This may sound like a rather simple headline---but in the past month, I've had two couples approach me that haven't purchased a home since they bought their primary residences several DECADES ago. I also had a lovely couple SELLING their first home (and they were both in their 80s, it was their first sales experience) last summer (and we sold it quickly). Now these new Buyer families (that haven't purchased in decades) want to purchase second home properties in Door County. This post is about how to buy a home in Door County, Wisconsin. Our steps here will be different from other parts of the state (and nation) but it's basically the same premise--I will work hard to find you what you want and need, and then we work through several steps to help you get the property you want.
BUYING YOUR DOOR COUNTY DREAM HOME
(or condominium, or vacant land, or business)
Additionally, purchasing in Door County doesn't have to involve your SECOND home--this post definitely also applies to buying your FIRST Door County home, as we are currently experiencing with one of my 25 year old Buyers who is buying his first condominium in downtown Sister Bay (we can't wait!).
The process is simple, and I can break it down into several easy steps:
1. FIRST, FIND A LOCAL BROKER THAT UNDERSTANDS THE DOOR COUNTY COMMUNITY. If you were looking for a home in Steven's Point, you wouldn't come to me--it wouldn't make sense. I'm not familiar with how other counties operate (zoning, radon testing, home inspections, surveys, etc.) but I AM a Door County real estate expert. I've worked with our local zoning boards (including 8 years as a Planning Commissioner with Liberty Grove and 2 years with the Village of Sister Bay), as well as with Ephraim, Gibraltar, Egg Harbor and even Sturgeon Bay. I know our local and regional home inspectors that I trust (I'll give you a list and you interview to find the most compatible), I'll be able to let you know who to call when you want to put in a driveway, where to get your prescription filled, how to find a local church directory (how to even find a local phone book--that's not always easy) and so much more. Builders, retailers, restaurants, doctors, attorneys--I understand the Door County community and I want to help you have the best home buying experience possible by using my expertise in localism to ensure a smooth transition from start to finish.
WILL YOU NEED THE NAMES OF LOCAL HOME BUILDERS
AND TRADESMEN? I CAN HELP.
2. ALSO--FIND A BROKER THAT IS COMPATIBLE WITH YOU AND UNDERSTANDS YOUR WANTS AND NEEDS. I've sold everything from luxury equestrian estates to huge waterfront fortresses, manufactured homes to million dollar mansions (this year alone). I'll spend a LOT of time listening to what you want and need. I won't try to oversell you on a property you can't afford, and I'll be brutally honest with my opinions--if you're looking for a three bedroom waterfront home in Door County for $150,000--it doesn't exist. But I WILL tell you what is available in your price point and make sure we look at every available properties that suits your needs. We may even go out of the box if we spend enough time together and I determine that you may have described something that isn't EXACTLY what we've talked about but may end up being the PERFECT match for you. I once spent two years working with someone that had just returned from his military service in Iraq and we looked at every single solitary home in his price point for over 24 months--we lost a few, and I kept telling him "Don't worry--the right one will stick, whenever a door closes a window opens". Well, there was a sudden price reduction on a home in the woods that was PERFECT for him--size, location and price. Finally--the perfect home--SOLD TO MY BUYER--in 2014. I even got a Christmas card from his wife this week showing that they are expecting their third child (and they bought when they only had one toddler). Everything works out for a reason, and I'll truly work with all my heart to try to help you find what you truly want (and need).
THIS PHOTO WAS TAKEN THE DAY KURT CLOSED ON HIS FIRST HOME IN 2014 WITH HIS WIFE, LAUREN AND DAUGHTER KAIJA. KAIJA NOW HAS A LITTLE BROTHER AND A NEW SIBLING ON THE WAY FOR 2018.
3. USE A BROKER THAT CAN ANTICIPATE THE PITFALLS ALONG THE WAY.
Survey encroachments. Truly bad home inspections that will require a lot of negotiation for curing. Failed appraisals. Sticky mortgage issues (we'll work on pre-approval first, but sometimes things arise that aren't anticipated). A bad well. A failing septic system. A survey that doesn't show the amount of acreage or shore front represented in the contract. High radon. A water test with high lead. It takes a LOT of work to get you from point A---that accepted Offer---to point Z--your closing--with a lot of potential pitfalls along the way. Doing this for nearly 15 years, I'd like to say I've seen it all--but every year something comes along to surprise me. Don't worry--we'll work through any issues together to make sure you close that Door County property that you love.
HOME INSPECTOR SAYS WE HAVE A BROKEN COMMODE?
NO WORRIES--WE WILL WORK OUR WAY THROUGH THE PITFALLS
OF YOUR HOME INSPECTION.
4. BE SURE TO WORK WITH SOMEONE THAT IS AVAILABLE WHEN YOU NEED THEM. Now, I don't like frantic calls at 7:30 a.m. any more than the next person, but your concerns are important to me, and if I can't answer you immediately, I will definitely call you back or email you back or text you back in a timely manner. I've tried to set up showings with agents that haven't gotten back to me for two days--by then, I've already shown homes to my customers and clients and we probably already wrote an Offer. I try to offer comfortable access to all of my customers, clients and prospects to get your questions and concerns answered.
5. BE SURE TO WORK WITH SOMEONE YOU LIKE AND CAN LAUGH WITH! Buying a Door County property should be an enjoyable experience. Don't be afraid to tell me you hate the purple shag carpet in Listing #4--I'm watching and waiting to see your reaction! And we can laugh together about the crazy black walls in the back bedroom we saw on listing #2 (remember, paint is cheap!!). I want you to enjoy your property purchase experience and I'll try to make it as stress-free, memorable and as FUN as possible. Hopefully, we'll have a beautiful day to look at Door County properties together (but I show in all weather, including an appointment for 4 below tomorrow (unheated house, too)). Let's make your Door County property purchase experience fun. Remember, there are no stupid questions--I want you to have a level of trust where you feel you can ask me anything (within reason).
THIS WAS ANOTHER FUN FIRST-TIME
HOME BUYER EXPERIENCE
5. MAKE SURE YOU CHOOSE A BROKER THAT HAS A TEAM TO STAY IN COMMUNICATION AS WE APPROACH YOUR CLOSING. I'll be working with the title company, potentially your lender, as we get the final details toward your closing--your survey, your financing commitment, the final curing from your home inspection and much more. We'll be setting up the time for your closing at the Seller's office, the title company, or by mail. We'll work to get you keys and garage door openers, assist at your walk through (even if you can't be there, either hire your home inspector to go back in or send a friend you trust). As we approach "C" Day (closing day, or course), you want to be reassured that you're in good hands. I will work hard to make sure you feel that we're with you every step of the way.
And then it's not a handshake and a "See ya!". My door is always open. The coffee is on, the water is cold, I love hearing what is new with you---I love seeing your remodel, a photo of your new baby. I enjoy running into you at the grocery store, shopping at your new business or eating at your new restaurant, recommending your new motel, having coffee or a drink, lunch......please keep in touch. Because I will. You'll have questions, especially if you're newer to Door County (and maybe even if you've vacationed here 100 times). I'm always happy to answer questions. My services don't end at the closing, as hundreds of people can attest.
So you're buying your first Door County home, or your maybe it's your first second home in Door County, or your third business in Door County, or maybe now the kids (or Mom and Dad) need a place in Door County. I'm here to help.
I WILL FIND YOU THAT NEW HOUSE,
PERFECT, SHINEY AND NEW!
You can always view our ever-changing inventory and listings at my site at door-county-properties.com which features the entire Door County MLS as well as featured listings, blogs, videos and price reductions.
If you want to find out more about the Door County Property Buyer Experience with MaryKay Shumway, check here.
If you're looking to SELL your Door County property and would like some more information, you can check here.
How to Buy a Home in Door County, Wisconsin
---Or Anywhere, USA.
When you're ready to buy your Door County dream home, condominium, vacant land or business opportunity--I'll be with you every step of the way.