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Buying a Home on Lake of the Ozarks?

The Process from Beginning to End

The following is a brief outline of the buying process from beginning to end for home purchasers at Lake of the Ozarks.  This outline is accurate for both Fulltime residents and Vacation Home buyers at Lake of the Ozarks.

Make the decision to purchase a home or condo at Lake of the Ozarks

  1. It will be more helpful to have a certain area of the lake that you want to live in such as; Osage Beach, Lake Ozark, Camdenton, etc….

Speak with a Lender or Mortgage Broker to get pre-qualified for financing.

  1. There is no reason to waste your time looking at homes you cannot afford.
  2. Of course you may be able to afford more than you realize.

Select a Real Estate Agent

  1. More homes are sold each year by REALTORS than by owners.
  2. REALTORS are bound by a code of Ethics to ensure their clients are represented fairly and honestly.
  3. REALTORS have the most up to date information about the markets that you will be considering.

Determine Needs and Wants

  1. Consider your situation and determine what you Absolutely Need from a house or condo.
  2. Analyze what it is you like about particular homes and share that information with your REALTOR.

Tour Homes

  1. Begin touring homes that you are qualified to purchase, in the areas that you have determined you want to live and that satisfy what you need and want in a home or condo.
  2. Pay close attention to the quality of the home and the quality of the neighborhood it is located in.

Present an Offer to Purchase

  1. Allow your REALTOR to analyze the Comparable Market for the home that you like and determine if it is priced effectively.
  2. Develop and execute a strategy for negotiating the best purchase price for the home.
Once you have an accepted contract to purchase your new home or condo there are many steps that must fall into line in order to successfully complete the purchase.  The following is a brief summation of the closing process that your REALTOR will be supervising.
  1. Deliver the accepted contract to all 3rd party vendors such as, The Title Company, Lender and Appraiser.
  2. Scheduling of closing, appraisal, inspections, survey, etc…
  3. Review of pending Title Search
  4. Reviewing and approving of HUD Settlement Statement as provided by the Title Co.
  5. Ensuring that all required contingencies of the contract are completed.
  6. Scheduling the final walk through of the home or condo being purchased.

The following are just a few of the advantages to owning your own home or condo at Lake of the Ozarks.

  • Credit: Owning a home helps you establish financial credibility.
  • Independence: Owning your own home provides you with independence and more privacy than renting. You are free to paint walls, plant flowers, keep pets and anything else within legal bounds.
  • Investment: As you make more payments and own more of your home, you add to its investment value. Most improvements you make will also add to its value.
  • Pride: A home reflects its owner's values and lifestyle. Owning a home can provide you with a source of pride, enjoyment and satisfaction.
  • Security: A home can provide security against inflation because the value of your home increases as prices go up.
  • Stability: Being established in a community provides a sense of belonging, stability and security.
  • Tax Advantages: Interest on your mortgage loan is deductible on your yearly personal income tax return. Many of the closing costs associated with purchasing your home are deductible, as are your property taxes.

Here are some Home Shopping Tips that will be helpful to you while shopping for your new home or condo at the Lake of the Ozarks.

Check For Properly Working Appliances/Fixtures:
  • Bathroom
  • Sinks
  • Showers/tubs
  • Toilets
  • Vent fan
  • Heating fan
  • Appliances
  • Dishwasher
  • Stove
  • Oven
  • Ice maker
  • Garbage disposal
  • Range hood
  • Refrigerator
  • Freezer
  • Microwave
  • Trash compactor
  • Kitchen
  • Kitchen cabinet doors
  • Drawers
  • Sinks
  • General
  • Lights (interior & exterior)
  • Windows
  • Heating system
  • Ceiling fans
  • Hot water system
  • Air conditioning system
  • Electrical outlets
  • Door bells
  • Doors
  • Water purifier
  • Fireplace damper
  • Garage door
Ensure House Is Well-Built & Systems Are In Working Condition:
  • Exterior
  • Brick bulging or cracking
  • Shingles missing or broken
  • Siding rotted or missing
  • Gutters damaged or need to be cleaned
  • Concrete cracked in sidewalks/driveway
  • Basement
  • Water seepage in basement
  • Cracks in foundation
  • Poor ventilation
  • Interior
  • Sub-flooring damaged or loose
  • Cracked walls or ceiling
  • Cracked tiles
  • Loose plaster
  • Flooring damaged
  • Soft, springy floors
  • Water stains near windows
  • Water stains on ceiling below bathroom
  • Water stains in attic
  • Pipe insulation missing

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between "pre-qualified" and "pre-approved"?

If you are "pre-qualified" you have determined, with a loan officer, what price you can afford based on the down payment, your debts and the amount the mortgage company will approve for your mortgage. Being "pre-qualified" is only a determination of your probable credit. If you are "pre-approved", your credit, employment and funds have been approved by the lender.

What are closing costs?

Closing costs are an accumulation of charges paid to different entities associated with the buying and selling of real estate. For buyers, they are usually about 4-6% of the total sales price of a property. Some of the closing costs you might encounter are: application fees, appraisal fee, county taxes, credit report, discount points, documentation fee, escrow fees, homeowners' association fees, loan fees, mortgage insurance, origination fees, tax registration and title insurance premium.

What is a point?

One point is equal to 1% of the new loan amount. Whenever government regulation, state usury laws and/or competitive practices prohibit the lender from charging a rate of interest that would make the real estate loan competitive with other fields of investments, the lender must seek some method of increasing the yield for the investors. By charging "points", the lender can bring the real estate loan up to those other investments.

What is earnest money?

When you make an offer, you will need to put up an earnest money deposit as a sign of good faith that you are seriously interested in buying a home. That deposit becomes a part of the purchase price and is held in a trust account until there is full acceptance of the offer. Typically, an earnest money is 3-5% of the offer amount.

What is title insurance?

Title insurance protects the named insured against loss because of defects, liens, encumbrances, adverse claims or other matters not shown or disclosed to the new owner that attach before date of policy.

Is VA or FHA financing unfair to sellers?

FHA and VA loans provide purchasers the opportunity to buy homes with minimal cash investment and at lower interest rates. The result is a larger market for sellers, who also benefit by receiving all cash for their equity.