Brian & Darren's Smith Lake Blog

You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from People, Places, Food & Events local to Smith Lake. We care about our Community and want you to find YOUR place in it. We hope this Blog may help with that!

Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!

March 30, 2022

Why you need a Smith Lake Buyers Agent

Why you should use a Buyers Agent when Purchasing

a Home or Lot on Smith Lake.



Like many others, you’re drawn to the Natural Beauty of Lewis Smith Lake and now you’ve decided to pursue purchasing a Smith Lake Home, or a Lot for a future build and now you‘re probably wondering what your next step should be….


Should you look at listings online?

 Definitely. That’s a great place to start, and we’re biased but we think the website you’re already on is the best place to start!


Should I think about what type of property I want? 

Yes, for example - do you want a secluded cove with a more relaxed feel or something on the main with Big Water Views?


I saw a House/Lot I’m interested in, should I call the Listing Agent? 

Hold up, that may be a bad decision. We've spoken with numerous Clients that told us one of their regrets in their purchase was relying on the Listing Agent (or Listing Agency) to represent them as well as the Seller. The first step you should take is arranging a Buyers Agent to represent YOU. Water Depths, HOA’s, Dock Permits, Elevations…. There are a lot of variables on Smith Lake to be taken into account and the best position for you is with a Buyers Agent as opposed to relying on the Listing Agent. 


There are a number of reasons why you should arrange a Buyers Agent before Purchasing Real Estate on Smith Lake. Today we’re going to discuss 5 of those Reasons. But first - an overview of a term called “Fiduciary Duty” which plays a large part in protecting your interests in the Buying Process.


Fiduciary Duty is described by the U.S. Legal System as a relationship between two parties that obligates one party (Buyers Agent) to act solely in the interests of the other (You - the Buyer). Fiduciary Duties are the highest duties known to the Law.


1. Listing Agents work for the Seller, Buyers Agents work for you. 

The Listing Agent has a Pre-existing relationship with the Seller and was hired to produce the best outcome (Price & Terms) for the Seller; but your Buyers Agents has a Fiduciary Duty to you and your best outcome. Another thing to remember is that Alabama is a “Caveat Emptor” (Latin for “Buyer Beware”) State, this means that the only obligation the Seller or their Agent have in regards to disclosing the condition of the property to a Buyer is in the case of a Health or Safety related issue. This is true even when the Listing Agent or Agency represents both sides & lakefront property brings more variables to the transaction than many other types of property; such as Elevations, Dock Permits, Water Depths, etc.  If the Seller already has someone working for them and looking out for their best interests, shouldn’t you bring representation that has a duty to put your interests above all others to work for you in the transaction? Let’s also not gloss over the fact that Alabama requires a signed disclosure of Dual Agency when one Agent or Agency represents both the Buyer & Seller in a Real Estate Transaction, and there’s a reason for that. Using the Listing Agent is often compared to being sued and asking the Lawyer that is suing you to represent you too! 

2. The Terms of the relationship are clear.

In Dual Agency, sometimes the terms of relationships between the Principals involved & the Agents are clouded, but when you have a Buyers Agent representing you, where they stand is crystal clear. Your Buyers Agent has the Fiduciary Duty to put your interests above all others including their own. And let's not forget that your Buyers Agent is paid from the already agreed Commission percentage that the Seller & Listing Agent worked out at the time of listing, you won't be adding an extra expense by having your own interests represented.


3. Buyers Agents maximize your productivity because Time is Money.

Scheduling multiple showings with multiple agents can get pretty complex, especially when inventory is tight and the market is hot. We know the Lake, and how to navigate around it so we arrange showings with logistics in mind to ensure your time is as productive as possible. We prefer to show by Boat when weather allows and many times that’s the fastest way to get from one point to another on Smith Lake as Smith covers 3 counties and has 500+ miles of Shoreline.


4. Buyers Agents advise you on offers & become your negotiator.

 Knowledge of the market is key in any negotiation, and our focus is the Smith Lake Market. Leverage our intimate knowledge of Smith Lake to negotiate with your best outcome in mind. Together we’ll discuss Terms, Timelines, Pricing & the Structure of any offer and become your voice. The decisions are yours but you can rely on us for advice & to negotiate solely for you toward your best outcome. This is your transaction, but we’re there beside you to see it through!


5. Buyers Agents handle the “Heavy Lifting” for you.

The buying process can be very emotional and Smith Lake throws extra puzzle pieces into the mix since we have to account for all the normal things plus Elevations, Dock Permits, Water Depths & other things Smith Lake Specific. This is where having a Smith Lake Buyers Agent working on your behalf really brings the value you seek. We have conversations about all those things and more daily, they’re second nature to us. As Buyers Agents, we’re well versed in managing the process of buying Real Estate on Smith Lake from start to finish & we pride ourselves in standing beside you throughout your journey to Smith Lake!


Many people think they should just call the Agent on the sign (Listing Agent ) because they will “get a better deal” and that they “Know more about the property”, but neither of those may actually be the case in reality. Many times the outcome is simply that you didn’t have someone to negotiate solely for you, with the end result of paying a higher price for a Home and Dock/Waterfront that you’re not truly satisfied with.


If you're considering Buying or Selling on Smith Lake, we'd love to discuss your needs with you.

Brian Glenn (205) 388-9777 or Darren Raspino (205) 807-2381


Brian & Darren were named one of the Top 2 Real Estate Agent teams on Smith Lake

in the "Best of Smith Lake" by the readers of The Lakeside Life.



March 8, 2022

Smith Lake Top 5 Things to Consider as a Smith Lake Home Buyer

Top 5 Things to Consider when Buying on Smith Lake




There are many things to consider when purchasing a home on Smith Lake, today we point out 5 important considerations and point out why these things are important when purchasing a Home on Lewis Smith Lake.

1. Inspections

We always recommend a Licensed Home Inspector be brought in to give us a snapshot of status of all the systems of the Home (Electrical, Structural, Plumbing, etc)

2. Elevations & Flood Insurance

On Smith Lake it's essential to know what the elevations are of the property you are considering purchasing. That's how we find out where APCO's Storage Easement ends and also that we know the Flood Insurance status of the Home.

3. HOA Considerations

Is the Home you're considering purchasing located in a neighborhood with a HOA or Restrictions? We'll always make sure that you're aware of those restrictions and current HOA Dues if applicable.

4. APCO Shoreline Permits

Is there a current APCO Permit on the Property? Does it have a Legacy Permit? How do those affect you moving forward if you want to make adjustments or get a different Dock?

5. Water Depths

How deep is the water your Dock does/will sit on? We always want to make certain there is enough depth at Winter Pool for your needs!


If you're considering Buying or Selling on Smith Lake, we'd love to discuss your needs with you.

Reach out to us by phone

Brian (205) 388-9777

Darren (205) 807-2381

March 7, 2022

Top 5 Reasons Elevations Matter on Smith Lake

Smith Lake Top 5 - Elevations

The Top 5 Reasons Elevations Matter on Smith Lake


Another Smith Lake Top 5 Video from Brian Glenn & Darren Raspino.

Today we cover Different Elevations on Smith Lake and why it's of the utmost importance to know what the elevations are on a piece of Smith Lake Property.

We'll be talking about these topics:

1. Why is knowing my Elevations Important?

We cover the 510' ASL - 522' ASL APCO Water Storage Easement & Lake levels as related to Flood Insurance.

2. Full or "Summer Pool" levels -

What is Full Pool on Smith Lake, and when do we see it?

3. Changes in Lake levels -

Springtime Lake levels, When & Why?

4. Winter Pool -

Offseason Levels, When & Why?

5. How do I find out my Elevations? -

How to find out where the 510' level, the 522' Flood Easement & the 524' FEMA Flood Line are.


Lake Levels and elevations on Smith Lake are at the core of everyday life. They dictate how much water is under your dock for swimming or boating, knowing where you can build your dream home to keep from requiring Flood Insurance, and knowing where APCO's easement reaches.


As Full Time Smith Lake REALTORS® Brian & Darren assist both Buyers & Sellers on Smith Lake.

Give them a call today to start your journey.

Brian (205) 388-9777

Darren (205) 807-2381

March 7, 2022

Top 5 Most Frequently Asked Smith Lake Questions

Top 5 Smith Lake FAQ's


Today's Smith Lake Top 5 covers the questions we get asked the most!

1. What is the Best Area of Smith Lake?

Is it Arley, Bremen, Crane Hill, Cullman, Double Springs, Houston, Jasper or Logan? The answer might surprise you when you hear it.

2. Do I need to be close to I-65?

Sometimes this question is better phrased as "Why don't I have to be close to I-65?".

3. How Far to Groceries & Shopping?

Grocery Stores, Home Improvement, Smith Lake Marinas, etc.

4. What are the Property Taxes like?

If you're from Out of State, you'll like the Answer.

5. Does Smith Lake Fluctuate?

Yes, and we tell you when to expect the changes!


As Full Time Smith Lake REALTORS® Brian & Darren assist both Buyers & Sellers on Smith Lake.

Give them a call today to start your journey.

Brian (205) 388-9777

Darren (205) 807-2381

March 7, 2022

Top 5 Reasons to Consider Smith Lake

Top 5 Reasons to Consider Smith Lake

In today's Smith Lake Top 5 we discuss the Top 5 reasons to consider Smith Lake.



1. The Value of Smith Lake -

It's hard to beat the value of Lewis Smith Lake compared to other Lakes in the Region. Alabama's Property Taxes are traditionally much lower compared to Lakes in other states and you'll find that Smith Lake Waterfront Homes are lower than some "Off Water" Homes on other lakes.

2. The Diversity of Smith Lake -

Smith Lake is diverse in it's natural beauty, ranging from Waterfront Cliffs & Bluffs to gently sloping points there is always natural beauty in front of you. Let's not forget to mention that the Winston County Portion has large, unspoiled sections of Bankhead National Forest that join the lake.

3. The People of Smith Lake -

Smith Lake has people from all walks of life assuring that there's always an interesting new friend to meet here! We're also on "Lake Time", meaning we don't always get in a rush and take the time to be friendly.

4. The Easy Access to Smith Lake -

Smith Lake is really easy to get to from anywhere. It has easy access from Nashville, Atlanta, Memphis, Tupelo just to name some of the larger nearby cities!

5. The Cleanliness of Smith Lake -

Smith Lake is usually mentioned along with a statement similar to "One of the cleanest lakes in the country". That is due to several factors, examples being the large watershed with minimal Large Agriculture and one of the largest tributaries coming from within a federally designated wilderness area.


As Full Time Smith Lake REALTORS® Brian & Darren assist both Buyers & Sellers on Smith Lake.

Give them a call today to start your journey.

Brian (205) 388-9777

Darren (205) 807-2381

March 3, 2022

Brian & Darren voted one of the Best Agent Teams on Smith Lake

Best of Smith Lake 2021 Seal

Smith Lake

The Smith Lake Community & the Readers of The Lakeside Life voted Brian Glenn & Darren Raspino one of the Top 2 Real Estate Teams on Smith Lake in their "Best of Smith Lake 2021" contest.


Darren Raspino found Smith Lake almost 30 years ago and decided to plant roots East of the Dam in 2007 and after going stir crazy during his first retirement decided his next stop would be to pair a Real Estate License with his love of Smith Lake.

Brian Glenn grew up in Double Springs on the West side of the Lake and has been enjoying Smith Lake for 40 Plus years. After decades in a Family Furniture business he decided it was time for a change, he put his love for the outdoors together with a Real Estate License and never looked back. Brian was also Smith Lake's first National Association of REALTORS® certified Resort & Second Property Specialist (RSPS).


As Full Time Smith Lake REALTORS® they assist both Buyers & Sellers on Smith Lake, give them a call today to start your journey.

Brian (205) 388-9777

Darren (205) 807-2381

Aug. 26, 2021

Duncan Bridge - Bridges of Smith Lake Vol 1

Duncan Bridge at Dusk

The Iconic Baby Blue Steel Trusses of Duncan Bridge have spanned Smith Lake for over 50 years.


Built in 1967 after Smith Lake covered the original "Duncan Bridge" as it's waters filled in 1961, Duncan Bridge has become one of the Symbols of Smith Lake. Many Businesses use an artists rendition of it as a portion of their logo ( Our Real Estate Company - White Pepper Smith Lake does also ), you've seen renderings of it on Countless T-Shirts, photos of it hanging in Lake Homes and it seems you didn't spend time at Smith Lake in a given summer if you didn't post at least one shot of Duncan Bridge on your Social Media accounts! 

When writing this blog post I tried to find more information about the History & Construction of Duncan Bridge. If you have more info, please share it with us. We'll update the Blog Post and be glad to cite you as a reference for any info we use.

Posted in Smith Lake Places
July 29, 2019

Smith Lake Eats Vol 1 - Brothers on Smith Lake

Smith Lake Eats Vol 1 - Brothers on Smith Lake


  Working on Smith Lake, I try to be a big supporter of local Smith Lake Business, Stacey (My Wife) and I visited Brothers for a Thursday "Date Night". Just across Ryan Creek from Smith Lake Park, Brothers prides itself on using only the freshest ingredients each day while creating a "Lake" atmosphere whether you dine inside or on the porch overlooking Smith Lake Marina and beautiful Smith Lake. This particular night I had 2 large Fried Catfish fillets, fries and Hushpuppies while Stacey enjoyed Shrimp and Grits, both were awesome! 

Catfish Fillets from Brothers on Smith Lake

   Serving Seafood, their Signature Burgers and Specials it's hard to go wrong on the Menu here. Start with Buffalo Shrimp, Hand Breaded Cheese sticks or fresh Tuna Dip. Move on to entrees of Crab Cakes, Shrimp & Grits or a mouthwatering Burger (try the Bayou Burger). Wash it all down with a Sweet Tea or an Adult Beverage if you prefer (They always have several local Goat Island Brews on Draft).


Arrive by Land or enjoy an evening cruise with the crew up Ryan Creek to dine at Brothers soon, you won't regret it!



Visit Brothers @:

173 County Road 312

Cullman, AL 35057

Posted in Smith Lake Eats
July 31, 2017

Curious About Local Real Estate?

Receive the Latest Smith Lake Market Stats

Curious about Smith Lake real estate? So are we! Every month we review trends in our Smith Lake market and consider the number of homes on the market in each price tier, the amount of time particular homes have been listed for sale, specific neighborhood trends, the median price and square footage of each home sold and so much more. We’d love to invite you to do the same!

Get Local Market Reports Sent Directly to You

You can sign up here to receive your own market report, delivered as often as you like! It contains current information on pending, active and just sold properties so you can see actual homes in your neighborhood. You can review your area on a larger scale, as well, by refining your search to include properties across the city or county. As you notice price and size trends, please contact us for clarification or to have any questions answered.

We can definitely fill you in on details that are not listed on the report and help you determine the best home for you. If you are wondering if now is the time to sell, please try out our INSTANT home value tool. You’ll get an estimate on the value of your property in today’s market. Either way, we hope to hear from you soon as you get to know our neighborhoods and local real estate market better.

Posted in Market Updates