[Randy Dorn, 1st National Bank - Battle Lake, Minn.]
Story by Tracy Nicholson, Randy Dorn
Beach photography by Micah J. Zimmerman, Amdak Productions
Headshot by Jeremy Petrick Photography
Although lake hopping and shopping for cabins is an exciting task, unexpected restrictions have been known to surprise buyers in the midst of closing and well after move-in. Restrictions can be vastly different in each county, so it pays to work with a local lender who knows the lake, the cabin's history, and the county. This month, we'll introduce you to Battle Lake-based lending expert, Randy Dorn, the Chief Managing Officer/Director of 1st National Bank of Henning, Ottertail and Battle Lake, Minn.
Lake Lots & Fixer-Uppers
Before you make plans to renovate that old fishing cabin, expand the beach, or build a shed, Dorn says to contact your lake lender and find out what the county says you can and cannot do. "Before you buy, it's important to fully understand what your possibilities are with building and expanding," said Dorn. "Many counties have restrictions as to how close to the water you can build, what kind of structure can be built, and how much surface area the structures can cover." If you don't know the rules, it can put a quick and costly halt to your construction plans.
"The lenders at FNB have financed countless lake properties over the years, going back to 1903. Our team continues to grow stronger every day with experienced lenders who know the area. "With 1,000 lakes in this county, it's extremely important to work with a lender that understands lake property and all of the restrictions," said Dorn. "Our lenders have first-hand knowledge of the lakes when it comes to the lakeshore, water and septic systems, and can even tell you where to catch some fish!"
Year-round vs. Seasonal
According to Dorn, one of the more important factors in purchasing a lake home is to find out if the property is equipped to be used year-round or seasonally; something that's not always apparent in typical home tours. "FNB can finance either situation, but the homeowner is going to want to understand how the previous owner utilized the property. If the cabin was used seasonally, were the pipes blown out during the winter months to keep from freezing? If it's a year-round, you'll need to know if it's properly insulated and what heat sources it has for year-round use."
Keep it Local
If you're prospecting at the lake, Dorn always urges buyers to work with a local lender. "There's a lot of background knowledge that a local lender can provide on the lake and home that others cannot. Many times the FNB lender has financed the home you are looking to buy, the neighbor’s property, or at least someone’s property on the lake. This can help provide a history that will give buyers a better perspective of what they are spending their hard-earned dollars on."
Overcoming High Demand
"Lake home listings have been difficult to come by over the last few years," said Dorn. "The best thing to do is to work with a local lender that knows the market and let them know what kind of property you're looking for. With demand high and supply low right now, your local lender may be the person that can help you connect with a seller before the property even gets listed."
"Lately, the lakes in close proximity to Glendalough State Park and the beautiful bike trail have certainly been in high demand," said Dorn. "The beauty of lakes country in Otter Tail County is that you have something for all types of lake buyers. Whether you're looking for a seasonal cabin, a private lot with mature trees, or a beautiful turn-key lake home, this county checks everything on the list."
For more information, contact:
1st National Bank of Henning, Ottertail & Battle Lake
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