Friday, July 31, 2015

8 Awesome Benefits Of Owning A Swimming Pool

On a hot summer day, there are few things as enticing as the idea of slipping into a private swimming pool in your very own backyard. If you think that buying a house with an in-ground swimming pool (or installing one on your own) sounds like a great idea, you'e not wrong - but did you know that the benefits go beyond having an easy way to cool off or a pretty landscaping addition? Your friends at The Property Shop At The Lake are here to point out some of the unique added benefits of having a home with its own swimming pool.

1. Home Value
A private swimming pool is a great example of a home improvement project that increases the monetary worth of your property. A pool becomes a permanent fixture, and it will appreciate in value just like anything else!

2. Entertaining
A swimming pool turns a normal backyard into an ideal location for entertaining family members and friends. Pool parties, barbecues, birthday parties... it doesn't matter what event you're planning - your new backyard will be the perfect venue!

3. Exercise
While your physical health does not have any impact on your home, your home can have a big impact on your physical health. Swimming is great way to exercise without putting a lot of strain on your body. Having your own private pool can be a great incentive to stay on top of your exercise regime! 

4. Staycations
Why travel far away for a vacation when you could have one right here at home? Preparing for a big trip can be incredibly time-consuming (not to mention expensive). "Staycations" are mini-vacations that happen right here at home - and having your very own swimming pool can be a great way to make your staycation even more enticing!

5. Stress Relief
Study after study has shown that being around water greatly lowers our stress levels. Not only that, but being around happy, laughing kids can be a great way to ease our stress. Having a pool in your own backyard offers easy access to both of these great stress-relievers!

6. Incentive To Get The Kids Outside
A lot of parents today are becoming increasingly concerned about the amount of time their children spend indoors playing video games. If you have a private swimming pool, however, chances are that your kids will be much more excited at the idea of spending time outside!

7. Better Sleep
Insomnia and other sleep problems seem to be a big issue for a lot of people in today's world. Having an at-home swimming pool will give you an easy excuse to get outside and be more physically active, both of which will tire you out and help you to sleep better.

8. Get Family And Friends To Come To You
Tired of always making the drive to see the people you care about? Having a swimming pool instantly makes your home more appealing to everyone in your social circles - before you know it, everyone will be coming to you (instead of the other way around)!

No matter whether your decide to buy a house at the Lake of the Ozarks that already has a pool or put one in yourself, it's easy to see why having your own private swimming pool could be a great idea! If you're ready to buy a new house at the Lake, we hope you'll reach out to the team at The Property Shop. We would love to help you find your dream home!

The Property Shop at the Lake
2086 Horseshoe Bend Parkway
Lake Ozark, MO 65049
(573) 693-1100
(573) 480-7760

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Is Your New Home Kid-Friendly?

New homes are big commitments. Real estate professionals only recommend buying a house if you plan to be there for at least three years; before you sign your name on the dotted line, it's important to think through all the stages of life you will experience in those three (or more) years.

Having children is often one of the most life-changing events that homeowners experience. If you plan on having kids while living in your new house at the Lake of the Ozarks (or know that it could be even a remote possibility) it's important to factor that into the process of selecting your home. Here are a few things to keep in mind when choosing your kid-friendly home.

Busy Roads
It's no secret that little kids don't know (or don't remember) to always check for oncoming traffic before crossing the street. Busy roads can be a major stressor for parents of young children. You can prevent a great deal of headaches by looking for homes that are on quiet streets without a lot of traffic.

Big Backyard
Any parent can tell you that kids have a lot of energy - and they usually need a lot of space to spend it! You might go crazy if you have to keep your little ones cooped up inside the house with you all day long, so having plenty of yard space for them to play in can be a lifesaver.

Nearby Parks & Playgrounds
If a big backyard is good, having access to nearby parks or playgrounds is even better! Being able to take your kids to the park every day (or send them on their own once they are old enough) will be a great way to help them burn off some energy without having to sacrifice your own backyard in the process. With a park close by, you won't have to install swing sets or playgrounds in the backyard!

Nearby parks and playgrounds aren't the only things you should be on the lookout for. Hunting is a big sport at the Lake, so it's important to look critically at the woods surrounding your potential properties and at the number of hunters who may find their way back there. It's a terrible thing to think about, but it's important to keep your eyes open to all the possibilities when you're buying a home with kids.

Future Child-Proofing Measures
You may not have little kids right now, but if you're planning on it being a possibility while living in your new home, it's important to consider how easily you will be able to childproof your home. Are there steep stairs? If so, does it look like you will be able to easily install a baby gate at the top? Are there sharp corners on the counter tops? Looking closely at all the little details will help you choose the perfect home for you and your family.

The Property Shop Can Help You Find Your New Family Home!
There are few things as exciting as buying the home you plan to raise your children in. There's a certain inexplicable joy that comes with the process, and our team of Lake of the Ozarks real estate agents would be thrilled to share in your excitement! Give us a call when you are ready to get started.

The Property Shop at the Lake
2086 Horseshoe Bend Parkway
Lake Ozark, MO 65049
(573) 693-1100
(573) 480-7760

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Get To Know Rhonda Lettow!

We are proud to have the best real estate agents at the Lake of the Ozarks! Our agents work very hard to help people find the perfect new homes and sell their existing homes for the best possible prices. This week, we'd like to introduce you to one of our newer team members, Ms. Rhonda Lettow. Rhonda is an outstanding real estate professional at the Lake of the Ozarks and she would love the chance to get to know you better!

Q:  How long have you lived at the Lake of the Ozarks?
A:  After being a "weekender" for years, my husband and I decided to take the plunge and move full time at the beginning of 2015.

Q:  Where did you go to school?
A:  I grew up in Southwest Missouri and attended Missouri Southern State University in Joplin.

Q:  How did you first get started in real estate?
A:  I have always been interested in real estate and got my license for the first time when I was in my early twenties. I've been through the building process, flipped houses, and owned vacation properties. After raising my family and running other businesses, I decided to come back to real estate in 2013.

Q:  What is your role at The Property Shop?
A:  I love our close-knit team of agents. I see my role as one of support and service to my teammates and clients.

Q:  What do you love the most about your job?
A:  I love meeting new people and exploring new properties. I love the challenge of matching the two up and getting everyone through the process.

Q:  If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
A:  I love to travel and still have some places on my bucket list. My daughter is moving to New Zealand this year, so that is where I want to go next.

Q:  Who is your family?
A:  My husband and I have four grown children and eight beautiful grand children. We are also close to our parents and our siblings. We are quite a large clan when we gather.

Q:  What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
A:  (Other than travel and my grandchildren) I love life at the Lake... trying out a new restaurant or listening to a great band... a sunset cruise, or just sitting on the deck watching the boats.

Rhonda's 8 beautiful grandchildren
Contact Rhonda To Help You Buy Or Sell Your Next Home!
Next time you find yourself ready to buy or sell your house at the Lake of the Ozarks, contact Rhonda Lettow! She would be more than happy to help you fulfill your real estate dreams. Feel free to stop by our office and introduce yourself any time!

The Property Shop at the Lake
2086 Horseshoe Bend Parkway
Lake Ozark, MO 65049
(573) 693-1100
(573) 480-7760

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

5 Tips To Sell Your Home ASAP

Question: does the idea of having to wait months and months (maybe even years) for your home to sell sound appealing to you?

Of course not! Like every other seller, you want to sell your home at the Lake of the Ozarks as quickly as you possibly can. However, selling your home quickly requires hard work and careful strategy - you can't just simply list your home and expect results to magically appear! By following these important suggestions for selling your house, though, you will be able to sell much faster. Our Lake of the Ozarks real estate agents are here to help!

1. Go Neutral
The best way to sell your home quickly is to make it appeal to the widest range of possible buyers. If you have bright green walls in your bedroom, for example, now may be a good time to repaint them a neutral beige or off-white. Stay conservative in your staging strategies, too. By keeping your home decor neutral, you will be able to make many different buyers feel at home in the space. The bigger your pool of potential buyers is, the more quickly your home will sell!

2. Boost Your Curb Appeal
"Curb appeal" refers to the first impression your home makes when buyers first drive past it - in other words, the impression it gives "from the curb." Often, prospective buyers will drive past your home before ever asking their agent for a tour. If they don't like what they see on the outside, they may very well change their minds about asking to see the interior. Here are a few quick suggestions for boosting curb appeal:
  • Keep your grass mowed.
  • Restain or repaint your front porch.
  • Power wash your siding, driveway, garage door, and walkways.
  • Plant flowers or greenery out front (or place potted plants on your porch).

3. Clean Thoroughly And Often
While we all have different opinions on how clean our homes need to be kept, there's one thing we can all agree on: when we're trying to sell our homes, complete and total cleanliness is absolutely essential. From your floors to your ceilings (and everything in between), your house should be absolutely spotless before every showing. Scrub the windows, counters, mirrors, cabinets, and even the baseboards and door frames. It's time to embrace your inner neat freak! 

4. Make It Seem Like Home
You can't cut any corners while cleaning your home, but that doesn't mean you have to make your home seem like a museum, either. Your key to success in this area will be the little details - add a bowl of fresh produce to the kitchen counter, for example, or put a vase of blooming flowers on the dining room table. These small touches will add a little life to your home and make it seem more inviting to those looking to buy a house at the Lake of the Ozarks.

5. Offer Incentives
Think back to when you first bought your house. You weren't just buying the structure - you were buying all of the responsibility that came with it, too. You were agreeing to pay for any unexpected repairs and to take the necessary time to decorate and furnish it. You can make your home more appealing to potential buyers by helping to alleviate some of these extra concerns. For example, you can purchase a 1-year home warranty for the buyers or you can agree to leave behind a few pieces of furniture or artwork.

Want More Suggestions? Contact Our Team!
Our experienced real estate agents at the Lake of the Ozarks have the skills you need to sell your home quickly, efficiently, and for a great price! Following these selling suggestions will get you started on the right track, but feel free to reach out to us if you would like some more ideas. Our office is conveniently located across from Hogan Road on Horseshoe Bend Parkway. Come by any time!

The Property Shop at the Lake
2086 Horseshoe Bend Parkway
Lake Ozark, MO 65049
(573) 693-1100
(573) 480-7760

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Idiot's Guide To Understanding Real Estate Terms

Closing costs, appraisals, contingencies, earnest money... The real estate world definitely has its own language! If you're new to real estate at the Lake of the Ozarks or if you've been out of the market for a few years, you might feel a little overwhelmed by all of the terminology being tossed around - and understandably so. But never fear! The team at The Property Shop At The Lake is here to help you make sense of all of these confusing terms with this glossary of a few common real estate terms.

The official valuation of a property that determines the home's current market value. The appraisal takes into account several different factors, including the home's condition, finished and unfinished square footage, and the actual sale prices of comparable properties.

Closing Costs
The one-time costs associated with the purchase of your new home at the Lake of the Ozarks, such as title search costs, underwriting fees, and title insurance. Your mortgage lender will attempt to provide a realistic estimate of these costs in your good faith estimate.

A requirement or condition that must be satisfied before the contract can be considered legally binding. For example, many buyers make their offers contingent on financing, meaning they must be approved for a home loan before they will follow through on their offer to purchase the home.

Conventional Loans
Mortgage loans that are not backed by any government organization.

Debt-To-Income Ratio
The ratio that compares your outstanding debts to your current income. This information will be used to determine the loan amount you can qualify for. The debts and incomes will be evaluated for every person whose name is on the loan application.

Earnest Money
The money that the buyers include with their offer to show that they are serious about the purchase of the home. Generally, the earnest money amount ranges from 1-3% of the home's purchase price.

Good Faith Estimate
The document that outlines the estimated cost of your mortgage loan. This estimate should include the closing costs, interest rates, and total amount of money that will be required to pay back your mortgage loan.

A thorough evaluation of the condition in everything in and around the property. The inspection is intended to warn buyers and lenders of potential hazards with the property before the sale of the home is complete.

Market Value
The amount that a home will actually sell for in the current local real estate market.

Multiple Listing Service - the service that encompasses all local real estate listings.

The process by which a buyer is preapproved for a mortgage loan. The lender must evaluate all the documents the buyer submits (tax returns, bank statements, pay stubs, etc) to provide a valid estimate of the loan the buyer can be approved for.

A rough estimate of what type and how big of a loan a buyer will qualify for, based on the information the buyer gives the lender.

Unconventional Loan
Mortgage loans that are backed by some sort of government association, such as USDA loans or VA loans.

A mortgage loan backed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. These loans are reserved for below-average income families in designated rural counties. (Camden, Miller, and Morgan counties should qualify!)

VA Loan
A mortgage loan that is backed by the Veterans Administration. These loans are only available to military veterans, active duty personnel, and (in some cases) their surviving spouses. These types of loans have a unique benefit in that they are sometimes available for 100% financing.

Happy House Hunting!
If you're ready to buy a house at the Lake of the Ozarks or simply want to peruse some of the waterfront properties for sale, give us a call! Our team of real estate agents at the Lake of the Ozarks will be working all weekend to help you find the home of your dreams. We look forward to working with you!

The Property Shop at the Lake
2086 Horseshoe Bend Parkway
Lake Ozark, MO 65049
(573) 693-1100
(573) 480-7760