Thursday, February 4, 2016

Is Loyalty Alive?

With all the Super Bowl hoopla, I was thinking the other day about loyalty.  Undoubtedly, people are loyal to their favorite sports teams.  The bead-wearing, face painters love their sports teams!  Of course people are also loyal to family and friends and their place of worship.  But are people really loyal?  Overall, my initial assessment is no, people are not loyal.

Then a few weeks ago I received an e-mail from a friend and client that changed my mind.  I helped them sell their house and purchase a new one.  The sale of their house went smoothly.  The purchase of the new house was a different story.  It was fraught with frustration.  There was lots of negotiating, five counter offers (yes, FIVE!) and several times we didn’t think it would work out.  It did and they are all settled.

Fast forward to the e-mail I mentioned earlier.  This is what it said:


We received your solicitation mail today.  We have no interest in using your services and ask that you not send us any more mail.

Kathy Epping was (and will be in the future if needed) our realtor from Restaino and not even your offer of $1000 closing credits is enough to entice us to switch.”

Wow!  My heart sang and I smiled from ear-to-ear.  Maybe people are loyal!  Maybe if you are honest, have integrity and do the right thing, people remember.  This client did.

So I’ve changed my mind.  Not only are people loyal to their Alma mater and their church, but people are also loyal to those they appreciate.

So as you settle into your easy chair to watch the Super Bowl fanfare on Sunday, think about your allegiances.  Do you appreciate the people that help you?  It doesn’t matter what that journey is.  Perhaps it’s better health, dealing with adversity or buying a house.  Whatever it is, appreciate those who lend a helping hand.  It will pay dividends down the road.  I promise! 

Monday, February 1, 2016

Future is Rosy...for Real Estate

With January behind us, it's becoming clear that the outlook for the Real Estate market for the foreseeable future is pretty rosy!

One example of a healthy market can be found in the fact that foreclosure inventory is dropping as the national economy is improving. On a nationwide level, only 3.4% of homes are in serious delinquency, and 29 states, including Wisconsin, have a foreclosure inventory rate lower than the national average.

Because of the low foreclosure inventory, the average home values have been on a steady increase. It should be noted, however, that homes across the country are appreciating at different rates.

With increased home values and interest rates continuing to hover around four percent, now may be an extremely attractive time for perspective buyers and sellers to make a move. Financially speaking, it is a good idea to keep a close eye on mortgage rates, as it remains difficult to predict with any certainty what the future will hold. Again, they appear to be holding steady for the time being, but an increase has been forecast for some time.

One thing that is certain not to change in 2016 is my commitment to YOU!  I look forward to helping you buy or sell or answer any questions you may have.  I'm here to help!

Monday, January 25, 2016

Neighorhood Radio Station

A new, well not that new, low power radio station is broadcasting on the near west side of Madison! 

WIDE-LP 99.1 FM began braodcasting in 2008 in the Midvale Heights neighborhood.  The station is still located in Midvale Heights but with recent upgrades (new, higher antenna), the station broadcasts 24 hours a day and day seven days a week.  Beyond providing music and talk radio, the goal of the station is to "... particularly focus on content that is not available via broadcasts from full power radio and TV stations in the area."

The station encourages area residents to create programs and content to attract neighborhood listeners.  The station welcomes community input on programming through their website or via e-mail:

What a great way to stay informed about the community we live in!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Can You Sell a House in the Winter...Absolutely!

The "typical" Real Estate market happens in the spring.  Seller's wait to list their homes until the winter grim has receded.  But this winter has been a little different.

An unseasonable warm and mild fall and early winter had buyer's coming out of the woodwork.

This endearing cape cod in the heart of Westmorland is a case in point.  It was on the market for just 8 days and we received multiple offers, too!  Of course, the location ( Close to EVERYTHING; Sequoya Commons, Hilldale, Schools and parks!) plus the price and condition also came into play.

But it's also a good lesson for those looking to buy or sell a home.  Don't wait until the time is "perfect".  The longer you wait, the harder it might be. And despite popular belief, you can sell a house in the winter!

Friday, January 1, 2016

Refections on 2015

Another year has come to a close, which is a perfect time to take a look back at 2015.

One aspect of the real estate market that surged in 2015 was the use of immediate technology by buyers, sellers, agents, recruiters and other service providers. As a result of immediate information available, sales moved much faster, taking only an average of 10 weeks compared to 12 weeks in 2013.

While debt continued to stall many younger buyers, their attitude toward home ownership appears to be making a dramatic move. Sixty-four percent of first-time buyers surveyed said their primary reason for purchasing was the "desire to own." That is up from 53 percent just one year ago. For repeat buyers, ownership tied with the desire for a larger home. The view of home ownership as a good investment also moved slightly higher to 80 percent; 43 percent of those surveyed said they see housing as a better investment than stocks.

A few things have not changed in our housing market. The median age of buyers continued to stand at about 31-years old, while the average age of sellers was 54. And the share of multigenerational households buying remained steady at thirteen percent. The median time on the market for recently sold homes stayed at four weeks for the second-straight year, and inventory of homes-for-sale across the country continued to remain quite low. (As quoted in the National Association of Realtors.)

Restaino & Associates' percentage of sale-to-list price ratio was higher than the MLS percentage of sale-to-list price ratio and we also held the highest average sale price sold for single family homes and condos of any Dane County Real Estate company with production over 100 million.

Of course another thing that hasn't changed is my commitment to all I serve, buyer's and seller's alike. I strive to offer information and insights into the marketplace so you have all the tools you need to effectively navigate the complexities and details that are part of the buying and selling processes. It's really simple. You're important to me and I hope you feel that every step of the way.

Here's wishing you a happy holiday season and my sincere thanks for your loyalty and friendship throughout the year. I wish all of you the very best in 2016!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

October 2015 Home Sales

Here they are...the long awaited home sales on the near west side for October 2015.  While activity has slowed somewhat, buyers are still out like crazy!  If you are considering selling, now would be a good time to start planning for 2016!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

The Home Buying Process-In a Nutshell!

The home-buying process is long and can be confusing, even to those that have gone through it before.  Take a look at this graphic, “The Road to Homeownership”.  It's a simplified, illustrated guide to the home-buying process.  As always, I'm happy to help guide you along the way!