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  1. What’s the goal? Will the second home be used for your vacation getaway or as an income-producing investment? Research before you look. Decide what features you most want to have in a home.
  2. Be realistic. It’s OK to be picky, but don’t be unrealistic with your expectations. There’s no such thing as a perfect home. Use your list of priorities as a guide to evaluate each property.
  3. Where do I want to buy? Lake, community, driving distance are all important considerations. Size of lake, what recreational activities are most important, proximity to amenities like shopping and healthcare, driving distance from home. Understanding the area geography is key. Ask a local Realtor for help.
  4. Get your finances in order. Are two mortgages within your budget. Talk to a lender and get pre-approved for a mortgage. This will save you the heartache later of falling in love with a house you can’t afford.
  5. Understand the upkeep costs of owning a second home. Property tax, insurance, and other expenses associated with a second home.
  6. Don’t ask too many people for opinions. Select one or two people to turn to if you feel you need a second opinion, but be ready to make the final decision on your own.
  7. Decide your moving timeline. Are you selling your current home? All of these factors will help you determine when you should move.
  8. What’s the exit strategy? Even if you’re thinking long term, plan an exit strategy in case of emergency.
  9. Get help from a Realtor®. Hire a real estate professional who specializes in buyer representation. Unlike a listing agent, whose first duty is to the seller, a buyer’s representative is working only for you. Buyer’s reps are usually paid out of the seller’s commission payment.

Ready to start your NW Wisconsin lake home or cabin search? Contact Jean