February 2018

Found 13 blog entries for February 2018.

This weekend (March 3-4), the Madison Kids Expo is offering a perfect opportunity to enjoy family fun and burn off some steam. The event is organized by Brava Magazine and takes place at the Alliant Energy Center on Saturday and Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days. Bring the little ones, and expect lots of hands-on exhibits, open play areas, demonstrations by dancers and karate teams, face painting and more.

Kids Expo in MadisonThe Kids Expo has several purposes:

  •  It's Affordable Fun: The admission fee gives you access to the full expo, and most events are at no additional cost. This is your chance to try out a wide range of activities, and see what your child enjoys the most. Options like laser tag, mazes, bounce houses, craft projects, and animal
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With 25 recreation parks in Dane County, Indian Lake County Park ranks as one of the largest and most popular according to a recent survey. Located along State Hwy. 19 in the Town of Berry (north of Cross Plains), the park encompasses prairies, rolling meadows, valleys, wetlands, and woodlands centered around a 67-acre lake formed by the glacial melt.

To see this gorgeous hilltop view, take a short walk from the shelter parking lot, up some wooden stairs, and past a secular place of meditation, built in 1857.

Scenic hiking trails loop through the 483-acre park, including the Ice Age National Scenic Trail that passes by the adjacent Halfway Prairie Wildlife Area.

Offering a wonderful blend of natural, cultural, and recreational

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As of this writing, the rate for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage is at about 4.5% (for a real-time update on mortgage rates, click this link). This is a jump up from where the rate has been over the last several years, but still very low by historical standards.

How will higher mortgage rates impact the Madison real estate market? 

In the short-term, higher mortgage rates are creating some uncertainty, especially for buyers whose financing budget is tight. In the long-term, we believe higher rates will prove to have a positive impact on the market. Madison area real estate prices have been rising at an unsustainable pace, and higher rates are needed to temper that growth.  

Do you have questions about how higher rates will affect your purchase

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Wisconsin is fortunate to have an abundance of lakes and rivers, and the Madison area is no exception. Any given day, you will find someone fishing on Lake Mendota, Monona or Waubesa. Whether it be huddled over a hole in the ice, or fly fishing in one of the area's many rivers, catching fish is a popular past-time.

This weekend, the Wisconsin Fishing Expo intends to celebrate the sport and offer some fun events for all ages. The expo will be at Alliant Energy Center beginning at  4 p.m. on Friday. Experts on everything from muskies, salmon, trout and panfish to kayaking, sonar and other techniques will be on hand to share their knowledge. A two-story exhibit hall (125,000 square feet) will offer a wide range of products designed to improve your

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If you've ever asked for book recommendations on social media, you were likely overwhelmed by the responses. With so many online choices it can be tough to decide what to read next. Sometimes it's easier (and more fun) to flip through the pages in person to get a better sense of the story inside.

Now is a great time to do just that at the Friends of Madison Public Library (FMPL) book sale, February 22-25. Head to the first floor of Central Library, 201 W. Mifflin St., to browse the huge selection of books for every age and interest. You never know what you might find!

"There is no better way to spend time on a cold winter day than cozying up with a good book," the news release said.

With most items priced at $2 or less, it's also an

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A few days ago a prospective out-of-town buyer contacted our team about buying a home in the Madison area. He had been researching properties online and created a list of 20 homes he wanted to visit in person. We quickly checked on the status of each property and determined 18 of the listings already had an accepted offer. In other words, 90% of the properties on this buyer's list were already under contract and scheduled to close with another party.  

Mr Buyer was surprised to learn that so many of the properties on his list would be selling to other people. It was tough news for him to swallow, but a good example for others on how competitive the Madison real estate market has become.

Our advice for buyers in 2018

If you'd like to avoid the

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It's a jungle out there for buyers in this year's real estate market. Madison area home and condo listings are at historically low levels, and we fully expect this to be the "new normal" for the next several years. Consequently some buyers are struggling in 2018 because they don't have the right tools, the right mindset, or the right agent to effectively compete. If you're planning to buy this year, here are 4 steps you should take right now to effectively compete in our low inventory market. 

4 steps for buying in a low inventory market

#1: Write down your goal and commit to it. For example, "By June 30th, purchase a 4-bedroom home for under $500,000 in the Middleton School District." Then re-visit your goal and work on it everyday. You're much

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It's only February 15th, but the hot Spring real estate market has officially arrived to Madison, Wisconsin. Talk to any local REALTOR and they will tell you that the competition is fierce for a limited supply of properties. Our latest market data provides some great insight into the current inventory, sales, and price trends in Madison. 

The Madison single family home market

Here's a quick overview of the Madison single family home market. 

Single family home inventory

Single family home supply continues to trend toward new historic lows. Right now there are only .7 months of supply available for sale on the MLS  - down from .9 months at the same time last year. Active MLS listings are down 25% from a year ago, and an amazing 52% of all

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Buying a home is a several step process, and it begins before you even look at potential properties. Laurie Ellis-Mcleod, president of AERIE Preferred Financial Group, offers 6 tips to prepare you to buy this spring:

1. Don't dip into your retirement funds.  "You can't finance retirement. You need to rethink your plan to buy if you have to dip into your IRA or 401K to make it happen," says Laurie.

2. Watch your spending.  You don't want to hurt your credit during this crucial time. Avoid the temptation to close an account, open a new one, or make a large purchase. Your lender will be looking at all of these things, and any one of them could negatively impact your credit score.

3. Make sure you understand the full cost of ownership. Talk with your

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In  2017 our real estate team helped 45% of our Madison area home-selling clients receive multiple offers on their listing. In 2018, our clients are way ahead of that pace with one recently receiving a whopping 14 offers to purchase. Great things happen when sellers receive multiple offers. Below are 5 reasons why we aim to attract competing offers for each and every sale. 

5 reasons to attract multiple offers

#1: Multiple offers help sellers attract the highest possible price. Just like an auction, the price goes up when buyers compete against each other. 

#2: Cash offers are more common when buyers compete. Heavy competition greatly increases the odds that one or more buyers will submit an offer without a financing contingency. For those

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