Monday, September 19, 2016

July-August 2016 Home Sales

Well priced, well maintained homes on the near west side of Madison continue to sell well.  In the last 60 days, there have been more than 20 homes sales.  It continues to be a Seller's market, although we may see that slow down as we head into Fall and Winter.

Here's are recent home sales in the area:

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

New Routines

Fall is soon to be upon us. This is a perfect time of year to settle into new and different routines. Perhaps you enjoy walks in the state parks or football games. Or maybe you'll rediscover something you just simply haven't done in a while.

As someone with an interest in local real estate trends, one thing that Restaino & Associates can offer that may be new to you, or something you just haven't checked out in a while, is our online interactive map of the entire market area we serve. It's simple to get to: Just visit our website,, and hit "Search by Interactive Map."

From here, buyers, sellers, Realtors, concierge service providers, relocation professionals, and anyone else who is curious about the region's property availability can get a quick update on what is happening in our market.

It can provide an in-depth look at where homes are located, as well as information on community amenities such as schools, libraries, walking paths, proximity to places of business, etc. You can search homes by MLS listing number, newest listings on the market, upcoming open houses and sold properties. It's a wonderful tool to get a quick snap-shot of the areas our team of professionals serve.

So with the change in seasons, take some time to step into a new routine by learning what's happening in the real estate market in various local communities. You may be surprised by what you discover. That perfect home in an area you'd like to live might be available right now. And, if you ever need more information about a home, a neighborhood... anything else real estate related, please contact me. As always, I'm happy to help!

Friday, September 9, 2016

Dog Paddle 2016

Dog Lovers, this is the event for you!! The dog days of summer are here and what better way to celebrate than the 2016 Dog Paddle at Goodman Pool Sunday September 11th from 9 a.m.-4 p.m.  The event benefits the Capital K9's, a nonprofit that supports the expansion and maintenance of the Madison Police Departments K9 unit.

Registration is required, $25 includes one dog and two humans...yes, humans are welcome, too!  For more information on the event, visit  Woof, Woof!

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Welcome Autumn!

As the lazy, hazy days of summer come to a close and school begins it’s time to spruce up your home for the Autumn season.

  • With hot, humid days behind us, turn off the air conditioning and open the windows for some fresh air!

  • Gather potted mums and pumpkins at the front stoop or porch for an inviting entrance.

  • Paint your front door or hang a wreath of fall foliage.

  • Visit an apple orchard and place fresh apples on your kitchen table or island for a fall centerpiece, or gather acorns and place in a glass bowl to add some texture to your decorating (place the acorns in a plastic bag and put I the freezer for a few days first.  This will kill any bugs hiding in the acorns).

  • Change out your patio or deck cushions with fall colored pillows of gold and burgundy.

  • Place candy corn in a tall glass vase to add fall color to a room (and a little sweet treat!).

Happy Fall!

Sunday, August 14, 2016

What's Your Criteria??

All buyer’s have certain criteria when they purchase a new home.  It might be location, or price, or amenities and usually a combination of several things; a “must have” list, so to speak.  My job is to find them the house that meets all of their parameters, or at the least as many as I can.

I worked with one client, whom I now call a friend, for more than a year.  She had very clear goals.  She wanted a house with charm and character, she wanted at least 1600 square feet, a garage, 1 ½ baths but preferably 2 full baths and no corner lots.  We looked at hundreds of homes (no kidding!) in Middleton and Madison and she even considered new construction.  We even wrote offers on a few that didn’t work out and in hindsight were not the right properties for her. 

We both were aware of a house that was for sale on Madison’s west side that was darling.  Talk about curb appeal!  She liked the exterior so much that she sat in front of it and called me to see it. But, and here’s the big “but”, it didn’t meet all her criteria.  So, we passed on it.

Fast forward a few days while we were looking at another property with a friend of hers and the house in question came up.  Her friend encouraged her to look at it.  So we did.  And she liked the interior as much as the exterior, but what about her “must have” list?  She thought long and hard about what to do and we talked…and talked and talked.  We eventually wrote an offer.  After some negotiating, the offer was accepted and she has since closed and moved in.

She made some concessions.  The house is 1300 square feet.  It has only 1 bathroom.  It’s on a corner lot.  What??  Yep!  But it is darling, it has charm and she will work her magic to make it spectacular!  I think she’s happy and I know she loves the neighborhood.  And, she was a joy to work with! 

The moral of the story is that it’s important to have criteria, but flexibility is key!  Be sure to look at EVERYTHING!  You never know, it might be the house you’ve been waiting for.  If you know someone looking for the house of their dreams (or close to it!) have them give me a call.  As always, I’m happy to help.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Temperatures Up, Inventory Down

A strange thing seems to happen every summer. The days – from sunup to sundown – are longer, and yet they fly by so fast! In a way, the same thing can be said of our current real estate market. Property is selling at an accelerated pace, and yet there is a shortage of properties to sell. It makes for quite a conundrum and, as you've surely witnessed, price aberrations occur within the marketplace.

Existing-home sales sprang ahead in May to their highest pace in almost a decade, while the uptick in demand this spring amidst lagging supply levels pushed the median sales price to an all-time high, according to the National Association of Realtors. In the Madison area demand is far exceeding the supply-thus competition among buyers is intense. Advantages exist for home buyers too. Mortgage rates, which are at three-year lows, allow qualified buyers to be well funded.

Home prices are increasing because of low inventory, but buyers are focused on getting as much house as possible while interest rates are so low. In short, this means encouraging those who are interested in selling to do so; the sooner the better!

Enjoy your summer. If a real estate move is part of your summer plans, I'm here!  Just give me a call or shoot me a test.  As always, I'm happy to help!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

First Impressions Matter

Buyer's typically know the minute they walk into a home whether it will suit them.  So, like a firm handshake, first impressions matter.  I will also say, that a good agent that knows their client well, will also know fairly quickly if a house will appeal to their buyer.  There are a few inexpensive tricks that homeowner's can do to make that first impression meaningful and won't break the bank.
  • Add a wreath to the front door
  • Hang a flag
  • Add a hanging basket or a few potted plants near the front door and a bench or chair if there is space
  • Look at the front of your house as a picture.  What else could you add?  A pair of garden boots, a watering can, a croquet set or perhaps a small sculpture or fountain.  The sound of a fountain can be very soothing.
It's hard to pin down an exact return on investment for landscaping when it comes to selling a house.  I do know that it does create value, depending on the extent of the landscaping, I have seen figures as high as 80% ROI. Not bad for a little curb appeal!