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January
27

 

When a home is near water, people usually look for certain features. They may like the serenity and peace or maybe they are looking for a vacation getaway property. Waterfront property is usually expensive due to high demand, but it may also cost more for flood insurance and upkeep, depending on the property. With a waterfront home, there is also a view people love. It is a good feeling to come home and show off the property to others and host gatherings. Find out more about why people flock to waterfront homes and how to buy the right home for your family. 

 

Lifestyle

There are a certain lifestyle people like by the water. People love to have access to water sports, jet skiing, and wake-boarding. Maybe they need equipment to do certain things. In some cases, a boat may cost half as much as the house or more, depending on the model. It is a good idea to look into rentals as well as purchase deals. There may be some ways to lower the costs of waterfront property to afford a lifestyle. For instance, if walking into town is not necessarily high on the list, maybe getting one further away is acceptable to have a better view of the water. Keep in mind lifestyle when looking at properties to find just the right one. 

 

Value

The value people get from their homes is not just in how much they love spending time there.  Oftentimes, there is monetary value in buying waterfront property. Resale values are higher for homes by the water because they tend to hold value while other homes decline. People who should want to move may be able to rent the property out or do other things with the property if they are not there year-round. This adds value but also brings in extra income for upkeep. 

 

Community

A community of people who live by water usually love being on and around the water itself. This might mean boating, skiing, and recreating. This makes for a great environment for children because they get to participate in water activities with friends and family. Parents may want their kids to grow up near water, including lakes and rivers. Waterfront homes tend to have low crime and be close to good schools. This depends on the home and where it is located.

 

Getting the most use out of a waterfront home is key for so many reasons. A good broker can help people navigate what they are looking for in a waterfront home and help them make the best decision possible for their family.



Families who go with Choice Properties are going with the best choice out there. The goal of buying property is often to find the dream home people have always wanted. With Choice Properties, we specialize in the Ohio market to find the right property for you. Call us if you are ready to move forward with your home search.

August
10

Purchasing a second home can be a big step. Whether seeking a cabin in the woods, a getaway beach home or modern condo in the city, buying another property is a big decision. Here's how to know if now is the time to buy.

 

Affordability

Assessment of personal finances is critical in determining whether to purchase a second home. Beyond the cost of a second mortgage are other financial issues such as what interest is charged on a second mortgage. It may also depend if the home will be rented out as lenders consider rental properties a higher risk than those listed as primary residences. Other factors may include:

  • Insurance

  • Property taxes

  • Ongoing costs such as utilities (water, electric, gas, trash removal, etc)

  • Unexpected maintenance charges such as landscaping

  • Cost to hire a property manage to check on the property while away

 

Location

Having a property by the beach may sound great but it may not be a great investment. Some things to consider include:

  • Ability to visit the second home as often as desired

  • If not used as a rental, will home get used enough to make it worth the investment

  • Decide where is the ideal location before buying and whether it is affordable versus the time that will be spent using the property before purchase

 

Investigate

Chat with the insurance company to see what is next after finding the general area in which to buy a second home. Begin by speaking with the current insurer with whom a relationship is already established. A better rate may be available for multiple lines (existing home, cars, etc). Better rates may not necessarily be more inexpensive. If potential new property is prone to flooding, insurance rates may be higher. Homes with swimming pools also have higher rates as do pools with no fence or gate which may not have coverage available at all.

 

Find the Home

After all possible expenses are accounted for and a neighborhood is identified, contact a real estate agent to get started. Once settled, soak in the benefits of the new home. A vacation in the comfort of one's own home is a true luxury. When time is spent with family and friends in the new home, the cost savings will become apparent compared to vacation rentals. Privacy and no crowds (like in hotels) are another added bonus of having one's own property. Financial benefits may exist in the long term even if the property is not rented out. Tax benefits may help lessen the financial burden. A vacation home is a space to unwind, relax and enjoy time with loved ones. Soak it in and enjoy the new home.

 

Get more advice on the steps that you need to take to owning a second home.

Contact one of our agents today.

August
2

Whether a first-time buyer or one with experience, inventory is slim but lots of competition exists which can lead to a frustrating seller's market. Quick, easy sales are best for buyers. Sellers and buyers can benefit from some of the following tips for maximizing home selling and buying and the current competitive market.

 

Sellers and Buyers

The following tips will help any person selling a home or purchasing know what to look for when stepping into the current market.

 

Seller: Prepare, inspect, disclose and plan ahead. The market is less forgiving if a person makes a mistake. A home which goes 'back on the market' may mean less money in an eventual sale. Holding onto the first buyer is critical. Put issues out front for potential buyer. Be prepared to disclose any issues such as a leaking roof or other defects that may kill the deal before it is sealed.

 

Buyer: Be ready to move. Buyers are aggressive, motivated and ready to go. To compete with the market, be serious about becoming a homeowner. When a desirable listing pops up, make time to go see the property as it may not be available for long. With a seriously motivated seller, the buyer make work with the seller and take it off the market which leads to disappointment for other potential buyers who missed the boat.

 

Seller: Have a strategy. Don't move too quickly on an offer if others may come in. Work with a reputable agent who knows going in what to expect from the market (and prospective buyers). It may work to wait a week to 10 days, have more showings then review offers. It may also work to act on the offers that come in. The wrong approach may result in missing a better offer to come or lose momentum of the current (motivated) buyer.

 

Buyer: Win some, lose some. A few houses will go by the wayside before the right one comes along. Go with the flow to avoid frustration. Missing out can be a motivating factor to up the ante next time.

 

Seller: Know the competition. A smart seller will hit open houses well before homes hit the market. Pricing is key in a competitive market, especially with today's herd mentality. When someone wants a home, it must be desirable and have value to other people. Well-priced homes that show well grab immediate attention of buyers and sell faster (often for more money).

Preparation

Real estate is not a cheap investment and the process can be stressful. Sellers and buyers need to be on top of the game to find success. Sellers have the advantage to plan in advance of going on the market. Buyers must be reactive and prepared to move on a dime. It may feel like a wild ride, but the home of one's dreams is worth fighting for in a hot market.

 

Get more advice on the tips to this year's seller's market.

Contact one of our agents today.

 

July
28

A homeowner who desires a property to stand out from the competition must view everything as a business transaction. Emotional attachment to a home can impact potential buyers and make it difficult to detach from the property. Sellers who transition away from emotional connection into investment mode reap more financial rewards. Learn what potential buyers are looking for and how to make an existing property for sale more marketable.

 

Wish Lists

Homes sell quickly that have desirable features on a buyer's wish list. Retailers work to understand this market and corner it for profit. The same goes for selling a home. Mentioning the top features in a listing description can net a premium in how fast the home sells and the final sale price. Features such as 'barn doors' or 'subway tiles' can net as much as 13 percent more than expected and nearly 60 days faster than homes without the features. Carefully worded listings have an impact on a person's impression of a property.

 

Some of the following features are on the top of buyers wish lists in the current market:

  • Barn doors: homes with this description net 13.4 percent more than expected. Rustic sliding doors can be found in craftsman-style homes, in bedroom closets or kitchen pantries.

  • Shaker cabinets: homes featuring this item sold for 9.6 percent above expected value and 45 days faster

  • Farmhouse sink: homes with the trendy but functional kitchen sink net a nearly 8 percent sales premium

  • Subway tile: the added aesthetic and design feature of subway tiles catch a buyer's eye and sell for nearly 7 percent more than expected and 63 days faster.

  • Quartz: typically found on kitchen or bathroom counters, listings with the word 'quartz' sold for a 6 percent sales premium while homes with 'granite' only saw a 4 percent sales price boost.

 

Buyers in today's market prefer turnkey homes to renovations, updates and bells and whistles. The more features to entice a potential buyer, the better.

 

Big Rooms

Two of the biggest spaces in a home that have potential to sell a property are the kitchen and bathrooms. If a kitchen or bathroom is outdated, modest upgrades can really add value to the home and overall appeal to potential buyers. Splash some white paint on the cabinets, freshen the look, buy some stone countertops and replace old faucets with shiny, new ones.

 

Buyers Market

Certain features help sell a home more quickly. Even with time at a premium, it is beneficial to hire contractors to come in and do some minor upgrades to help sell a property with features from a buyer's wish list. Subway tiles in the kitchen or bathroom, barn doors and craftsman features have a proven track record of selling homes faster. Play up the features to help sell property in today's market.

 

Get more advice on how to create a home that attracts buyers.

Contact one of our agents today.

April
7

Ohio is currently seeing a boon in the real estate market for luxury lakefront homes. More people are interested in buying property than at any point since 2005. With this busy real estate market, it is a great time to consider the options when searching for luxury lakefront homes which suit the needs of the entire family.

 

Hot Market

Nationwide sales have been going steadily up since February, 2007. The spring buying season is approaching when homes go up on the market in time for summer and fall sales. Realtors are anticipating a stronger than ever buying season this year. Homebuyers are looking for more properties and, with many available on the current market, the demand is higher than ever. Steady job growth combined with an improving economy means more households are saving up for that perfect lakefront property.

 

Trends

The past several years have seen a downturn in the real estate market due to fluctuations in the job market and overall economy. When these two are weaker, people are less likely to look to make big purchases or moves. A recent look at trends in home purchases by the Ohio Association of Realtors demonstrates a swifter than average pace of families seeking their perfect home at an increase of around 14% over the year before. In the Ohio house market, strong sales and steady growth are leading to great deals on homes.

 

Buy Now

As with any market trends, when there are an influx of buyers for available properties, prices can rise. Now is the best time to consider buying lakefront property on the market, whether new or existing, before prices go up. Due to high demand, lakefront luxury homes don't generally last long as they are in higher demand than other properties in the area. It is currently a buyers market in that there are more buyers than sellers after years of a sluggish market. Mortgage rates are low with rises expected so now is a great time to get started on the search and begin putting together criteria for purchasing a home.


Luxury lakefront homes are in demand and the market is open for all buyers with fewer properties at low prices. Ohio is a hot market right now with a growing economy and improving employment statistics which make homebuyers more confident than ever that, without a doubt, buying a home right now is the right decision.

 

Get more advice on how to get the process started to get you that luxury dream home.

Contact one of our agents today.

 

March
30

Finding the perfect home can take some time but the market is growing and sale prices are still low. Doing research is key prior to  finding Indian Lake Ohio homes for sale which suit the family's needs. Follow these tips to find a home that's a good fit.

 

Take the Long View

Search for a home that will be in the family at least five to seven years (ideally). Time, effort and expense are considerations when moving including closing costs. Staying in a home longer helps avoid added expense and stress. The extra time put into the home, as well as any work completed within the home, can help add value long term and avoid any downturns in the real estate market.

 

Growth

Family's needs change over time whether it's additions (babies, returning older children). Seek out properties with potential for growth and provide room for expansion. Houses for sale in Indian Lake, Ohio are a perfect example of properties which offer lots of room to grow at an affordable price.

 

Flexibility

Homes with lots of options usually suit a family's needs better than ones which are less flexible. A home that is functional for years to come with an open floor plan style can be adapted to changes while a kitchen with a view of a living area is great for keeping an eye on young kids as well as entertaining family and friends.

 

Find a Suitable Type

To find the perfect home requires knowing what best suits one's personal style. Homes are not one size fits all. There are many styles including condos, houses, townhomes. A person who does not want the responsibility of upkeep for a home may want a townhome versus a single family residential house. Likewise, a family who would like a vacation style home in a resort community with amenities may prefer to search for houses for sale in Indian Lake, Ohio which has many great features of a small community with access to waterfront dining, activities year round and plenty of suitable properties for families of shapes and sizes.

 

Location

A home's location is one of the most important aspects of buying real estate. Families who desire a quiet neighborhood in which to raise kids may not be looking for homes near a busy street or in the middle of an urban city environment. While that may suit a single person or couple, once children arrive, many families seek the peace, tranquility and safety of a suburban neighborhood which offers community, friendly neighbors and access to great schools while still being near to an entertainment district and work. A home's location with a spectacular view also attracts friends and family to come visit which is many families choose houses for sale on a lake or by water.


Choice Properties has agents ready to help you find the perfect home by the lake.                                                                  Contact us today at 937-842-2244 to set up an appointment!

 

Get more advice on finding the perfect Indian Lake home for your budget.

Contact one of our agents today.

March
23

Living on the water may seem like a luxury, but more people than ever before are finding affordable properties with a wide range of budgets. Whether shopping for a smaller property or luxury accommodation, there are vacation homes on the water for all people with some considerations to keep in mind when shopping for that special home.

 

Emotional value

People shop for a home with their hearts set on a certain lifestyle. There is tranquility and peace which comes from choosing waterfront property. Whether it is oceanside, lakefront or something in between, there is something serene about owning a vacation home on the water. Once a person lives by the water, it can be hard to give that up because of all the amenities included such as water sports, activities, opportunities to connect with neighbors and many other benefits.

 

Bang for the buck

Vacation homes on the water retain their worth longer than property away from water. Valuation depends on the location and type of waterfront property (lake, canal, ocean). There is only a limited amount of land on which to build homes by the water which make these locations more desirable and valued more highly. Costs may be higher to maintain a luxury vacation home due to environmental and insurance factors, which vary depending on location. Florida waterfront property will be quite different from a home purchased by a lake in the Midwest. There are deals to be had on vacation homes on the water, with the right research and diligence in searching for the perfect property.

 

Structure

A property's foundation is an important factor when looking at waterfront property. Due to the various elements (which vary based on region) a home's foundation can shift or change over time. There are also important elements of the property's land to look for since this is something which won't change including water quality, swimming and boating conditions and docking for boats, to name a few.

 

Experienced Realtor

An experienced real estate agent with knowledge of waterfront properties, values and the market can help negotiate the best deal. Ask questions about the neighborhood, amenities, quality of life, dining and entertainment options and what the area is like during the time you plan to vacation in the home. Work with a realtor who specializes in vacation homes on the water which can save time and money when looking for that luxury home everyone can enjoy for years to come.

Choice Properties has agents who specialize in waterfront properties. Call today at 937-842-2244 to discuss your needs and to help you find the right waterfront vacation home of your dreams.

 

Get more advice on finding the perfect summer vacation home.

Contact one of our agents today.

March
15

Retirement is a time to kick back, relax and enjoy life. What better way to enjoy this time of life than to retire on the water. Many people choose to retire near water for the serenity, peace and quiet of a lifestyle which moves at a slower pace and is more low key. The natural beauty of water is that it affords many opportunities to do activities like boating, skiing, fishing, beaches and more.

Paradise

There are fewer things more enjoyable than sitting on a deck listening to the water as it gently rolls into shore. Water is not only pleasing to the ear but the eyes as well. Birds and other wildlife flock to water for its natural resources which also provide hours of beauty in nature to enjoy. Taking advantage of opportunities to be in nature is one of the great features which compel people to retire on the water.

 

View

People who look to retire on the water do so for the amazing views of the water. Whether it is an ocean or a lake, waterfront homes provide an endless array of beautiful scenery to take in from the comfort of one's own home. There are also opportunities to walk on the beach, through a nearby park or take a stroll and find new vistas which can't be seen from one's own porch. A great water view is also relaxing which is a great reason to retire on the water.

 

Family

Nothing is better than being able to entertain family and loved ones in a home by the water. Some people prefer the company of only a handful of people when retired or, because they are quite busy in retirement, enjoy lots of people coming in and out of a home and sharing the beautiful views. When searching for waterfront retirement homes, notice what type of home, what size and location speak to you. Seek out properties which allow for space to do activities with loved ones but also provide a respite from the busyness of life.

 

Amenities

A person who looks to retire on the water has many options from which to choose. Living in an area where it is quiet can be peaceful but having access to entertainment, waterfront dining, boating and additional opportunities can also be exciting. Some want to live in the midst of the action and others choose a home on a quieter plot of land away from people. Fishing, kayaking, sailing and swimming are just some of the activities available to people who own property by the water.

It is easy to work with Choice Properties real estate agents to find the perfect retirement home on the water.                                 Call us today at 937-842-2244 for more information and to get started on your home search.

 

Get more advice on finding that perfect home for your retirement.

Contact one of our agents today.

March
10

One of the reasons people search for investment property in Ohio is to gain financial freedom. Financial independence is possible with an investment property if a person knows how to go about finding the right home and the ins and outs of putting money into an additional place. There are many benefits to purchasing such an investment in Ohio, especially Indian Lake, as prices are low and demand is going up for homes by the water. To increase cash flow, an investment property can be leased or rented out and eventually sold for profit. The appeal of injecting cash into a property which can build equity and profit later is possible. Follow these steps to   get started.

 

Establish a Limited Liability Corporation (LLC)

An LLC is a private limited company which is a designated business structure. This is ideal for smaller businesses because it limits and shield's an entrepreneur's personal liability risk by the enterprise's liabilities. Any individual who uses an LLC does so to protect their rights as business owner against legal issues.

 

Find a Good, Reputable Real Estate Agent

A good real estate agent can find out immediately if a property will be a worthwhile investment. They will know the area and market values to help make the best choice. When a property is selected, cash will need to be available on hand for a 20% deposit. A good lender is key to help process the loans in a timely fashion. Choice Properties has excellent trained, qualified real estate agents available to help in the selection of an investment property in Indian Lake, Ohio and beyond.

 

Property Rehab

Homes are prone to wear and tear and investment properties are no exception. As years go by, a property will need upkeep as it may not be well taken care of by tenants. Damage is an inevitable part of owning a home so keeping a fund available for leaky roofs, new heating units and more is a consideration.

 

Contracts

Be selective when choosing renters for a property. Rent arrangements need to be covered in a contract. Failure to outline this in a written agreement may result in difficulties later if the need to evict a tenant arises or if other issues come up.

 

Patience

Patience is important when searching for investment property in Ohio. Indian Lake is an area with lots to offer but it will take time to locate the best property. It is time consuming to search for contractors and good renters. Taking time now will save a headache later so be patient, take time and do it right from the start.

 

Business First

Do not let renters get away with anything. After all, an investment is part of one's financial portfolio which can affect the quality of life. It is better to kick out a poor tenant for non payment or other issues than let the issue linger and risk losing money.

 

Choice Properties has agents ready to speak with you about investment properties in Indian Lake, Ohio.                                      Don't wait, call today at 937-842-2244 to discuss the options and get started!

 

Get more advice on steps it takes to own an investment property.

Contact one of our agents today.

February
9

So You're Looking for Cheap Waterfront Property

Waterfront investment properties require special consideration to ensure the property will suit the lifestyle and provide activities everyone can enjoy. Start with these tips when looking to purchase cheap waterfront property.

 

Determine Your Needs

When potential homeowners research waterfront investment properties, the first step is to discern how the property will be used. From this point, a realtor can help figure out which area best suits these needs and desires to focus in on specific properties. Some strategies to get started include:

 

  • Learn about real estate. Get books, take a class or two and do research. Ask lots of questions, talk to friends, family and other relatives to learn as much as possible about investing in waterfront property.

  • Commit to the process. It takes time to research, find and purchase that perfect property. Some will fall through or not be a good match but know what to look for and what needs exist to know the right property when it comes available.

  • Have a strategy. Focus on achievable goals and know what the property is intended for. If it will be a rental for part of the year and vacation home for the rest, this may determine which property is ultimately selected.

 

Frequency of Use

When searching for cheap waterfront property, it is important to look at the activities available, nearby hospitals for any medical needs which should arise, proximity to an airport if frequent travel is important and finding the best property to suit the family's needs and budget. Knowing how often the property will be used can determine suitable options.

 

The Search

Location is key when searching for waterfront investment properties. After determining best fit for needs in a waterfront home, visiting the area to find a good fit is important. The surrounding community is an important factor when making a decision. Look over the property as well as the house as the real value of the home will be the property in a waterfront location. Look for five key points when searching for that perfect property:

  • Sandy beach. Proximity and quality is important for both younger and older family members.

  • View. As people age and do less on the water activities, the view becomes more important.

  • Level lot. The flatter the lot, the better for easier water access

  • Proximity to water. Homes closer to the water allow a closeness to nature and keeping an eye on any young kids by the water.

  • Privacy. Some lakefront properties have as little as 50 feet of frontage, which offer very little privacy. Ideally, a property will offer 150-200 feet to give privacy from neighbors.

 

Choice Properties has real estate agents who specialize in waterfront investment properties in the Indian Lakes area to assist with your needs and sort through complex issues to get everyone on the right track to finding that perfect location.

 

Get more advice on finding and owning an affordable waterfont property.

Contact one of our agents today.

February
2

The American Dream of Living on a Lake

The dream of living on the water is closer than most think. For waterfront homeowners, a home by the water means access to amenities such as beaches and a relaxed atmosphere many people speak of but have not attained. A lifestyle which includes living on a lake is within reach when choosing to make Indian Lake home.

 

Lakefront Experience

Life in Indian Lake is about access to amazing schools, neighborhoods and communities which foster engagement but also provide privacy. Many people who enjoy living on a lake seek ambiance but do not want to sacrifice access to shopping centers, outdoor recreation and other activities. A lakefront home in Indian Lake is sure to provide opportunities to enjoy many activities including water sports, boating, hiking, biking, parks and more. Privacy is important to some people while others seek a lively atmosphere, both of which can be found at Indian Lake as well in the many neighborhoods which surround the lake itself.

 

Things to Consider

When deciding which home is a good fit for living on the water, there are many things to consider. Not all lakes are treated equal. It is important to look at some key factors when making a decision to purchase a home.

 

Public or private: if variety is what is important, public lakes offer opportunities to engage in watersports, some with limitations. There may be permits or fees for certain activities. Private lake areas will provide a home away from home with space to enjoy the lake without the public access, for those who enjoy this lifestyle feature. Indian Lake has both public and private areas which afford opportunities enjoy both types of access.

 

Upkeep - lake homes may require more maintenance than the typical home. The dock and shoreline will need regular maintenance. A knowledgeable realtor can outline all the features, amenities and costs associated with living on the water.

 

Weather conditions - the natural elements play a key role in deciding which home will be suitable for living on a lake. Some homes are more prone to the elements than others with seasonal changes affecting weather conditions year to year.

 

Next generation - living on the water may seem like a dream but kids may see it differently. A backyard may be important to some families with children. Safety is a factor to consider when looking at lakefront property including fences or other features to keep kids from falling into the water.

 

Location - families who choose Indian Lake look for location and convenience of schools, commute times, neighbors and atmosphere. In balance, a great home will include all of these and more such as indoor and outdoor dining, shopping and spaces for everyone in the family to enjoy. Indian Lake offers friendly neighborhood pubs, restaurants, shops and, of course, the lake with year round activities which makes finding a home and living on the water a dream come true. 

 

Get more advice on how living on the lake can become a reality.

Contact one of our agents today.

January
27

Find Incredible Properties All Over the Indian Lake Ohio Map

Indian Lake boasts 5,800 acres of lakes and 800 acres of parks featuring year-round recreation. Camping, boating, swimming, fishing, hiking and more are on offer including many unique restaurants and dining opportunities. Antique stores, marinas, golf courses and other amenities make this area the jewel of Ohio. Whatever a person is looking for, incredible properties exist all over the Indian Lake Ohio map.

 

Logan County

Logan County is located in western Ohio. Rich with natural beauty, it is also steeped in history as American Indians called Logan County home. What started with small villages throughout the county, areas began to grow such as Bellefontaine which became the county seat. Campbell's Hill is the highest point in Ohio with the first concrete street in America, built in 1891. Several natural caves dot the landscape including two open to the public: Ohio Caverns and Zane Caverns. Two castles are open for tours, owned by the Piatt family located in the Mad River Valley near West Liberty, Ohio.

 

Neighborhoods

 

Russells Point

Russells Point is situated with an amazing view of Indian Lake. Waterfront views are an enticing feature of living in this neighborhood. Along with local restaurants, bars and other amenities, properties in the area include waterfront locations with a boat dock as well as spectacular water views of the Indian Lake area. Many available properties take advantage of the lake view with beautiful windows overlooking the water and decks for entertaining guests. The neighborhood is friendly, inviting and caters to a wide range of people who enjoy the water.

 

Lakeview

Lakeview is one of the most spectacular areas to live within the Indian Lake Ohio region. Many homes boast waterfront and lake views as well as personal boat docks. Great schools, neighbors and amenities surround this neighborhood. Fishing and other water activities can be enjoyed from the vicinity of home. Sprawling properties with acreage are available as well as smaller homes. It all depends on the individual's needs and desires.

 

Finding the right property in the Indian Lake Ohio map is a challenge with so many beautiful locations from which to choose. From newer developments to rustic, historic villages the area boasts many opportunities to select a home with features that best fit an individual's budget and desires. The region is historically significant but also hosts many tourists and visitors who enhance economic development and build on the tradition of Indian Lake as a destination for all people. When searching for property in the Indian Lake area, the options are truly endless. Enjoy the waterfront dining options, golf courses, camping, hiking and biking or take a day out on the lake. The choice is yours to make when you choose Indian Lake as the place to reside and call home.

 

Get more advice on finding the best property for you.

Contact one of our agents today.

January
6

The Key to Buying Waterfront Property

Purchasing a home is a complicated process from pre-approval to the last signature. Buying 'waterfront' property throws another layer of complexity into the process. Real estate agents who work with waterfront properties on a regular basis understand the process backwards and forwards. Finding an experienced agent can really make the process take less time when they know what an individual is looking for and will tailor the search to those specific properties. These tips will give an idea of what to expect when doing research on buying waterfront property.

 

Tips

Find a real estate agent who specializes in waterfront properties. A general agent will not have detailed knowledge of waterfront properties in the area to find the best deals on available properties.

 

Property over structure. People may fall in love with a house only to realize the view is not great, the water is murky, it is difficult to get to the water or the place has less privacy than desired.

 

Consider property to fit lifestyle. A beautiful property half an hour away from the water may not suit everyone. If being close to water is desirable, start the process with this in mind before entering negotiation.

 

Check for structural issues due to weather. Waterfront homes are more susceptible to the elements than an average home. Investment in weatherproofing can help avoid some of these concerns.

 

Research insurance requirements. Review this early to be sure what is necessary before buying. Waterfront homes may require several policies.

 

Find out what changes can be made. If a new dock or other change is desired, research local government policies. Some may be more strict than others. Before committing, understand the financial and legal ramifications might be. Also look into what activities are allowed on the water as some may have restrictions on motorized watercraft including jet skis and speedboats.

 

Meet the neighbors. Speak with people who live nearby and knew the previous owners. Seek insider information about living in the community, any issues with the property or waterfront-related concerns.

 

Get to know responsibilities as an owner. When buying waterfront property, find out what upkeep and maintenance of the property is required by any homeowners associations (if applicable). Review conditions, covenants, restrictions or CC&Rs in addition to speaking with the HOA management company.

 

Getting Started

With helpful tips in hand, it is time to start the process of buying waterfront property. An agent who specializes in waterfront homes should be able to provide useful insights into the home and location but it is up to the individual buyer to learn as much as possible prior to contacting an agent for assistance. A real estate agent may not know all the ins and outs (as the neighbors might) or may not include information helpful to a particular homeowner's search. Making a list of what is important will be helpful when seeking that next property to buy on the water and will make for a more satisfied customer come time to sign the papers.

 

Get more advice on buying waterfront properties.

Contact one of our agents today.

October
6

 

Whether you are looking to buy or sell a home in Central Ohio, you'll need to know your market, i.e. your 'comps'. Comps are the homes in the area where you are transacting business that are comparable, meaning they are in the same neighborhood, are similar in size, layout, and condition, and have similar features or extras (like pools, fireplaces, or even neighborhood playgrounds).

These comps are used when determining pricing. From the buyer's standpoint, knowing the market gives them a place to start with a fair offer, while from the seller's viewpoint, comps help them to figure the best price point for the property. A good real estate agent stays on top of their local market, making sure to understand the ins and outs of what makes a property comparable.

 

Location, location, location . . .

When pricing or valuing a home, the first thing you want to do is look at what's nearby. Stay within the neighborhood to ensure things like the age of the homes and the community features are similar. School zones make good measures of parameters.

 

No time like the present . . .

Keep your eye on the pending sales. The initial bargaining has taken place between the buyer and seller, so these are, in effect, a plethora of current data for the market—including the latest 'dollar per square foot' average. A good rule of thumb is to look at sales within the last three months, but not more than six months old, as trends could've changed drastically in that time.

 

Show me the extras . . .

With the where and when pinned down, now you can look at the fun stuff, the property features. The main thing to compare here are the number of bedrooms/bathrooms and the lot size. Narrow those down, and then you can get into the smaller extras. Views, updated appliances, flooring materials, pools, garages, fireplaces . . . the list can get rather long, but these are the creature comforts that are going to help you turn your purchase into an Indian Lake Home (or sell your property to the highest bidder).

 

Don't overanalyze or stress . . .

While it is a good idea to have some knowledge of how the market works, there are professionals available to help you navigate the world of home buying and selling. Choice Properties has trustworthy agents to assist with the petty details of each comparable Logan County home. We make it our job to know the market so that you can make Indian Lake, Bellefontaine, or the surrounding areas your home.

September
21

 

From mid-century ranchers and ramblers to 21st century Mediterranean villas and works of abstract architecture, in the half a century plus which has elapsed since the '50's, home floor plans have changed. They've grown in size, number and use of rooms, and even lighting has evolved to be more 'natural' . . . skylights and picture windows favored by many for the outside hues they let in.

Let's take a look at the main rooms that have transformed over the years.

 

The Kitchen

Then: Appliances like refrigerators and dishwashers were a novelty in the 1950s. Not everyone had them, and those that did, wanted them displayed. As a result, over time walls have been removed to open up floorplans, leading into today's open kitchens with islands that are often the central gathering place of a home.

Now: The more decked out, open, and inviting the kitchen space, the more appealing the house is overall to potential buyers.

 

The Dining Room

Then: Hosting dining parties where everyone gathered in a separate dining room was a way to show status and station in life. A well-liked hostess was one who could ooh and ahh her guests—and making her husband proud, Mrs. Cleaver-style—with each dish she brought out from the kitchen.

Now: Meals are no longer the formal affair they were, gatherings are reserved for holidays and special occasions, and so most designated dining areas tend to be used as offices or play spaces for younger children.

 

The Living Room

Then: The living room was considered the family room and was often placed toward the back of the house, away from the front entertainment areas, for privacy. In the '70s, designers began incorporating conversation pits or sunken living rooms, and gradually, these rooms were brought more to the forefront of the floor plans.

Now: A shared space, the living room is a space that tends to open into other rooms, making the house inviting and welcoming to guests. Not only are the spaces larger, design trends have gone taller … vaulted ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows, and open lofts are all quite common.

 

The Bathroom

Then: Bathrooms were purely functional—get in, do your business, get out. One to a household sufficed on most occasions, and was often "shared" by household members. While little Johnny brushed his teeth, baby Davey was getting his bath . . . that kind of thing.

Now: Floorplans now account for at least a 2:1 ratio of bedrooms:bathrooms, but it's not uncommon for the ratio to be higher, so that nearly every occupant in the house gets their "own" bathroom.  Master bathrooms can be turned into private retreats, racking up the expense with specialty tubs, showers, vanities, and flooring materials.  

 

The Master Bedroom Suite

Then: Bedrooms weren't a place to hang out or relax. Closets were small, as were wardrobes, and available floor space was compact.

Now: Following the mindset for the master bathroom, the master bedroom has typically been given more square footage than any other room in the house, next to the living room and kitchen, in today's floor plans. It's not uncommon for master "suites" to have sitting areas, walk in closets, and of course, the attached spa-like bathrooms.

September
7

Making the decision to buy a home in Central Ohio doesn't have to be daunting or intimidating. With a little understanding of how the mortgage process works, you'll be a proud bellefontaine homeowner in no time.

A pre-check of your finances is highly suggested to give you a starting point. Knowing what you can realistically afford, even in the case of a financial emergency, can save you heartache down the road. You don't want to bite off a mortgage that is bigger than you can chew. Knowing your limits will also narrow your property searches down and help you stay on target. Online calculators are available to help you determine affordability:

 

Affordability Calculator

(estimates an affordable purchase price based on your income and available down payment)

 

Payment Calculator

(estimates monthly mortgage payment based on purchase price, insurance, and tax rates)

 

Now that you have an idea of what you can afford, it's time to start the mortgage process by speaking with a lender. Getting your home loan underway will result in you having qualifying documentation when you reach out to a realtor and start looking at actual homes—and should you find "the one," it'll be great to have no delays in closing the deal because of bank issues.

 

Information you will be asked to provide to the lender (with documentation):

 

  • Personal — Date of birth, marital status, number of children and their ages, and social security number (to pull your credit report).

  • Last Two Years (minimum) of Residential History — Rental or mortgage, insurance, and tax figures.

  • Proof of Employment and Income — Wages, bonuses, or commissions and employment history for at least two years back. Be prepared to show completed tax returns. Mortgage lenders will average variable and self-employed income over two years.

  • Assets — Even if your down payment comes from one account, ALL checking, savings, investments, and retirement accounts will have to be recorded and verified. Keep in mind that if you're fortunate enough to have funds being gifted to you, there are special rules which apply. Speak to your lender.

  • Debts — Full disclosure of payments and balances owed on all credit cards, student loans, auto loans, existing mortgages, and any alimony or child support requirements.

  • Identify your preferred loan type and available down payment.

 

With this information your lender will be able to create a personal profile and recommend loans commensurate with your individual budget. Everyone is different and therefore multiple loan and rate tiers exist. Your lender will be like your personal guidance counselor as you go through this process. Your existence is at their disposal, on paper at least, and so they can use their expertise to suggest what will likely be the best path for you to follow. Whether it be a short term investment property with plans to turn around and sell, or settling in with a 30 year mortgage on a family home.

 

Our Choice Properites Real Estate agents are knowledgeable and willing to meet with you and your lender so that the fun part can start . . . home shopping! In the crazy days that will come in the whirlwind process of home buying you can expect the following to happen:

  1. Upon finding "the one," your agent will write up an offer of what you're willing to pay for the property and present it to the seller; if accepted, then your loan process will move to the final approval phase.

  2. Your lender will lock the interest rate on your loan (this can't be done without an acceptance as it is determinate upon buyer/seller price agreement).

  3. Depending how much time has elapsed since financials were initially gathered and verified, your lender may request updated documentation from you; your lender will also order an appraisal on the property and review the property title report at this stage.

 

When all I's are dotted and T's are crossed, the final loan documents will be drawn up and your closing will be scheduled. Once the papers are signed and the loan is funded, the keys will be placed in your hand.

 

Congratulations and enjoy your new Logan County home!

March
16

 

2014 was a relatively strong year for real estate across the farm belt and greater Midwest.  However, the National Association of Home Builders predicts 2015 will be even stronger for single-family homes, despite the continued rise of mortgage rates.  While the recovery seems to be delayed in many states, Ohio is noticing a resurgence of interest in homes and available land.  In the meantime, let's focus on the standard best practices that have kept us strong for decades.

 

It's the Little Things

The best possible presentation of a house is necessary to capture an eager buyer's eye.  Little things like trimming the bushes near the front door, changing out old welcome mats, and de-cluttering closets and shelves will add to an already well-prepared home. 

 

Take Notes

If you're a buyer looking at the home options available on the market, you're probably seeing several properties a day.  In this situation it's helpful to keep a notebook on you and make notes on the properties you visit.  Pros and Cons for each house will help you make a decision later on.

 

Sell for Spring

The winter months are over so it's time to start thinking springtime at your home.  Fresh flowers are always a nice touch for highlighting the rebirth of warm weather and add color and life to the rooms of your home.  Spring cleaning is important, especially to wash away the salt brine from the winter roads and the clutter that accumulates while we're hibernating. Take advantage of the smiles brought on by the sunshine.  

 

Transparency is Trust

A smart home buyer is going to hire an inspector or two to investigate the quality and possible problems with a property so it behooves sellers to be forthright with the state of the home.  Don't try to hide anything because buyers will assume you're hiding even more.  Try to get minor fixes out of the way like plumbing leaks and paint jobs.

 

We're all hopeful this year on both sides of the real estate market so let's keep the enthusiasm rolling and make this a great year for home buyers and sellers!

February
16

Buying a home is one of the biggest investments you're likely to make in your lifetime. Therefore, you should take some time to get to know the process and decide what you're looking for.  During the process of shopping for a new home, you'll want to enlist the aid of professionals who can help you navigate the legal and financial hurdles, as well as keep your best interests in mind and help you make a sound decision.   

 

 

Rely on a Knowledgeable Agent

Some people are comfortable with all the steps of buying a new home, especially those who have purchased a home in Ohio before.  However most folks are more comfortable working with a licensed professional who knows all the little details of the process and can go to bat for you if needed.   A certified real estate agent can help you stay within your budget, choose the most appropriate neighborhood for you and your family, and track the necessary paperwork.  Our award-winning agents take great pride in their attention to detail and the service they provide to prospective homebuyers.  

 

What Sellers Must Disclose

It's important that you get all the details and information about the property you're buying, which is why sellers in Ohio are required to disclose anything that may be wrong with the property.  Your agent can help you attain a Disclosure Form that outlines anything you need to know about the property ahead of time.  It's illegal for a seller to hide major issues, such as plumbing problems or a shoddy foundation.

 

Get an Inspection

In the same vein as disclosure, you'll want a professional to inspect the property for any damages or concerns, just to protect yourself.  This is a good step because an inspector may find issues of which the seller wasn't even aware.

 

Get in in Writing

When it comes time to make a deal, you should spell out all the details of the transaction including cost, terms, deadlines, and any points of interest or concern that may affect the transfer of the property.   An agent can help you draft up an agreement that will benefit both you and the seller in fair and even terms.

 

Foreclosures, Short Sales, and Special Considerations

In Ohio, a foreclosing home can be purchased at the courthouse and is sold "as is" with no warranties or protections once you acquire the property.  This is why getting your own inspection is important.  Short sales allow you to buy from a seller who is struggling with payments for less than what is actually owed.  This can't be done between family or business partners, as it is a special consideration to help those bound for foreclosure, and also serves to help buyers find great deals on excellent homes.

 

If you're interested in buying a home in Ohio, get in touch with our successful staff to set up a no-obligation appointment.  

 

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