Wednesday, November 10, 2010

We've moved!

The DC Lake Blog is now part of

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Imagine This View from your Kitchen Table!

Above, another picture of the Cedar Creek Townhome that emphasizes the dramatic view of Wisp's two most recognizable ski slopes.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Cedar Creek Update

Update: Seller (me) is offering a $5,000 credit to the buyer toward closing costs for a contract closed by June 15th 2007.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Featured Property: Cedar Creek Townhome

1 yr old, 3 bed room (possibly 4 if media room is converted), 3.5 bath 3-level townhome, with dramatic views of Wisp's ski slopes located in the Cedar Creek community. The property comes professionally furnished and includes a new hot tub. Relax in the hot tub and watch the action on Wisp's "The Face" and "Squirrel Cage" while the sound of Cedar Creek bubbles in the background. Wisp's ticket window and golf course sit only a few hundred yards away, while several local eateries are within a short walk.

This property features beautiful interior wood working, hardwood floors, Berber carpeting, and full masonry gas log fireplace. Highlights include a spacious deck, master bedroom suite with accompanying master bath and balcony overlooking Cedar Creek and Wisp's ski slopes.

The townhome comes complete with a ski/snowboard or golf storage shed and a media room featuring a 42 inch plasma television and surround sound system. This property has never been rented and is being offered for $349,900. Contact me if interested at or 724-322-4566.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Exciting News!

In conjunction with RGS Title, of Columbia, MD, I will be providing real estate settlement services to the Garrett County area at a convenient McHenry location beginning April 1st. As an attorney, I am very excited to be able to offer my services here at Deep Creek Lake and very much look forward to serving local and visiting clientele in this capacity.

Aside from our convenient Deep Creek Lake location, there are many more benefits to closing with us that I would be happy to outline to anyone considering our services. Please feel free to contact me at

Additionally, and pursuant RESPA (the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act), remember that it is the buyer who has ultimate decision of determining whom they would like to serve as their settlement attorney. If you might be interested in my services, simply tell your agent that you would like to use me as your settlement attorney. I think you will find that I provide the highest level of personal service and will do everything in my power to assure a smooth transaction for all parties.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Spring Arrives in Garrett County

Although Garrett County residents can't put the snow shovels away just yet, Spring begins tonight at 8:07 PM. As the snow slowly melts from the slopes at Wisp the docks will begin going in the lake. This past winter, the Deep Creek Lake area received 124 inches of snow, our biggest snowstorm, 11 inches, occurred on March 7th, and our lowest temperature was observed on February 5th at -9.2 degrees.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

St. Patrick's Day Snow

Yesterday and overnight the Deep Creek Lake area received about 5 inches of snow...a little under what the storm looked like it might bring earlier in the week, but still within the 4-8 inches that was forecasted. The wrap around flow has taken over behind the storm with lake enhanced snow showers that may accumulate another 1-3 inches today. This storm brings our seasonal total to 118 inches on the year.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Winter Storm Warning Issued

NWS Pittsburgh has issued a Winter Storm Warning for Garrett County, beginning early Friday morning and lasting through Friday afternoon. Depending on whether any mixing of freezing rain or sleet occurs at the onset, the area looks to be in line for 4-8 inches of snow tomorrow, with some additional accumulations possible tomorrow evening as a secondary cold front, and accompanying upslope snow showers passes through the region.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Winter's Last Gasp?

With temperatures in the 60's today, it would seem as though winter is behind us. However, current computer modeling is pointing toward the possibility for snow Friday through Saturday. As a stalled cold front begins moving and pushing southeast, a low pressure wave is forecast to develop along the front and move northeastward. Temperatures will be marginal, but it looks as though there will be the possibility of a period of snowfall and perhaps a moderate accumulation. Exact totals and whether the precipitation might begin as rain will depend on the exact track and development of the low pressure system as well as the timing of the approaching cold front. Pictured below is the 18z American GFS Model's depiction of the event, valid 9pm Friday evening.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Powerful March Clipper

The clipper that passed through the region on Wednesday ended up being a little more powerful than expected, blanketing the area with 11 inches of powder and making for absolutely perfect skiing conditions. Below are a few pictures taken today at Wisp, as the area began to dig out:

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Update: Snow Underway at Deep Creek

4 inches of snow has already fallen as of 8am. On our way to the 5-9 inches forecasted. Below is current regional radar image of the clipper that is affecting the region.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Bitter March Morning; Snow on the Way

A very impressive arctic air mass has pushed over the Deep Creek Lake region this morning. The temperature is 3 degrees at 8am. Additionally, the aforementioned clipper system remains a threat for a significant snowfall on Wednesday. The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm watch for the potential of 4-8 inches of snow. Pictured below is HPC's graphic depiction of areas likely to receive 4+ inches.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Wisp Still Making Snow

While some resorts stop making snow in March, the cold temperatures have provided an excellent opportunity for Wisp to reinforce its base tonight. It’s looking as though the resort will be able to remain open at least through the end of the month.

With 5 new inches of natural snow over the weekend, the Deep Creek Lake area went over 100 inches and now sits at 103 on the year. In addition, another clipper type system will be affecting the area Tuesday and Wednesday which possibly could blanket the area with a moderate snowfall. Exact track and snowfall amounts will have to be pinned down as we get closer to the event.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Return to Winter for the Weekend

After a warm Friday, Deep Creek Lake woke up to a new inch of snow this morning. As an upper level low rotates through the eastern U.S., the area will see upslope enhanced snows with the possibility of 2-4 inches through Sunday.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

1 More Month of Winter...

So far this winter, the Deep Creek lake area has received 94 inches of snow and so it's looking like, barring a rare snowless March, we will meet and probably surpass the area's seasonal average of 100 inches. Which is remarkable if you remember the very warm and snowless early winter we experienced.

The lake area averages 18 inches in March. While today will be unseasonably warm as a storm system pushes to our west, creating a warm southerly flow, as the storm system passes to our east, the area will return over the weekend to normal temperatures with highs in the upper 20's to low 30's and several chances at lake enhanced and upslope snow showers.

Friday, February 23, 2007

A Painter Who Captures the History of Garrett County

I recently came across the paintings of Bob Yonke, aka "the Bluegrass Painter." Of particular interest, Bob has a collection of works entitled "the Garrett County Collection" that those of us who live and vacation in the area might be particularly interested in. A favorite of mine, entitled "Old McHenry," represents Bob's depiction of the McHenry area as he remembers it when he first brought his family to Garrett County. Bob himself has a blog as well which can be found at If you have the chance, be sure to take a look at Bob's beautiful works at

Thursday, February 22, 2007

A Little More Snow on the Way...

After several days of a thaw, a clipper with an accompanying cold front will push through later today and tonight bringing with it a general 2-4 in snowfall as well as much colder temperatures on Friday in the mid 20's.

After a nearly unprecedented warm start to the winter, during the period from January 8 to February 17 we certainly made up for winter's slow start. As of January 8th, Garrett County had only received 17 inches of snow....however the past month and a half we've made up our snow deficit and now sit at 87 inches (70 inches in 42 days). Additionally our lowest temperature during this period was -9.2 on February 5.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Real Estate Year in Review 2006

During the 2006, 500 residential units were sold in Garrett County, compared to 563 units in 2005. Those 500 units amounted to a total sold dollar volume of $201,362,925, down slightly from $213,206,898 in 2005.

However, the average sold price in the county was $402,726, compared with $378,698 in 2005. Additionally the average days on the market (DOM) was slightly shorter, 152 days, compared with 160 in 2005. 30 transactions involved homes with closing prices of $1 million or greater, including 1 transaction greater than $2 million.

See the below spreadsheet examining the past 10 years of the market in Garrett County (note: to view the entire spreadsheet click on it and page down)

Source: Metropolitan Regional Information Systems, Inc. (MRIS).

Friday, February 16, 2007

Presidents Day Weekend is Here

The busiest weekend of the ski season is upon us, President's Day Weekend. Conditions at Wisp couldn't be more perfect with packed powder conditions, 100% terrain open, and more snow expected with a clipper system likely bringing 3-6 inches over the weekend. However, temperatures on Friday will still remain very cold with wind chill values between -5 and -10. So bundle up and enjoy your weekend at Deep Creek!

ps: I will be available Friday, Saturday, and Monday for private snowboarding lessons...just ask for Gary S.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Digging Out

The Valentine's Day storm turned out very much as forecasted. 5 inches of snow on Tuesday, about 3 or 4 inches of sleet overnight Tuesday, and 4 inches of snow again on Wednesday. Below are some pictures taken from a picturesque Garrett County early this am. Next chance for accumulating snow looks to be this weekend as an Alberta Clipper moves through the region.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Icy and Snowy Morning in Deep Creek

An interesting 24 hours of weather in Garrett forecasted, the snow began yesterday morning and accumulated 5 inches before the warmer air at the upper levels moved in and changed the snow over to sleet. The sleet continued, very heavy at times, through the evening and overnight, until the secondary low took over and we have turned over to snow again Wednesday morning. Look for another 2-4 inches to accumulate throughout the day. Below are a few pictures from taken early am on Wednesday

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Major Winter Storm has Arrived in Garrett County

The storm has taken shape over the south central U.S., and its conveyor belt of moisture has overspread the area as of 7:39am. About 1 inch so far. Snow will continue throughout the day, however it still looks as though, as least for a period later today and tonight, we will switch over to sleet and freezing rain before going back over to snow as the secondary low pressure bombs out over the eastern seaboard. The length of the period of ice will affect our snowfall totals. At this point it is looking like 4-8 inches of snow, then ice, then another 3-6 inches of snow. However, if the warm air in the upper levels does not make it as far north as forecasted, the area could see well over a foot of snow.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Storm on its Way, but What Will it Bring?

The National Weather Service in Pittsburgh issued a winter storm watch early yesterday morning. A very complex weather scenario is about to unfold over the eastern half of the U.S. A cold front will push south into the region today, at the same time a developing low over the south central U.S. will take shape and begin moving northeastward. While it treks northeastward toward the Ohio valley, a strong high pressure system over eastern Canada will funnel cold air into our region. As the initial low moves into the lower Ohio valley, a secondary low pressure system will develop over the Carolinas and move north, northeastward.

Our snowfall total from this event will depend on the exact track of both lows, as well as whether the warm push of air associated with the primary low pressure system is enough to cause our snow to mix with sleet or freezing rain. If we were to remain all snow throughout, the totals could be as high as a foot or more, however any mixing of sleet or freezing rain will diminish our snow totals. Moreover, the potential exists for a serious ice storm, should we switch over. At 7:51am Monday morning, it looks as though we will change over at least for a period of time, until the coastal low takes over and colder air rushes in behind it. Later this afternoon and this evening the forecast should become much clearer.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Sat. PM Update: Storm Still On....

Details will of course have to be worked out, but a fairly substantial storm system is looking likely to affect the Garrett County region early next week. Additionally, it looks as though this may be a long duration event, as long as 48 hours. I would expect winter storm watches to go up tomorrow or very early Monday if modeling continues to show such an impressive looking system. Below is the hydrometeorlogical prediction center's (HPC) snowfall probability map (4+ inches) for Day you can see, Garrett County at this point looks to be in the bullseye.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

It's Early, but a Winter Storm is Possible Early Next Week

While Garrett County has received quite a bit of snow over the past several weeks, most of the snow has been due to upslope, lake effect, and small synoptic systems. Thus far, Garrett County has yet to endure a major synoptic system such as a nor'easter.

However, current weather models are indicating a storm is possible early next week. While several chances at storms so far this year have looked promising, only to fizzle out as the event drew closer, this upcoming system has several features that resemble major storms of years past. While still far too early to draw any conclusions, there is the chance at a major winter storm affecting the Garrett County area early next week. Exact track and snow amounts will need to be narrowed down over the weekend. Pictured below is the latest American model interpretation of the upcoming storm system, valid 1pm Tuesday. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

New Name, New Location

As you may have noticed, The Deep Creek Weather and Real Estate Blog has moved to! If you are an avid reader and know others who might be interested in similar topics effecting Garrett County please pass our new domain along!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

What is a 1031 Tax Deferred Exchange and How Can it Help Me?

Unless a seller is selling his/her primary residence in which they have personally lived for two years or more, any “gain” on the sale (the price the home sales for, less the price the seller originally paid for the property plus the cost of any improvements, or “basis”) is subject to capital gains tax (15% for most individuals).

Section 1031 of the tax code provides an exception to the capital gains tax where “like kind” properties are exchanged. The definition of “like kind” properties is rather broad and usually most exchanges of real property will meet this definition. As such, a seller who is selling a property other than their primary residence and planning to use those proceeds to buy a new property can utilize section 1031, and prevent tax on the capital gain, provided they comport with the procedures and rules prescribed for under section 1031 and its regulations. (Note that technically speaking, the tax is not avoided, but deferred until the eventual sale of the property. Nonetheless, if the seller utilizes the 1031 exchange on any subsequent sale the tax will remain deferred.)

To illustrate: John Smith buys a vacation home at Ocean City, Maryland in 1990 for $100,000. John now wants to sell the vacation home for $200,000, in order to purchase a vacation home at Deep Creek Lake for $300,000. Ordinarily, John would be taxed on the $100,000 gain on the beach home at a rate of 15%, or $15,000. If John were to utilize and comply with section 1031, John could sell the beach home for $200,000, defer any capital gains tax, and use the full $100,000 gain as a down payment on the home at Deep Creek Lake.

While extraordinarily useful, the 1031 exchange is quite complex. As such it is highly recommended that anyone contemplating utilizing the 1031 exchange consults a REALTOR®, such as myself, knowledgeable and experienced in tax law and its effect on the real estate transaction.

Snow on its Way

A fast moving Alberta Clipper is making its way toward the area and will arrive this evening. The speed of the system will limit accumulations, but the area should see between 2-4 inches by Wednesday morning. Below is a current radar image of the encroaching storm system:

Pictures from a Cold Garrett County Weekend

Below are some pictures taken of the area over this past weekend. Thanks to Alvin P. for the submission!

Monday, February 05, 2007

Bitter Cold Pushes Through Garrett County

The temperature dipped down to -9.2 this morning at 7:40 am. Wind chill values are between -20 and -35. Today's high is forecasted to rebound only to 5 above. Use extra caution today if you are in the area and going out. Tuesday night, an energetic clipper system is forecasted to move close to the region and, depending on the exact track, it may bring another moderate accumulation to the area.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Understanding the Role of the Buyer Agent

Frequently, many first time home buyers are unaware that a real estate agent can serve different roles. In short, the first thing a buyer should do when planning to purchase real estate is to select a buyer's agent to work with. The reason? Buyer's agents are absolutely free to the buyer, as the buyer's agent gets paid through splitting the commission with the listing agent. That is, if you were to purchase the real estate unrepresented, or if the listing agent were serving as a disclosed dual agent, the listing agent would most likely be receiving the entire commission himself or herself.

As such, it is in the buyer’s great interest to work with a buyer's agent as they get the benefit of professional representation both while locating as well as while consummating the transaction. If you are interested in a property and speak to the listing agent, don't expect him/her to ask why you aren't working with a buyer's agent (remember they get more money if you are unrepresented). An additional benefit of buyer agency is that when the buyer eventually decides to sale the property they purchased, they already have an established relationship with an agent (now listing) who is informed of the history and characteristics of the subject property.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

5 more inches in Garrett County

While the synoptic event advertised earlier in the week never materialized, a clipper-like system was potent enough to bring 5 inches of fluffy powder to the area. The temperature at 7:50am this morning is a chilly 4 degrees, and it looks like over the next several days we will see the coldest weather to visit the area in several years with lows falling off well below zero. This latest snow brings Garrett’s season total up to 57 inches on the year.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Types of Property in Garrett County

Something that makes Garrett County so unique is the diverse real estate market in the county. From sprawling lake front homes, to Ski-in/Ski-out townhomes, to rustic log cabins in the woods, Garrett County offers a wide variety of property choices for home buyers. Below is a short description of the various types of properties available in Garrett County:

Deep Creek Mountain Resort
Much of the development in Garrett County over the past several years has been in and around Deep Creek Mountain Resort (the Resort's Master Plan is pictured below). Deep Creek Mountain Resort is located on and around Marsh Mountain, next to Marsh Run Cove (which adjoins Deep Creek Lake), and includes the Wisp Ski Area, the Wisp Golf Course, the Adventure Sports Center International featuring a man-made re-circulating whitewater course, hike and bike courses, as well as future development plans such as a second golf course, a mountaintop village, as well as more skiable terrain. Properties within Deep Creek Mountain Resort offer many amenities such as lake access, Ski-in/Ski-out access, scenic views, as well as the convenience of being located inside the resort.
Though not within the Deep Creek Mountain Resort, there are several developments that feature Ski-in/Ski-out access. One popular community is the Villages of Wisp Townhomes which offer easy ski access as well as partial lake access.

Ski Area
A more affordable option than ski-in/ski-out property are the many ski area homes that surround Wisp. These properties feature a convenient short drive or walk to the slopes without the ski-in ski-out premium price.

Lake Front
The oldest and often most popular properties in Deep Creek are those that front the lake. These homes offer the ultimate convenience of lake-side living. Swimming, fishing, and boating all within a few feet from home.

Lake Access
A lake enthusiast can also select from the more affordable lake-access properties, which while not fronting the lake, do offer a guaranteed boat slip for enjoyment of the lake. Over the years as slip access on Deep Creek Lake has become more and more difficult to obtain, these properties have become very popular.

Lake Area
While these properties do not offer a dedicated boat slip, they are still within a very short drive or walk from the lake, offering a property a convenient distance from the lake at a fraction of the cost of a lake access property.

Off Lake
While Garrett County is known for Deep Creek Lake, the further you go from the lake the more affordable prices become. Off lake areas offer several different types of living such as in the small town communities of Oakland, Mt. Lake Park, Accident, Grantsville and Friendsville or the more rural and secluded areas off the beaten path such as near the Savage River State Forest, Backbone Mountain, or near Swallow Falls and the Yough River.

Below is a map of Garrett County:

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Storm Chances Still Unresolved; Bitter Cold to Follow

A very complex weather situation is evolving over the south central US this morning. A series of shortwaves are forecasted to round the base of the eastern trough and there is still no model consensus as to whether any of the individual shortwaves will develop and move far enough north to impact Garrett County. At this point, it looks likely the area will receive an inch or two today from the first impulse and possibly more Friday through Friday Night, depending on the track of the second impulse. Nonetheless, this weekend an arctic front will again visit the region, bringing with it the coldest temperatures of the season so far. Saturday night, lows will most likely dip below zero and Sunday, highs will only make it into the single digits.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Weak System to Bring Snow on Tuesday, Bigger Storm Thursday and Friday?

After receiving nearly 30 inches in 3 weeks, more snow looks to be on the horizon. Tuesday and Tuesday Night a weak clipper-like disturbance will pass through the area bringing with it upslope snows and the possibility of 3-6 inches. However, it is looking increasingly likely that a system developing over the Gulf of Mexico on Wednesday will make its way north enough to clip Garrett County with significant snows. It is still too far out to say conclusively, but it is looking increasingly likely that this system may bring with it warning criteria (6+ inches) snow. Stay tuned. Pictured below is the American GFS model's interpretation of the late week event, valid 1am Friday morning.

5 More Inches in Garrett County

Very cold morning in Deep Creek, Temperature is 4 degrees, with a wind chill of -16. We've received 5 inches since yesterday afternoon for a total of 8 inches in the past 36 hours. The coming week looks to remain seasonably cold with upslope snows from time to time. Above are a few pictures taken from Wisp's Chair 1 earlier this morning.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Deep Creek Featured in Southern Living

Deep Creek was recently featured in the January 07' edition of Southern Living Magazine, click here to read the entire article.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Wintery Day in Garrett County

After more than 15 inches in less than a week, the Garrett County landscape resembles the classic winter scene that has made the area so popular over the years. Above, a pic taken from McHenry Cove looking toward Wisp earlier today.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

5pm update: 6 inches and falling

Already about 6 inches of snow has fallen since this morning. Earlier this afternoon the area experienced near whiteout conditions during several bursts. As temperatures fall into the single digits this evening, combined with 15mph+ winds and continued heavy snow, the area will witness near blizzard conditions tonight.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Winter Storm Watch Issued

NWS Pittsburgh has issued a winter storm watch for Garrett County, effective Thursday afternoon through late Thursday Night:


Wisp Nearing 100% Open

With Main Street and Down Under opening today, only a few more trials are left for Wisp to be open 100%. Below are 2 pictures taken yesterday from chair 5, servicing Main Street, and overlooking a frozen McHenry Cove.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Building a Snowpack in Garrett County

Another fluffy 2 inches has fallen in the past 24hrs, bringing the season total up to 31 inches, a substantial improvement over the 17 inches we were at just a few weeks ago.

Wisp has announced that the Main Street and Down Under trails will finally open today. For those of you new to Wisp, Main Street is one of the most unique trials, a steep black diamond slope that offers a fantastic view of the lake during your ascent.

Cold and occasionally snowy conditions look to prevail over the long range, and later this week, an arctic air mass will bring the coldest temperatures of the winter so far to Garrett County.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Winter is in Full Force in Garrett County

On Sunday, as per the forecast, the skies opened up around 11am and snow continued throughout the day, snowing heaviest between 1 and 4 pm. We ended up with another compacted 5 inches of snow on top of the 7 inches we received Friday. As the evening went on the light snow mixed with and changed to freezing drizzle, making local roads and even Garrett Highway difficult to traverse without four wheel drive.

Also with the recent cold temperatures the lake is starting to freeze over, starting with McHenry Cove. The cold and snowy weather looks like it will stick around for the foreseeable future.

At Wisp, after a busy mid winter weekend, conditions are nearly perfect with packed powder conditions. It is likely the eastern ridge slopes, Main Street, Eye Opener etc. will open this week for the first time this season.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

More Snow on our Doorstep!

Having received 7 inches only 2 days ago, another system is about bring more snow to the area. Garrett County is currently under a winter weather advisory for 3-5 inches of snow through tonight with possible ice as well. The image below shows the area of snow that is moving into our area from the southeast.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Snow Piling Up In Garrett County!

The area has received 7 inches of snow over the past 24 hours, and the snow continues this morning. It is also looking like the area will see another chance for some accumulating snow Sunday and Sunday Night.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Snow Underway...

The upslope event has begun. At 8:06am, it is snowing moderately in McHenry, temperature is down to 25. We've accumulated 1 1/2 inches so far. NWS forecasts the area receiving 1-2 inches today, and an additional 3-5 inches tonight and Saturday. Depicted below is a current web cam shot at Wisp, as well as a still of the NWS radar illustrating the snow affecting Garrett County.