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Cabin Buying

With a Little Homework, You Could Be Relaxing at the Lake

September 15, 2014 - Tired of hearing your friends and neighbors talk about how much fun they've had at their cabin over the summer? Maybe it's your turn! Buying a lakeshore or rural property can be a great investment in addition to providing you and your family with fun and relaxation.

But before you start looking at properties, it's important to spend some time thinking about what type of property and cabin would be best for you and your family. Our list below will help you get started. Then talk to a Bremer Bank mortgage loan officer about loan options that will fit your needs:

What Should I Consider?

  • Location of property. Think about how much time you will have to spend at your cabin. Once a month? Every weekend? All year round or just in the summer? This will help determine how far away from home to start looking. If your cabin is more than two hours away, will you be able to go as often as you'd like?
  • Property amenities. What would you like to do at your cabin and property? Do you want to be on the water or in the woods? Do you want a garden? Also consider if it's important to have hiking, biking, skiing and/or snowmobiling near the cabin.
  • Age and maintenance. Do you want to purchase a cabin that needs improvements, or do you want one that's ready to go? This will factor in to the cost of the home. In addition, consider the maintenance of the cabin - will you be in charge of it year-round or hire someone to take care of the cabin for you? Take a look at the roads in the area - are they maintained year-round or seasonally?
  • Tax breaks. Owning a cabin can provide tax benefits. Typically, mortgage interest and property taxes are tax deductible.
  • Surrounding area. Become familiar with the market in the area you're searching, as well as potential neighbors and the nearest town. What's the value of similar cabin properties in this area? If you need to get groceries, how close is the nearest store?
  • Additional property considerations. Future value of your real estate purchase will partially depend on the lake and lakeshore quality. Here are some other important considerations when looking at lake property or an existing cabin on the lake:
    • Dock size and location
    • Flood zone – flood insurance is required for properties in flood zones
    • Lake levels throughout the seasons
    • Utilities – electricity, water, gas, sewage system (private or community)
    • Easements on the property/lake
  • Lake quality and usage. Is it a good lake for fishing? Do people use it for swimming and recreational boating?

Your real estate agent and mortgage loan professional will help you through the cabin buying process. Getting preapproved for a mortgage loan is highly recommended before you begin your search. This will give you an edge over other potential buyers as it shows you are financially prepared to put in an offer.

Best of luck in your cabin hunting!

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