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Mike Kennedy | Railey Realty

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Helping Vacation Home Buyers with My Expertise

There are several great neighborhoods and communities at Deep Creek Lake and atop Wisp. Finding the best area at the lake for your lifestyle is a process. I help you understand and educate you on all the different lifestyle options, whether you want lakefront, lake access, ski-in/ski-out, Wisp Resort, single family home, condo, town home, or building lot. From locating and touring potential properties, to placing an offer to purchase, and eventually closing, I am here to assist you all along the way and even after settlement. Below is guideline about the vacation home buying process at Deep Creek Lake.

Buyer's Consultation

The first step is to ask yourself "What do I want in in a vacation home?" Some other questions to ask include; How do you picture your family enjoying a vacation house at Deep Creek? Do you want to be lakefront with a private dock? Do you want a house with an expansive lake view? Do you want a town home with less maintenance or a single-family home? Is the lake not that important and you would rather be at Wisp Resort? Spending time prioritizing your wants will help you better plan your home search. In the end, you will ultimately be better served and find the home you love. I will take that information and start to identify potential properties that fit your needs and wants.

 Visiting and Touring Properties

After we've identified houses you want to see there is no substitute to seeing them in person. Most buyers will schedule a weekend visit to tour homes for sale. My goal at our first meeting is to show you homes of interest, answer all your questions, and go over the vacation home buying process - which includes how you are protected and areas of risk. When touring take your time and try to envision your family and friends enjoying the property. Working with a local REALTOR® like me will take the time to educate you on the local market, show the best areas, and negotiate the best deal. 

Vacation Home Financing

I highly recommend speaking with an experienced lender upfront if you plan on financing your vacation home purchase. I can provide recommendations to very good, experienced local lenders. A lender will help you understand the lending process, determine how much you can spend, and provide a pre-approval letter.  A pre-approval letter will also strengthen an offer when you get to that step. In my experience, using a local mortgage lender who understands the Deep Creek vacation home market is best and provides the least amount of inconvenience. Vacation home financing mostly follows the same guidelines as primary residence financing. Local lenders can provide vacation home loans with as little as 10% down and 30 year fixed rates. The conforming loan limit in Garrett County is $417,000. Any loan amount over $417,000 is a Jumbo loan. The lender will order an appraisal after you have an executed contract.

Offers, Negotiating, and Contracts

After you've found a property you love the next step is to submit a written offer. In Maryland, all offers must be in writing. Before preparing your I will provide you a very detailed analysis of comparable homes that have sold to determine an initial offer price and negotiating strategy. Currently, on average, properties in the Deep Creek area sell for about 92% of the final list price and negotiations with the sellers go back and forth 2 to 3 times so it's advisable to leave room to come up. The offer will include the purchase price, closing date, deposit amount, inspections, and other contingencies such as financing.


The inspections can be scheduled after your offer has been accepted by the sellers and there is a fully executed contract. The available inspections in the Deep Creek area are a Home Inspection, Radon, Mold Evaluation, Chimney Inspection, Home Location or Boundary Survey, Hot Tub Inspection, Pest/Wood Destroying Insect Inspection, Water Bacteria Test, Septic Field Evaluation, and Well (water) Flow Test. Since this is a resort area there are other specialized inspections that may be needed such as a DNR Buffer Strip inspection (if the property is lakefront) or a TVRU (Transient Vacation Rental Unit) inspection if you are going to convert the home to a vacation rental.


The closing date is usually about 45-60 days after the offer is made and accepted. About 2 weeks before closing all utilities need to be contacted to start service and homeowner's insurance needs to be obtained. I will continually check on the house during the contact phase. On closing day we will schedule a final walk-thru before heading to settlement. 

After the Closing

I pride myself on helping my clients and providing recommendations well after closing. I realize it's difficult living 2 to 3 hours and something needs addressed at the house. I quite often will turn up the heat or help you get in contact with a reliable contractor should you need assistance. 

Want to Learn More?

If you're not ready to meet yet that's fine too, just fill out the form below and I will set you up a FREE home update e-mail from the MLS.