Jason Kok

Real Estate Broker
Lake Homes and Farms Realty
608-386-5597
jason@lakesundown.com

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Welcome to the Lake Homes and Farms Realty blog. Here you will find all of the latest information and what is happening around our office and Lake Sundown. Check back often and if you have any questions about land for sale in the state of Iowa or Lake Sundown give us a call. Also make sure and like us on Facebook and stay connected on LinkedIn.

Latest Posts

Dredging at Lake Sundown 2019

Posted by Jason Kok | September 6, 2019
Categories: News

The Sundown Lake Rural Improvement Zone awarded Macgruder dredging services a bid to start a hydraulic dredging project at Sundown Lake. Iowa Rural Improvement Zone law 357h allow specific areas surrounding lakes to use tax increment dollars to finance dredging and erosion measures to improve areas that need it.

What does all this mean?? In 2012, the Sundown Lake residents began seeing an obvious need for improvements in the lake. Through the work of individuals and committees they found the best solution was to work with the County. The residents properly petitioned the Appanoose County Board of Supervisors to establish a Rural Improvement Zone. In 2014, the zone was approved and funding started to flow in with Tax increment Financed dollars being utilized to start working on needed improvements at the lake. Many different engineered ideas were floated around and a Capital Improvement Plan (master plan) was established. The West and the South bays of the lake were recognized to have heavy silt burdens and it was quite obvious that dredging was needed.

Over the next several years easements and properties were acquired by the Sundown Lake RIZ board to start building a containment basin to put the silt into. Along the way a few smaller projects were cost-shared with owners to mechanically dredge bays and build erosion controlled dams.

Fast forward to 2019 and for the first time since Sundown Lake was built in the early 1970’s we are able to get some of the material out of the lake to help with water depth and clarity issues. This should be a big shot in the arm for owners that had seen some of their water depths disappear over the past 15 years. 125,000 cubic yards of material will be taken out of the west end of the lake in the fall of 2019 and nearly 50,000 cubic yards will be removed from the South arm of the lake.

The future goals of the Sundown Lake RIZ is to continue a maintenance dredging program and work on control measures that will slow the water and silt from entering the lake. This is an on-going never ending process but with the support of the Appanoose County Board of Supervisors combined with a healthy HOA and Rural Improvement Zone board Sundown Lake has a very bright future.

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Dispelling Refinancing Myths

Posted by Jason Kok | October 18, 2020
Categories: News

“Refinancing” is a scary word for many people, but that shouldn’t be the case for you. For many homeowners, refinancing can not only lower your monthly payments and help with your monthly budget, but it can save you thousands of dollars in the long run.

YOU’RE NOT TOO LATE.

For years now, we’ve been hearing that interest rates will be on the rise, and although there have been some small increases, you’re still in a great position to drastically lower your interest rate. The general rule is if your mortgage interest rate is more than one percent above the current market rate, you should consider refinancing.

IT’S NOT TOO TIME CONSUMING.

Don’t brush off refinancing just because it seems like a long and daunting process. An informational call with a lender to see how rates compare will only take a few minutes. There are also some programs for streamlining the application process. And besides, isn’t the amount of money you could save worth the time and effort?



ARMS CAN BE REFINANCED, TOO.

Seeing your Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM) increase after the introductory period can be incredibly stressful and place a squeeze on your budget. Many people assume they’re stuck, but ARMs can be refinanced, just like fixed-rate mortgages. You can even switch to a shorter term fixed-rate mortgage, such as 15 or 23 years. The longer you’re planning to stay in the home, the more sense it makes to look into refinancing.

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Fishing at Lake Sundown

Posted by Jason Kok | May 11, 2019
Categories: News

FISHING PRIVATE WATERS Much fishing in Iowa is done on private waters with consent of the property owner. Iowa residents and nonresidents 16 years old and older are required to have a valid Iowa fishing license to fish farm ponds, trout streams and privately owned lakes. Only owners or tenants of land and their children under 18 may fish on such lands without a license. All anglers on private waters must abide by rules and regulations governing fishing, including bag limits, except there is no daily bag limit for bluegill or crappie for private waters. Statewide length limits do not apply on private waters. Just because a pond was stocked by the DNR does not open that pond to public fishing. When fishing privately owned waters, be sure to ask the property owner for permission to fish, do not block lanes and driveways, close any gates opened, do not damage fences and leave the area clean and unlittered.

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13 Real Estate Tips from Forbes Magazine that Hold up in any Real Estate Market

Posted by Jason Kok | January 13, 2019
Categories: News

1. Always Conduct Thorough Research On The Current Market 

Although real estate values fluctuate due to local supply/demand dynamics and broader national economic considerations, it’s important to remember that properties always sell for no more or less than what the market will bear at that time. Whether buying or selling, do your research, plot your data points, use a variety of resources so that you’re confident in your list or offer price. – Garratt HasenstabThe Mountain Life Companies™

2. Don’t Reject Low-Priced Offers Without Negotiating 

Selling your home can feel like giving up something you love, so a low-priced offer can leave sellers feeling insulted. Homebuyers base their offer price largely on their own affordability, but will consider raising it if the location is just right or if there is value in renovations already done. Stay open to negotiations and working with the buyer rather than turning down a low-priced offer. – Beatrice de JongOpen Listings (YC W15)

3. Buy Whenever You Can 

There’s never a wrong time to buy. There is only a wrong time to sell. If you look at real estate trends over the last century, prices go up and down and we have booms and busts. The buyers who win are the ones willing to ride the wave, see a purchase through the cycle. Buy when you can, and hold till the sale is profitable. – Courtney PoulosACME Real Estate

4. Get Into The Rental Market Where It Makes Sense 

People will need shelter for the rest of their lives. With the life expectancy what it is here in the in the U.S., that’s a lot of rent to be paid. Buy what you need now and do it in an area where the population is on a rising and sustainable course. – Michael J. PolkPolk Properties

5. Factor In The Fees 

In real estate, there are middlemen and a lot of them — the escrow company, the title company, the brokers, the lender, etc. Each one of them is taking a drop from the well. While these fees will all likely go down, they aren’t ever going away and buyers and sellers need to accept that. – Ridaa MuradBREAKFORM | RE

6. Buy A Home To Secure Personal Rent Control 

Although the real estate market fluctuates over time, there’s one thing would-be first-time homeowners often overlook. Yes, there are tax advantages. Yes, you paint the walls any color you want. Yes, you build financial equity. But you also have a built-in rent control. With a fixed-rate mortgage, you’ll know what your house payment will be for the next 30 years — not so when you’re a renter. – Eileen LacerteHawaii Beach and Golf Properties

7. Always Invest Based On Location 

Regardless of the interest rate or transaction environment, good locations with strong demand and access to transportation infrastructure will continue to outperform in the long run. Location is certainly the evergreen factor telling you where to invest. Interest rates and transaction volumes are better indicators of when to invest. – Marc RutzenEnodo Inc

8. Find Trustworthy Partners In The Real Estate Process 

In an industry that is heavily commission-based, it is very important to find and work with trustworthy and genuine individuals who will have your best interest at heart over their own pocket. – Engelo RumoraList’n Sell Realty

9. Keep Your Home’s Condition Pristine If You’re Looking To Sell

Well-maintained houses always sell faster, even in a slow real estate market. Buyers appreciate houses that look move-in ready and are updated versus those that need a lot of work. In a hot real estate market, most houses sell quickly. But during a cooler market period, buyers can get very picky, so it will be the nicer ones that continue to sell. – Jeremy BrandtWe Buy Houses®

10. Be Selective And Don’t Be Afraid To Walk Away 

The old real estate adage is true: You make your money when you buy, not when you sell. By being selective about your real estate purchases and using larger amounts of cash in the transactions, you insulate yourself from the ebbs and flows of the market. Deals don’t always work, so do not be afraid to step away. Sometimes the best investment to protect principal is no investment at all. – Blake PlumleyCapital Pursuits LLC

11. Approach Negotiations From A Collaborative, Not Competitive, Standpoint 

It’s a mistake to go into real estate negotiations thinking that the other side is your adversary and to be fixated on a specific price. The goal should always be working together to come to an agreement that satisfies both parties. Digging in your heals can sabotage a negotiation. Take a step back and put yourself in their shoes. What’s a win-win for everyone? – Brad LeClimb Real Estate

12. Find An Experienced Local Real Estate Agent 

The internet has changed real estate forever. Home sellers and buyers can get more information about real estate than ever. But what they can’t get online and can only get from a local real estate agent, is that insider knowledge. That local “go-to” agent who is a neighborhood expert knows things about the homes and the community you just can’t Google. Their value will never change. – Lane Hornungzavvie

13. Remember That A Home’s True Value Is Determined By The Buyer 

No matter what the market conditions are, one aspect always remains the same — the true market value of a home is only equal to what a buyer is willing to pay. Just because a seller believes their home is worth a certain amount of money, it does not mean that the ask will be equal to what a buyer believes to be an appropriate “bid” price. – Matt PettinelliCapGrow Partners LLCForbes Real Estate Council is an invitation-only community for executives in the real estate industry. Do I qualify?

Forbes Real Estate Council is an invitation-only, fee-based organization for senior-level executives in the real estate industry.

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