Melissa Krantz
RE/MAX Lake of the Ozarks — Krantz & Associates

As a Realtor I help people every day find their “perfect” home. But for me, it wasn’t until 2003, when I was eight months pregnant with our third child, that my husband introduced me to the “one.” This was our dream home, which also was going to make a great return on our investment after we lived there at least two years to avoid the capital gains.

We had discussed what we wanted. Wanted it to be on the Lake, have a level driveway, an open great room with a fireplace, and a few other things that made it not an easy find, even when you are in the business every day.

A past client called us and told us he had found the perfect home for us. Now, I wasn’t sure what I really thought about this new adventure; however, I had sold our home earlier that week—so a decision had to be made.

The house and location really were perfect. As we drove away from the house back to the office, Jeff and I discussed how we were going to make this a reality. I will never forget him saying, “Well, I promised you your life would never be boring if you married me!”

You see the house was “perfect.” It was the exact floor plan and location that we wanted. It had good “bones,” as we like to call it in the business. The issue was that the home had been built in 1978 and still looked like it! The exterior green wood siding was accented with yellow brick, and black lava rock that had to be jack-hammered off. The interior was covered with wood paneling and wallpaper, including the shiny yellow and black daisy pattern in our daughter’s room. The lower level had orange carpet and a wet-bar in the closet!

In order to make this investment work, we knew it needed a lot of “sweat equity.” After calling in favors from family and friends, we had our big demo weekend prior to the 4th of July that year.

Our entire family had thought we were crazy, not only moving with a new baby on the way, but buying the “project.” But this home turned out to be one of the best investments we have made thus far. On the day of closing three years later, the check the title company handed us made me thankful that we took the risk. I was definitely not bored during this adventure, and four homes later you will still find a few pieces of black lava rock that we saved from our “demo” day at the Lake Acres home in the landscaping at our current home.

Dave Brooks
Summerset Boat Lifts

My best investment: Whether it’s the stock market, real estate or the casino, it’s all gambling! In my 43 years at the Lake, I’ve had some winners and a few losers. And I missed a few really good opportunities! I was very fortunate to have enjoyed the pristine times in the ’60s. In 1971, I partnered with my wife and her parents, and invested in real estate in Osage Beach. Our plan was to build a family resort.

Sustaining our dream investment: Being a seasonal business, it took three out of the four of us working other jobs to help subsidize the “investment.” And we are still doing it!

Since ’71, we’ve seen tremendous changes at the Lake. One of the first we encountered was the gas shortage in the 1970s. The Lake Association took up the slogan “take five and keep tourism alive!” We asked the locals to take only five gallons of gas, so the visitors could have enough gas to get home! It worked and we survived.

Other significant strides include the addition of the hospital and the sewer system in Osage Beach and Lake Ozark (which should have been extended throughout the entire Lake area), as well as our new highway infrastructure. There are certainly many private business ventures on the list also—too many to mention.

One of the joys of our investment is waking up to the beauty of the Lake! It jump starts my day! I feel I’m a really fortunate person to be able to do that. That being said, the future of our investment has yet to be determined. Hopefully, someday it will be our retirement escape. But if it isn’t, we’ll still have had the good fortune of helping customers have great vacations and great memories of Summerset Inn Resort.

The dividends of this investment also come from the added dimension of seeing our guests bring their kids, then the grandkids and even the great-grandkids! Our investment surely won’t be measured by monetary value alone! But it sure raises the bar when it comes to personal satisfaction!

It’s great to have had four generations of family to share in this investment. To close, I’d wish for everyone who visits this great Lake to have a wonderful experience here. For those who live here, enjoy and keep it beautiful! God bless America! And God bless the Lake of the Ozarks!

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