4 Tips for Buying your Door County home--from a distance

Real Estate Agent with The Kellstrom Ray Agency, Inc. (Est. 1948)

It's much more than just being able to sign electronically and view listings online.  Here are some tips on how to find the RIGHT Door County property as your second home or new forever home.

Chances are, if you’re looking for a primary or secondary home in Door County, you’re ready for a change of scenery.  And if you’re considering buying property in a Door County as a second home, you probably have a lot of questions about the process. Will you have to fly in to the Ephraim airport (joke--you'd use Austin Straubel in Green Bay) every weekend to look at properties? Will you miss out on hot properties? Is it even possible to buy without physically being in Door County?

I've assisted international buyers find their Door County home before they set foot on the Peninsula by working electronically on several occasions--I can help make the process a pleasure, and even fun.

Buying a home from a distance certainly presents its own set of unique challenges, but by no means is it impossible. Here are four tips for buying a Door County property from a distance to make the process easier, faster, and less stressful for you and your family:

1. Gather information

When you’re buying property in an unfamiliar city, the first thing you need to do is educate yourself. Gathering information on the various Door County towns and Villages (or maybe the City of Sturgeon Bay), the cost of living, and general property information is essential to help you make an informed decision. Without it, you’ll likely waste time and energy exploring homes that ultimately aren’t the right fit for you.  If you're looking at Door County condominiums for sale, we'll discuss dues and what they cover.

For example, you might see a home or condominium for sale in Fish Creek that matches all of your criteria and think “Great! We should look at this home!” But once you do your research, you might learn that while the home is great, it doesn’t have the walkability you’re looking for, or has a shared driveway without a maintenance agreement.

Search for your door county home for sale at moredoorcounty.com

Thoroughly researching your Door County towns and villages and the different areas within the Peninsula will help you save time by only viewing properties that fall within the factors of how and where you want to live. Do research on the internet and, if possible, connect with residents of Door County via FaceBook, Instagram or Pinterest (plus friends of friends are always a great resource) to get their take on where to live and where to avoid.

2. Choose the right real estate agent or broker

The key to successfully buying a new home from a distance is choosing the right real estate agent or Broker. You want to work with someone who’s an expert in the Door County market and who you trust to check out properties on your behalf when you’re not around.  I'm a full-time Door County real estate broker with over 15 years experience in matching people with the perfect Door County home, condominium, business or vacant land to build.

Since you’re not in town to pop by and view properties, you only want to spend time on properties that check all of your boxes and that could be a serious contender for purchase. Ideally, your Door County real estate agent will act as your eyes and ears, going to see properties, eliminating ones that aren’t the right fit for you, and only bringing your attention to the ones they feel hit the mark.

You also need a real estate agent with a sense of urgency. Most markets move quickly, and since you’re at a distance, you need to trust that your agent is working for you and making sure you don’t miss any hot opportunities.  I can sign you up for information on the homes, condominiums or land you like and make sure it reaches you the day it hits the MLS, with price reductions and new Door County listings.  Visit my site at http://www.moredoorcounty.com to search for listings and to connect with me to be your Door County Buyer Agent.


This Ellison Bay home is priced under $200,000--use as a full-time home or vacation home

Learn more at http://www.moredoorcounty.com

Affordable Door County Home Under $200,000 For Sale

3. Decide your boundaries and parameters up front

Once you find your agent, it’s important that you set your boundaries and parameters up front. How often will you drive up or fly in to view properties? If the perfect home came along, would you purchase it sight unseen (I would send detailed information plus video, and make it contingent upon your approving it) ?   By setting proper expectations up front, you’ll avoid any miscommunications or misunderstandings during the purchase process, which could otherwise be exacerbated by the distance between you and your agent.

4. Leverage technology

Thanks to technology, there’s never been a better time to search for properties from afar. And if you want to have the easiest, fastest, and most positive experience with distance homebuying, you need to leverage the technology available to aid your home search.

When exploring our towns and villages, use sites like The Door County Visitor's Bureau site at http://www.doorcounty.com to get an idea of how easy to navigate the different towns and villages of Door County (I am a Certified Tourism Ambassador for Door County, and I'd help you narrow your search and the provide detailed information that you need. We can also use video conferencing technology like FaceTime or Skype during property walk-throughs so you can get a sense of the layout and flow of properties. And when you’re finally ready to buy, you CAN sign electronically---I can use a file management program like ZipForms or Docusign to get all the necessary documents signed and delivered (without you ever having to leave your computer desk).

Trying to find and buy a home in Door County can be a challenge. But when you do your research, know what you want, find the right agent, and make technology work in your favor, finding your dream home on the Door County Peninsula won’t be as difficult as you might think.  Contact me today at http://www.moredoorcounty.com



Sold with MaryKay Shumway

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All information is deemed reliable as of date of publication and is subject to change without notice.


 Thank you for reading!  MaryKay Shumway, ABR®, CRS®, Realtor® loves to laugh and enjoys working with people that love the Door Peninsula.  She is a full-time real estate Broker, mother of two and a senior Broker Associate at the Kellstrom-Ray Agency, Inc. in beautiful Sister Bay, Wisconsin.  She represents listings throughout the Door County Peninsula and also represents many Buyers that want to purchase the perfect property to make Door County a part of their lives.  CONTACT MARYKAY ABOUT YOUR DOOR COUNTY PROPERTY QUESTIONS TODAY.

MaryKay Shumway has a consistent multi-million dollar producer for over thirteen years.  Representing both listing clients and buyer clients full time, MaryKay is also a mother of two and active in the Door County community in the local school district, nonprofit groups and governmental affairs.  A member of the Door County Board of Realtors Honors Society from 2005-2016, the Door County Realtor of the Year 2008, a member of The Real Estate Group's Chairman's Circle in 2010-2015, and an member of the Coldwell Banker International Diamond Society for 2014 & 15.  She has served as President and Vice President of the Door County Board of Realtors  and as a member of its Advocacy Committee.  MaryKay is a top MLS producer and has held the position of top producer at The Kellstrom-Ray Agency, Inc. since 2016.


Contact MaryKay.  "As a multi-million dollar producer and senior associate at The Kellstrom-Ray Agency selling Door County real estate, I focus my balance on both  featured listings and representing Buyer Clients looking for the perfect Door County Property.  I turn Door County vacations into Door County traditions by helping you own your own Door County real estate, and I represent exceptional properties in all price points on the Bay of Green Bay, Lake Michigan, and all inland lakes and properties in between. Call, text or e-mail me today."


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MaryKay Shumway

Door County Wisconsin's Real Estate Expert
BUYING or SELLING a Door County Property? Call Me Today!
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