Monday, April 16, 2018

What Can Buyer's Do??

A healthy economy and low unemployment continues to boost home sales in Wisconsin, despite supply restraints.

The Wisconsin Realtors Association reported that home sales hit a record high between December and February — typically the slowest season in Wisconsin. Low inventories and slowly increasing mortgage rates — an attempt by the Federal Reserve to counter inflation caused by tight labor markets — have contributed to a jump in home prices and created a strong seller’s market.

The median sale price for a home in Dane County has increased from $216,250 in February 2015 to $269,900 in February 2018. While mortgage rates still remain historically low, they’ve increased approximately a half percent in the first two months of the year and that’s a trend that’s expected to continue throughout 2018.

 In such a tight market, here are a few things buyers should keep in mind: 

1. Get preapproved. You’ll have a firm understanding of your budget and sellers will take you more seriously.

 2. Bid competitively. In a seller’s market, homebuyers should be prepared to make their best offer early.

 3. Work with a Realtor. When inventory is limited, a good buyer’s agent is fast to alert house-hunters to prospective homes, can offer insight on what’s needed to close a deal and help quickly prepare a competitive offer. 

I know buying a home in today’s market might seem overwhelming - it is for Buyer's Agents, too - but experienced agents can guide you through the entire process. I'm committed to making the journey to finding your next home a smooth and stress-free experience.  As always, I'm here to help!

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Procuring Cause

I have buyer's who I have known for about two years.  A few years ago, we were all ready to write an offer on a house, but some extenuating circumstances arose, and they decided to hold off a bit.

Fast forward a year or so, and they called to see a house.  They were super excited!  They wanted to see the house with their contractor.  Could I show it to them?  They had already seen the house during a private showing with another Realtor.  They had gotten so excited about the house after seeing it on Zillow, that they pressed the "button" to have a Realtor contact them to see the property. Uh oh!  That's a problem.

There is a little know Real Estate law called Procuring Cause.  If a buyer sees a house with one Realtor, (open houses are excluded from this law), but wants another Realtor to write the offer, the first Realtor who showed the buyer's the house has what's called "procuring cause".  In a nutshell, it means the first Realtor would get a commission if the sale goes together.  The second Realtor, who wrote the offer, scheduled the inspection, handled all the documents, did all the negotiating, etc. would get...well, NOTHING. It doesn't matter if the buyer "likes" the second Realtor better, or if they have a relationship, or if the second Realtor is their mother.  Procuring Cause prevails.

So, if you see a house you would like to see, even if you don't think you'll want to pursue it, call the Real Estate Agent you want to work with.  It will save lots of headaches down the road.

Happy house hunting!

Monday, March 19, 2018

Info for Real Estate Buyers and Sellers

In this crazy Real Estate market, not everyone wants to use a Realtor.  I get it, people think they can save some money, and in some cases they might.

Here are some facts that may (or may not) change people's mind:

- 90% of FSBO (For Sale by Owner) homes are sold by a Realtor.  So you might save some money on the list side, but the seller will most likely still pay a commission on the buyer's side.

- While helping people but and sell Real Estate is how a Realtor makes their living, most reputable Realtors are really in the business to help people.

- The Offer to Purchase and Listing Contract are legal documents and while Realtors are not attorney's, they are trained in the ins and outs of the contract and can decipher what can be complicated documents.

-With all the craziness that is happening in the market, it can be reassuring to have someone representing you.  Someone who has your back.  That's what a Realtor does, they have your back.

There are lots of other reasons it's a good idea to use a Realtor.  This is just some food for thought.

Friday, March 9, 2018

January 2018 Home Sales

What are houses worth on the near west side of Madison?  This list of homes that sold in January will give you an idea.  As you may guess, this list will grow as we head into spring!  Contact me if you'd like to buy or sell.  I'm happy to help!

January 2018 Home Sales

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Sweet House in Sunset Village!

Homey ranch nestled in Sunset Village! This adorable house lives large with an open living/dining room with gas insert fireplace for warming chilly toes. 

The updated eat-in Euro-style kitchen boasts a built-in dining bench, crisp white cabinets, butcher block counters and open shelving with views into the expansive yard. 
Detached two-car garage with sweet screen porch for relaxing on summer evenings. Reduce your carbon footprint by walking or biking everywhere, including local parks and Hilldale with all the amenities available including restaurants, shopping, theater and post office. Ten minutes to downtown. This one is worth a look!  Contact me for details!

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Impact of Tax Reform on WI Real Estate

Here are 10 ways the Wisconsin Real Estate Market will be impacted by the 2017 Federal Tax Reform:

1. Mortgage Interest Deduction
The new law reduces the mortgage interest deduction from $1 million to $750,000 and maintains the deduction for second homes for mortgages issued prior to December 15.

2. Doubling of the Standard Deduction
The new tax law doubles the standard deduction to $24,000 for married couples who file jointly and $12,000 for single filers.

3. Home Sale Capital Gains Exemption
On the of the items to go unchanged thankfully the capital gains exclusions for the sale of a primary residence remains at $500,000 for a married couple at $250,000 for an individual as long as you lived in the property 2 of the last 5 years.  Earlier versions of the proposed legislation changes pushed for a person to live in a property 5 of the last 8 years before they could claim this exemption.

4. State and Local Taxes (SALT)
The new tax law places a cap on the deduction for state and local taxes, allowing taxpayers to deduct up to $10,000 of state and local taxes, including property taxes and the choice of income or sales taxes.

5. Pass-Through Business Income
The tax rate for pass-through entries like solo proprietorships, LLCs and partnerships is reduced from 39.6% to 20%.

6. Home Equity Line of Credit (HELCO)
The deduction for interest on home equity loans/lines of credit is eliminated beginning in 2018 with no grandfathering of existing loans.  There is possibly an exception being discussed if a home owner can prove the loan was used directly for improvements to the home.

7. Like-Kind Exchanges
Also known as 1031 Exchanges, like-kind exchanges are maintained under the new law and allow a property owner to defer the payment on taxes on profits from the commercial property sales if the owners reinvest those profits into similar commercial property.

8. Depreciation
The depreciable life of both residential and commercial real estate property is reduced from 39 years to 25 years.

10 Moving Expenses
The new law eliminates the deduction for moving expenses/costs.  Under the prior law, a homeowners could claim a deduction for reasonable moving expenses if the new workplace was at least 50 miles from the home.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Buyers Should be Looking NOW!

2017 was the third straight year of record-setting sales in the state. Despite a decline in December sales of 3.3 percent over 2016, the strong economy pushed 2017 annual sales up 1.4 percent past the previous year with more than 83,000 units sold with an average price of $174,000, up 5.5 percent from 2016. 

These outstanding numbers seem almost impossible considering the continuing low inventory of properties for sale. The state’s low unemployment and mortgage rates coupled with steady job growth has fueled the housing demand. As we’ve stated before, there are no shortage of buyers ready to purchase. Just imagine how many units could have sold in 2017 if there was a substantial inventory to select from! 

Of course, the robust economy paired with the low inventory of homes for sale means there is a very high demand for homes… and homes are selling at an extremely brisk pace. In December, most homes were on the market for 80 days. To put it in perspective, that’s down from 99 days a year prior. This has pushed the average home price up 5.5 percent from 2016.

Regarding supply, rising prices may incentivize current owners to sell their homes, especially Baby Boomers entering into their 70s. Eventually, their increased need to make health-driven decisions about where they reside may increase the supply of homes. These factors could lead to minor supply improvements in 2018.

The good news is, those looking to buy should be ever diligent now as it's a great time to purchase.  While the inventory remains low, there are fewer buyers out looking  - who wants to move in the winter, right? - but it also means less competition in a very competitive market.

If you need help, contact me.  I'm happy to help!