Wednesday, February 24, 2016

4 Costs You Should Expect To Cover When Buying A Home

Are you saving up to buy your first home? If you are preparing to buy a house at the Lake of the Ozarks, you have probably been calculating what you will need to provide as a down payment and what your monthly mortgage payments will be after the home is yours. However, it's important to remember that you will be responsible for more expenses than just the down payment and mortgage payments. Eagle's Nest Realty, Inc. is here to give you a realistic look at some of the other expenses associated with buying real estate at the Lake of the Ozarks.

1. Earnest Money
Earnest money is an unexpected cost for many first time buyers. Essentially, earnest money is a deposit that you include when you submit your offer to the sellers. By including a check with your offer, you show the sellers that you are serious (or "earnest") about buying their home. The amount of earnest money you should include varies, but it generally ranges between 1-3% of the home's purchase price. If the sale goes through, the earnest money you provided will be applied to your closing costs. If it falls through due to a failed contingency, you should get the money back without any penalty.

2. Home Inspection
The home inspection is a crucial part of the home buying process. This is when a certified home inspector evaluates the property from top to bottom and provides a detailed report on the current condition of everything in your home (foundation, walls, ceilings, roofs, HVAC system, plumbing, septic system, etc). The inspection report should reveal any potential issues with the property that may require expensive repairs. By getting these out into the open before the sale, you have the option of negotiating the cost of these repairs with the sellers into the sale or potentially back out of the purchase agreement altogether. At the very least, you will be able to move into the home well aware of any required maintenance. As the buyer, you will be expected to hire the home inspector.

3. Home Appraisal
The home appraisal is another crucial part of the home buying process (and another cost the buyer is expected to cover). The appraisal is an official assessment of the home's current market value, as determined by an appraiser. The appraiser performs a thorough walk-through of the property, evaluating everything that could add to or detract from the home's value. The amount of finished square footage, the amount of unfinished square footage, the location, the condition of the property, the quality of the construction, the amount of storage space, the quality of the landscaping, and the actual sale price of comparable properties are all examples of factors that can affect a home's appraisal value. The cost of the appraisal can usually be covered upfront or can be incorporated into the closing costs.

4. Closing Costs
Finally, you will be expected to cover the miscellaneous closing costs associated with a home purchase. The closing costs include the various expenses, fees, and costs accrued throughout the home buying process. Examples of these expenses may include:
  • Title search
  • Lender's policy title insurance
  • Owner's policy title insurance
  • Survey fee
  • Credit report
  • Closing fee
  • Attorneys' fees (if applicable)
  • Property tax
  • Courier fee
  • Pre-paid mortgage interest
  • Homeowners association transfer fees (if applicable)
  • Underwriting fee

They obviously vary from transaction to transaction, but the total closing costs generally range from 2-5% of the home's purchase price. In some cases, you may be able to negotiate with the sellers so that they will help cover some or all of these costs.

More Questions About Buying A House? We Can Help!
If you are considering purchasing real estate at the Lake of the Ozarks, contact Eagle's Nest Realty! With over forty years of combined real estate experience, our team has helped hundreds of buyers through successful closings. We would be more than happy to answer any questions you may have about the process!

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Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Why Your REALTOR® Will Be Your New Best Friend

When you're buying or selling real estate at the Lake of the Ozarks, having a Sunrise Beach real estate agent on your side can make an incredible difference. Throughout the entire process (and hopefully your future real estate transactions as well), your real estate agent will be right there by your side, guiding and assisting you in any way he or she can. In fact, many people agree that their real estate agents become some of their closest contacts during the process. Here are a few reasons why your REALTOR® at the Lake of the Ozarks will be your new best friend.

Your Agent Has Your Best Interests In Mind.
Both buyers and sellers often want the transaction process to happen as quickly as possible, but other than that, they have very different priorities. As the homebuyer, you want to find a house for the lowest possible price. As the seller, you want to sell your home for the highest possible price. No matter what your needs are, your agent will be right there with you to advocate for your position. 

Nothing Can Shock Your Real Estate Agent.
An experienced Lake of the Ozarks real estate agent has seen it all. Terrible decorating styles, messy divorces that complicate the selling process, unexpected job losses, bankruptcies, deaths in the family... no matter what it is, you can almost guarantee that your agent will have dealt with someone who has experienced it in the past. If and/or when complications in your own life arise, your agent will be able to calmly and rationally help you determine the best path to pursue.

Your Agent Will Be Totally Honest With You.

All good relationships are built on honesty. If you're buying a house, your REALTOR® will be able to help you identify what you can truly afford by educating you on the other costs you will be expected to cover as a homebuyer. If you're selling, your agent will be able to help you identify a realistic asking price and work with you as you negotiate the sale of your home. No matter what your needs are, your agent will be sure to work with you to ensure you have a successful transaction.

Your Relationship With Your Agent Will Last Beyond The Closing Date.
A good real estate agent will work closely with you through the closing date and beyond. If you have future questions about the home you purchased, such as how to gauge if it has gone up in value or selling tips if/when you decide to move, your agent will be there for you. In turn, you can help your agent by referring your friends and family members to him when they are in need of assistance. It's a wonderful relationship!

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Wednesday, February 10, 2016

What Is Inspected In A Home Inspection?

Buying a house at the Lake of the Ozarks is a complicated process with lots of required steps, and having a real estate agent in Sunrise Beach to guide you can make a world of difference. One of the steps you will have to take is hiring a professional home inspector to perform a thorough inspection of the property. This week, Eagle's Nest Realty, Inc. is here to help you get a better understanding of this important part of the process.

The Home Inspection

During the inspection, the inspector will closely evaluate every aspect of the property to determine its current condition. The inspection report will contain a detailed analysis of the inspector's findings. This report aims to uncover any potential issues with the property, especially anything that could lead to costly repairs. When these issues are identified before the closing, the buyer has the opportunity to negotiate the cost of these repairs into the home purchase (or potentially back out of the sale altogether). There are a couple of different ways to negotiate the cost of repairs in a home purchase:
  • The sellers can perform any necessary repairs before the closing date.
  • The sellers can reduce the sale price to accommodate for the buyers' cost of the required repairs.
  • The sellers can contribute to the closing costs in exchange for the buyers covering the cost of the repairs.

After the closing date, any issues with the property will become the buyers' responsibility - regardless of whether or not the buyers were aware of these issues before they purchased the home. It comes as no surprise, then, that the inspection report is an incredibly valuable tool for anyone who is purchasing real estate at the Lake of the Ozarks.

Items Covered In The Home Inspection

As we have discussed, a proper home inspection is incredibly thorough. The inspector should evaluate almost every aspect of the property. Here are a few examples of the items an inspection report should cover. (Source: Angie's List)
  • Structural components: foundation, framing
  • Plumbing systems: water heating equipment, sump pump, drains, pipes
  • Roof system: shingles, skylights, flashing
  • Heating and cooling systems: equipment, venting, energy sources
  • Fireplaces: chimney, vents
  • Electrical system: breakers, fuses, service panels
  • Exterior features: porches, balconies, railings, walkways, siding, soffits, driveways
  • Interior features: walls, floors, ceilings, doors, windows, stairs, railings
  • Insulation and ventilation

Septic Systems are another very important part of home inspections, especially at the Lake. The current owner of the property will need to locate the tank and uncover it (remove the lid) for the inspector to access the tank. The required tests will include an inspection of the tank and dye flushed into the system from the house. The leech field should show no color on the surface to pass. Never buy a house without testing the septic system! If the home is on a private well, the water should also be tested for coliform bacteria by a commercial or government laboratory.

While it may not be a comprehensive list, this should help you get a better understanding of the home inspection and the types of things covered in the process.

Questions About Buying A House? We Have Answers!

If you have additional questions about buying real estate and what the process looks like, don't be afraid to give us a call at 877-452-5338. Our team of experienced real estate professionals at the Lake of the Ozarks would be honored to help you in any way we can. We look forward to talking to you!

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Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Should You Rent Out Your Second Home?

As the owner of a vacation home at the Lake of the Ozarks, you must make many important decision about your second property. Most importantly, you must decide what should happen to the property when you are not there. Do you let it sit empty, or do you rent it on a nightly or weekly basis to vacationers? If you plan on not visiting the property for a long time, do you want to consider leasing it to earn additional income? Eagle's Nest Realty is here to help you weigh the pros and cons.

Benefits Of Renting Out Your Second Home

Under the right circumstances, renting out your second home can be a great option. Here are a few of the potential benefits of renting out your second home at the Lake of the Ozarks.

Someone Has An Eye On The Property
All homes require maintenance. One of the drawbacks of being away from your second home for an extended amount of time is that you may not be present to identify the need for certain repairs as they arise. If you have a renter on the property, you can be confident that someone will be present on the property and you will hear if something is in need of repair.

You Can Earn Supplemental Income
Owning a second home can be expensive, but having a consistent source of income from renters or vacationers can be a great way to offset the costs of ownership. If you lease your home for a year or more, you may even be able to earn enough income that you have some leftover after paying the mortgage and utilities. 

You Get To Be Involved In Someone Else's Lake Memories
The memories made at the Lake of the Ozarks are some of the best memories. By renting out your second home, you get to be a part of someone else's lake memories. Leave a guest book in your home so your vacationers can share their stories and their excitement. You'll love reading through it afterwards.

Drawbacks Of Renting Out Your Second Home

Unfortunately, renting out your second home may also come with a few drawbacks. Here are a few of the things you should be aware of before deciding to rent out your second property.

It May Be Harder To Take Care Of Repairs When You're Not There
Though having renters in your home practically guarantees you will be made aware of any issues in need of repairs, it doesn't mean that taking care of them will be any easier. Negotiating with repairmen and overseeing repairs from a long distance can be challenging.

Getting The House Ready In Between Renters Can Be Challenging
If two renters reserve your property back to back, you will have to learn to prepare the property for new renters very efficiently. The vast majority of property owners hire a cleaning service to help them with this process. You'll have to be ready to complete quick turn-arounds!

Your House May Be Damaged By Renters
The worst part about renting out your home is that you risk it being damaged by your renters. Since the home is not their own, they may not be as careful with the property. Their potentially reckless behavior could lead to the need for additional repairs, which may in turn be more difficult to handle since you're not there.

Eagle's Nest Resort Can Make The Process Easy For You!

While these drawbacks may seem daunting, there is still some good news. When you rent your home through a vacation rentals company at the Lake of the Ozarks, the burden is lifted from your shoulders. We will negotiate with renters and facilitate anything that needs to be done to care for your Lake of the Ozarks home. Visit our website for more information!

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