Why Do We Need To Get Pre-Approved?

Posted by on Apr 29, 2016 in Branson News | 0 comments

Signing papersWhy do we need to get pre-approved?  

This  is a  question many potential home buyers ask, especially first-time buyers.


That’s a great question!

Here are a few things that hopefully will help you answer that question.


It’s always fun to look at homes and dream, but while idly shopping for a home may be enjoyable, it can be a serious waste of your time and the time of your realtor if you are not looking at homes you can afford.  In today’s market, most Realtors suggest that earnest home buyers have a pre-approval letter from a lender before starting the process of finding them that perfect house — one they can afford. No one wants to absolutely fall in love with the house of their dreams, only to learn they can only afford “half” of it.

Learning ahead of time the maximum you can borrow, and the payment you can comfortably live with for long-term debt makes the process much easier.  It is sometimes tempting to aim for the top of your spending ability, but buyers need to consider all the aspects of this decision for the long-haul.

Another reason to obtain pre-approval before shopping is that sometimes sellers may be more willing to negotiate with people who have taken the time to obtain proof that they can afford to buy a piece of property.  Showing that you have given this decision a lot of thought will certainly reassure a seller that you are not just acting on a whim.

By starting your home search with a pre-approval, you eliminate that fear of “Oh, my gosh, I just love this house, but what if we don’t qualify?”  Once you’ve made a decision on the property, you are headed to final loan approval, which occurs when you have an appraisal done, the loan is applied to a particular property, and all of the documentation is complete.

Next step – Close the transaction and MOVE IN!    Welcome home.


First Time Home Buyers

6 Reasons You Should Buy or Sell a Home Using a Realtor®

Posted by on Mar 31, 2016 in Branson News | 0 comments

Realtor logo You need a Realtor® if you want it done right. says, “we know any home buyer (or seller!) — can do it on your own. BUT   you really, really shouldn’t. This is likely the biggest financial decision of your entire life,  and you need a Realtor® if you want it done right.” Here’s why.


  1.  Realtors have lots of expertise.

Real estate has its own language, full of acronyms and semi-hidden jargon, and a Realtor is trained to speak that language fluently. Want to check the MLS for a 4B/2B with an EIK and a W/D? Do you know what SIY means?

Lots of forms, reports, disclosures, and other technical documents are normally required in completing a real estate transaction. Realtors have the expertise to help you prepare a killer deal—while avoiding delays or costly mistakes that can seriously mess a transaction up.

  1. Realtors have turbocharged searching power

The Internet is awesome, and online real estate listing sites help “do-it- yourself” buyers/sellers. BUT Realtors have access to many more listings and they can help you find them. Plus, a good local Realtor will know the search area better than you do. A Realtor is equipped to know the ins and outs of every neighborhood, so they can direct you toward a home in your price range that you may have overlooked.

  1. They have bullish negotiating tactics

Any time you buy or sell a home, you’re going to encounter negotiations—and as today’s housing market heats up, those negotiations are probable at each step of the transaction. A third party handling those negotiations for you can certainly make them go smoother.

You can expect lots of competition, all-cash offers, and bidding wars. A savvy and professional negotiator on your side can help to seal the best deal for you.

And it’s not just about how much money you end up spending or netting. A Realtor will help draw up an agreement that allows enough time for inspections, contingencies, and anything else that’s crucial to your particular needs.

  1. They’re connected to everyone

Realtors might not know everything, but they make it their mission to know just about everyone who can possibly help in the process of buying or selling a home. From mortgage brokers, real estate attorneys, home inspectors, and home stagers, to interior designers and the list goes on—they’re all in your Realtor’s network.

  1. They adhere to a strict code of ethics

Not every real estate agent is a Realtor, who is a licensed real estate salesperson who belongs to the National Association of Realtors®, the largest trade group in the country.

What difference does it make? Realtors are held to a higher ethical standard than licensed agents and must adhere to a Code of Ethics.

  1. They’re your sage parent/data analyst/therapist—all rolled into one

Realtors wear a lot of different hats. Yes, they’re salespeople, BUT they do a whole lot more to earn their commission. They’re constantly driving around, checking out listings, they spend their own money on marketing, and they’re constantly researching comps to make sure buyers/sellers are getting the best deal.

A dedicated Realtor is working for you at nearly all hours of the day and night—whether you need more info on a home or just someone to talk to in order to feel at ease with the offer you just pFinal LOGOut in.

This is the biggest financial (and possibly emotional) decision of your life, and guiding you through it isn’t a responsibility Realtors take lightly.  


Excerpts from article by Rachel Stults, a senior editor and writer at


Posted by on Nov 16, 2015 in Branson News | 0 comments


AsThings we are Thankful for we approach the Thanksgiving holiday, it seems  only natural that we focus on what we are thankful for.   Some families have a tradition of sharing their lists  with each other after a fulfilling Thanksgiving meal  with all the trimmings.  That list most always will  contain the obvious things of family, health, jobs, and  friends.


Sometimes people find it easier to focus on what we don’t have, rather than what we do have. It’s important to take time out and remember all of the things we have to be thankful for that many of us take for granted.  If you’re reading this right now, you have a lot to be thankful for … the ability to read.  Other things we probably don’t always remember to be thankful for could include:

  • Our best friend we can call after months apart, and pick up right where we left off.
  • Younger siblings we still get to protect and older ones who will always protect us.
  • Sweatshirts, sweatpants, and elastic waistbands.
  • The healing power of music, no matter what your preference is.
  • Candles that make our homes smell like the holidays or freshly baked cookies, coffee, or a warm summer breeze.
  • Freshly cut flowers.
  • Planes, trains, and automobiles—because they bring us to family or bring family to us for the holidays.
  • A smile while looking at old photos that bring back childhood memories or old photos with people you’ve lost. Treasures to be thankful for.

IThings we are Thankful for’m sure everyone can make their own list of many different things they are thankful for.  We would love for you to share with us things you are thankful for this year. Put them in the comments section for all to enjoy.







Posted by on Oct 30, 2015 in Branson News | 0 comments



Nativity LED

A favorite Christmastime activity Branson residents and tourists enjoy is seeing all of the beautiful Christmas lights in the Ozarks. This year, Branson will enjoy three drive-thru Christmas lightSnowman 4 displays that welcome guests from dusk until late-night — perfect for the after-show crowd! This is in addition to all the homes and businesses that are decked out in thousands of colorful lights.

Ozark Mountain Christmas Lights & Village

A LED lighted elfnew drive-thru Christmas light display and attraction will debut in Branson for the 2015 holiday season.

In addition to a “magical mile” drive-through display, the Ozark Mountain Christmas Lights & Village will also feature rides on the North Pole Express train, selfies with Santa, laughs with the Crackling Christmas Chickens, gourmet hot chocolate, photos with the Clydesdale horses, and a life-size nativity experience.

Be sure to see this new display, Christmas in the Ozarks is breathtaking.

LOCATION: 555 Buena Vista Road, Branson, MO 65616
DATES OF OPERATION: Nov. 5 – Dec. 27
HOURS: Drive through open 5:30 to 11 pm.; Village open 5:30 to 9 p.m. Thurs. through Sun.
PRICE: Family vehicles: $18, Family season pass: $25

The Trail of Lights at Shepherd of the Hills

ATrail of Lightsnother drive-thru Christmas light display is the Trail of Lights at Shepherd of the Hills. Home to the famous outdoor theatre, the 160-acre Shepherd of the Hills Homestead transforms into a holiday paradise, complete with a 230-foot-tall Christmas tree (otherwise known as the Inspiration Tower). Rated by the Travel Channel as one of the top five drive-through Christmas displays in the U.S., the Trail of Lights features a series of story-telling animated characters surrounded with millions of Christmas lights.

Trail of Lights admission includes a trip to the top of the Inspiration Tower and a cup of hot chocolate.

LOCATION: 5586 W Highway 76, Branson, MO 65616
DATES OF OPERATION: Nov. 1 – Dec. 31
HOURS: Drive through open 5:30 to 11 pm. (or later as traffic dictates)
PRICE: Starts at $8.25 per person if purchased online in advance.

Branson’s Gift of Lights

Snowman 3Branson’s Gift of Lights drive-thru display is new for 2015 but the location off Shepherd of the Hills Expressway is the same as the former Festival of Lights, which was held there for almost 25 years before ending its run last season.

Branson’s Gift of Lights, operated by Attraction Management Group, will contain more than 300 displays with over one million twinkling LED lights throughout the 1.2 mile drive. Indianapolis-based Winterland, Inc. designed and assembled the lighted creations.


LOCATION: 700 Expressway Lane, Branson, MO 65616
HOURS: Drive through open 5:30 to 11 pm.

PRICE: $20 per car

Make your plans now to join us as …



Making a House a Home

Posted by on Oct 23, 2015 in Branson News | 0 comments

Making a House a Home!

Making a House a Home. What’s the difference between comfortable family rooma house and a home? A house provides shelter; a house is a structure you live in that provides for your basic needs and safety. A home is where you weather all of life’s little storms —and revel in the sunshine; a home is a place that provides you mental and emotional support, a place you look forward to being in to get away from the outside world.

Do you feel that way about your home? If not, follow me…  Here are a few things that can help transform a house –  a mere shelter –  into a HOME – a safe haven.

People – and other creatures – you can share it with

Just as it should be, everyone going about their daily business gives a home the unmistakable sound of life. The sound of kids playing, the sounds of family pets romping in the back yard wanting your attention, while the sounds of your husband playing mechanic in the garage resonate above the music he’s singing along with. These are the ones you share your HOME with.

All the noise

The sounds of togetherness aren’t always soothing, but a silent house can feel empty. The dogs are barking, TV’s are blasting, music is blaring, and as life will have it, brothers or sisters, or both arguing all add to the noise of a HOME.

… And the lack thereof

The peacefulness of silence is sometimes welcome. After a busy, crazy day, once in a while there are those few precious times when everyone else is asleep and the house is so quiet you can hear a pin drop, you can sit on the couch in front of the fire and finally breathe. That’s a HOME.

Memories you create

Making fond memories with family and friends can last a lifetime. Maybe it is a family movie nighPlaying gamest tradition of watching Christmas movies while eating popcorn and drinking hot cocoa. Or maybe it is sitting around the dining room table playing board games with Grandpa and Grandma, waiting for the opportunity to win the game and get a treat for “being so smart”. Or Mom baking cookies and letting you decorate them before sharing a plate with the neighbors next door. Childhood and family memories will never go out of style, and can be continually added to – all helping to make a house a HOME.

Smells of good food cooking

Choc chip cookiesFor many, a house isn’t a home until it’s been cooked in. From the aroma of a slow-cooking pot roast to the mouthwatering smells of fresh-baked cookies, every meal you prepare in your home is nourishment for both body and soul, which also helps to make a house a HOME.

It doesn’t have to be perfect

It’s fine to have some dings, scratches, and flaws.  They just show that real folks live there and they aren’t perfect either.  That scratch on Aunt Jane’s library table has a story behind it that is now a part of the family history.  Don’t cover it up, share it and help to make a house a HOME.

Endless list of to-do projects

Are you always just about finished with your list of projects, but always find one more?  If so, that’s okay, as that means you want to make it better and leave your mark of making it yours.  And, again, that makes a house a HOME.

And the constant mess

This is my favorite!  Maybe you won’t be able to cross the living room floor without stepping on a Lego or little plastic car. And, maybe the kids’ rooms or the bathrooms aren’t as neat as they should be, but that is part of living in a HOME.

Comfy corners

Do you still have the old squeaky rocker that you just can’t part with?  Cozy spaces are comfort places and are important no matter what your decorating style may be.  They just help to make a house a HOME.

Your collections

This might be your cup and saucer collection you started as a child or those special finds from the flea market while you were on vacation.  How about those records or cd’s you and your friends used to dance to. Or, how about your husband’s collection of old license plates he has hanging on the garage walls.  These all tell your story and help to make a house a HOME.

Family heirlooms

Your grandmother’s quilt draped over the foot of your bed, wedding china your parents’ received as a wedding gift, or your great grandmother’s Chippendale dresser in your bedroom all are objects that show your family heritage. Again, those extraordinary items are distinctive to your HOME.

Never having to wear real clothes

If you’re like many people, the moment you walk through your door, you make like Mr. Rogers and get comfy. It’s time to get into sweats and comfortable clothes.  For us women, we’ve had it with shapewear, pointy shoes, and constricting waistlines by the end of the day and are ready to relax in comfort at HOME.

Family photographs

Grace Halloween4Family photos, new and old, lend such a warm comfortable feel to a home.  A few or a lot, that is your preference, but family photos always bring a smile.  Reminiscing about how cute Granddaughter Grace was in her first Fall pictures, Jordan was in her first dance recital costume, or how grown-up Jeremiah looked in his first ball uniform.  Those photos were meant to be shared, and The Grady’s – Shane and Karen –  help make their house into a very special HOME with pictures. And you can to!


This list could probably go on and on – ask 10 people what makes a house a HOME, and you’ll probably get 10 different answers.  The prevailing factor I read into all of these ideas, is HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS.



Real estate cannot be lost or stolen

Posted by on Oct 15, 2015 in Branson News | 0 comments

Real estate cannot be lost or stolen

This is a good one to use with buyers. FDR did a great job of capturing the essence of real estate ownership as smart and safe – two of the most important aspects of any investment.

Roosevelt quote

Lake Taneycomo Offers Year-Round Trout Fishing

Posted by on Oct 15, 2015 in Branson News | 0 comments

LTaneycomoake Taneycomo offers year-round trout fishing and more.

It is a man-made lake or reservoir on the White River in the Ozark Mountains of Taney County, Missouri. The reservoir is named for the county in which it is located: Taney County, MO.

Lake Taneycomo was created in 1913 as a warm water lake and in 1958 became a cold water lake when the Table Rock Dam was completed. The clear cold waters from the deep Tailwaters of Table Rock Lake pour out of the dam into Lake Taneycomo, and it is these cold waters of Lake Taneycomo that provide for some of the finest trout fishing anywhere in the world. No matter your fishing method of choice, all forms of trout fishing; fly fishing, artificial bait, and live bait fishing may be used year-round in the waters of Lake Taneycomo.  Pursuing the Trout that inhabit Lake Taneycomo is a favorite activity any time of the year for many that live in the area or visit the Ozarks.

Lake Taneycomo Offers Year-Round Trout Fishing

LTaneycomo boat fishingake Taneycomo has the characteristics of both a river and a lake. The shallow colder water, located near the Table Rock Dam, averages 48 °F, resembling a river and permits wading and bank fishing for trout. The average temperature of the water gets warmer and the depth of the lake deepens to more than 50 feet near the Powersite Dam in Forsyth.

The Lake Taneycomo area also offers a variety of recreational activities including hiking, sightseeing, fishing, swimming, boating, and water skiing. People accessing Lake Taneycomo are able to visit area restaurants, accommodations, shopping, and shows in the Branson area.  Boat access to Lake Taneycomo is provided at the North End of the Branson City Campgrounds near downtown Branson; at the public park close to Forsyth and the Powersite Dam; and near Table Rock Dam through the Shepherd of the Hills Trout Hatchery park. Pedestrian access is available from the banks south of the Shepherd of the Hills Trout Hatchery that includes a Nature Trail and provides excellent access to the Lake area for hiking, strolling, or fishing. Also, easy access to the Lake is provided along the Lake front in down town Branson and The Landing..  Scotty’s Trout Dock, located near the boat launching ramp also has cold drinks, other refreshments, and Lake information.  

Lake Taneycomo Offers Year-Round Trout Fishing, BUT a Missouri fishing license is required to fish any Branson-area lake, river or stream and a trout permit is required for fishing Taneycomo between the Table RocTaneycomo fishingk Dam and the U.S. Highway 65 bridges. Anglers must have a trout permit to possess trout anywhere on the lake. Resident, non-resident and youth licenses are available at most fishing outfitters and supply stores in the area.

Warning: When fishing near the Table Rock Dam from the shore or particularly when wading in, pay attention to the horn when it blows. This is a warning indicating that they are going to start generating power. This will cause a sudden increase in the speed of the current and depth of the water. The water can rise feet in a matter of minutes.

 Sources: Wikipedia,, Missouri Great Outdoors.




Table Rock Lake Area Where It Is Fun to Live and Play

Posted by on Oct 13, 2015 in Branson News | 0 comments

  TR Lake 5

Table Rock Lake Area  – Fun to Live and Play

Lake enthusiasts come for miles to live and play in the Table Rock Lake Area. Table Rock Lake has approximately 50 square miles, and 745+ miles of shoreline, having a mix of main channels and quiet coves which makes it a great place for boating, fishing, scuba diving, para sailing, and other lake activities. Stretching from Branson, MO to Eureka Springs, AR, it extends 79 miles upstream along the White River, and is a man-made reservoir.TR Lake map 2

Table Rock Dam was built primarily for controlling area flooding, hydroelectric power, and water supply as the area was already known for fishing and recreation. The electric generated by the dam is part of a chain that serves customers in six states. Prior to the construction of area dams, Table Rock Lake was known as the White River.

Table Rock Dam is 6,423 feet long and rises 252 feet above the riverbed.The name “Table Rock” originates from a rock formation from the construction site. Construction of the hydroelectric dam began in October 1954 and was completed in 1958,   With above average rainfall and the fact that many rivers and springs fed into the new reservoir, the lake filled very quickly.  As the water table rose, many of the trees and vegetation were soon under water, which created extraordinary fish habitat. Depths in the main channels now commonly range from 80 to 180 feet.

Do you yearn to Live and Play in the Table Rock Lake Area? If you do, then read on and continue to follow us as this is the place for you. Table Rock Lake’s clean, clear waters host an abundance of marinas, and the lake has consistently been ranked as one of the best bass lakes in the country. There are more than 20 different species of fish, incluFLW Fishing Tourney May 2015ding large-mouth, small-mouth, Kentucky spotted bass, white bass, crappie, large bluegill, walleye, and catfish of all sizes. There is no question as to why many fishing tournaments are held yearly on Table Rock Lake!  Scuba divers also enjoy Table Rock’s clear waters. If boating, skiing, wake boarding, or just relaxing in one of the secluded coves is your desire, then the Table Rock Lake Area is for you.  Living in the area and being only minutes from the lake is what people love about living in the Branson Lakes Area.

Homes in the Branson Table Rock Lake Area are available in all price ranges and in all areas around the lake.  If you are thinking you might want to Live and Play in the Table Rock Lake Area, check back in a few days as we will be sharing more interesting tidbits about our wonderful Branson Lakes Area.

TR Lake marina










 Sources: Table Rock Chamber of Commerce; US Army Corps of Engineers, Little Rock District, Google Images
Written by Branson Lakes Country Realty October 13, 2015 posted in Blog.



Posted by on Oct 6, 2015 in Branson News | 0 comments

NEW ATTRACTION Welcomed to Branson!  Three-story building to be new home for FRITZ’S ADVENTURE!

Developers plan to sink $10 million into a new indoor adventure attraction in Branson, it was announced Tuesday, October 6, 2015.

Fritz’s Adventure will be constructed at 1425 W. Highway 76 in Branson, next to Dixie Stampede where the Silver Fountain Inn stood. The company says there will be outdoor adventure-type challenges inside the three-story building, including climbing walls, zip-lining, ropes courses, even an airplane to climb around in and explore. The attraction is scheduled to open in the summer of 2016.

 Fritz’s   Adventure is a dynamic indoor family attraction that brings the exciteFritz's imagement and challenges of outdoor adventure into a multi-dimensional indoor environment. Experience three stories and 80,000 square feet of hands-on climbing, tunneling, sliding, swinging, and zip-lining thrills, featuring daunting utility poles to climb, bridges suspended stories above, towering rock climbing walls and giant boulders, an impressive parkour area, a massive ropes course, urban brick buildings for scaling, a life-size water tower with multiple slides, tunnels and tubes to burrow in, and a air-worthy airplane to explore. Fritz’s Adventure delivers the sense of adventure with a perceived element of risk, while in a strategically engineered and safe environment. It is a place where you can experience elements of the world around you, that anywhere else would be prohibited or discouraged. Parents, teenagers, grandparents, toddlers, and kids alike are encouraged to explore and adventure together.

 Branson welcomes Fritz’s Adventure that will feature a restaurant with healthy menu choices overlooking the indoor adventure park from the second floor and party rooms for groups or special occasions. Fritz’s Adventure opens its doors to the exciting challenges normally reserved for seasoned adventurers, adapted for every age and ability level. Experience a world of untamed indoor family adventure 365 days a year only at Fritz’s Adventure!

For more information on Fritz’s Adventure, see

When to STOP for a School Bus – Kids on Board

Posted by on Sep 15, 2015 in Branson News | 0 comments

Be Alert!  Watch for Kids!   Know When to STOP for a School Bus!

When to STOP for a School Bus

Now that school is back in full swing, do you know when and where you are supposed to STOP for a school bus?  If not, we want to help you learn, because there are precious Kids on Board that big yellow school bus and their safety is important.

  • When the school bus is stopped, the alternate flashing red lights and the stop signal arm are activated.
  • Oncoming and following traffic must stop before they reach the bus when these signals are activated.
  • You must stop on a 2-lane road where the vehicles travel in either direction and on a 2-lane road that is a one-way street.
  • You do not need to stop when you are traveling the opposite direction of a school bus on a highway divided by a median where the vehicles traveling one direction are on a totally separate road from the vehicles traveling the opposite direction nor when you are traveling the opposite direction of a school bus on a highway containing four or more lanes of traffic.

Don’t break the law by not knowing When to STOP for a School Bus – Kids on Board.

Missouri Revised Statue 304.050. 1. The driver of a vehicle upon a highway upon meeting or overtaking from either direction any school bus which has stopped on the highway for the purpose of receiving or discharging any school children and whose driver has in the manner prescribed by law given the signal to stop, shall stop the vehicle before reaching such school bus and shall not proceed until such school bus resumes motion, or until signaled by its driver to proceed.

Take a minute and learn when to STOP for a School Bus

Drivers’Responsibilities Around School Buses

Chapter 304 of the Missouri Revised Statutes outlines the traffic regulations which apply to drivers who encounter school buses on the road. This includes flashing red lights and a red stop sign extending from the driver’s side of the bus. When approaching a stopped school bus from either direction, the driver of the approaching vehicle is required to stop before reaching the bus if the school bus has indicated its intention to receive or discharge passengers by use of the signaling devices. The  driver is to remain stopped until the bus has retracted its warning signals and resumed motion or until signaled by the bus driver to proceed. On highways with divided roadways or with four or more lanes of traffic, only those vehicles traveling in the same direction as the school bus are required to stop when the warning signals are engaged. Drivers should also remember that school buses will activate their warning lights and come to a full stop before crossing railroad tracks. NEVER pass a parked school bus on the right, where children enter or exit.  For additional information on When to STOP for a School Bus – kids on board, see