Monday, October 17, 2016

Fall Looks to Continue the Strong Sales Trend of Spring and Summer

Change is in the air! The kids are back at school, the leaves are turning brilliant colors, the air has a slight frosty nip to it and backyard barbeques have been replaced with football viewing get-togethers. Yes, it’s definitely fall in Wisconsin.

Oddly, though, one thing that doesn't seem to be changing very drastically is the state of the real estate market in the greater Dane Country region. Spring and summer home sales were fast and furious. In fact, August home sales in Wisconsin saw the strongest numbers since 2005, with a whopping nine percent jump over August, 2015. In Dane County, our numbers stayed pretty much static compared to last year's home sales, but the median sale price increased by 6.1 percent to $244,000.

As with the past year, home sale prices are being driven up by a lack of inventory in the marketplace. Obviously, this makes autumn a perfect time to list property. And those who are in the market to purchase a home are in luck, too. Not only is it a beautiful time of year to drive around and look at potential new homes, but the current interest rates are incredibly low. According to the Wisconsin Realtors Association, a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage this past August was at 3.44 percent, about a half percent lower than August 2015.

Fall is the perfect time for sellers to consider listing a home.  As always, I'm here to help!

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

New Restaurants Coming to Monroe St.

Monroe St. is home to some great shopping and restaurants.  Some new neighborhood restaurants will be opening soon:

Opening at 2701 Monroe St. - Suite 270, the eatery will offer lunch, dinner and weekend brunch specializing in local and regional meat dishes along with veggies, grains and eggs.

Miko Poke:
Slated to open at 2701 Monroe St. - Suite 250, this will be a Hawaiian-themed restaurant with a gluten and dairy-free menu.  The Poke bowls will feature raw seafood, rice or noodles with special sauces and spices.

The Roman Candle Pizzeria:
2623 Monroe St. A Madison/Middleton favorite has submitted plans to open soon.

Infusion Chocolates:
2503 Monroe St., this Chocolatier is also hoping to open soon to satisfy the sweet tooth of area folks!

Watch for these new restaurants in the coming months.  Yummy!

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.