Friday, October 2, 2015

Old and New

I grew up in Madison.  A lot of my grade school and high school classmates still live in town.  Surprisingly, I don’t run into many of them, however I did run into an old friend a year or so ago.  He mentioned he and his wife (also a former school mate) were looking for a cabin on a lake up north.
We exchanged lots of e-mails, phone calls, text messages and spread sheets to research Wisconsin lakes and locations.  We narrowed the search.  Time for a road trip…or several!  What could be better than spending a day looking at lake houses with friends!  We actually took several road trips that summer.

We narrowed the search even further and came up with two final contenders, each unique in their own way.  After another visit, a clear winner emerged.  An offer was submitted and accepted.  The usual course of action continued; inspection, appraisal, financing, etc.

And the financing brought in another former class mate...this transaction was turning into a class reunion.  It was awesome to get reacquainted with old friends!  At the closing table, we learned the sellers, also from Madison, knew many of the same people the buyers knew.  It is a small world.

This fall, I have been helping another friend and former classmate find a cabin in the woods.  It has been wonderful spending time with her family, getting to know her children and taking long walks in the woods.  We haven’t found their paradise yet, but we will!

One of the most rewarding aspects of selling Real Estate is the relationships formed and the friends made, both old and new.  I love helping my old friends, but I’m always looking to make new ones, too!  Perhaps you know someone who is trying to find that perfect piece of paradise.  Or maybe sell the paradise they now call home.  Have them give me a call, 333-4406.  As always, I’m happy to help!

Saturday, September 12, 2015

A Change of Seasons

Fall is certainly upon us. Everything seems to slow down a bit, but that's OK. It's a perfect time to catch your breath from the hustle and bustle of summer and take a moment to inhale the crisp autumn air. This is also a perfect time of year to settle into new and different routines. Perhaps you can take on a new hobby. 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 I'd like to introduce you to is the Restaino & Associates online interactive map of the entire area Restaino & Associates serves. It's simple to find. Just log into the website,, and click "Search by Interactive Map." Or for added ease of access to property and home listings, download the Restaino Interactive Map app from either the Apple App Store or Google Play!

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 education on what is happening in our market.

Via the "Search by Interactive Map" feature on or through our app, everyone has the ability to search for homes available on the market in specific communities. We provide an in-depth look at where homes are located, but also community amenities such as schools, libraries, walking paths, proximity to places of business, etc. You can also view homes by the  MLS listing, active listing, new on the market, open houses and sold properties. It's a wonderful tool to get a quick snap-shot of the area.

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 or anything else real estate related, please contact me.

I am a housing expert, and I'm here to help!

Friday, September 4, 2015

Good Day, Bad Day

A few days ago, this was my day:
Be at home between 8:00 a.m. and noon for the cable guy.
Cable guy shows up at 12:10 p.m.
Cable guy walks around, in the basement, back upstairs, back to the basement then outside.
Cable guy assesses the utility pole at the edge of the property.
Cable guy says there are too many branches near the utility pole, he can't get up there.
Options? Trim the branches.  It's a safety issue.  No cable today. Reschedule Cable guy.

Now it's 1:30 p.m.  School begins the next day.  I have ZERO school supplies.
Drive to the store for school supplies.  Spend $138.00 on notebooks, pens, folders, binders, highlighters and calculators. Still need more supplies, but running out of time.  Will buy more supplies another day.  Head to my car.  NO KEYS!!  Look in the car window, there they are!! Hurrah!  Keys locked in the car.  Call my son to bring me spare keys.

On to the grocery store, since I am out of everything.  It's now 4:00 p.m., the bewitching hour at the grocer's.  Everyone jockeying for space and gambling on which checker will get them out the fastest.  I choose poorly.

This is turning out to be a bad day.  I think to myself, it's the bad days that make us grateful for the good days.  Chin up, Kathy! And then something miraculous happens.  I receive a call from a client who just called to thank me.  They have moved into their house and are getting settled.  They love the new house.  They are happy as can be...which of course, makes me happy!

This wasn't such a bad day after all!  Sometimes a multitude of "bad" things can be erased with just one "good" thing!  What a concept!

Hope your "good" days outweigh your "bad" ones!

Monday, August 24, 2015

Talent and Taste

We all have talents.  Some of us can sing or dance.  Or we might be a great athlete or fabulous at math.  We could be able to braid hair with our eyes closed, or maybe we know all the yo-yo tricks.  We all bring plethora of talents to the world.

We all have distinctive personal style, too.  You might be the hippie type, or sporty, or classic.  Perhaps you prefer vintage or ultra-modern.  Or you could be eclectic.  This personal taste is often also reflected in our homes.  We are all drawn to certain colors, artwork, furniture types and patterns.  Sometimes these elements all work together and well...sometimes, not so much.

If you happen to be in the "not so much" category, don't fret.  It doesn't mean anything, unless you are trying to sell your house.  Because when you are trying to find a buyer, you want to be as neutral as possible to appeal to the most buyers.  But there are options to make your home shine to the buyers who have become more and more persnickety.

Home stagers are one option.  Some will use the furniture and accessories you already own and rearrange and redistribute with a new eye.  Others have warehouses chock full of home staging furniture they will bring into your home.  In either case it can sometimes make the difference between a quick offer and languishing on the market.  And despite what you hear in the media, there are homes out there that are NOT selling.

If you would like more information on staging or any other aspect of home buying and selling, drop me an e-mail or give me a call.  I am always happy to help!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Dog Days

I moved my oldest son back to college today.  I also registered my two younger children for high school.  The first high school football game of the season is Friday night and the Packers have begun the pre-season.  All of this on some of the hottest days of the summer.  While fall seems far away (at least I hope!), we are reminded that it is on the way as the days grow shorter.

We have also seen a slowdown in the Real Estate market in Madison.  People in the market to buy or sell turn their attention to last minute family vacations and purchasing of school supplies. This has been a typical trend of the last few years; we see a slowdown until after the school year begins.  In early September we'll see another slight uptick in the market with a few more seller's and buyer's venturing into the market.

Despite seeing a slight rise in interest rates (4.1% for a 30 year conventional mortgage as of today), buyers are still out there trying to find the perfect house before interest rates rise even further.

While you enjoy these last few dog days of summer, keep your eye on the Real Estate market in your area.  There is still plenty of "selling" season left!

Friday, August 7, 2015

June 2015 Home Sales

As we head into the Dog Days of Summer, some things haven't changed.  The Real Estate market on the near west side continues to be strong, with inventory low and buyers eager to find a new home.

Here's what sold on the near west side in June and early July.  How do these compare to your home?  Give me a call and let's find out!