Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Top 10 Tips to Successful Home Buying

Buying a home is probably the biggest investment you will make, with long-term financial ramifications. It calls for many informed decisions and for good advice from a real estate professional. When buying a home at the Lake of the Ozarks, you can learn from the knowledge and skills of the Fran Campbell Team. Here are a few tips we'd like to share with you when buying a home at the Lake of the Ozarks:

Tip #1: Research Is The Key To Discovery

Home sellers won't call you with an offer to buy a maintenance-free home with a wonderful mortgage. You have to find the gems yourself! Only by reading available materials, talking to friends and experts, and spending time looking at different homes, schools, and neighborhoods will you end up with your American dream. Avoid the nightmares by learning how best to buy and maintain a home.

Tip #2: Make A Plan And Get Pre-Qualified

Every important decision needs to be clearly thought out. Developing a home buying plan can help you focus on the important factors and organize the entire process. You may even want to use a binder with sections on house hunting, home financing, service providers, etc. Loan pre-qualifying helps you determine the home price you can afford and presents you as a genuine prospect to the seller. A lender typically uses the 28% formula (your monthly mortgage can't exceed 28% of your monthly income) in approving your loan. Planning your actions and getting pre-qualified will keep you out of the panic mode and allow you to take advantage of opportunities. A thorough plan will save both time and money!

Tip #3: Value, Value, Value

The days of 10-30% annual appreciation have passed. Homebuyers in the 1970's benefited tremendously from what seemed like ever appreciating home prices. Nowadays, you're looking at slow growth while guarding against the possibilities of falling prices, skyrocketing ARM rates and corporate layoffs that can dramatically affect your home values. The classic rule of buying the worst house in the best neighborhood still applies. If you buy with an eye towards improvement, you can customize the home to fit your needs. The saying, "make money buying a home, not selling one," should keep you focused on the long-term importance of the purchasing price.

Tip #4: Create A Top 10 List Of Amenities

When shopping for a home, list the features (fireplace, fenced-in yard, new appliances, etc.) that are most important to you in deciding on which home to buy. Establishing "your criteria" early on will save time shopping for inappropriate homes and may keep you from buying a home on a whim. As detailed in Tip #3, your top reason for buying a home should be the value you are getting. Some of your top 10 amenities should logically be sacrificed if an incredible value is available.

Tip #5: Fixed vs. Adjustable Rate Mortgages

Adjustable rate mortgages have an initial fixed rate, which is followed by a period of adjustment intervals during which the rate adjusts based on the performance of several key indexes. Typically the initial fixed rate on an ARM is slightly lower than the comparable rate of a fixed rate mortgage.

Fixed rate mortgages allow buyers to take out a long term loan without having to worry about changing interest rates or monthly payments. Most fixed rate loans are offered in either 15 or 30 year terms. Most buyers will be well served by a fixed rate loan, but each situation is unique. While ARM loans have become less popular in recent years, they can still be a viable option for some buyers - especially those who plan on selling again in the short term.

Whichever loan you choose, make sure that you scrutinize all the closing costs. If you are required to have a mortgage escrow account and private mortgage insurance, make sure you understand the terms and cancellation procedures (your Real Estate Agent has publications to assist you). Also, make sure there are no prepayment penalties so that you can utilize an accelerated mortgage plan. A good mortgage reduction plan can save you tens of thousands in interest costs, and shorten your loan term, with only small extra principal payments. If you experience negative changes in your job, health, or marital status, you can revert to the standard payments in your mortgage contract.

Tip #6: Sign A Contract That Protects You

Make sure that the contract you put on a house allows you to arrange financing, inspect the home and negotiate any problems that you uncover. Ensuring that the contract you sign will minimize potential legal battles will let you swim in your new pool with your family and neighbors instead of with the sharks.

Tip #7: Put Yourself In The Seller's Shoes

You are about to make one of the most important decisions that will affect both your life and the life of the seller. If you take time to understand the reasons the seller bought the home, their reasons for selling, and the home improvements they have or have not made, you'll be in a better position to evaluate the home and negotiate a better deal. In the end, the home buying process excludes the professionals and comes down to the individuals buying and selling the home. A closer look at the seller may help you in deciding whether and for how much to buy a particular home.

Tip #8: Develop A Mortgage Shopping Chart

One of the biggest decisions to make before putting a contract on a home is how to finance the purchase. There are 10,000 lenders competing for your mortgage business. The days of simply walking into the community bank and negotiating with the loan department manager are over. Today, you can apply for a loan over the Internet or even use a mortgage broker to shop for your loan with hundreds of lenders. When choosing a lender, you want to avoid apples to oranges contrasts by comparing fixed rates to fixed rates, not fixed to ARM's. Create a chart that lists different types of loans, fees, and at least five mortgage providers (including a mortgage broker).

Tip #9: Get A Quality Home Inspection

Although it is hard to believe, more people pay for inspections before buying used cars than when making the biggest investment of their lives - their homes. Paying for a qualified home inspection before you buy a home isn't just spending "a little extra" for peace of mind; it's absolutely essential for anyone who doesn't want to spend thousands of dollars for repairs.

Tip#10: Peace Of Mind: Home Protection Plans

To protect both you as a buyer, as well as the seller, it is a good idea to purchase a home protection plan. What exactly is it? A home warranty, or home protection plan, is a service contract, normally for one year, which protects homeowners against the cost of unexpected repairs or replacement of their major systems and appliances that break down due to normal wear and tear. A negotiable contract between the buyers and sellers which does not overlap or replace homeowner's insurance policy, this type of warranty can save the new homeowner lots of headaches, as well as put seller's fears to rest. The warranty covers mechanical breakdowns, while insurance typically repairs the related damage. For example: if a hot water heater burst and destroyed a wall in your home, the warranty would repair the water heater and your insurance would pay to fix the wall!

There you have it, 10 tips to successful home buying at the Lake of the Ozarks. For more helpful tips when buying or selling, contact the Fran Campbell Team today. We're your trusted go-to real estate agents that you can rely on for accurate information and helpful guidance. They will help you work out a realistic idea of the home best suited to your needs, and guide you through the buying process. Contact us today to get started with your home buying search!

Contact the Fran Campbell Team to get your home CLOSED!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

4 Reasons to Stage Your Home

When selling a home at the Lake of the Ozarks, staging is a very important part of getting the home sold. While it may seem like a lot of work, it generally pays off in the near future. It may seem like a better idea to empty your house because logic tells you that a buyer will be more apt to buy a home at the Lake of the Ozarks if they know they can more quickly move in. However, that's not exactly true. The Fran Campbell Team wants to share with you some reasons why staging your home is better than emptying it.

1. Gives a More Welcoming Feel

Buyers are looking for a place to call home, and empty houses can seem cold and uninviting. Buying a house is as emotional as it is logical - it's important that you appeal to your buyers on a subconscious level by making the house seem warm and welcoming.

2. Creates Ideas for Use of Space

Have you noticed how today's homes seem to have increasingly creative layouts? This is especially true at the Lake. When the home is empty, buyers may have difficulty visualizing the rooms as they could be used. Staging homes as bedrooms, offices, workout rooms, or even cozy reading nooks can get your buyers' imaginations flowing.

3. Helps Buyers Gauge Room Sizes

Your number one goal when selling a Lake of the Ozarks home should be to help your buyers envision the space as their own. Without any furniture in it, it may be hard to buyers to judge how large the rooms are. This uncertainty may deter potential buyers who have unusual furniture pieces they plan to bring with them.

4. Can Prevent Lower Offers

Finally, having an empty home makes it completely obvious that you no longer live there. While this does not have to be a secret, revealing that the home is vacant may be a disadvantage. Buyers may assume that because you have already moved out, you are more desperate to sell and, consequently, more willing to accept a lower offer. Buyers may offer better prices if they think you have time to be choosy.

Now that you can see the benefits of staging a home for sale, you can get started on making the most of your home selling experience. If you're uncertain of how to stage your home, you don't need to worry. When you choose to work with the Fran Campbell Team, the best real estate team at the Lake of the Ozarks, you will have experience and knowledge on your side to get your home sold quickly and at a price you agree upon!

Contact the Fran Campbell Team to get your home CLOSED!

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

7 Questions To Ask Before Buying A Home

Buying a home at the Lake of the Ozarks is a big step financially, emotionally, and mentally. It's easy to get swept away in the excitement of it all, but it's important to do your best to remain grounded and approach the situation carefully and logically. Some first-time buyers may not realize this, but you have every right to ask pertinent questions about the home you're considering buying.

Here is a list of questions some people forget to ask before buying.

1. How Long As The Home Been On The Market?
As the buyer, the length of time the home has been for sale is valuable information. If the home has only been listed for a short time, you can infer that your offer will probably need to be very good in order for the seller to consider it. If the home has been listed for several months, however, the seller may be more impatient to sell and could possibly entertain slightly lower offers.

2. How Many Offers Have Been Made On The House?
Before you make an offer, it's important to know what you're up against. If the home has not received any interest lately, you may be able to offer a slightly lower price. If the seller has received multiple offers, however, you will probably have to submit a very strong offer in order to be considered.

3. Has The Asking Price Changed Since The Home Was Listed?
The waterfront home at the Lake of the Ozarks you're considering buying could be listed at $300,000 now, but that doesn't mean it's always been listed for that amount. Ask your Lake of the Ozarks real estate agent to find out what the home's original asking price was, when price drops occurred, and how large the price drops were. Knowing the price drops will help give you an idea of how motivated the sellers are and what type of price range they might be willing to consider.

4. How Much Have Comparable Homes Sold For?
You won't be able to know the home's actual value until the home is officially appraised (which happens after the home is under contract), but you can ask your agent to find out what comparable homes in the neighborhood have sold for. This will give you a good indication of your potential home's actual market value.

5. Why Are The Sellers Moving?
Some buyers may not think about it, but the sellers' reasons for moving can provide some important insight into the home and the surrounding neighborhood. Did the sellers receive a job offer in another area they couldn't turn down (but otherwise would have stayed in the home), or are they moving because they are tired of dealing with the sound of the highway just across the street?

6. Is There Something Wrong With The House?
Some sellers may try to entice buyers into an agreement by advertising a beautiful home in pristine condition - a home without any prior issues whatsoever. While this could certainly be possible, it is somewhat unlikely. Chances are, the home will have some quirks, nuisances, or repairs that must be addressed. These issues will be revealed in the home inspection any way, so you might as well bring them up and get them out on the table now.

7. Is The Home In Need Of Any Major Repairs/Renovations?
Buying the home is just the beginning - once the property is officially and legally yours, you will be responsible for making any necessary repairs or upgrades to the home. Before you decide how much to offer for the home, determine the state of some of the home's major features, such as the insulation, the roof, the foundation, the air conditioner/heater, and the kitchen appliances. If you will have to repair/replace any of these things as soon as you move in, you may not want to spend as much money on the house itself.

By asking these pertinent questions before buying a home at the Lake of the Ozarks, you may discover information that can shed some light on why a home is listed at the price it is. You may also learn information that could protect your best interest by knowing ahead of time. When buying a home at the Lake of the Ozarks, it's best to have an experienced real estate agent who can guide you through the process and look out for your best interest. That's why it's important to work with the best real estate team at the Lake of the Ozarks - The Fran Campbell Team, to ensure your best interest is put first!

Contact the Fran Campbell Team to get your home CLOSED!

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Quick Tips for Keeping Your Home In Style All Year Round

In today's busy non-stop world, it's hard to find time to keep up with the seasons when it comes to decorating your home. Rather than trying to find time, the Fran Campbell Team, the best real estate team at the Lake of the Ozarks, has come up with some clever home decor ideas that will keep your house looking fantastic all year round with very little upkeep required. Take a look at what we've come up with for you:

Neutral Colors
Using neutral color schemes in your home decor strategy can be a great way to tie together the whole feel of your home while going great with any color of furnishing you choose. Paint the walls a shade of tan or gray and put colorful furniture throughout the room. As long as your colors complement each other, they don't have to match!

Timeless Photography
Photographs are truly timeless home decor pieces; it doesn't even really matter what the photograph is a picture of! Cityscapes, wilderness, nature, wildlife, bodies of water, plants and trees... almost all photographs are created equal when it comes to home decorating. Unless your picture is of something obviously seasonal, your photographs will be a beautiful home decor strategy that will last all year long.

Quintessential Quotes
Nowadays, it seems like you can't enter anyone's home without seeing some sort of quote somewhere - and there's a reason for that! Quotes offer a great source of inspiration, motivation, nostalgia, or food for thought - and the unique impact they have on people make them intriguing decor options. It doesn't matter if you want to go with a quote on canvas, a plaque, or wall decals - pick one method (or all three) and start experimenting with what works best for you.

Rustic Decor
Rustic home decor is a great way to jazz up your living space without requiring a lot of extra effort or expenses - old wooden crates, unfinished wooden furniture, or even old wooden ladders can be easily transformed into creative, eye-catching home decor pieces. The best part? These rustic decorations will look great in every season!

It doesn't matter whether you're trying to sell your house at the Lake of the Ozarks or simply looking to decorate your home for your own enjoyment - choosing home decor that will work year-round is a great way to make your life easier! Seasonal decorations can be fun, but switching them out every few months can be a lot of work (especially if you only live in your lake home part-time). You can save yourself a lot of time and energy by sticking with home decor themes that will fit the mood all year long! Fran Campbell Team has some great ideas to get you started.

Contact the Fran Campbell Team to get your home SOLD!

Real Estate Lake of the Ozarks : Find Your Dream Home Now! 

Contact Fran Campbell Team at RE/MAX Lake of the Ozarks for all your real estate needs.
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Thursday, May 25, 2017

6 Vital Questions To Ask Your Lender

When buying a home at the Lake of the Ozarks, there are several factors to take into consideration. One of the things is your mortgage. With all of the lending opportunities available, it's easy to become overwhelmed and just go with the first choice without even asking questions about your mortgage payment responsibilities. That's why the Fran Campbell Team has come up with a list of questions that you should be asking your lender before signing off on a mortgage commitment. Take a look:

1. What is the interest rate?

The first thing you should ask your lender for is a direct interest rate quote, as well as the corresponding annual percentage rate for the loan. The interest rate, along with your mortgage balance and loan term will determine your real monthly payment. A loan with a smaller balance or lower interest rate will make for smaller monthly payments. If you're not sure about the interest rate your lender has quoted you, don't hesitate to shop around with other mortgage lenders to try to get a lower rate.

2. What is the monthly mortgage payment?

Buying a new home means starting a new budgeting plan. As you begin budgeting for your new home, it's important to make sure you can afford the monthly mortgage payment. Be sure to include insurance and taxes into your budget, along with other living and leisure expenses. Your monthly mortgage payment shouldn't be so high that your money can't work toward other financial goals.

3. What is the minimum down payment required?

Different lenders will have different down payment requirements. Most mortgages require a 20 percent down payment. But, for example, if you qualify for a FHA loan your down payment required could be as low as 3.5 percent. Keep in mind that typically loans with lower down payments cost more. Often, when putting down less than 20 percent, you're required to pay for mortgage insurance until your loan value falls below a certain amount. Your down payment has an effect on other loan aspects as well, such as your rate, terms and monthly payments.

4. Are there any prepayment penalties?

Some mortgage lenders will put in the loan agreement that if you pay your loan amount off in full before a certain time frame, you're required to pay a penalty fee to them for early repayment. The reason for this is to ensure the lender that they will be getting paid regardless of how long you hold a loan with them. So it's important before signing off on a mortgage to ask your lender in advance if there are any prepayment penalties. Read through your loan documents carefully so that you understand any repercussions you may face for early payoff.

5. What closing costs will I be responsible for?

Closing costs are expenses over and above the price of a property in a real estate transaction. It's a good idea to get closing cost information upfront so you can begin preparing for this expense. Closing costs may include loan-origination fees, discount points, appraisal fees, title searches and insurance, surveys, etc. Ask your lender to estimate your closing costs so you can budget accordingly.

6. Are there any special requirements I need to be aware of?

There are all kinds of guidelines when it comes to applying for a mortgage. Typically, requirements relate to debt to income ratio, employment status, and your credit report. But in some circumstances you may be eligible for special mortgage programs offered by the government. The best way to find out is by speaking to a lender about all of the options that may be available to you.

When asking these questions, your lender can provide you with the information you need to make an informed decision on choosing a mortgage. You'll able to determine whether the mortgage rates that the lender you're speaking with will allow your monthly payments to be within your budget or match your future financial goal needs. For more real estate related guidance, contact the Fran Campbell Team, the best real estate team at the Lake of the Ozarks to help you through the buying process!

Contact the Fran Campbell Team to get your home CLOSED!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

How Professional Photography Can Help Sell Your Home Faster!

When you decide to sell a home at the Lake of the Ozarks, one of things you need to be aware of is that most people are finding their new homes via the internet. It is absolutely essential that your home is easy to find and will draw buyer attention online. That being said, when people do find your home online, the main thing that will catch their eye are the photos of your home. If you have bad photos or no photos, the potential buyer is not going to waste their time visiting your property. That's why the Fran Campbell Team thinks it's a great idea to hire a professional photographer when listing a home for sale at the Lake of the Ozarks - see our reasons why:

Creating a Captivating First Impression

Your photos are your first impression, so why would you show potential buyers bad images of your beautiful property? Professional real estate photographers are trained to capture the right angles, emphasize the important features, utilize the light, and manipulate images in order to showcase your property in a way that draws in potential buyers. Professional photos will increase the number of offers and showings on your property. They will attract new clients and put more money in your pocket.

A Picture Paints a Thousand Words

The biggest reason for hiring a professional photographer rather than taking the pictures yourself is that professionals know how to make something ordinary look spectacular! Photographers understand how to make things look better than they appear. They understand how the sizes and colors of objects impact a photograph. Photographers have spent thousands of hours learning how to take the best possible pictures. They have the expertise and equipment to capture the essence of your property and present it in a way that sets your property apart from the competition.

How Important Is Having Professional Photos?

Still not sold on the importance of professional photos when listing a home for sale at the Lake of the Ozarks? Consider this: you have two seconds to grab the buyer’s attention without a photo, and 20 seconds with a photo. Take a look at these statistics to see how much of an impact professional photos have on the sale of a home. Homes with professional photos get 61% more views and sell 32% faster. They also typically receive 47% higher asking price per square foot, gaining anywhere between $934 and $116,076 more on the market.

A professional photographer sees the world in a different way through a lens, and that amazing talent will make a tremendous difference with potential homebuyers. You cannot sell a house to someone who doesn’t put in an offer, and you will receive more offers with professional photographs. So put your best foot forward and hire a professional to take photographs of your home for you instead of snapping quick and unflattering pictures that buyers will pass up. For more great tips on selling a home at the Lake of the Ozarks, contact the Fran Campbell Team today!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Things to Consider When Investing in a Vacation Rental Property

Have you considered investing in a vacation rental property at the Lake of the Ozarks? It's a great idea and a wonderful opportunity for making some extra money to put away for a rainy day or retirement. However, there are some really important things to consider before buying investment property at the Lake of the Ozarks. The Fran Campbell Team has come up with some things that you should consider before making a purchase:

How often will you want to use it yourself?

One thing you need to consider before investing in a vacation rental property at the Lake of the Ozarks is how often you plan to use it for personal use. This will play a big role in how often your property is rented. If you plan to use your vacation rental frequently during the tourist season for the Lake of the Ozarks, you're going to cut down your the opportunity to make money. Plan in advance to use the property during off season months and try to avoid holidays, as those will be the best times to capitalize on your investment.

Consider the location

Believe it or not, even though the Lake is considered to be a rural community, there are still highly sought out subdivisions that draw in vacationers. Before buying, it's important to do research of the area in terms of what vacationers look for. Select a location that can provide a relaxing environment, yet also be close enough to attractions, shopping, and activities so that renters will be more likely to choose your property above competitors. Don't forget to check into the amenities that are available within the subdivision you're interested in. The more perks your investment property at the Lake of the Ozarks has to offer, the more renters you'll procure. Our knowledgeable real estate agents can help pinpoint subdivisions that will be great choices for you.

Do you have time to manage a rental property?

Don't think that you can buy a rental property and just walk away and expect it to make you a profit. Owning an investment property takes work. Successfully turning it into a profitable investment can be more work than you're ready to take on by yourself. You'll need to coordinate arrivals and departures, maintain a schedule to avoid double bookings, handle any maintenance issues that may arise, process payments and book reservations, clean and restage the property between guests, and so much more. It may be beneficial to consider hiring a property management company to handle the details for you. Don't forget to calculate that expense into your cost.

Calculate your return on the investment

Take into consideration the cost of maintaining an investment property. The list of expenses does not end at the closing of the purchase. There are taxes, utilities, and sometimes even association dues that you must consider as well. Don't forget you will need to furnish the property to be turn-key ready, so that will add up too. While the goal is to make money from renting out the property, the expenses could very well outweigh the income you pull in. If you're prepared for this possibility in advance, you'll be happier with your decision to invest.

Does the subdivision have rental restrictions?

Make sure to check into rental restrictions within subdivision bylaws. Many subdivisions do not permit short term rentals. Therefore, it's extremely important to check into this BEFORE buying an investment property with the intent of renting on a nightly or weekly basis. Often times, when you are looking into buying a home or condo at the Lake of the Ozarks, you can request to review the subdivision rules/regulations and declarations/bylaws.

Investing in rental property at the Lake of the Ozarks is a great idea and can be a very lucrative side business. If you've considered these 5 points and still think buying investment property is right for you, contact the best real estate team at the Lake of the Ozarks to get started on your search! We're the experts in knowing all the best locations and highly sought after subdivisions that vacationers love and visit the most. We can help you find the perfect vacation rental investment property at the Lake of the Ozarks and get you on the right track to an exciting business opportunity. Contact the Fran Campbell Team TODAY to get started!