Monday, April 13, 2015

Creativity in Real Estate

Sometimes you have to get creative!  If you saw the April 12 Wisconsin State Journal article on Real Estate agents getting creative, you know what I'm talking about.  That's the norm in this crazy spring market we are in!

In recent weeks, I have sold a young family a house that was an expired listing, it was on the market last year and didn't sell.  It has now!

I have also found two houses for another buyer that she was able to see before they hit the market. Neither one of them worked for her, but she had the chance to see them before the flurry of activity that has become common when a new listing hits the Multiple Listing Service.

I also found another "unlisted" house for a third buyer.

My point is, in a crazy, unpredictable market, many buyers and sellers don't see the value in using a Real Estate agent.  Heck, we can do it ourselves and save tons on money, they think.  In some cases that's true.  But the reality is that this is our profession.  This is what we do every day.  And with 88% of buyers using a Real Estate professional when they purchase a home, we must be doing something right.  Especially since that figure has increased 20% in the last 10 years!

So, put me to work.  If you are thinking of buying or selling a home, let me get creative for you!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Purple Day

The world, and Madison in particular, is a much better place because of grassroots organizations that promote worthwhile causes.  

This is especially true of my friends, Anne and Dave and Colleen and Dave, who tirelessly work, talk about and live and breathe Lily's Fund.  It has become a formidable organization to raise awareness and support for epilepsy research in our own backyard, at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

One in 26 live with epilepsy, an astonishing figure!  On Thursday March 26 you can easily and painless show your support by wearing purple.   As the website says, "By doing this one simple act, you raise awareness and show support for those living with epilepsy. Awareness brings funding. Funding brings more research, better treatments and hopefully a cure."

Show your support for this local organization.  Wear purple.  That's it!  What could be easier! Purple tie, purple t-shirt, purple shoes...just wear purple!   I'll have my purple on...will you?

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

SVCA Meeting

If you live in the Sunset Village neighborhood, you are undoubtedly aware of discussion in recent months of adding curb and gutter to the streets in the neighborhood.

Most residents of this picturesque neighborhood, that I am aware of, are opposed to adding curb and gutters.

To find out more about this issue, attend the Sunset Village Community Association (SVCA) meeting on March 19th at 6:30 p.m. at Sequoya Library.  Eric Dundee from the Madison Engineering Department will be on hand to present on the city planned addition of curbs, gutters and sidewalks between Hillcrest Ave. and Mineral Point Rd.  This will provide a good opportunity to listen to the proposal and ask questions about those plans.

If you have an interest in this issue, it will be worth your time to attend.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Buyers, Buyers Everywhere

With interest rates still at near record lows and the employment market continuing to improve, we are experiencing, as predicted, an already wide open real estate market in the very early days of March. Stories of multiple offers on the same home and bids in excess of asking price have gone from the exception to the norm. What a fabulous opportunity for homeowners whose equity evaporated back in 2008 to get their real estate lives back on track.

Adding to the strength of our current market is the reemergence of long sidelined first time buyers who have discovered a loosening of credit terms and also lowered down payment amounts on FNMA and FHLMC backed home loans (from 5% to 3%). Big changes like these are combining to make owning cheaper than renting in many instances…and the millennials, along with the rest of us, find that a very enticing environment.

Current homeowners taking advantage of this strength in the marketplace can buy up with a much larger down payment than would have been thought of just a couple years ago. With 30 year home loan mortgage rates still in the vicinity of 4%, the cost of moving up is less than you might think. Its truly a Win-Win-Win situation.

I'd be happy to help you now, while conditions are better than at any time in the last decade. Get in touch today to discuss the possibilities. 

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Singing Birds

Do you hear the birds singing in the morning?  I know spring isn't "officially" here, but in a few short weeks, despite what the temperature reads, spring will be here!  Birds are a lot smarter than us humans in this regard.

Like the birds who begin to "clean out" and build new nests, Spring is typically the time of year we throw open the windows and throw out the trash.  I'm not talking about garbage, here.  I'm talking about the "stuff" that has accumulated in our closets, basements, attics, garages and pantry's.  

If it's overwhelming, tackle a small space first.  Remember, baby steps are better than no steps!  Or, hire help!  Simply Organized with Jill can get your space whipped into shape in no time.  And you might even have fun in the process!  It will certainly feel good!

Follow the bird's lead...and whistle a tune while you are at it!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Hot, Hot, Hot

The real estate market in Madison typically starts to heat up late March as buyers and sellers work toward a summer move.  In recent years, however that trend has been blown out of the water.

In the past two years, the Madison housing market has picked up right after the Super Bowl and continued to be strong right through Mid-October.  This year is no exception!

For example, as of a few days ago there were 61 houses for sale on the near west side of Madison.  Twenty-four of those had accepted offers.  That's more than one-third of the listings, essentially off the market!  Despite the frigid temps, the real estate market is HOT, HOT, HOT!

Here's what that means for buyers and sellers.

Buyers; be ready!  

  • Meet with your lender if you haven't already and be ready to view properties as soon as they come on the market.  Even waiting a day or two could be too late.
  • Put your best foot forward.  If you decide to make an offer, make it as clean as possible so it's more difficult for the seller to counter or reject.
  • Be prepared for multiple counter offers.  Know how far you are willing to go for a particular property.

Sellers; be ready!

  • If you have been thinking about selling, NOW is the time!
  • Buyers are out like ants on candy and they are ready to buy.
  • Be realistic, just because it's a sellers market, doesn't mean you can gouge the buyers.  
  • Price it right. The market will tell you if you are priced right.  Try to get more than your house is worth, and it may backfire on you by languishing on the market.
If there is anything I can do for you, let me know.  I'm here to help!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Victorian Gem

If you've been reading this BLOG for any length of time, you know that most of the posts are about the near West Side of Madison.  That's because I grew up on the near west side, I live here now, I work here, I play here.  It's where I spend a lot of my time.  I like it!

But I also get out into other parts of the city and suburbs, too.  In fact, there is a great little gem of a house in Oregon that is wonderful!  It's a Victorian nestled in the heart of the Village of Oregon.  It blends modern updates with old world charm that includes stained glass windows, original woodwork, hardwood floors and a clawfoot tub!  A wraparound porch that's perfect for relaxing and watching the world go by completes the picture.  The Village Historical Society labels the house "Oregon's finest example of Queen Anne architecture"

The gardens are spectacularly landscaped by a professional who knows his plants and has created a private paradise.  All of this with a 3-car!  It's a classic beauty,  If you know anyone looking for such a property, get in touch.  I know just the place!