Photos by Hillary Ehlen
Buying a home is one of the biggest financial decisions many people make. As we all know, purchasing a home is not as simple as finding one you like and moving in. There are home inspections, contingencies, appraisals and a sea of other terms and facets that the average person normally has no reason to know much about. To learn more about the home buying process, especially the lake home buying process, we talked with The Real Estate Company of Detroit Lakes and one of their Realtors, Rochella Larson.
What is the first step of the home buying process?
Hands down, get pre-approved, says Jude Ostgarden, real estate agent. It’s a great education process for anyone considering the purchase of a new home, so always start there.
Why should I use a real estate agent?
“Because it’s never as easy as you think it’s going to be” – Jamie Skarie
Real estate is not a sprint, it’s a marathon. Be prepared for the unexpected bumps in the road. Using a professional is always a good idea. When you build a house, you hire a professional. So when you buy or sell, you should hire a real estate agent you can trust. Purchasing a home is probably the biggest financial decision you will ever make, and realtors are skilled negotiators who can help you get into your next home without the headache of the long, detailed process.
How many homes should one view before buying one?
As many as it takes! The home process is so different for everyone.
What home inspection aspects should I look into when buying a lake home?
No matter what type of home you are thinking about purchasing, it’s always a good idea to have a home inspection. When purchasing a lake home, the process shouldn’t be any different than any other real estate transaction; dot all your I’s and cross all your T’s. Do your due diligence on the lake frontage, make sure the property lines and front footage all line up with the information provided. Ask a lot of questions no matter what you are buying. It’s better to be in the know.
What home trends have you seen in MN lakes country over the past few years?
Trendy, staged homes seem to sell faster. Smaller cabins with that old fashion feeling of being at the lake for the weekend are flying off the market right now. A sure trend I am noticing is downsizing. If you look around the lakes country, you will see the market is holding on to the larger properties. Larger lots and larger homes with more square footage. With that, we are seeing a more modern, open concept and minimalizing trend happen with the smaller properties popping up. This isn’t to say this trend is for everyone, but we are seeing a lot of it.
What’s the most important factor to consider when buying a lake home?
This question is unique to everyone. Buyers are all looking for something different, as no two buyers are the same. I would say when looking for lake property, an important feature to look for is the lake lot size and location. Do you want a private setting, or do you want to be in the hustle and bustle of the city and walking distance to local events? Lakeshore is also important. Do you want a walk-in sand beach or elevation over the water where you can see over the boatlift and into that beautiful sunset beaming across the lake? It’s all about your preference. That’s what we are here to help you with, to ask these really important questions, so you don’t have to worry about it.
You recently were voted #1 Real Estate Company to work with in the Lakes Area by Detroit Lakes Tribune. What makes you stand out?
We are all very involved in our surrounding communities. Our communities of people are the ones who voted us in – that speaks volumes. To know that the people right here in lakes country trust us to take care of their real estate needs is such an honor. So many things go into a real estate transaction, from the pre-approval to the water and septic certifications, down to the title work and closing day – You better be able to trust your real estate professional to get you through this process; there are a lot of moving parts. That is what makes us stand out, we go out of our way to make the process as easy and stress-free as possible, so the day you close, you can enjoy your new home.