Tuesday, March 31, 2020

April Lake of the Ozarks Real Estate Update

 

Coronavirus Impacts Lake

 

     Due to the uncertainty of how long Covid-19 will be affecting our nation’s health and economy, we have seen an increase in the number of contracts across the lake area and including all property types falling through the last two weeks of March.  At the same time, properties continue to go under contract at a good rate and closings are happening daily.  I have not seen an unusual increase in new properties on the market.  My office is talking with buyers and sellers every day at about the same rate.  We are handling more initial home viewings via video and in person showings have dropped considerably.

     Currently, my staff and agents are working primarily from home.    We are screening everyone prior to physical meetings. When viewing homes, my clients and I have been taking separate vehicles and meeting at the properties.    I unlock and open doors and turn on lights throughout, wear gloves and ask that everyone refrain from touching anything in the home.  I also hand sanitize before and after and maintain a physical distance of about 10 or more feet in order to protect my clients and my family.   At closings, title companies are allowing only the buyer or seller into their offices and are encouraging anyone that can close electronically to do so.

     With school and extracurricular activities suspended, plus so many people working from home, the lake area has seen the early arrival of second homeowners taking advantage of their lake homes. With other areas of the country experiencing high infection rates, people are also booking vacation rentals and coming to the lake to shelter in a much less populated area.   The lake itself has seemed to respond with beautiful Spring days and perfect boating weather.  It feels more like June than March lately.  I don’t have any hard data to share but, anecdotally, I have spoken with grocery providers who say the supply orders are closer to summer numbers than amounts they usually experience this time of year. 

     Area restaurants have switched to curbside and dockside service.  Owners are doing all they can to continue to provide their employees with income and many are also assisting them with food for their families.  At least one local distillery has switched to making hand sanitizer – and is giving it away at no charge.  Local food pantries have adjusted their procedures, but volunteers are still helping keep lake area families fed.  Keep them in mind if you are fortunate enough to be able to help with financial donations.   There is no other community I would rather be a part of in a crisis.

     The Lake of the Ozarks is both safe haven and happy place for so many people across the country.  At this point, the market is holding its own and I feel good about the outlook of where we’re going to be in three to six months.  I think we will see a similar effect to what happened after 9/11.  Families pull together and take stock of what is most important to them.  The lake is a safe and enjoyable place to create lifetime memories and it’s a solid investment. 

     I hope you are well and safe.  It will be interesting to see how much or how little has changed when I see you here next month.

      Michael Elliott has been selling real estate at the Lake of the Ozarks since 1981.  He is one of the most respected brokers in the area.  If you would like to work with Michael in the sale or purchase of property, or have interest in a career in real estate, contact him at 573.365.SOLD or cme@yourlake.com  or stop by C. Michael Elliott & Associates, 3738 Osage Beach Parkway.  View thousands of lake area listings at www.YourLake.com.  You can also view each months’ article, ask questions and offer your opinion on Michael’s real estate blog, www.AsTheLakeChurns.com

   


Tuesday, February 25, 2020

March Lake of the Ozarks Real Estate Update


Septic Systems:  Sellers Be Aware and Buyers Beware

     In the past twenty years there has been a lot of progress with central sewer systems in the lake area, but most homes are still on private, on-site septic systems.  Many of the systems currently in use were installed in the 1980’s and are failing at a pretty rapid pace. 
     Most private systems in the lake area consist of a tank and lateral lines.  Many of the tanks are aerated via an electrical motor.  Waste from a home drains into the tank, an aerated system churns the waste helping to break down any solids then liquid effluence exits from the top level of the tank and into the lateral fields.  Lateral fields are pipes that extend out and allow the liquid to drain via holes all along the pipe then flow into the ground.  The ground area beneath these pipes should be lined with gravel in order to allow the liquid to seep into the ground evenly as opposed to ending up making a puddle in your yard. 
     During inspection, the tank is opened to assess the condition of the tank, how full the tank is and how much sludge it contains.  If it is an aerated system, they check the motor operation.  The inspector runs water inside your home to be sure the system is handling the amount of flow the home would reasonably produce based on size.  They will check the tank to see if it is filling up and how quickly it drains into the lateral lines.  They will also add dye to locate where the water ultimately drains from the lateral lines.  This will tell them if the lines are draining and if the drainage is going to the proper location.  If the lines are not draining, the most likely issue is that the lateral lines are plugged up.
      The best way to keep your existing system from failure is maintenance.  Many times, when an aerator motor stops working an owner will have it removed.  While the motor is not absolutely necessary for the septic tank to function, it will help to keep your system working well and is required by some homeowner associations and governing bodies.  Another way to help your system is by limiting the amount of garbage you wash down your sinks.  All solids cause build up in the tank but fatty foods are especially bad for your system.  Even if you are on a central sewer system, if you have a lift station that pumps your waste to the sewer connection, fatty foods will cause you major issues in a short amount of time.  It is also recommended that you have your tank pumped every three to five years. 
     In the lake area, each counties’ Department of Health oversees on-site septic systems with less than 3,000 gallons of flow per day.  Larger scale systems are governed by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.  Septic inspectors, repair services and installers must be certified.  When septic system service providers encounter a failing system, they must notify the local Department of Health.  The property owner is contacted and informed that they must correct the issue and given a timeframe for completion. 
     I have encountered two failing systems in just the past two weeks while working with buyers during the inspection process.  The seller of one of the homes insisted they did not have a problem and the home has since been put back on the market.  Per the state certified septic installer, the septic of that home has failed completely and is not a candidate for repair.  Due to new regulations, designed to keep our lake clean, an engineered system is required, and replacement will cost from $50,000 to $75,000 because the lakefront lot is not large enough to handle a traditional system.  Any time you are buying a property, be sure to use a qualified inspector to thoroughly check the septic.  I also advise you to contact the local Department of Health and inquire whether the system has been reported.
     Michael Elliott has been selling real estate at the Lake of the Ozarks since 1981.  He is one of the most respected brokers in the area.  If you would like to work with Michael in the sale or purchase of property, or have interest in a career in real estate, contact him at 573.365.SOLD or cme@yourlake.com  or stop by C. Michael Elliott & Associates, 3738 Osage Beach Parkway.  View thousands of lake area listings at www.YourLake.com.  You can also view each months’ article, ask questions and offer your opinion on Michael’s real estate blog, www.AsTheLakeChurns.com

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

January Lake of the Ozarks Real Estate Update

The Decade in Review

     At the end of this decade, I’ve researched the lake real estate market stats to show how the market looked in 2019 stacked up against 2010.
     Sales of lakefront homes increased 64.7 percent in the past year compared to ten years ago while 2019 lakefront home sales had a slight decrease of 1.6 percent from 2018.  The 2010 median sales price was $230,000 and in 2019 was $295,000 or an increase of 28 percent.
     Sales of non-lakefront homes increased 63.7 percent over the decade and decreased from 2018 to 2019 by 2.4 percent.  The 2010 median sales price for non-lakefront homes was $90,000 and in 2019 was $149,000 or an increase of 65 percent.
     Condominium units saw the largest increase of residential sales since 2010 with an 88.9% increase in 2019 and sales from 2018 to 2019 increased by almost one percent.  The 2010 median condo sales price was $153,000 and in 2019 was $163,000 for an increase of 6.5%. 
     Reviewing the ten-year data, I feel the overall market has experienced a solid, steady increase.  Median sales prices have increased less than ten percent per year and total number of sales has increased less than ten percent per year for residential properties.  I expect 2020 to maintain the same solid growth and I also believe that inventory will continue to be tight.    
    Residential properties will still have a short time on the market as long as they are not grossly overpriced, and sellers will continue to enjoy having the needle on their side while the Seller’s Market continues.  Even though sellers have more advantage, you can see from the ten-year data that Lake of the Ozarks real estate is still an excellent investment.  If you are still undecided on whether to purchase in 2020, take time to visit with myself or one of my agents.  We’d be happy to give you a more in-depth market report on the specific property type, area and price range you are considering.  There are still good buys coming on the market weekly and we’d be happy to help you decide how best to maximize your dollar and create the best future investment return.      
     I have compiled this data from the Lake of the Ozarks Board of Realtors’ Multiple Listing System for the time frame beginning January 1, 2010 and ending December 30, 2019.
     Michael Elliott has been selling real estate at the Lake of the Ozarks since 1981.  He is one of the most respected brokers in the area.  If you would like to work with Michael in the sale or purchase of property, or have interest in a career in real estate, contact him at 573.365.SOLD or cme@yourlake.com  or stop by C. Michael Elliott & Associates, 3738 Osage Beach Parkway.  View thousands of lake area listings at www.YourLake.com.  You can also view each months’ article, ask questions and offer your opinion on Michael’s real estate blog, www.AsTheLakeChurns.com

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

December Lake of the Ozarks Real Estate Update


Fool’s Gold :
Name given to iron pyrites, which looks a little like gold but is worthless
The ‘biggest liar gets the listing’ is a common thought among real estate agents.  In order to gain a listing, agents have an incentive to inflate a home’s value.  Sellers often think their home is worth more than market value, and every homeowner wants to receive the highest price possible, who wouldn’t?
Unfortunately, when a homeowner interviews agents as part of the listing process, they tend to gravitate toward the one who agrees to the highest price necessary to get the sellers to sign.   Sellers are in for a harsh reality when their home is overpriced.  It will linger on the market and sell for less than it would have if properly priced and marketed correctly from the onset.
You should always hire an agent and brokerage that will put your best interests above “getting the listing”.  Armed with an honest pricing evaluation and customized marketing plan; you’ll attract the highest number of qualified buyers.  You’ll also create the greatest opportunity to sell your home for top dollar.
When interviewing an agent, focus on their track record, reputation in the community, marketing plan, negotiating skills and wide range of services necessary to handle the sale of your home.  The designated broker is who your listing contract is really with, so check out the broker behind each agent.  Choose professionals who are dedicated to real estate as a career and who reside full time, year-round at Lake of the Ozarks.  We can handle a great deal via technology but real estate still requires showing up in real time and being available when clients and customers need assistance.
Our limited, first-class inventory enables us to provide personal service to each client.  Priced correctly and marketed expansively, our listings are only on the market for a short time.
For almost 40 years, C. Michael Elliott & Associates have done things the right way.  We will present a strategy for pricing and the best way to debut your home into the marketplace. If you are preparing to sell, call us for an interview appointment before you make any decisions about listing your property.
      Michael Elliott has been selling real estate at the Lake of the Ozarks since 1981.  He is one of the most respected brokers in the area.  If you would like to work with Michael in the sale or purchase of property, or have interest in a career in real estate, contact him at 573.365.SOLD or cme@yourlake.com  or stop by C. Michael Elliott & Associates, 3738 Osage Beach Parkway.  View thousands of lake area listings at www.YourLake.com.  You can also view each months’ article, ask questions and offer your opinion on Michael’s real estate blog, www.AsTheLakeChurns.com



Thursday, September 26, 2019

October Lake of the Ozarks Real Estate Update

Check the Dock Permit Before You Buy


      The ability to have a dock and other types lakefront permits greatly affects property value.  The size of the dock envelope and distance from other structures also is a big factor.  Be sure you are making an informed decision before you commit to a purchase.
     In the process of searching for a lakefront property, be sure you understand the permitting process for docks.  It’s also a good idea to familiarize yourself with permitting for seawalls, ramps, breakwaters, boathouses and any other existing or desired improvements. When considering a property for purchase, always ask to see approved permits.
     When I list a property, I discuss the dock and various permits with the seller and request a copy of those permits from Ameren.  This shows all permitted items currently on the property along with a drawing of where the items should be situated according to the permit.  It can also indicate potential for a larger dock system or other items.  If it appears that any items are not permitted or appear to be out of the correct position, I help the owner arrange further investigation and correction, if necessary.
     I post the permit information with the listing data so buyers can easily determine if a property’s lakefrontage appears to suit their needs or if they can eliminate it from their list of homes to view.   This also helps them verify that the existing dock, seawall, etc. match the current permit and makes for a smoother real estate transaction.  I recommend that you do a visual inspection and get additional help if you aren’t sure about any permit items.       
     For most buyers, lakefront property with the availability to have or install a dock that suits their needs is crucial.  Not all lakefront property is able to have a dock, and some have significant limitations. This may be caused by a subdivision restriction; other times it is due to the way the lot lines run to the lake, position of the lot in a cove, size of cove, etc.  Some subdivisions designated certain lots as able to have a small dock, day dock, etc. BUT in the time since those subdivisions were created Ameren permitting rules changed and many of those lots are no longer able to obtain a permit.
     Docks are required to be installed within the boundaries set out by Ameren.  Because lot lines vary from lot to lot, the dock envelope can change greatly between properties.  Ameren can require a property owner to obtain a survey if there is any question or discrepancy about the location of permit items.  Additionally, there may be dock location agreements or easements granted to or by another property owner that you need to research before purchasing.    
     When ownership of a lakefront property with Ameren permits changes; Ameren must be notified, and the existing permit(s) should be transferred to the new owner.  An electrical inspection completed and approved by the appropriate authority within the previous 12 months must be submitted with the permit transfer.  If the electrical inspection shows that any items are not in compliance; those items must be corrected with an approval issued before Ameren will process the transfer.  Existing permit numbers stay with the property, they are NOT transferred with the dock. 
     Any new construction, replacement or modification of existing docks must be permitted.  The construction must be completed within one year of approval.  If the work is not complete in that time, you can apply for one six-month extension if there have not been any changes in the information submitted in the original application.   Ameren allows an exception for some large 3,000 square foot plus, residential and commercial docks and may permit a term up to four years.  If your permit expires, it is null and void.  You will have to complete a new application, along with fees in order to have a new permit issued.
       If you are a current property owner, make sure you have a copy of the permits, issued in your name, and that they are up to date.  Even if you are not considering selling, it’s a good idea to have up to date permits.  If permitting rules change and your permits are not current, you may have to modify your dock to maintain compliance.
     If you are purchasing lakefront property, ask to see a copy of the current permits.  If the owner does not have copies, ask them to make a request to Ameren for the permits.  Permit Requests are only accepted from the property owner or the Listing Agent if the property is listed.  If you are working with a Buyer’s Agent, ask them to request the information from the Listing Agent.  
     These are the type of issues that a good Broker will keep you informed about and walk you through any vital procedures to help you maintain your property’s value.  There are many unseen items beyond the house size, condition and location that you need to be aware of when making a purchase. 
     Michael Elliott has been selling real estate at the Lake of the Ozarks since 1981.  He is one of the most respected brokers in the area.  If you have interest in a career in real estate or would like Michael’s assistance in the sale or purchase of property, you can reach him at 573.365.SOLD or cme@yourlake.com  View thousands of lake area listings at www.YourLake.com