Buying a home on a lake is one of the best investments you will make in your life, but only if you apply due diligence. As a REALTOR® in Indian Lake, there are lots of questions buyers ask me about purchasing a home here, such as:
Answering these questions and more is a large part of my job, so here are 5 tips I’ve gathered that I give all my buyers when they are considering purchasing a lakehouse:
This should be one of the first steps in the process of buying a property anywhere. Shop around for a mortgage lender or broker that offers you the financial products you need and is someone you can trust. If you are starting from scratch and don’t know where to begin, google lenders local to Indian Lake, preferably. This will give you a better chance of finding someone who specializes in lake properties and has a network with other local entities necessary during the home-buying process. Check out their website, read Google reviews, and ask a friend or trusted Realtor for a referral. Spend time in your selection of a bank or loan officer, as they are handling one of the largest financial transactions of your life.
You may want to drive around to get a feel for the lake, the neighborhoods, nearby attractions and amenities, so that when offer-time comes, you are ready and know where you want to buy. Are you wanting a waterfront home, which is usually more costly in price and maintenance, or something closer to town?
Most importantly, look into what all is entailed in owning and maintaining a house on Indian Lake (or a similar lake) before putting in an offer. There are tips for how to maintain a lakehouse, such as how to protect the property against regional weather and invasive species, which requires extra money, time, and energy. You may also need additional insurance coverage depending on the proximity to water and flood zones, so doing a little research upfront can help you have a general idea of what to expect with lake home ownership.
A qualified, local inspector can give you the detailed run-down on any property you are under contract to purchase. There is an “inspection period” that you can request within the contract during negotiations. This is very common and even recommended by all professionals in the home buying process. Choose an inspector who is familiar with the area and property type. Be expected to pay, depending on the size of the home, around a few hundred dollars on the day of service. It is highly advisable that you are present for the inspection (at least at the end) to take notes and ask questions. The inspector should thoroughly explain any concerns or items for you to follow up with a specialized contractor or to watch as a future homeowner.
Choosing a trusted Realtor is really the most important item on your checklist. This person is an invaluable resource for referrals for lenders, insurance agents, inspectors, contractors, and more. Furthermore, a local agent will be familiar with the ins and outs of buying and owning a house on Indian Lake, giving you the best chance at making a smart purchase. Best of all, it is all FREE to you! The commission for the buyer’s agent comes directly from the seller’s net profit at the closing table, and this rate is agreed upon between the seller and the seller’s agent prior to you even submitting an offer.
So choose a local Realtor that you can trust to guide you on the path in buying a home on Indian Lake. This one tip will help all the others fall neatly into place. Before you know it, you’ll be a proud and knowledgeable owner of a lake house in one of the most desirable locations in Ohio. Reach out to me and let's get started finding your Indian Lake dream home!