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Events in 2014 led me to consider buying a second house in a recreational area. I wanted something relatively close to my home in SE Michigan. I know people who travel 5 hours one way to their second house, and they are still in the Lower Peninsula. Not for me. I settled on Mid-Michigan because it would be no more than 3 hours one way.

I went to the February 2015 Lakefront/Cottage show in SE Michigan. It was very interesting and I learned. I looked for Realtors© but found none, there were some unattended booths and I picked up business cards and brochures. I went on line and found more useful information. I started thinking about wells, septic fields and propane, utilities that I have not had before.

I asked a local Realtor© to find me a mid-Michigan Realtor©. I contacted the mid-Michigan Realtor© and we set an April date to start the search. There was a lot of availability, and I was confident that I would find what I want. Not every property was outstanding: “Not where a marina shares 3 sides of the property”, “Don’t ever show me a property like this again”, “Really? The neighbors are not maintaining their property”, and “I’m not pleased with this subdivision”. I saw 10 properties the first day and nothing was worth offering. I decided lake front property was what I wanted, I turned in and awaited the next day. The phone rings, the Realtor© say there is a property I need to see the next afternoon. OK.

I awoke and had confidence that I was going to see a property that I was going to like. We toured some lake front properties but there were issues: it’s on a crawl space, lake access (big difference between “access” and “front”) is that way, it has a septic field, and the seawall is failed. I arrived at the aforementioned property. Wow, this is sweet. I got out of the car and followed the seawall to where it ended, by the time I got the end I was in a sprint. This house is at the end of the cul-de-sac and has 300+ feet of lake front. It has a well, municipal sewer and natural gas. It has a basement, is built so that it can be used year around and has 2 wood picnic tables and a wood swing. I went through the inside, there were some minor issues and decided that I would think about it on the way back to SE Michigan. The seller’s phone rings and says: “sure the house is available, come on over”. I turned to the Realtor© and said “let’s go to your office and write the offer”. We did, it was delivered with a 24 hour expiration timeline and waited. The Realtor© called me 22 hours later and said the offer was accepted. WOO HOO!!! I’m a lake front property owner. For the Realtor© this was business justice, the seller hired the Realtor© in 2014 to sell the house but could not set up a showing because the tenants were unavailable. Perhaps that reason was why the house was unoccupied when I saw it.

The next step was the home inspection. My partner at the time was looking for property too. We decided he would inspect my house and I would inspect his house. We knew going in that there would be no price adjustment no matter the results. All of the main and kitchen appliances were older and reaching the end of their useful lives. The basement was dark. There was no evidence of water penetration, and the sump pump worked. We left and headed back, time to set up closing.

Closing occurred at the title insurance agency. This was a cash deal and the seller was infirmed, all of the seller’s documents were signed beforehand. The title company agent turned on the copier, which took 2 minutes to warm up. 5 minutes later I had closed on the house. I got the keys, got into the moving van, and embarked on a new experience. By this time I figured that a one way trip would be 2:20, ver-r-r-y nice.

It quickly became clear that the house, built in 1980, had not had any upgrades. It became time to bring this house kicking and screaming into the 21st century. Look for my next blog: “A House Renovated” due when the new deck handrail is installed this spring.