Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Tips for Buying a Vacation Home in Harbor Country!

Harbor Country Michigan has lured vacationers to its’ shores for a number of years.  The charming, beach side towns that make up Harbor Country boast quaint shops, great local restaurants, beautiful homes and miles of white sand beaches.  

As a team of Harbor Country Real Estate Prudential Rubloff agents and advisors, we’ve helped many find their ideal vacation getaway and in serving the community; we understand what makes it so special!  In fact, our companies tagline, “Come for a weekend, stay for a lifetime” rings true for many vacationers!  Once you experience the Harbor Country lifestyle, it’s hard to imagine yourself anywhere else!

Oftentimes, those who find themselves renting a Harbor Country home year after year for vacation, find that investing in the Harbor Country Real Estate market is the best option!  They’ll find the Harbor Country home that offers that ideal sense of relaxation, space and convenience and they’ll want to make it their second home.

Sound familiar?  If you’re visiting our blog because you’re interested in buying a vacation home in Harbor Country; we’re glad you’re here!  We thought we would highlight a few tips for buying a second home before you begin your search.

1.  Decide if it’s the right time to buy- We know home prices are still low, but you’ll want to look carefully at your purpose for buying and also determine your finances.  Is this home a long term property you’ll want to keep for years to come?  Is this solely going to be used as a rental property? Is this something you can afford right now?

2.  Know what to look for in a second home- Before buying, make sure you get a good feel for the area and even the talk with the locals.  Find out if Harbor Country is a good fit for you!  (We’re pretty sure you’ll love it, but it’s always good to double check!) It’s also good to look at the comparable homes in Harbor Country. We can tell you if the Harbor Country home you have your eye on is comparable to other homes around the area. 

3.  Explore financing options- Buying a second home has the same type of financing and the typical 20% to 25% down or more is required.

4.  Learn the tax ins and outs- Savvy tax planning can make a difference in your return on the property. Tax implications for second homes can vary significantly based on your financial situation and whether or not you plan to rent out the property.   Generally, the interest on the mortgage of your second home is tax deductible, and rental properties are subject to additional tax breaks. Keep in mind that renting your home seasonally varies due to lake levels, economy and demand. We recommend that if you do plan on renting you consider rental income a bonus and if you have to rent to make the numbers work then you may reconsider the purchase. You do not want to get yourself in a bind.

Taking time to review these tips should help you as you consider taking the next step in buying a vacation home in Harbor Country.  Not ready to buy?  We can help you find a great rental home in Harbor Country for your vacation!

We are always here to help answer your questions and would love the opportunity to talk with you!

Contact us today to get started!

Shoreline Property Advisors
@ Prudential Rubloff

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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

5 Tips to Consider Before Buying an Indiana Shoreline Home

If you’ve been considering buying a home along the Indiana Shoreline this spring, chances are you’ve been keeping an eye on real estate market news.  You’ve no doubt heard reports of the market improving and home prices already on the rise, with expectations to continue rising throughout 2013.  And, while it’s great to hear that the national housing market is building momentum, it can also cause buyers to feel the urgency to jump in before they’re ready.

Here at Shoreline Property Advisors, our team of experience Prudential Rubloff Real Estate agents and property advisors will never recommend making such a large purchase before you’re ready; no matter the current market.

In fact, because buying an Indiana Shoreline home is a decision to be weighed carefully, we wanted to provide you with a few tips to help guide you as you consider buying an Indiana Shoreline home.  You’ll want to take a few minutes to carefully consider each point and determine what it means for your current situation.

1. Live Within Your Means- This is a lesson that our country seems to be learning collectively. We’ve seen the damage that can come from buying homes we can’t afford and digging ourselves further into debt.  Buying an Indiana Shoreline home that fits your budget as it stands now will give the home a chance to appreciate. In the long run, your finances will be healthier and you’ll more than likely be able to afford your dream home next time around.

2. Think Long-Term- When buying a home in today’s market, you want to plan for the future. Consider your basic needs such as security, proximity to your job and other daily activities, the school system and room to grow if need be. You want to plan to be in a home for a minimum of three to five years.

3. Research and Take Advantage of Low Rates- Many lenders are encouraging buyers to lock in a long-term loan, such as a 30-year mortgage, to ensure taking full advantage of the historically low interest rates. An adjustable rate mortgage can work for some buyers, but you’ll want to discuss with your Indiana Shoreline Real Estate agent or Shoreline Property Advisor about which option is best for you.

4. Be Prepared to Make an Offer- Before you even begin searching for your Indiana Shoreline home, you’ll want to get pre-approved for a loan. This not only helps you determine your home buying budget, but will make the process run much more quickly once you’re ready to make an offer. This will also force you to get your credit in order and gives you the opportunity to correct any credit issues before entering the Indiana Shoreline Real Estate market.  

5. Find a Recommended Indiana Shoreline Real Estate Agent- Having the right agent journey with you through the home buying process will make all the difference. Conduct research online or talk with family and friends to get their recommendations. You’ll want to find an agent who has experience in the Indiana Shoreline Real Estate market and with whom you feel you can work with for however long it takes for you to find your Indiana Shoreline home

After reading these, you may still feel that now is the time to move forward in the home buying process; which is great!  We would be happy to sit down and talk with you about your home buying needs, your budget and timeline.  

Together we’ll be able to ensure you have a smooth home buying experience and know what to expect each step of the way!

We look forward to hearing from you!

Shoreline Property Advisors
@ Prudential Rubloff

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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Don't Miss the Harbor Country Chocolate Classic This Valentine's Day!

Each year, there are a few epic events that take place throughout Harbor Country.  These events are favorites among locals, and draw in a crowd from nearby Michigan communities.  And, if your thoughts have recently towards Valentine’s Day, you’ll find the perfect way to celebrate along the Lake Michigan Shoreline!

February boasts Harbor Country’s Chocolate Classic, and this isn’t just a one weekend event; it lasts all month long!  Here are the details that will make this Valentine’s Day extra special!

3rd Annual Harbor Country Chocolate Classic
Various Locations, Harbor Country

February 1st - 28th

- The Chocolate Classic will feature more than 40 Harbor Country Chamber of Commerce businesses throughout the entire month of February.  You’ll enjoy ice-sculpting, sleigh rides and creative activities for all ages. Culinary venues will offer everything from chocolate-chip pancakes, hand-made truffles, and chocolate-covered bacon, to chocolate-enhanced wine and locally brewed specialty beer – with the key ingredient of chocolate of course! 

Chocolate Classic retailers will offer shoppers specials on chocolate-hued items including jewelry, glass, furniture and more. Visitors can also win special prizes by participating in various chocolate-themed guessing games!  Don’t miss the Chocolate Soiree hosted by the Chocolate Classic Committee from 6pm to 8pm on Thursday, February 28th at Timothy’s Restaurant in Union Pier!  Admission is at least one non-perishable food item or a cash donation to benefit the Harbor Country Emergency Food Pantry.

Gather friends and family for this decadent month and support local businesses as you get your fill of everything chocolate!  For more information and to view a list of all participating businesses, please visit the Harbor Counrty website
As a team of Harbor Country Real Estate agents and advisors here at Shoreline Property Advisors, we enjoy highlighting great events that take place in the shoreline communities.  We know that the lifestyle that’s offered has a direct impact on where you choose to live or buy a vacation home, and we can proudly say that Harbor Country is an excellent choice!
If you want to know more about the Harbor Country communities, the lifestyle or the Harbor Country Real Estate market; please contact us today!  And have a great Valentine’s Day!

Shoreline Property Advisors
@ Prudential Rubloff

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Wednesday, February 6, 2013

4 Tips to Help Your Evanston Home Sell!

Now that we’ve entered in February, many are turning their thoughts toward the spring Evanston Real Estate market.  For those looking to buy an Evanston home, they’re probably already doing a casual search online for properties that are currently available.  Now is still a good time to buy a home, so buyers will either jump on the opportunity now or will wait it out to see if there are new homes that find their way onto the market within the coming months.

If, however, you’re considering selling your Evanston home this spring; you’ll want to begin preparing your home now.  You’ll also want to discuss with your Evanston Real Estate agent about putting your home on the market sooner rather than later.  For those early spring buyers, they’ll already be looking and you’ll want to have your home as one of the first homes they see in order to help your home stand out from the competition.

There are a number of things you can do to get your home ready to sell, so our team of Evanston Real Estate agents and advisors here at Shoreline Property Advisors wanted to provide a few of the top things you can do to ensure your home is ready and shows well to interested buyers.  Take a look!

1. Update listing photos- If you had your home on the market last year, you’ll want to update your listing photos!  Your Evanston Real Estate agent can take care of getting photos of your home or condo that reflect any updates you’ve made or to simply allow your home to appear fresh on the market.  Any buyer who has seen your home online in the past may not realize you had taken your home off the market and it will seem stale.
2. Create a Sensory Experience- Whether you light candles or have freshly baked cookies on the counter, appealing to the senses of taste and smell can immediately make buyers relax and feel comfortable in your home.
3. Highlight Your Outdoor Space- This is an important space for anyone moving to Evanston. Buyers want to know they can enjoy the outdoors from the comfort of their own home, so creating a welcoming environment on your patio, deck or yard will allow buyers to envision themselves in the space once the warmer weather hits.
4. Set the Table- Staging your dining room with beautiful place settings can help buyers envision hosting friends and family for dinners in your home.  Chances are buyers will have friends and family visiting for vacations, so it will give them that feeling of gathering with loved ones in the home.
Taking note of these tips and making the necessary updates will help boost the appeal of your home to Evanston buyers!
Of course, we are always here and ready to answer any questions you have about putting your home on the Evanston Real Estate market.  We would love the opportunity to talk with you about your home and your real estate needs.
Please feel free to contact us today so we can get your Evanston home on the market and on its’ way to being sold!

Shoreline Property Advisors
@ Prudential Rubloff

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