of family physicians, pediatricians, chiropractors and dentists are also located in this area.


Even though it doesn’t have a formal name, if you tell someone to meet you at “The Bridge,” they know exactly where you are. Located at Halesford Bridge (the bridge that connects Westlake to Eastlake) The Bridge is a commercial development that serves as the entertainment hub of Smith Mountain Lake. Here you’re find various indoor/outdoor restaurants and bars, arcades, ice cream parlors, retail shops selling everything from flip flops to fine art, mini golf and marinas equipped with watersports rentals (jet skis, pontoons, speedboats, and more!)

You’ll also have the chance to feed our infamous carp! Simply pick up a bag of popcorn from the area marinas and watch as dozens upon dozens of carp clamor for a tasty treat. But watch out, because our resident domesticated ducks will swoop in and steal that popcorn before it barely hits the water.


Eastlake encompasses most of the Bedford County side of Smith Mountain Lake. Popular townships include the eastern side of Moneta, Goodview and Huddleston. Eastlake is one of the more up and coming developing areas around SML. Downtown Mayberry is a commercial development that is as quaint as it is convenient. A combination of fine dining and casual pizzerias and cafes provide delectable dishes suitable for any palette. Various shopping outlets, with everything from home furnishings to clothing and accessories, are also located within this complex.

Eastlake is also home to Smith Mountain Lake State Park. The State Park has a public beach, fishing piers, picnic areas, and trails perfect for walking, hiking and biking. A playground is also on site for the little ones.


Southlake is comprised of Union Hall, Penhook, and Glade Hill. The SML Dam is also located in Southlake. This area is the least commercially developed of Smith Mountain Lake, but is home to many prestigious housing developments. Those who desire a combination of lakefront living and rolling acreage and privacy will fall in love with Southlake.

Southlake straddles both Franklin County and Pittsylvania County.


The beauty of the Smith Mountain Lake area is the convenience of the location. Each of these areas are only moments from one another and are easily accessible by car or boat. And while some townships are more developed than others, each one has their own personality.

It’s important to explore these areas prior to moving to Smith Mountain Lake. I’ll be able to answer any question that you may have regarding your relocation. What are the schools like? Which medical facilities are nearby? Where are the closest public beaches?

Buying a home, whether it’s your primary residence or a vacation getaway, is a huge investment. You’ll want to partner with someone who can help you navigate the waters of Smith Mountain Lake, so to speak. You may have your heart set on a lakefront home in Eastlake, but what if a rural estate in Southlake with lake access suits your needs best?

I take the time to get to know you and your interests. My job isn’t to find you a house; it’s to find you a home.

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Enjoy the Great Outdoors

Smith Mountain Lake offers recreational activities for all ages.

Offering a perfect balance of relaxation and recreation, Smith Mountain Lake greets residents and guests with a host of entertaining options. From watersports to wine tastings, you’ll soon discover that SML offers something for everyone.

If you crave high-octane adventure, then you’ll definitely want to check out our local marinas and get outfitted for water recreation. Waterskiing, jet skiing, wakeboarding, knee boarding, tubing and parasailing are all popular activities at SML. If you’re new to watersports, you may want to sign up for a quick lesson or two so that you can learn the ins and outs of each sport before delving into deeper waters. Safety is always a top priority at Smith Mountain Lake, so pay close attention to the trained professionals at the marinas as they give you important instructions on how to enjoy the water responsibly.

If you’re more of a “land-lubber,” then check out the Smith Mountain Lake State Park. Here you’ll find various trails designated for hiking, biking and walking. There’s also a public beach for those who want to relax in the summer sun and catch up on a good book. You’ll also find a number of picnic areas and playgrounds with equipment suitable for smaller children.

Those searching for something involving a little less adrenaline will enjoy visiting our area wineries. Smith Mountain Lake is part of the SoVA (Southern Virginia Wine Trail) and offers visitors a unique experience at each destination. Many of our wineries are decorated with decades of award-winning wines that are certainly worth sampling. Plus you can purchase a bottle or two to accompany dinner or give as gifts to family and friends.

If retail therapy is on your agenda, then you’ll want to visit our local shops and outlets. From swimwear to sundresses, designer accessories to custom jewelry, you’ll discover fresh, new styles that will soon become the staple of your summer wardrobe. Make sure you pamper your tired feet with a pedicure from one of our local day spas. Or sink into the plush seating at Westlake Cinema and catch the latest films while cooling off from the summer heat.

If you’re into live music, then make plans to have dinner and drinks at Bridgewater Plaza. Affectionately referred to as “the bridge” by locals, Bridgewater Marina is a hot spot for nighttime performances from local and regional talent. You can also grab dinner and drinks from one of restaurants nearby. Or test your skills at mini-golf, rock climbing or ring toss games. You can get to Bridgewater Plaza by car or by boat.

Of course, the beauty of Smith Mountain Lake is that you can simply sit on the dock, dangle your feet in the water, and reflect on the beauty that surrounds you. It’s exhilarating and relaxing all at the same time.

If you’re ready to begin your search for Smith Mountain Lake homes, then contact your Smith Mountain Lake Connection: Karlen Tinti. As a REALTOR® with extensive experience in the SML market, I work with buyers to find the home of their dreams.