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Top 5 Points when Considering Buying a 2nd Home at the Lake

John Farrell Real Estate - Monday, August 23, 2010
Are you considering purchasing a 2nd home or condo at the Lake of the Ozarks? 

Here are my top 5 Points that you should consider before you jump into your car and cruise to the lake for a weekend of searching.
1)   Will you be paying cash or will you need to get a Loan?  If you are getting a loan it is a good idea to speak to a Loan Officer to get Pre-Qualified for a loan.
i)   If you are one of the lucky individuals that is capable of paying cash then good for you; you can effectively skip this first step and move right on to the second step.  However if you will require some financing it is a good idea to visit with a Loan Officer and get them to pre-qualify you for a loan.  This will effectively let you know what you can afford and prevent you from spending your time and your Realtors time touring properties that you may not be capable of purchasing.

ii)   I always recommend to my clients that they at least contact a lender at the lake.  All areas are unique and the lake certainly has some unique hurdles to obtaining financing.  Using a local lender will help prevent any problems with closing a loan.
2)   House or Condo?  There are very clear advantages and disadvantages owning a home and/or condo at the lake.
i)   If you are a person that really values privacy, peace and quiet then you’re a good candidate for a house.  But be warned when you own a house along with it comes the responsibility of maintaining the interior and the exterior.  I have been a Realtor for 11 years and in that time I have helped many clients sell their lake house and move to a condo because they are tired of all the work they have to do when they come to the lake.  Remember you are buying a home at the lake so you can enjoy the lake with your family and unless you enjoy yard work then you may want to consider a condo.
ii)   If you plan to spend most of your time boating, shopping or golfing then you may want to consider purchasing a condo.  Owning a condo alleviates all the responsibility of maintaining the exterior of your home.  All you have to do is pay your assessments and all of the grounds are maintained for you.  This allows you to maximize your enjoyment of the lakes recreational opportunities or simply sit down and relax.  However, be warned if you are a very private person and not much for socializing then a condo may not be your best choice.
3)   What area of the Lake do you like to spend your time?
i)   The Lake of the Ozarks is a large area with lots of different communities surrounding its 1,300+ miles of shoreline.  There are many different areas of the lake for a person to purchase a 2nd home; a few of them are Lake Ozark, Four Seasons, North shore, Porto Cima, The Villages, Osage Beach, Linn Creek, Camdenton, Greenview, Sunrise Beach and Laurie.  All of the communities have unique features and amenities worth considering.

ii)   Chances are if you are considering a 2nd home at the lake then you probably already know which area of the lake you want to be in.  However, if you are not sure then be sure to speak with your Realtor regarding the different qualities of each community and let them know what is important to you.

iii)   Another consideration is what area of the lake do you like to boat on.  Remember there are two sides to the lake; if you like to boat between the 20 and 30 mile marker but do not like Osage Beach then you should consider a house in the Greenview and Sunrise Beach area.
4)   What do you Need and what do you Want?
i)   Once you have determined if a house or condo would be better for you, you should start a list of what features you Need and what features you Want. 

ii)   Take a piece of paper and draw a line down the middle, on the left write Needs and on the left write Wants.  On the needs side you should list all of the features that you absolutely have to have in your 2nd home and under the Wants side make a list of the features that you would like to have but are not necessarily deal breakers.

iii)   Some examples of Needs are 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 2 slip boat dock, garage, etc.  Some examples of Wants are Level driveway, minimal steps to the lake, cove location, main channel view, dock with slide.
5)   Pick your Realtor.  You should pick your Realtor carefully; make sure your Realtor has your best interest at heart.  There are too many Realtors out there who are eyeing that commission and only care about the commission.
i)   Chances are you probably know someone who owns a property at the lake and they probably purchased the property through a Realtor.  Ask your friend about their Realtor and if they would use them again.

ii)   Some key points you should look for in your Realtor are; Experience (this can be the Realtor or the Broker that he/she works for), Availability (make sure the Realtor is Full time and not part time; if you needed Surgery You wouldn’t use a Part Time Surgeon Would You!), Knowledge (how well does the Realtor know the lake area and the current condition of the market) and Personality (it is a fact that most people like to work with people that they like. Try to find a common interest with the Realtor this will make your time together more enjoyable).
Jonas Farrell
Broker / Officer
John Farrell Real Estate Co.


John Farrell Real Estate - Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Buying a home is one of the biggest decisions an individual can make. So it’s understandable that one considering a home purchase may take their time to avoid rushing into such a large financial commitment. However, several factors might leave prospective home buyers who don’t purchase a property now wishing they had taken action sooner.

“Current market conditions have created a perfect storm of sorts that has made it an ideal time to purchase for first-time and trade-up buyers alike,” said James M. Weichert, president and founder of Weichert, Realtors. “Those who have the means and the desire to buy now but don’t, aren’t likely to see such a great opportunity again anytime soon.”
Specifically, Weichert offered three reasons why those who aren’t under contract to purchase a new home by April 30, 2010 might regret it.

1. They won’t receive a sizeable amount of money from Uncle Sam.
For the past two years, the federal government has offered a home buyer tax credit to help stimulate the economy. But that financial incentive is set to expire soon. First-time buyers who aren’t under contract to purchase a home by April 30, 2010 will leave the $8,000 that is available to them through the tax credit on the table. Meanwhile, repeat buyers will miss out on the opportunity to collect up to $6,500 from the government.

2. They might not lock-in on the historically-low interest rates.
Thanks to measures taken by the Federal Reserve including the purchasing of mortgage-backed securities, interest rates have remained historically-low for several years. With the economy beginning to show signs of recovery, it is widely believed that the government will soon put an end to these stimulus efforts.

If that happens, many economists believe we will begin to see a sharp increase in interest rates which could result in a much higher monthly payment for those who wait. For example, an interest rate increase of 1% on a 30-year fixed mortgage of $300,000 could cost a buyer $188 more a month or $67,000 more over the span of the entire loan.

3. They might miss out on record home price affordability.
Home price affordability is at its most optimal level in decades. As a result, those who wait to buy will likely pay more for the home they purchase than what that same home would cost right now. In fact, home prices have already begun to rise slightly in some markets. Instead of getting a better bargain, waiting to buy a home might net buyers a higher purchase price, less appreciation and less house for their buck.

“There is no time to waste for anyone who wants to take advantage of this great buying opportunity. Particularly for those who have a home to sell first,” added Weichert. “If you are prone to saying ‘what if’ and wondering what could have been, you will thank yourself down the road for buying now.”

Why Should I Get Pre-Approved for Financing?

John Farrell Real Estate - Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Buyers should definitely get Pre-Approved for financing for 3 simple reasons.

1. To Save Time.  Even with today's market being a "Buyers Market" it is still to the individuals benefit to get pre-approved for financing.  Many times buyers believe that they are capable of purchasing a home in a certain price range but will not know for certain.  Could you imagine how heart breaking it would be to be touring homes that are priced between $150,000 and $200,000 only to find out after you have located that one house that you really love and want to purchase that you have a problem with your credit score.  Issues with credit scores can take months to resolve and just one or two marks on your credit could mean the difference between getting approved or not approved for financing.  Now you and your Realtor are out the time spent searching for and touring houses.  The seller may also be frustrated if they agreed to a contract only to lose it a few days later when you are not approved for financing.

2.  To Improve Negotiating Power.  As I mentioned above today is definitely a buyers market but in the last 45 days I have written two contracts only to discover that there was a competing offer coming in for the property.  If a property is well priced there is a good chance you are not the only potential buyer considering it.  If you submit an offer and can show that you are already pre-approved for financing and your competitor is not pre-approved your offer could hold more weight for the seller in consideration because there is less risk to them on the potential of losing the contract to non-approval of financing.

3.  Offers on Foreclosures require Pre-approval letter.  In today's market the foreclosures are very common and there are a lot of good deals being found in the purchase of a foreclosure.  Foreclosure properties require a letter of pre-approval be submitted along with your offer to purchase.  If you do not have a letter of pre-approval to submit with the offer the bank will kick back your offer and will not consider it. 

At John Farrell Real Estate our Agents work with local lenders on a daily basis and we are here to assist you.  If you are considering purchasing a home and would like to visit with us about getting pre-approved and perhaps receive some recommendations of good lenders please contact us at your convenience.  We can be reached at 573-348-2181. 

Top Reasons Why You Should Not Wait To Buy!!

John Farrell Real Estate - Thursday, March 11, 2010
Prices are at Incredible Lows:  Real Estate Prices are at all time lows.  In the past 6 months I have done several deals that made me jealous of what the buyer was getting.  Seriously people are buying homes today that just a few years ago would have been 25 - 50% higher is price.  Even if you are a seller and you have to take less for your home to sell you will likely be able to take advantage of the reduced prices when you purchase your next home.

Interest Rates are Incredibly Low:  Just today I had a mortgage Broker come by my office and drop off a rate sheet showing 30 year loans for less than 5%; that is Amazing!  My Father, John Farrell, before he opened the Real Estate Office was Vice President for a local bank and he has said on numerous occasions that he remembers 18% interest rates.  Just think about that; a $100,000 loan today would have a payment of $542 per month with a 5% interest rate and financed over 30 years; In the early 80s that same loan at 18% would have cost you $1,511 per month, that is a difference of $969.

Tax Credit:  Buyers still have time to take advantage of the Home Buying Tax Credit.  First time buyers have until April 30th to locate a home and negotiate a contract to be eligible for the 10% or $8,000 tax credit.  Sellers who have owned their primary residence for a minimum of 5 years and manage to sell their house are eligible for a tax credit up to $6,500.  Remember these contracts must be negotiated and accepted no later than April 30th and closed no later than June 30th.

All Time High Supplies:  When you consider the foreclosure listings, auctions and other sellers there has never been more inventory for buyers to choose from.  This truly is a Buyers Market and if one seller is not willing to negotiate with you all you have to do is walk down the street and make an offer to the next seller.

Stop Waiting For The Bottom:  I tell everyone I know that if you wait to know for sure that the market has hit rock bottom and has no where to go but up then you will likely miss out on the best deals.  Look, no one can guarantee you when prices will hit rock bottom and start to go back up.  If that could be predicted, no one would buy until that happened and nothing would sell.  I truly believe that anyone waiting to hear that the market has bottomed out will likely miss out on the best deals.

Remember buyers and sellers are both taking risks.  Individuals who are selling today are taking a risk on the possibility that the market may begin to turn around in 6 months and prices could start to improve.  Buyers are taking the risk on the possibility that the market could get worse and the home they purchase today could continue to drop in value.  My suggestion to buyers is that if you want or need to buy stop worrying about getting the absolute best purchase you can and just look for the best house you can at the right price.  If you are planning to be there for a long period of time what does another $5,000 really mean.

Water Quality of Lake of the Ozarks

John Farrell Real Estate - Friday, February 12, 2010
Stay up to date with the best information about the E-coli situation at Lake of the Ozarks at

There is going to be a special report tonight on KOMU Channel 8 (satellite) and Channel 7 (Charter Cable) about septic systems at the Lake of the Ozarks and E-coli.

Double Taxation

John Farrell Real Estate - Thursday, January 28, 2010
We need to act now to let our legislators know we do not want a new tax on property sales and transfers.  This can add thousands of dollars to the cost of selling or buying a home.  A Real Estate Transfer Tax is a state or local government imposed tax that is collected when you transfer ownership of your home, land or commercial real estate.  Typically, once the tax is initiated, the rate can be increased by the state, county or city at any time. Currently, the state government in Missouri has the power to enact transfer taxes on the sale of property without a vote of the people.  Amending the constitution to prohibit transfer taxes gives power back to the people. Many residents around the state are trying to get enough signatures on a petition to have an amendment ready in November for us to

                                                                Vote Yes for NO Taxation.

Now, more than ever, we need to say enough is enough!

-Lynn Farrell

GOOD NEWS!!!.........2 ways to qualify for an extended Home Buyer Tax Credit.

John Farrell Real Estate - Sunday, November 22, 2009

Written by Ruth Anderson, Broker/Sales

November 19,2009


On October 28, 2009, the U.S. Senate approved extending the $8,000 tax credit for first-time home buyers.  A first-time home buyer is defined as someone who has not owned a principal residence for the 3 year period prior to the purchase.  If you qualify, the tax credit applies to sales occurring on or after January 1, 2010 through on or before April 30, 2010.  You qualify if the sales contract is signed by April 30th and closes by June 30, 2010.  There are also provisions for homes purchased between November 6, 2009 and January 1, 2010. This tax credit does not have to be repaid, and applies to homes priced less than $800,000.  Talk to your realtor or tax accountant if you have questions specific to your situation.


Or, you could be eligible for a $6,500 “Move-Up/Repeat Home Buyer” tax credit.  To qualify, a home buyer must have owned and lived in their previous home for 5 consecutive years out of the last 8 years.  Other requirements are similar to the first-time home buyer credit, which qualifies single taxpayer incomes up to $125,000 and married couples at maximum annual income of $225,000.


This extension of taxpayer credit should stimulate a continued increase in home sales, benefit taxpayers who qualify for this credit, and in turn, boost our economy.   This might be just the incentive you need to buy instead of rent, or move up to a bigger or nicer home.


Source:  Nat’l Assn. of Home Builders


Real Estate Auctions and Buyers Agents

John Farrell Real Estate - Wednesday, November 04, 2009

With the downturn of the current real estate market a new sales trend has risen; home auctions.  Today you cannot go one week without seeing an advertisement for a Real Estate Auction.  Real Estate Auctions have risen in popularity all around the country and the Lake of the Ozarks is no different. 


One question that I have received from several of my prospects is can they be represented at an auction by a Buyer’s Agent and the answer is typically, yes.  As of today I have yet to find an Auction company that does not have some sort of Cooperation policy with Licensed Buyers Agents.


If you are considering purchasing a home at an auction and would like representation there is a process that must be followed.  According to my research every Auction company requires that prospective bidders who will have a Buyer’s Agent must be registered for the Auction by the Agent prior to the scheduled auction.  Each of the Auction companies that I have researched requires that your Buyers Agent attend the auction with you and be a part of the entire process if you are the winning bidder for a home.


As a prospective buyer all auction companies will allow you and your buyer’s agent an opportunity to tour each of the homes that are scheduled during a prescheduled open house.  This is your opportunity to view the residence and perform any inspections that concern you.


Your Buyers Agent will be able to assist with scheduling inspections, reviewing title work, setting up the closing, scheduling the final walk through and any other services that are necessary to facilitate the closing. 


If you are considering purchasing a home at an auction and would like one of John Farrell Real Estates Realtors to assist you please call us immediately.


John Farrell Real Estate - Monday, November 02, 2009

You’re wanting to buy property at the Lake of the Ozarks, but you just can’t quite make the decision. 

Q:  What are you waiting for?

A:  I’ve never purchased a house before.  It’s a big step.

Fact:  Yes, purchasing your first home is a big step.  But, you may be able to qualify and take advantage of the $8,000 tax credit as a part of the federal government stimulus program.  This program has helped thousands of first-time home buyers in the last several months.  Ask your Realtor about it, but don’t wait too long.  The program expires on December 1.

Q:  What are you waiting for? 

A:  I’m waiting for interest rates to go lower.

Fact:  Interest rates have been fluctuating up and down a quarter of a percent for months now.  At some point in time, as the economy starts to level out, the fluctuation will be over, and the rates will start moving back up.  Some say that will start to happen after the first of the year.

Q:  What are you waiting for?

A:  I’m waiting for prices to drop further.

Fact:  The practical sellers have already had their “reality check” and have adjusted their prices accordingly.  There will always be those who won’t drop their prices because they don’t need to sell, or for a variety of other reasons.  But, there has never been a better inventory of reasonably priced homes on the market at the Lake of the Ozarks than Right Now!

Q:  What are you waiting for?

A:  I’m still afraid of the economy.

Fact:  Anyone who has lived for fifty years, or more has seen dramatic shifts in the economy, but one thing has remained constant:  Real estate is one of the best and surest investment you can make – hands down!  As one of my friends has said, “They’re not making any more land.  What there is is what there is.”  So, if you’re in a position to buy, and have been considering the Lake of the Ozarks, my recommendation is to call John Farrell Real Estate Company.  We will be glad to help you find your own “Piece of Paradise.”  What are you waiting for?

Helping your REALTOR Sell your house!

John Farrell Real Estate - Thursday, October 29, 2009

I just got a new phone with all the bells and whistles including internet.

So now I can check my facebook, surf the web, and send and receive emails all

from my phone. (Guess I was dinosaur before! LOL)

It has been a huge help in my networking and organization.  It also made me realize how much

technology can help with real estate. Then I got to thinking... Our market here at

the Lake of the Ozarks has unlimited potential and their are buyers everywhere!

AND I speak to people all over the world via the internet about real estate! (I have clients

 from Alaska,Nevada, even Texas!) The internet is a huge advertising and networking medium

Craigslist alone has been a great marketing tool for me to get my clients properties seen by more people.

So... How many people do YOU know via the internet? Help yourself and your REALTOR by letting everyone

you know that you have property for sale at our beautiful lake. Our goal is to get as 

many people to see your  home as possible so we can  find "That" buyer and the internet

can do just that! Studies show that most people shop for homes on the internet

first. Using the internet to it greatest potential is a big part of getting your home sold.

So...Talk to your REALTOR about getting you the necessary tools to share your listing with others

on your facebook, twitter, etc. Every little bit helps!



Scotty Henderson
John Farrell Real Estate