Iowa Great Lakes Home Buying Guide

Keys to your new home

Whether you’re a first-time buyer or a veteran homeowner, buying real estate can be an exciting and overwhelming journey. Even if you have been through the home-buying process several times, it’s always a sound idea to work with a knowledgeable REALTOR® who will look out for your best interests.

At Hoien Realty, we are a team of experienced real estate professionals who have a vast knowledge of the Iowa Great Lakes area real estate and all of the potential and opportunity that exists in one of the most beautiful parts of our country. We are dedicated to helping you find the right property for you, at the right price for you.

As your lakeshore specialists with over 70  years of real estate merit, Hoien Realty is committed to providing you with quality service and the personal attention you deserve when making what may be the biggest purchase of your life.

Ready to start your home search? Register for an account to start viewing available properties in Iowa Great Lakes right away. For even more expertise, get in touch with one of our buying specialists today!

Resources For Okoboji Real Estate Buyers

Okoboji Real Estate Homes Buyer’s Guide

Setting a Realistic Time Frame

There are a lot of variables in the home-buying process, which means the time it takes to find and buy your new home varies too. A typical home search process may take three to four months, including the mortgage approval process, comparing and evaluating properties, making an offer, and the closing process.

Mortgage Pre-Qualification and Approval

When it comes to buying real estate, many clients are excited to start their home search that they go directly to the listings without even knowing how much they can actually afford to borrow. If you’re putting in the time and effort to find your new home, it’s important to know your budget and to shop within it.

Once you’ve decided to invest in an Okoboji property, the first step to take is to get preapproved for a mortgage. The benefits of prequalification are two-fold. First, once the bank has given you the green light or not, they will also provide you with an approximate amount of how much they will lend you. This will help you to determine a finite budget so that you can keep your home searching realistic to the options you can definitely afford. It’s the most effective and time-efficient way of getting started on your home buying journey.

Furthermore, home buyers who are pre-approved for a mortgage are extremely appealing to sellers, which will act in your favor if there are other people bidding on the home you wish to purchase. A pre-qualified buyer shows the seller that you have financial backing in order to purchase their property for the negotiated price. This also speeds up the buying process on average by a couple of weeks, since a good portion of the financial logistics and aspects have been completed.

Lending Process Tips

  • Make a list: This can be frightening, but Hoien Realty is there to help guide you through the lending process. We suggest that your budget is under control—make a list of all your monthly expenses, compare it with your income or salary, and see if adjustments need to be made. Pay off small credit card balances and start gathering documents you may need (i.e. W-2 forms, income tax returns for the past few years, pay stubs, records of child support or alimony).
  • Rule of thumb: A general guideline to consider is that most buyers purchase a home that costs about one and a half to two and half times their current annual income. For example, someone earning $50,000 a year might purchase a home for $75,000 to $125,000. Mortgage payments should be about 26-28 percent of your gross monthly income.

Buying Okoboji Homes With Hoien Realty

Once you’ve organized your financing and have found a home that is right for you, it’s up to your Hoien Realty team of real estate experts to negotiate with the seller and seal the deal. When you work with Hoien Realty, we give you unlimited access to the MLS® and go above and beyond to seek-out any non-listed properties on your behalf. Your success is always our highest priority, and we won’t rest until you’re 100% satisfied and happy with your new home.

Finding a Home That Meets Your Needs and Wants

This can be overwhelming, so before you start looking at Okoboji properties, make a list of “must-have” features along with optional features you’d like to have. This list will be helpful when we take tours of properties, as it’s a great way to stay on task.

Some “Must-have” features may include the number of bedrooms and bathrooms you’ll need to accommodate your family, location, and proximity to points of interest, lot size and lot type. Optional features may include the architectural styling and design, or whether or not a property has views or access to a particular Okoboji lake.

Find the Right Community To Call Home

Finding the right community goes hand-in-hand with finding a home that suits you best. This is where you’ll be putting down your roots, and it should be a place where you enjoy coming home to. But your comfort zone doesn’t just start at your doorsteps, it includes the entire community surrounding you.

Okoboji has a variety of pleasant neighborhoods to choose from, each with their own unique features and appeal. One of the biggest factors in determining which community is best for you is to narrow it down to Okoboji In-town or waterfront properties in Okoboji. Hoien Realty has a team of experts who are pleased to work with you one-on-one to figure out what’s most important to you. We will make solid recommendations in terms of schools, entertainment, shopping, recreations, and more—and guide you to the perfect home in the perfect neighborhood that complements you and yours!

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