Tuesday, February 26, 2013

There's Good, Bad & Ugly When Buying Minnesota Lakeshore in the Winter

Spring is just around the corner but the recent weather reports and our aching, shoveling-afflicted backs continue to let us know that our Minnesota’s winter weather will continue to be here for awhile. Unfortunately all that picturesque lake shore that defines our beautiful state and the Land of 10,000 Lakes is going to stay frozen and covered with a thick white blanket of snow....This is not a great scenario as the real estate market has started to heat up early. 

Most people considering buying a lake shore home in 2013, think they have to wait until ice-out in the spring to make a move on a piece of shoreline. But, not so fast. Buying a lakeshore home in the winter can make sense…And save money too. If you know the specific lake well or are not concerned about the quality of shoreline, winter can be a great time to write up an offer.

GOOD reasons buy NOW:

  1. Motivated Sellers—Any seller has their Minnesota lakeshore home on the market in February/March most probably needs to sell.
  2. Less Competition—With few buyers on the market there is less change of multiple offers on a lakeshore property which make for easier negotiations with the sellers. This might not be the case come spring.
  3. Low Interest Rates—They keep telling us that these rates won’t stay around forever and they are starting to inch up again. A lower interest rate means more buying power.
BAD  and UGLY situations that could arise:

  1. Shoreline Problems—That picturesque beauty that was covered with snow could reveal low lake levels or weedy shoreline problems rather than the sandy beachfront you imagined.
  2. Septic issues—If the home is on a lake with a private sewage system, it might not be able to be fully assessed for compliance issues which could be costly if a new system is required.
Bottom line, winter can be an tremendous opportunity to get a deal on a Minnesota lake home but be advised if you don’t know the lake well; there are some risks when putting in an offer if the lake is covered with a thick slab of ice. Weigh your options carefully before deciding whether you should put in an offer on that seemingly perfect snow covered home on the lake or wait until May when the waves are once again lapping on the shore.

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