Monday, April 1, 2013

Thinking about buying lakefront property on Lake Wedowee

News to Know
Story by Leisel Caldwell


Do your research.  Good grief, these days you can find anything on the internet.  It is easy to find real estate listings, information about real estate agents and the local area just by doing a Google search.   If you dig deep enough into such sites as Facebook you can even find out who is in a relationship and who is not.  Not everything on the internet is true but you should find enough information to form some good opinions on whether you would like the area and if you find properties in within your budget.  

Find a real estate agent who is experienced, knowledgeable and has a boat!   Lake property has different characteristics to consider than traditional homes and land and the average agent does not have this detailed knowledge or a boat. Choosing the right agent can save you time, effort and aggravation in finding the right lake property for the right price.  Really the boat isn't a necessary tool  but having an agent with a good understanding of living on and loving the lake is essential. 

Don't just show up on the weekend and expect to view inside lots of houses.    It is in your best interest to discuss your interest and price range with an agent before just showing up.  From an agents point of view, it is very difficult to meet with a prospective buyer, find out what they are looking for and then make appointments with multiple listing agents or sellers on such short notice on the weekend.  Do yourself and the agent a favor call and make an appointment.  And if your plans change then be sure to let the agent know. 

Look into loans early.  All I can say is... it ain't like it use to be.  In the good ol days it seemed all you had to do was fog a mirror and you could get a loan.  Not so now.  If you have not borrowed money in several years, check out your financing options before you go look at real estate.  And definitely get pre-approved before making an offer.  Everyone involved will thank you. 

When making an offer.  Check the attitude at the door.  It is not advisable to come to the negotiating table thinking you are going to beat the seller to a bloody pulp.  Yes, the market has taken a tumble but a buyer does not need to assume the seller is in dire straits and will take any offer thrown at them.  Insulting the seller with an unreasonably low offer and terms can certainly back fire on a buyer.  When you make your offer there are some contingencies you should include, such as  making it conditional on a satisfactory home inspection and/or an inspection of the land, ability to obtain financing and subject to a clear title to the property with adequate access.

Leisel Caldwell has more than 30 years experience in real estate in Randolph County and is the broker of Bama Homes and Land as well as the general manager for Lake Wedowee Life magazine.


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