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Mad City Dream Homes Real Estate Blog, Madison WI

If we were to choose one word to describe the spring real estate market, it would be "over-heated". The spring selling season has been full of bidding wars and huge price increases. If you know anyone who's bought or sold this spring, no doubt you've heard a few interesting stories about our crazy market. 

But real estate is all about the seasons, and right now our over-heated spring market is giving way to a more balanced summer market. As the graph below shows, buyer activity decreases in June from the peak months of March, April and May. Plenty of real estate gets bought and sold in the summertime, but not at the frenzied pace of the spring market. 

Summer Real Estate Market in Madison WI

How does this shift affect buyers and sellers?

If you're still planning to buy or sell in

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Madison home and condo prices took a big leap in April. Here's a quick look at the April numbers. 

Home Prices

The price per square foot jumped by $22 from April 2016 to April 2017. That's an increase of 16%. 

Year-to-date, the price per square foot was up by $14 through the month of April - an increase of 10%. 

Condo Prices

The April condo price per square foot increased $16 year-over-year - an increase of 11%. 

Year-to-date the price per square foot was also up by 11%

What's driving prices higher? 

Increased competition. Amazingly, 47% of all single family homes that went under contract in March involved 2 or more competing offers. That's the highest percentage we've seen in the Madison market. Increased

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As another entry in our series of neighborhood profiles, The Crossing, also known as Glacier Ridge, has earned the attention of families and professionals for its attractive setting within Madison city limits. Its appeal begins with the large amount of green space, and several large parks along its borders. The Crossing is the kind of neighborhood where you'll find residents strolling along the sidewalks each evening, and taking advantage of the expansive trail network along its western edge. 

The Ice Age Trail Park borders the community on the west side. This park provides beautiful space to hike and bike on wooded trails and natural prairies. We recently featured it here:

Mad City Dream Homes Neighborhood Tours - The Ice Age Trail from Dan

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Home building is gradually picking up in the Madison area, as more buyers are opting for a new construction home in one of the area's emerging neighborhoods. The appeal is two-fold: Buyers get to choose their own customizations and finishes. It's also easier to purchase a brand new home because there's much less competition in the new construction market.

If you've been challenged by our low supply market, take stock of your options and check out the properties available in some of the area's newest subdivisions. Who knows, you might find just what you're looking for in a new construction home. 

Thinking of buying or building a new construction home? Here's our overview of over 60 emerging neighborhoods in the greater Madison area. Contact us to

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Some people just have an "eye" for capturing beautiful things. At Mad City Dream Homes, we've been working with Justin Lackner of Lackner Photography, because he has this "eye." Take a look at his photography, and you'll agree that he's gifted at finding and capturing Madison's natural beauty.

"I've always loved Madison. The more places I've been, the more I love this city. It has the amenities of a big city, but is so easily accessible by car, bike or public transportation. And the parks- they are beautiful- and there are plenty of them to explore and enjoy," he said. Lackner is responsible for the park photography we feature on our website. His talent for capturing these natural spaces is invaluable. "With nature photography, you have the time to sit

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In a real estate market that proves to be highly competitive, we encourage our clients to work with lenders that provide high quality service and efficient results. One of our favorite lenders is Patrick Averill of Thompson Kane. Averill has proven himself as a lender who consistently puts his clients' needs first, and who ensures they understand the lending process from start to finish.

"I take what I do very seriously. This is my clients' largest purchase, and often their largest asset. I do everything I can to make the process go as smoothly and stress-free as possible," he says. Averill is familiar with the competition many buyers face to get their offers accepted. He educates his clients on their financial options, their approved purchase range,

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Many buyers are getting sticker shock in this year's hot real estate market. They're realizing they can't get the home they were hoping for within their original budget. Some buyers are dropping out due to rising prices. Others are adjusting their expectations about the market and moving forward with their home-buying plan. They're doing this by "living in their payment, not their mortgage". 

Living in your Payment

"Living in your payment" refers to looking at your purchase in terms of your monthly payment, not the purchase price of your home. For example, suppose your original budget for buying a home was $300,000, but due to rising prices you're considering increasing your budget in order to find the right property. The chart below shows for every

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How to Prevent a Bad Appraisal on Your Real Estate ListingLow appraisals have become an issue this spring, particularly in the condominium market, where prices are rising rapidly. A low appraisal can potentially sidetrack a transaction, resulting in either a negotiated price reduction or even a canceled offer. 

Fortunately there are a few things you can do to protect your listing from appraisal issues. Below are 7 ways you and your real estate agent can work together to prevent a bad appraisal from derailing your listing. 

7 Ways to Protect your Listing from a Low Appraisal

  1. Choose a listing plan that's designed to attract multiple offers. Your odds of receiving a cash offer with no appraisal contingency go up significantly when buyers compete against each other for your listing. When you interview
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Remember the "good old days" when kids got up on a summer morning, played outdoors, and returned home at night?  Parents didn't fear danger, and kids were free to roam the neighborhood. People assume that this is a throwback to another time, but in Madison, it's still happening at the neighborhood pools. The city is home to at least 13 neighborhood pools. Many are membership driven, but a few offer paid admission to the public. In either case, they are typically centrally located within neighborhoods, and offer a place where neighbors gather, children are known by name, and the staff keep a close eye. Between the neighborly atmosphere and the schedule of daily swim lessons, swim team, water ballet, and other events, kids can stay busy from morning to

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The market this year is playing out as expected. Inventories are historically low. Properties are selling quickly. And prices are rising rapidly throughout Dane County. Here's a quick market snapshot covering a few of the county's largest communities. 

Home Prices

Dane County Home Prices by CommunityWe use the price per square foot to track the change in local home prices. Property values are rising rapidly and setting new highs in Fitchburg, Madison, Sun Prairie, Verona and Waunakee. We expect Middleton home prices to reach new highs within a few months.

Low inventories and strong demand are driving prices higher. Bidding wars and "escalation clauses" have become very common this spring, especially for listings priced under $350,000. 

Condo Prices

Dane County Condo Prices March 2017The condo market used to be

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