Friday, April 25, 2014

To Do List

Is your "to do" list longer than a kite string?  Start checking those items off the list.

Have your clothes been sitting at the dry cleaners waiting to be retrieved?  No time to grocery shop?  Maybe the dog needs a visit to the Vet.  These and many other tasks that often overwhelm our precious free time can now be taken care of with a quick call to Concierge Madison.

Owner Kathryn Newhouse calls her business a personal assistant to lighten your load and give you more free time to enjoy life!  The service runs the gamut from running errands to waiting for the cable guy or delivery person.  She also offers special occasion and holiday services as well as corporate services such as client gift purchases and delivery.

Perhaps you are moving to a new house.  Concierge Madison can help you pack up the old house and get organized in the new one.  She also offers help planting summer flower pots!

So, no more excuses for that endless "to do" list.  It's time to start shortening the list so you can enjoy the longer days of summer.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Seller's Market on the Near West Side

If you've been watching the news or reading the paper, you've heard that home sales are robust!  It's true!  Despite the late-coming spring weather, the housing market has been crazy! 

Inventory remains tight, which puts sellers in the driver's seat and many houses on the near west side of Madison are going above the list price within a matter of days.  I'm currently working with several buyers who are ready to go, just waiting for the right property to come on the market.  Maybe it's yours?

Here's what houses sold for in March on the near west side. 

March 2014 Home Sales

4333 Travis Ter
587 Glen Dr
3734 Hammersley Ave
512 Wingra St
5726 Forsythia Pl
2352 West Lawn Ave
6 S Kenosha Dr
4414 Vale Cir
2738 Kendall Ave
708 Chapman St
2618 Park Pl
2210 West Lawn Ave
1802 Monroe St Unit 408
1652 Norman Way Apt 1
449 Charles Ln
402 Westmorland Blvd
922 Haywood Dr
910 Haywood Dr
6610 Regis Rd
29 Hiawatha Cir
214 S Midvale Blvd
1321 Drake St
3 Hickory Hollow Dr
606 Briar Hill Rd
945 S Midvale Blvd
505 Eugenia Ave
1536 Adams St
110 S Rock Rd
$250,040 *
3226 Gregory St
10 Court Of Brixham
3206 Gregory St
6225 S Highlands Ave
6410 Piping Rock Rd
80 White Oaks Ln

Sunday, April 13, 2014

The Itch to Pitch

With the warm spring temperatures and rain showers greening up the outdoors, I get the itch to pitch.  I can't wait to get my hands on the piles of papers and boxes of "stuff" that are cluttering up my space.

The problem is the "stuff" is overwhelming sometimes.  Where to start?  Which pile to tackle?  What room or closet should be my starting point?  Enter Jill Annis, owner of Simply Organized, LLC.  Billed as the nonjudgmental, compassionate organizing expert, Jill can help you organize your kitchen, your closets or your home office.  You name it, and she can help.  And she offers a free 30-minute phone consultation.

Jill offers quick tips like set a timer for 5 minutes and then find five things to toss or donate.  Spend a few minutes clearing off your table and then treat yourself to a bouquet of fresh flowers.  Or, perhaps the best recommendation, stop procrastinating.  Excuses are the number one roadblock to getting organized, according to Jill.

So if you are like me and you have the itch to pitch, but are feeling stressed because you don't know where to start, take Jill's advice and just start somewhere.  If you are still having trouble, calling Jill might be the best place to begin!

Monday, April 7, 2014

April Showers Bring May Closings

This posts headline is a time honored saying forecasting the growth of plants in the springtime. And while this winter's brutal weather has given us all reason to look for hope in the spring thaw, the majority of questions  for me of late revolve around seasonal growth in real estate sales and how the market is faring right now.

With the first quarter of 2014 now in the books, overall Dane County residential sales volume, as reported to the MLS, is down around 5.5% year to date. My best estimation at this point is the dampened closing rate was fueled in large part by the extremely cold weather which kept people from venturing out to begin their search for a new home. With warmer weather now inching its way in our direction, I see the market picking up quickly at this point as buyers try to make up for lost time. As evidence, we can point to last Sunday's weather and the attendance reports submitted to our marketing team by agents in the field. With temperatures in the 60's for the first time this year, we saw open house traffic increase as much as 50% over the previous week. More lookers means more offers which means more sales and ultimately more closings. For those who spent the extra time inside or in their yards getting their homes ready for market, listing with soon will position you for the maximum number of showings to potential purchasers. I guess our time honored saying should be, "April Showings Bring May Closings!"

On the bright side of all this, despite the Federal Reserve stated intent to withdraw stimulus from the economy by reducing the amount of mortgage backed securities they purchase each month, interest rates have actually dropped approximately ¼% in the last 30 days. While it would be difficult for anyone to argue that the 4.5% – 4.75% rates we saw in February were usurious, a drop to 4.25% improves the overall housing affordability index and allows more buyers to qualify for better loans. It's a win/win situation for everyone provided they move quickly.

As always, let me know if I can be of any help!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

5 Reasons to Hire a Real Estate Professional

They help with all disclosures and paperwork necessary in today's heavily regulated environment.

They are well educated in and experienced with the entire sales process.

They act as a "buffer" in negotiations with all parties throughout the entire transaction.

They help understand today's real estate values when setting the price on a listing or on an offer to purchase.

They simply and effectively explain today's real estate headlines and decipher what they mean to you.