• Market Update – October 2019

    Home Sales The number of homes sold this past month has dropped off considerably as the market slows heading into the fall and winter months. Still, home sales for September this year have slightly exceeded the number sold last year. During the month of August, there were 810 new homes listed for sale and 718 new homes were listed for sale in September. Given that 817 homes were sold in August, and only 595 homes were sold in September, buyers will have a bit more to choose from if they start their home search during the Fall months.   Inventory Inventory of single-family and condo homes in Dane County improved…

  • Market Update: September 2019

    Home Sales The number of home sales has trended slightly downward over the summer months. This is typical of our market and can result in better odds for buyers who missed out during the fast-paced and highly competitive spring/early summer months. Overall, there were slightly fewer homes sold over the past three months this year, than in 2018. The month of July is the exception, with equal numbers this year and last. Inventory Inventory in Dane County continues to hover around the “2 months of supply” mark. This is well below the average of 6 months of supply typically seen in balanced markets and indicates a continued seller’s market in…

  • Summer to Fall: Get the Most Out of Your Outdoor Space

    In Wisconsin, we learn to enjoy every moment we have in our outdoor spaces before the inevitable snow flies. As the nights get cooler and the leaves start to turn, many people start packing up their outdoor furniture in preparation for “hibernation”. There’s still plenty of enjoyment to be had in our outdoor entertaining spaces though – aside from grilling out for the big game. Here are some tips to get the most out of your deck, patio, or back yard this Fall season. Think cozy… Fall is for s’mores and sipping hot cider – or for having some warm cocktails with friends. These things go best with a crackling…

  • Don’t Let These Common Myths Keep You From Buying a Home

    There are many misconceptions about the home buying process that keep first-time buyers from entering the market. Fortunately, they are often just that – misconceptions. Let’s explore some of the more common myths surrounding the home buying process that keep many first time buyers on the sidelines. You need perfect credit to qualify for a mortgage… This might have been true many years ago, but the introduction of government-backed loans and more forgiving underwriting practices have opened homeownership up to more prospective borrowers. Consider FHA loans, which are mortgage loans backed by the federal government. FHA loans are available to borrowers with credit scores as low as 500. Some conventional…

  • Neighborhood Spotlight: Nakoma

    When it comes to desirable Madison, WI neighborhoods, Nakoma tops most home buyer lists. With a great near-west location, lush tree-lined streets, and some of the finest examples of architecture in Madison, it’s easy to see why. It’s hard to imagine Nakoma as a “country suburb”, but that’s exactly how it got its start in 1915. As cars became more accessible to average families, and they were willing to move further from the city center, suburbs like Nakoma grew in popularity. Nakoma’s developers took additional steps to ensure comfortable and convenient living for new residents, like creating Madison’s first private bus line. This gave residents a quick and easy way…

  • August 2019 Market Update

    More of the same… only better! As was widely predicted, the Federal Reserve announced on July 31 that they were cutting the Federal Funds rates by 1⁄4 of one percent. The move, which has been widely anticipated for weeks, was described by Fed Chairman Jerome Powell as “an insurance policy against potential speed bumps for the economy, including rising trade tensions and a slowdown in global growth.” While cutting the Federal Funds rate doesn’t have a direct relationship to home mortgage rates, the “trickle down” effect of lowering borrowing rates for banks eventually lowers their overall cost of doing business. This hits the streets where we live in the form…

  • Can You Save Money With a “Fixer Upper”?

    Many real estate markets around the country are seeing an increase in home prices, along with a shortage of available inventory. With competition strong, and prices high, you might be tempted to save some money by taking on a home that “needs a little love”. The popularity of DIY type shows on various cable channels makes it seem so easy – and almost fun. You might be drawn to the idea of putting in a little sweat equity, to gain real equity down the road, and you’d get to put your own personal touches on the home. Sounds like a great plan, right? Before you jump on the home renovation roller coaster, take a…

  • Restaino in the Community

    Spring and summer are busy times in the real estate market. While we love being busy with our buyers and sellers, we are also busy giving back to various causes throughout our community. Being connected to the communities we serve is just as important to us as the homes we sell in them! Read on to learn about some of the causes we’ve been involved with so far this year. Most recently, some of our agents and staff volunteered their time with Habitat for Humanity of Dane County. They were able to help with landscaping, painting, and even framing a home – and they had so much fun! In June,…

  • June 2019 Market Updated

    Halfway Through 2019 Where Have We Been and Where Are We Going? The first half of 2019 surprised housing markets across the country as, contrary to what experts had predicted, mortgage rates fell. This is welcome news for home buyers and home sellers alike. For buyers, more will qualify to buy homes and their monthly payments will be lower. For sellers, the increased number of qualified buyers means more competition which typically translates to faster sales. The current drop in interest rates is particularly important for sellers now, as rate increases over the past three quarters seem to have tempered the seller’s market which has existed since August of 2012.…

  • A New Way to Save for a Down Payment?

    If you’ve given even a passing moment’s notice to Wisconsin politics lately, you’ll know that we have a new Governor, and a new state budget in the works. One of the items that Governor Evers is hoping to pass with the 2019-21 budget could benefit prospective home buyers. This item is called the First-Time Home Buyer Savings Account (FHBSA) and it could give first time buyers an easier way to save for a down payment on a home. In an effort to address the rising costs of home ownership and large student loan balances that many of today’s first time buyers are carrying, the FHBSA would offer savers an easier…

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